Revelation 3:1-3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write…’I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. (2) ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. (3) ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent.
Many people are discovering the awakening/revival at Asbury seminary. It is beginning to spread to other college campuses. It is spawning a whole host of questions from people on both sides (for or against). Some are pointing out the deficiencies while ignoring the positive, while others are highlighting the positive effects and not questioning any further. Is this a true awakening/revival from God, or is it simply a contrived occurrence?
God Inspired or Human Generated Awakenings
A revival/awakening from God and human-generated awakenings may both involve intense excitement, emotions, manifestations, and enthusiasm, but there are differences between the two.
The SOURCE of a genuine revival from God is a supernatural work of Holy Spirit, while human-generated awakenings come from our stirring and emotions.
The MOTIVATION for genuine awakenings is to glorify God and see His people come into everything He has designed and desires for them. Human-generated revivals are motivated by the desire for attention, popularity, or personal gain.
The FRUIT of a genuine move of God will be transformed lives with an increasing desire to love God, obey Him, and love others. The fruit of human-generated activities are temporary spiritual/emotional experiences that capture one’s interest but do not effect real, everyday life, and soon fade away.
The FOCUS of a genuine revival will be to glorify Jesus through demonstrating and declaring His gospel. The focus of human-generated awakenings is often secondary issues like particular manifestations, personal blessings, benefits, and notoriety.
In Important Component in the Biblical Examples of Revivals/Awakenings
There were many awakenings and fresh moves of God in the Scriptures. When we consider all of them, we get an overall perspective of what God desires in awakenings and revivals. The word records the comprehensive history of what God intends for fresh awakenings and outpourings.
A revived church is the only hope for a dying world. Andrew Murray
One revival recorded in the Old Testament has a critical element that all others will express in some form or another. It occurred in a time that was amazingly similar to the conditions of our day, both in the church and the nation. It was the revival under King Josiah (2 Kings 22-23), and it speaks of some crucial points God desires to see in fresh awakenings in our day.
Josiah was the godly son of the evil Manasseh, who led Israel astray. When he came to power at only 8 years old, the temple was in shambles, the Book of the Law had been lost and the people did not have a clue what God required of them. Sounds like our day.
As a teenage King, Josiah sought God and purged the land of Baal’s altars and other idols. While repairing the Temple, God’s word was found buried in the rubble and when Josiah began to read what it said, it caused a fear of God and repentance. 2 Kings 22:16 “for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” Today many of God’s people, and the nation have embraced many ideas and lifestyles that are directly opposed to God’s word.
As God’s word was read to the people, there followed a Spirit-inspired restoration of embracing and living according to His word. The people recommitted themselves to God’s Covenant. They restored temple worship, the sacrificial system, and they celebrated a massive Passover festival (2 Chronicles 35:18).
Revival and Awakenings “According to God’s word”
All of the awakenings and revivals recorded in the Bible had an element of people returning to His word as the Psalmist declared, “Revive me according to Your word” (Psalms 119:25, 154). In Psalms 119 the writer asked twelve times to be strengthened, returned to, and revived etc.,“According to Your word” (vs 9, 25, 28, 41, 58, 65 76, 107, 116, 154, 169, 170).
What does revivals and awakenings according to His word look like?
Four Clear Indicators
1. God’s word becomes our objective basis of faith and practice. It measures not just our actions but also our attitudes. This results in a total way of life, living according to His word.
- Psalms 119:88-89 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. (89) Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.
2. There is a desire to both hear and obey what His word says which results in the fullness of God’s blessings. Unfortunately, many people hear the word, believe it is God’s word, but do not seek to put it into practice. James shows us this as he declares, “If anyone puts His word into practice, not just hears it, he will be blessed in what he does” James 1:22-25.
- John 13:17 if you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
3. Your family life with God and other Christians has His presence and word in it.
- Ephesians 4:16, 25 “speaking the truth in love.”
4. You seek God’s freedom through His word, not freedom from His word.
- John 8:31-36 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; (32) and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
May these awakenings we are beginning to see sweep across our land and cause a revival according to God’s word. This will produce the results that our culture so desperately needs. Like the awakenings predicted by Micah and Isaiah, may it produce an influence in the earth to come to God and embrace His ways/word. LORD HEAL OUR LAND!!!
- Isaiah 2:3 (Micah 4:2) And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For God’s word will go forth.