It’s exciting to study great moves of God throughout history and live in anticipation for another great awakening in our nation. You may need a personal revival because your heart has become dry. Your marriage may need a revival because it has been slowly dying over the years. You may need a revival for your family because your children may not be walking with the Lord. Every one of us longs for revival in some way.
What is Revival?
God is the God of continual newness and wants to bring revival. According to the 1828 Webster Dictionary, revival is the “return, recall or recovery to life from death or apparent death; as the revival of a drowned person.” What a great picture. Revival brings back to true life that which was almost or completely dead. What are you currently observing that is almost or completely dead? Let’s pray for revival.
More specifically, revival is essentially a manifestation of God and has a stamp of deity on it that is easy to recognize. A.W. Tozer says revival is that which “changes the moral climate of a community.” Duncan Campbell’s definition is even more precise. He says revival is a “community saturated with God.”
Saturated with God
What would Tacoma and the Northwest look like saturated with God? We have to look no further than the life of Josiah in 2 Kings 22-23. Josiah became king of Judah when he was only 8 years old. The land was filled with sorcery, witchcraft, and pagan altars, and people consulted mediums and spiritists instead of seeking God. The previous ruler, King Manasseh, shed so much blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end (2 Kings 21:16).
As you read through these two chapters, you will find a genuine revival took place. Why? The Lord found a man that was fully surrendered and totally in love with the Him. From there, the Lord had a base to work. As you study historical moves of God, you will find one individual who was excited about the Lord and this excitement spread like fire. All it takes is one.
The Power of One
In the late 1800’s, a great evangelist named Gypsy Smith traveled the world preaching and everywhere he went, revival broke out. When a group of revival seekers asked how they could make a difference with their lives, Gypsy answered with a simple, profound statement.“Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk, draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.” This is where it starts! Draw your circle.
In 1858, Jeremiah Lanphier was a stockbroker in New York. He saw the carnality and depravity of so many and instead of being critical, he decided to spend his lunch hour in prayer at a small chapel. He would pray for an hour every single day because he desired to see revival. One year later, the stock market crashed and all his friends asked to join him in pray. Within 6 months of the crash, the churches of New York were packed with 10,000 men seeking God during the lunch hour. Draw your circle.
John Wesley was a great revivalist and reformer. He was asked by a group of people how and why so many came to hear him preach and teach. Wesley said, “I simply get alone and ignite myself in prayer and people come out to watch me burn.” Draw your circle.
It Starts with You
It is so easy to believe that these people had something we don’t have. The Bible tells us that the great prophet Elijah “was a human being, even as we are” (James 5:17) and “whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). The Lord longs to move through you in magnificent ways. Adhere to the great revivalist’s encouragement. “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk, draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.” Draw your circle, City Central Church.