Why should the Church want revival?
By Pastor Tim Miller
If you’re reading this, let me challenge you to say the word “Revival.” Now, think about how it sounds. Think about its meaning—not to the world or even the church, but to you, personally. Revival is a word that means one thing to some, while something completely different to others.
I remember growing up, like many of you, hearing about “revival” meaning a special guest speaker was coming to town for three of four special church services. As I grew older and received salvation through Jesus, the meaning of revival became more personal to me. Still, “organized church” seemed to support special services as the definition of “revival.” We always believed that when the visitor came to town, “revival” would come with him. What didn’t seem to be the highlighted message was we needed the “Reviver” in order to experience “true revival.”
The question & confusion
So, the questions are “what is revival? Why should we want it? Why do we need it? Isn’t salvation enough? Isn’t church attendance enough? Isn’t all that we do in paying our tithes and serving in kid’s ministry, leading a small group, or being on the worship team enough? After all isn’t this whole thing really about going to Heaven?”
I personally believe most Christians get “revival” and “renewal” confused with one another. Revival is bringing something dead back to life, while renewal is the refreshing of the Holy Spirit, similar to jumping into a cold swimming pool on a hot summer day.
Proverbs 14:12 declares in the NLT version, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
As “The Church,” we’ve allowed ourselves to become infected, like a virus-infected computer, with what seems right, ultimately leading to our own spiritual death!
Like many people in the late 90’s, I traveled to Pensacola, Florida to experience what has now been labeled, “The Greatest Revival in American History.” Recently, I was humbled to visit and encounter what God is doing in Dawsonville, Georgia. These are both great moves of God with power and manifestation—both God-glorifying in their own way.
After experiencing first hand the validity of these two separate moves of God, one could ask, “can ‘revival’ only happen in one church or location every so many years?” I personally believe the answer is NO!
The cost of revival
The bottom line is, revival is available to anyone who is willing to pay the price. The real issue is, for most the cost of revival is simply too high.
So what is the cost? More than filling our churches with great music, expensive light shows, Nickelodeon-style kids programs and slick motivational speaking, inviting the presence of God into our services should prove to be our greatest priority. Our desire for revival is so that God can be glorified through His church.
Psalms 90:16 in The Passion Translation says, “Let us see your miracles again, and let the rising generation see the glorious wonders you’re famous for.”
The world desires something real, but will many times accept the only choice presented to them.
Presence & power
As Christ followers, we need revival so the world doesn’t have to settle for a dead church, hiding behind a well-financed production. The world needs the presence and power of God’s Spirit in order to deal with the devil’s attacks. As the church, we have the answer to sickness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, marital discord, addiction, and so on.
John 11:25 in the NLT version says, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…’”
There is a Hope that can only be found in Christ. The world screams, “where is the hope?” The answer is “the church has the hope.”
Let’s begin today crying out to God with one simple prayer—“Lord, show us your glory; we need revival! Do it again, Lord!”
This is our appeal to Heaven!
Tim & Twila Miller serve as Campus Pastors of White Dove Church. They are the proud parents of three children & three grandchildren.