When You Need Revival In Your Church
Dr. Harold Sala
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6).
Some call it revival. Others call it a spiritual renewal, but no matter what you call it, what the Church needs today is a great move of God’s Spirit as He breaks the fallow ground of our hearts and brings conviction and cleansing in the body of Christ which results in His power being manifest in our lives.
And does that happen very often? No, though a study of church history shows that from time to time the prayers of God’s people break through and the Spirit of God does revive the Church. Genuine spiritual awakenings–or revivals if you prefer–have at least five ingredients.
Ingredient #1: Prayer. With unvarying consistency, every genuine move of the Holy Spirit is precipitated by times of earnest prayer. Large numbers of people who pray are not required, only a handful of dedicated earnest individuals. Sometimes only one person gave himself to prayer for a spiritual awakening. Sometimes two or three, or a small group of no more than a dozen, but one thing is certain: prayer is always the first ingredient of a spiritual renewal. Says Armin Gesswein, who spent a lifetime calling Christian leaders to prayer, “Not only Scripture but all church history shows that no revival has ever come any other way.” Remember Jesus said, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). It is still true.
Ingredient #2: Heart searching accompanied by confession of sin and genuine repentance. Oftentimes this was a public event as people confess their wrongdoing, their coldness, and their bitterness towards each other. When people admit to hating each other and ask for forgiveness, you know God is doing something wonderful.
Ingredient #3: Changes in conduct and behavior. In Wales, when revival came to the men who worked in the mines with mules who hauled the coal, bedlam broke out as the miners stopped swearing and cursing. The animals no longer understood them and had to learn new commands. And that’s a fact. A Chinese official once told me, “We have villages in China where virtually everyone is a Christian and in these, we have no crime!” When people get right with God, they make things right with husbands and wives, with neighbors and friends, with employers and employees.
Ingredient #4: Sovereign acts of the Holy Spirit. “Like what?” you may be asking. In some cases, revival has been accompanied by weeping, sometimes by joy, sometimes by spirited singing and rejoicing. Sometimes people shout and clap their hands. Yes, it’s true that anything which breaks out of the mold of the ordinary gets some fearful very quickly that spiritual fire may turn to wildfire and get out of hand, yet others point out that it’s easier to control the fire than to build one.
Ingredient #5: Growth in the churches as people want to worship and hear the Word. The attraction is not great music or program, or the building but a desire to fellowship with men and women who are redeemed and to hear the Word of God.
A closing thought. Periodically I hear from people who are disappointed with their church. “Too dry.” “Boring.” “A social club.” “They only want my money,” are some of their comments. What I think they are really saying is that their church needs new life, a spiritual awakening, a return to the purpose for which it was born. Should you feel like that, why not start praying for your church. Invite a close friend to join you. Rather than talk about how bad things are, pray, and ask God to send a spiritual awakening. Realize when God revives your soul, revival is on its way to your church.