Will you not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Psalm 85:6
What is revival? What does it mean, and when and how does it come about? You may not think it an encouraging subject, and I admit it can be a heartbreaking one as we look out at a world that seems devoid of spiritual things. But remember, with God all things are possible. He always is readily available for those seeking forgiveness and this definitely applies to a nation gone astray.
Just think about Nineveh! Jonah finally did submit to God’s request to go to Nineveh bringing with him His message of their sin and need for repentance. This led to 120,000 men – about 600,000 people, beginning with the King, repenting and saving this city from destruction.
Billy Graham wrote and spoke about revival in 1964 after abortion was legalized and the sexual revolution was in full swing. I remember it well as I too was living life the worlds way. Jesus was a last resort for this busy mom of four children. I turned to Him only when desperation came thumping on my door.
Since that time morals have steadily taken a downward spiral into the Godless, angry, society we are living in today.
However, I don’t want to come across as all being lost and beyond repair. When one looks back at biblical history, our world is still a far cry from the evil that permeated the world in Noah’s day. Genesis 6:5 relates that . . . “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (v8) If Noah found grace, then our nation can find that same grace.
We as Jesus ‘Church’ are very much to blame for our present state. We sat back in our easy chairs allowing the rot to slowly seep in through the cracks, while stealthily replacing truth and morals.
Reverend Graham relates clearly our role then and now, when he wrote… “The church holds the key to revival. It is within our grasp. Will we rise to the challenge? Will we dare pay the price?
The supply of heaven is adequate for the demands of our spiritually starved world. Will we fail to offer that supply?”
Scripture describes Revival and how it is the only way that will heal and remove the sins of a Nation – “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Hosea 5:15 lets us know that God will not act until a Nation repents. “I will return again to my place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.”
To repent means to have a change of mind and heart. Revival cannot happen until we recognize we are sinners, repent and then our gracious God will forgive and restore our land.
Billy Graham states further… “Don’t give lie to the Christian faith by professing Christ without possessing Him. Don’t lock the church door with the key of inconsistency and keep the last from coming to Christ. Don’t hinder revival by your unbelief and prayerlessness. Don’t cheat yourself out of spiritual victory by allowing sin to imprison you. Seek God’s face and turn from your wicked ways. Then He will hear from Heaven.”
Dr. Graham gives three answers for how a Nation can bring about Revival and heal their land . . .
1) Ernest Prayer: A deep seated heart yearning for Revival. Ernest fervent Prayer. Your soul is anguished, tears flow, and you have a real burden for the lost.
2) Forsake Our Sins: The bickering, prejudices, ill will, envy, jealousy, bitterness, criticism among Christians must end. Revival must begin in the hearts of Christians before evangelism can begin.
3) God Must Be Real To Us: Rediscover that God is holy, righteous, real, absolute and a personal God of love and mercy. This reality will be transferred to the world and revival can come.