For my entire ministry life, I’ve prayed for God to send revival to the United States, similar to the First and Second Great Awakenings that swept our country in its early years.
Over the past thirty-six years, the Lord has blessed our church with special outpourings of His Spirit—both in particular services and for long seasons. Each January, we schedule a week of meetings as our “winter revival” with the express purpose of seeking God and exposing our souls to His preached Word. But we know that ultimately revival is the work of God, not something we schedule on a calendar.
Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (Psalm 85:6)
So what specifically are we praying for when we pray for “revival”?
Revival is the people of God living in the power of an un-grieved, unquenched Spirit. It’s people with a heart fully right with God and consumed with a love for Christ.Revival is the people of God living in the power of an un-grieved, unquenched Spirit. Click To Tweet
Romans 12 describes such a life fully surrendered to God (vs. 1–2) and then gives instruction for living it out (vs. 3–21). Verse 9 gives three important instructions that also describe the result of revival. When revival comes, these three will be present.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Romans 12:9)
1. A Purity of Love
“Let love be without dissimulation.”
The greatest virtue of the Christian life is love.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
A Spirit-filled Christian has unfeigned love for Christ first and then for other Christians.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 27:37–38)
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
It’s tragic, for many reasons, that Christians air their differences through gossip. One of the reasons is that it reveals a heart absorbed with self rather than full of love for Christ and others.
2. A Hatred of Sin
“Abhor that which is evil.”
The other side of loving God is hating sin. We cannot truly say we love God if we find what He hates appealing. To “abhor” evil is to be horrified by it—to hate it so that we turn from and avoid it.
In describing Jesus, Hebrews 1:9 points out that He loved righteousness and hated sin…and that brought joy. Jesus was the happiest man who ever walked this earth. And it’s because He loved righteousness and hated sin.
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Hebrews 1:9)
The combination of loving God—and all that is pure and holy—and hating sin brings joy in the believer’s life.
3. A Passion for Righteousness
“…cleave to that which is good.”
A revived Christian holds to Christ and to the faith with a pit bull-like grip.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
There is a passion in a revived Christian’s heart to know Christ and to make Him known to a lost world.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10)
So, are you experiencing revival?
- Is your love for Christ and for others real and sustained?
- Do you hate sin and fight it in your life?
- Do you have a passion for Christ and for His truth?