“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” Psalm 85:6
Revive Thy work , O Lord
Thy mighty arm make bare:
Peak with the voice that wakes its dead.
And make Thy people hear
Revive thy work , O lord
While here to Thee we bow;
Descend O gracious Lord, Ascend
O come and Bless us now
Composer: Albert Midlane 1825-1909 (Born 192 years ago and died 108 years ago)
Many are familiar with this beautiful hymn, “Revive Thy work, Lord.” The big question however is how do we recognize God’s revival in our lives and even in the church? It is not enough to proclaim by word of mouth that we have been revived by God. People should see and experience certain qualities that sets us apart from the world as people who have been revived by God. Today I would like us to focus on the Five (5) Fruits and Five (5) Results of Revival. Before that let us briefly look at the importance of revival.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REVIVAL
Psalm 85:6 asks a powerful question: “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”
Notice that the psalmist says, “again.” This tells me that the nation of Israel was once in a state of revival, but that had waned, it had declined, and they had come again to the place where they needed to be revived. Perhaps today you are in a place where you need to be revived.
Revival has been described as the “inrush of the Spirit into the body that threatens to become a corpse”. That is a good definition. Something needs to be revived when it is dying or when it has lost its strength or momentum. Revival therefore brings new life. It brings fresh vigor. It brings renewed momentum to that which is in a weakened or dying state.
In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul writes to Timothy, “Stir up the gift of God which is in you”. The word for stir up literally means to rekindle. In other words, a fire was there at one time, but it has begun to burn low. And now it needs to be refueled and tended to.
Maybe we have felt spiritually flat lately. Maybe the fire that once burned white hot for God is now just a glowing ember. If so, it is time to rekindle those embers and fan to flame what He has put within us. As God works in our life, we will find that once again our lives will be filled with purpose, and we will once again rejoice in God.
FRUITS AND RESULTS OF REVIVAL
Jonathan Edwards and Dave Roberts have been helpful in writing this article. Let us remember that revival means a RENEWED ZEAL TO OBEY GOD. Obedience to God is our loving response to His infinite, steadfast and unconditional love and Roman 12:2(Living Bible) reflect the fruits of revival.
“And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how his ways will really satisfy you”.
When we are revived we bear these fruits
- We honour Jesus: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved – Rom. 10:9 (NIV).
When the Holy Spirit comes, the person of Jesus is esteemed by all those genuinely touched. Edwards believes that this will spill out from intellectual assent into testimony, declaration and confess in that “Christ is Lord”. It is the Spirit, he argues, if the hearers are moved to “belief in the history of Christ as He appeared in the flesh – and that He is the Son of God and was sent of God to save sinners, that He is the only Saviour and that they stand in great need of Him.” The devil does not promote counterfeit revival with this type of fruit. Edward thunders: “He mortally hates the story and doctrine of Christ’s redemption.” It is not the devil’s intention to see Christ glorified and His wisdom followed (1 Cor. 12:3).
- We detach ourselves from Selfish Pleasure or Gain: But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it – I Tim. 6:6 (NIV). 1 Cor. 2:15-16, teaches us that the “world”, which the believer no long loves, refers to the corruptions and lusts of men, and the “acts and objects by which they are gratified. The Spirit is at if there is a reduction in men’s desire for the “pleasure, profits and honours of the world”. Only the irrational, would say that the devil makes people more “careful, inquisitive and watchful to discern what is sinful, and to avoid future sins; and so be more afraid of the devil’s temptations, and be more careful to guard against them.
- We have a Hunger for the Scriptures: I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. – Ps. 119:11 (NIV). We long for God’s loving presence far more than we realise. His heavenly mana is the only food that satisfies the longing of our soul. Our hunger pangs become like church bells calling us to prayer. Whenever we are spiritually hungry for food we find satisfaction in reading scriptures.
- We dwell on Truth: If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free – John 8:32 (NIV). The Holy Spirit at work in revival draws men and women to the truth, not error. If people become aware of their rebellion against God and their own helplessness and are agreeable to sound doctrine, we should be thanking God. Look at the fruits, he contends. Be more open and not so cautious. If for nothing at all we need revival in Ghana so we will uphold the truth in all aspects of our lives.
- We Love One Another: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love – I Jn. 4:7-8 (NIV).When the Spirit of God is at work, He “quells contentions among men, gives a spirit of peace and goodwill, excites to acts of outward kindness and earnest desires for the salvation of souls, and causes a delight in those that appear as the children of God and followers of Christ.” This love can be counterfeited by the selfish and deceived, but true Christian love is marked by humility and patience (1 Cor. 13:4-5). Humility and love are aspects of the character of God and run counter to the marks of the devil, malice and pride.
Beloved, let us observe the fruit of changed lives, as the true means of God’s sovereign power to transform lives. As someone has rightly articulated it the fruit of a changed lifestyle outweighs “a thousand such little objections” based on oddities, irregularities, delusions and scandals. “The devil”, “may seek to, mimic visions, revelations, prophecies and miracles”, but he cannot drive people to the truth, exalt Jesus, or bring about real ethical change in people’s lives.
Warnings and Encouragement
Revival is contagious in some instances and can also break out spontaneously. As time goes by the fruit of change will emerge and many of us can attest to this in the lives of people who have come under the power of revival. The genuineness of any spiritual change, is not related to its physical impact, but its long-term effect on the life of the believer.
TO BE CONTINUED
For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0302-772013 or 0268130615