Revival (When it's of God?)
I've never heard so much talk these days about revival but what is real REVIVAL?
When God brings revival about, it's REAL. In fact, any revival that is truly of God is going to be nothing more than a restoring and renewing of precisely what God has been seeking to do for the last two-thousand years.
He loves saving people, that's true, but that's not the end because he also loves FORMING CHRIST in his people too. So, a revival is not a new thing or new movement. It's really a return to the ONE and ONLY movement that God began, and people have departed from, that began in Acts 2.
God's purpose hasn't changed. It was always to give us, "Christ in us" -- so that Christ would BE our life. His intention and desire is to FORM Christ in us so that we could live and walk with Him, and become his witnesses to his resurrection life in us NOW. That's the good news of the gospel!
Any real REVIVAL will bring people back to "Christ in You the hope of glory" or into it for the first time.
But to countless Christian people, a real revival is one with signs, wonders, or miracles – or at least a revival is filled with what people claim are signs, wonders, or miracles from God. We usually envision the healing of the sick, people falling down in the aisles under the weight of glory, and a large amount of emotional hysteria. For some reason, THAT is what we think happens when God truly visits. Today, revival is about stuff God does when He shows up – and that stuff is signs, wonders, and miracles.
I know you've heard the same thing I have or read about them in books or even experienced some of those same things. Years ago I was like most people that thought that the proof of a revival from God is the reactions and the conduct of those involved.
If people are acting crazy in the name of Jesus then it has to be a real revival since not that many people could be wrong, faking it, or duped. Right? Once something like that gets going, it can go on and on and on. It's like a magnet, it draws the curious, but also attracts those with real need who want to experience God, or who want to get in on what others say have happened to them.
"Revivals," like this can last for year but history shows us that such revivals do very little to bring anyone alive in Christ. These types of revivals are a poor substitute for the true and authentic revival brought by God.
Like me you probably heard or read about people caught planting things like, “angel dust,” and, “angel feathers,” and "precious gems", and even of "gold teeth" appearing in people’s mouths. I had a woman years ago show me her "gold teeth" but I didn't see Jesus in her. But there have also been cases of honest people getting caught up in atmosphere, getting an emotional rush, etc., only to know later that nothing has changed. Think how discouraged people get when they realize they've been lied to in the name of Christ. How sad.
Some revivals are NOT the result of deliberate deception on the part of the average participant. But that's never the question rather is this kind of thing of God? So this brings us back to the question: What is TRUE revival? It's important that we understand the answer, because as we move forward there's going to be more and more fake revivals, with signs and wonders, ALL for the purpose of leading God’s people away from the supremacy of Jesus Christ.
God decides what's a False or true revival is
One test of revival is what stays behind when all the excitement dies down or did the speaker only emotionally arouse and work-up the crowd? God on the other hand is interested in only ONE issue: The measure of Christ. Do they have a greater fullness of Christ, do they have a more personal inner knowledge of him, and is God having his way with those people -- in Spirit and in Truth?
In the end, it's not going to matter what THINGS went on in any so-called revival. What MATTERS is the SAME thing that always MATTERS with God: Has Christ been formed in people, is God getting his purpose and glory? This is what continues when the questionable revival passes? Or -- is there error? When this type of revival is over its just another season of waiting around for the next revival or new thing? Been there done that. Authentic revival is about Christ becoming our life, that is eternal.
Once you see and experience authentic revival your perception of revival forever changes, doesn't it? Revival isn't about God doing THINGS. I know I keep saying it but revival is about the same thing God ALWAYS seeks to do: Reveal Christ TO you, IN you, and then THROUGH you. Not only during the revival, but in a way that is your lifestyle that reaches into eternity. This is the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom of God that Jesus died for.