Revival is not a one-time event
Revival is not a one-time event. It can happen again and again. There have been many revivals but perhaps the one we know best is the Azusa Street Revival. Led by Rev. Seymour, it started around 1906 at Azusa Street in California, USA. It marked the beginning of Pentecost in our contemporary times. As they met before the Lord and prayed, there were diverse healings in their meetings. There was unity among the people and such genuine fellowship that blacks and whites mingled. I pray that God will give us our own revival—the Atomic Revival. We are tired of talk. We want to see the manifestation of God’s glory and presence in our time. It is possible to be caught up in the dramatics of a corporate revival and not have a personal revival so God wants to stir in us a thirst for personal revival.
Four dimensions of revival
I see personal revival in four dimensions: renewed strength, renewed call or mandate, renewed life, and renewed spirit.
As we work we lose strength. That is why we eat every day. When he was told about the death of his son, he was so downcast that he wanted to go to the grave with him but when he later found out that Joseph was alive, his spirit revived.
Something happened to Elijah in 1 Kings 19.1-8. After killing the prophets of Baal, Jezebel sent a message to him that she was coming for him. When Elijah heard it, this prophet who had killed 450 prophets of Baal began to run. That was not even the worst part of it. He went to sit under a tree and began to wish himself dead. Elijah was so discouraged that God had to send him refreshment. God brought him food which an angel urged him to eat so he could continue the journey. It is not enough to just “hang in there.” May God give you strength to press on.
Renewed mandate or call
Jesus told Peter something in Luke 22.31-32. Satan had sought permission to sift the disciples like wheat, but Jesus prayed for him so that he could withstand it and his faith would not fail. Some people have lost their faith and calling. Some are in marriages and there is a crisis because the mandate has collapsed. Jesus did not pray for him so that there would be no sifting but so that after it all his faith would not fail. If you have lost your passion or zeal, you need a personal revival.
The third dimension is renewed life. You need it when you backslide or are no longer in the faith and need to be restored.
Renewed operation of the Holy Spirit
In this season of personal revival, may the Holy Spirit sweep over you again. After this season and conference you should not remain the same. It is the season of personal revival.
The Christian life is a fight, a race, and a walk of faith
Paul looks at the Christian walk in three ways in 2 Timothy 4.7. It is a fight; it is a race; and it is a walk of faith. There are mountains and valleys; good patches and bad patches; dry places and wet places; deserts and forests in a race. Paul had gone through all of these but had survived. So, when we talk about revival you must be ready to endure all these. Sometimes in a race you take a rest but you should not sit there forever. You must continue. You must persist to the end and finish.
It starts with a burning hunger and desire for personal revival. You can choose to be dishonest with other people but don’t lie to yourself. You know the state in which you are. You know whether you are tired or fed up. You know you come to church alright but deep down in you, you are not the same person. This is the season when God is here to revive and renew you and plant a new zeal and strength in you so that you will have a new strength, call, life, and spirit.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength
It is not by accident that the safety guidelines in the plane say you must protect yourself first before you attempt to help others. As a Christian leader, you cannot help others if you yourself are not strong. Isaiah 40.29-31 says those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. Every believer, no matter his status, at one time or another, needs personal revival. It is a renewed strength, call, life, and spirit. It enables you to fight the fight, run the race through different terrains, and keep the faith like Caleb so that even in your old age you are still strong.
My prayer is that after all you have gone through, you will be able to make a confession like Caleb that having gone through the walk all these years, because of constant renewal, your strength is intact.
Psalm 85.6, Psalm 119.107, Genesis 37.33-35, Luke 22.31-32, Isaiah 40.29-31