Revival Begins With Us, So Where Do We Start?

In 2012, I released a prophetic word that essentially declared God is waiting on us. God is not holding revival tightly in His fist, refusing to release it. I’m convinced that many of us are waiting on God to move when in reality He’s waiting on us to move. My 2012 prophecy was: Revival begins with you.

At the same time, I’ve discovered we cannot set ourselves on fire. Not really. God is the ultimate fire-starter. But we can position our hearts close to His burning flame of love and catch His fire as the wind of the Holy Spirit blows it in our direction. We can’t do God’s part, but God won’t do our part.

So if revival begins with you—and me—where does that leave us? Waiting on the Lord, but not in the way we have been. The Hebrew word for “wait” in the context of waiting on the Lord is “qavah.” It is active verb that means to wait, look for, hope, expect; to wait or look eagerly for; to lie in wait for; and to wait for, linger for. We need to wait like we expect Him to show up.

1. Look for the promise. Jacob went into a downward spiral after he thought Joseph was ripped apart by lions. He was never quite the same after he lost Joseph. When he heard Joseph was alive, his spirit stirred but when he saw the wagons that Joseph sent to bring him back to Egypt for the grand family reunion in the midst of a famine, the spirit of Jacob revived (Gen. 45:27).

Look at the promises of revival God has given through prophetic words. Look at the scriptural incidents of revival and deliverance. Look for the promises of God and be revived.

2. Drink from living water. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, but with a Word famine rising in the land and the nearly-constant spiritual warfare raging, many are thirsty for a rhema word of God—a true Holy Spirit-inspired prophecy that flows like a river of living water. After Samson struck down 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass, he was thirsty.

“‘You gave this great deliverance through Your servant, but now may I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’ So God split open the basin at Lehi, and water flowed out of it. He drank, was refreshed, and revived” (Judg. 15:18-19).

The living water God provides revived Samson—and it will revival us.

3. Stay humble. God resists the proud. He does not revive them. He gives grace, exalts and revives the humble and repentant. Walking in a revival lifestyle means walking in a repentance lifestyle—we need to be quick to repent when we’ve missed the mark.

“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15).

4. Pray for personal revival. When the son of the widow of Zarephath died, her response to Elijah showed she connected this death to sin, but Elijah knew better. He knew it was not the Lord’s will for the boy to die. Elijah took him out of her arms of unbelief and despair and into his arms of faith. Elijah set out to pray.

“He cried to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, my God, have You brought tragedy upon the widow with whom I live by killing her son?’ And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, my God, I pray that You let this child’s soul come into him again.’ He Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he was revived. Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and returned him to his mother, and Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” (1 Kin. 17:20-23).

In order to revive that which looks dead, we need to stop looking at the outward condition, which stirs unbelief and despair, and pray until we see God’s will come to pass.

The psalmists prayed revival prayers. In these prayers, the word “revive” is from the Hebrew word “chayah,” which means “to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.” It also means to restore and cause to grow.

Psalm 71:20

“You who have shown me great distresses and troubles will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”

Psalm 85:6

“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”

Psalm 119:25

“My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.”

Psalm 119:37

“Turn away my eyes from beholding worthlessness, and revive me in Your way.”

Psalm 119:40

“Behold, I have a longing for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness.”

Psalm 119:50

“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word revives me.”

Psalm 119:88

“Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, that I may keep the testimony from Your mouth.”

Psalm 119:93

“I will never forget Your precepts, for with them You have revived me.”

Psalm 119:107

“I am greatly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.”

Psalm 119:149

“Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness, O Lord; revive me according to Your judgment.”

Psalm 119:154

“Plead my cause, and defend me; revive me according to Your word.”

Psalm 119:156

“Great are Your compassions, O Lord; revive me according to Your judgments.”

Psalm 119:159

“Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.”

Psalm 143:11

“Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake, for Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.”

5. Believe God will answer. When we pray, we’re supposed to pray in faith, nothing waivering. James says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive anything from God (James 1:8). Habakkuk prayed to God, believed for an answer—and got one:

Habakkuk 3:1-3: “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth. O Lord, I have heard the report of You, and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of these years make them known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.”

Be encouraged. You can see personal revival. And we can see national revival.


God’s Greatness, A Source Of Comfort

Psalms 89:1-10

David’s cries for help fill the pages of the Psalms. His prayers are a blend of requests and worship recalling God’s greatness, love, power, and protection. Praying with recognition of God’s amazing attributes reminds us He has the wisdom, strength, and compassion to meet all our needs. Here are examples of this type of prayer:

• “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Ps. 139:7). God is everywhere. He’s not limited by time or space—we are never away from His awareness for a single moment. So, even when we feel isolated or friendless, we’re not alone.

• “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite” (Ps. 147:5). God knows everything. When we bend our knees to pray to Him, He’s already aware of the feelings and needs we’re about to mention. So we can be certain that when we ask for direction, He’ll provide clear guidance if we’re submitted to His will.

• “As for me, I shall call upon God … the one who sits enthroned from of old … with whom there is no change” (Ps. 55:16, 19). God’s character is constant. Since we can always trust He’ll be faithful, reliable, and merciful, we can place our confidence in Him no matter the situation.

When believers recall an attribute of God that meets their needs, they place the focus of their prayers on the Lord rather than on the request. By mixing praise into our prayers, we end up asking for less, worshipping better, and receiving more because our emphasis is in the right place.

The Lord Is Thy Keeper

“The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. . . . The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” (Psalm 121:5, 8)

One of the most precious doctrines in all of Scripture is that of the secure position of the believer in Christ Jesus. Nothing in creation is “able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

The apostle Peter tells us that we who are born again are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). Nothing we can do can merit salvation; similarly, nothing we do can keep it. This is God’s work, not ours, and extends to all realms of our lives. “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved [usually translated ‘kept’] blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

This keeping aspect of God’s work for us should not be a surprise, for Christ prayed for just this. With His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, and death imminent, He prayed for all who would eventually believe on Him (John 17:20). “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me. . . . While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost. . . . I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [one]” (John 17:11-12, 15). We can be certain the prayer is answered, for God the Father would surely hear the intercessory prayer of His own beloved Son.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen” (Jude 1:24-25). JDM

Curious to Know God

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. —Exodus 33:14-15

In what I have to say I may not be joined by any ground swell of public opinion, but I have a charge to make against the Church. We are not consciously aware of God in our midst. We do not seem to sense the tragedy of having almost completely lost the awareness of His presence.

I do not say that to condemn. I say it with a grieving spirit. I pray that the churches in this day may yet reap the joys and fruits of gracious revival and the deep inward awareness of God’s presence.

Revival and blessing come to the Church when we stop looking at a picture of God and look at God Himself. Revival comes when, no longer satisfied just to know about a God in history, we meet the conditions of finding Him in living, personal experience….

Modern mankind can go everywhere, do everything and be completely curious about the universe. But only a rare person now and then is curious enough to want to know God.

Lord, increase my curiosity and help me to know You so intimately that I am especially, specifically, consciously aware of Your Presence throughout the day. Help me to know You that intimately. Amen.

Guidance Is by the Holy Spirit

Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We can always trust the moving and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and experiences, but we cannot always trust our human leanings and our fleshly and carnal desires. That calls for another word of balance. We know that the emotional life is a proper and noble part of our total personality. But by its very nature, it is of secondary importance, for religion lies in the will, and so does righteousness.

God never intended that such a being as mankind should become the mere plaything of his or her feelings. The only good that God recognizes is the willed good. The only valid holiness is a willed holiness. That is why I am always a little suspicious of the overly bubbly Christian who talks too much about himself or herself—and not enough about Jesus. That is also why I am more than a little concerned about the professing Christian whose experience does not seem to have resulted in a true inner longing to be more like Jesus every day in thought, word and deed!

Boldly come unto the King of kings

Boldly come unto the King of kings, from whom no sincere petitioner ever was dismissed Unheard.

Whenever there is a heart big with sorrow, whereever there is an eye suffused with tears, wherever there is a lip quivering with agony, wherever there is a deep groan, or a penitential sigh, the ear of Jehovah is wide open. He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom.