When revival comes, a lot of exciting things happen. Bodies are healed. Hearts are set free. The experiences become supernatural. Heaven is visible on earth. It is a beautiful thing.
However, have you ever had a powerful spiritual experience that just dissipated into a distant memory? It may have been during your church’s Sunday service or the last night of a retreat. Yet, after the moment passed, the feelings left along with it, and you end up wondering whether that moment was genuine.
Revival is real, and it is a gift. Like all gifts, it must be stewarded well. Stewarding revival requires an attention to biblical basics, which are oftentimes overlooked because they are obvious and seemingly secondary. However, the basics are a believer’s primary responsibility and will either make or break one’s revival experience.
These basics are what will determine whether your revival moment becomes a revival lifestyle. This is relevant to all individual believers of Christ as well as corporate Christian bodies.
1. Biblical Truth & Principles.
Know your Bible. It’s as simple as that. It is the truth of God that will build you and your community. The charismatic experiences are an affirmation of such truths.
If the love of God heals your heart, it is the truth of God that will rebuild it. If the power of God heals your body, then it is the truth of God that will sustain it.
Oftentimes, people want to encounter truth in mystic ways during worship services when all they need to do is just pay extra close attention to Bible study.
2. Unity & Honor.
Nothing breaks up a Holy Spirit party like disunity and dishonor.
Gossip. Slander. Judgement. Division. These are temptations during a season of revival for any Christian body. They are vessels for demonic strategies.
Do not take part in it, no matter how tempting or righteous it feels. Friends, actively protect your house. Don’t just listen to others gossip, stop the gossip. Don’t just watch people slander your leaders, defend your leaders. Don’t be a witness to sin entering into your church community, be the accountability to deter it!
3. Godly Character.
A revival that grows is a revival that progressively begins to exude the very essence of Christ. Power would never be exalted over patience and kindness. Authority would never stomp out humility.
If you want to do miracles like Jesus, you have to also embrace looking like Him. Good character is a safeguard for a Christian community.
Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
4. Pure Hearts.
It is possible to misuse and abuse God’s grace. Whether this happens or not depends on the motives of one’s heart. When revival happens, people frequently idolize the manifestations and benefits of the Holy Spirit, rather than valuing the Spirit Himself.
I have witnessed a number of seemingly fiery and gifted people who eventually walked away from the Lord because what they really wanted was to become an impressive person or to have authority over circumstances. The heart is deceptive because it can hide behind the right behaviors. Someone can be dedicated to the church and passionate in bringing people to Christ, but only the Lord knows whether it is because of a love for God or because of a love for a grandiose calling in one’s life.
A heart that has the wrong motives but incurs the right behavior cannot host the Holy Spirit. It is an act that cannot last forever. Your heart has to be for God and only God in order for the fire of revival to sustain and grow. Proverbs 16:2 says, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.”
When the Spirit moves, there will be times when things are beyond understanding. God is a mystery that is always being unveiled. As things grow and move, you will need God-given wisdom.
The perfect picture of this is when Apostle Paul had to intervene in what was happening amongst the Corinthians. The Spirit was moving amongst the Corinthians, but their worship services were no longer becoming edifying. They were trampling over each other with their spiritual gifts. Apostle Paul gave them wisdom in order to navigate through the chaos and restore peace in their atmosphere of worship.
How do you acquire more wisdom? The Bible, prayer, and learning from experienced spiritual fathers and mothers. Some may see this as cliché, but they are cliché for a reason. These are invaluable factors into building a strong foundation for revival to grow in your midst.
I genuinely believe that sometimes the Spirit waits to answer prayers for revival in order to build perseverance in the Saints first.
Revival is awesome, but it is also a heavy weight to bear. Just as much as you experience newness in the Spirit of God, you will also experience new levels of spiritual battle. Just because you feel the favor of God in exhilarating ways, you will not necessarily feel the favor of other people.
Sometimes when someone feels a breakthrough from their depression or addictions, they unknowingly assume they are all of a sudden immune to disappointment and failure. This is never the case. If you want your revival moment to have depth and bear actual fruit in your life, you need to know how to persevere.
7. Compassion for the lost and broken.
If you desire for the move of God to expand in your life, you also need to care about others’ lives.
Sometimes, we get so impressed with what God is doing in our midst that we forget to share it with those that need it around us. Love is meant to be shared. It is meant to spread. The signs and miracles of God are not meant to just uphold the name of one community or one person. It is meant to be imparted unto the needy, the neglected, and the outcast.
Even Apostle Paul, despite his stature as a supernatural man of authority, acknowledged that one should always remember the ministry to the poor (Galatians 2:10).
“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” (Psalm 85:6)
(Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the “Believing in Revival” series.)