Why We Need Revival

“Why” is such a small word. But, it opens the door to an incredibly big world. When our children are small, they ask us thousands of times, “Why, Daddy?” We have good answers for them, most of the time. When we don’t, we can always resort to the long-standing parental prerogative: “Because I said so.” While our children are still in diapers, this works fairly well.

As they get older, though, children are trying to make sense of this complex world in which we live. Mom and Dad may still know best; but the ole’ “because I said so” routine just doesn’t cut it. Explanations—thorough, practical, and biblical explanations—are needed. We parents do our best. Occasionally, we even come up with home run answers. With every “at bat,” we’re just hoping that we don’t strike out. We’ll be quite satisfied simply to advance the base runners.

Then things like what happened today in the mountain town of Bailey, Colorado, thunder into our lives. The Breaking News reports remind us of all the other similar tragedies we’ve watched unfold over the years. They cause us to relive our intense emotions associated with the school shooting at the neighboring community of Littleton in April, 1999. In horror we watch as news choppers give us a bird’s eye view of children being evacuated from their schools and anxious parents rushing to the scene. Everyone listens nervously to the news reports. Images flash before our eyes from a similar scene years ago when a sobbing teenager rakes back her blonde hair with bloodstained, trembling hands and asks, “Why?!” Her question is met with silence. No answer is heard. More tears are shed. The nation watches these tragedies unfold on live television. Millions of “Why’s?!” echo across the land.

Harsh reality is so hard to accept. But, accept it, we must. People living outside of the will of God do horribly wicked things. Our world is a dark, deeply dark, desperately dark, place in which the cancer of sin has metastasized. We’ve tried to pretend that it hasn’t. We’ve called evil good and good evil. We’ve made every effort to sanitize sin, but to no avail. The moral fiber which once held our nation together is frazzled and frayed. The fabric of our nation is coming apart. Our foundations are crumbling. There is no comfort in this, at all. Yet, the reality remains: We reap what we sow. Since we have not thought it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, our nation is reaping a harvest of wickedness and violence.

The instrument of God for culture-wide renewal has always been the people of God. If, however, the people of God are themselves in need of revitalization, who will fan the flames of spiritual renewal throughout the land? 2 Chronicle 7:14 begins with three critical words, which shed much light on the starting place for national revival. God said, “If my people …. will humble themselves…” With whom does revival begin? God says, “My people!” As judgment begins with the house of God (1 Peter 4:17), so also does revival.

If you read the headlines or listen to the nightly news you will be appalled. Philadelphia is just thirty miles from my home. The “City of Brotherly Love” has the distinction of having one of the highest murder rates of the large cities in our nation. It is a violent place! In my estimation, unless our nation makes radical changes this “culture of violence” will only grow worse. The gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, “Why’s?!” will be heard ever more frequently.

I understand completely the difference between this nation which has a Christian heritage and the spiritual kingdom of Christ. America is not the kingdom, any more than Albania is; but, that which happens in both nations has a dramatic impact on the kingdom. That is why I believe that we, as a nation, must humble ourselves and pray and seek the face of God. We need to turn away from wickedness! Then God will hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. As God’s people, we must lead the way in expressing sincere sorrow for the sin that plagues our land; fervently praying for renewal; earnestly seeking genuine relationships with God and turning from wickedness. Then God will bring revival. He will hear, forgive and heal!

In the meantime, may the prayerful words of the prophet David be in our hearts and on our lips: “O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” Psalm 7:9 niv

© Bill Williams, September 28, 2006

About a fellow sojourner

a sojourner in life, trying to follow in the steps of Jesus.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, Christian Living, Kingdom Living, Life, revival, Spiritual Renewal. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Why We Need Revival

  1. Mark Wilson says:

    Revival… culture-wide renewal. Hmmm… Bill… what is revival? If each revival is different, how will we know when we see it?

    God loves you Bill. 🙂

    Bless you my brother,

  2. Greg England says:

    Once a nation, or at least the lawmakers, turn their backs on the very foundation and principles that made and can again make us strong, we’ll continue to unravel. And I fear that turning back toward God just isn’t going to happen. In time, though, most of this nation will bow to Allah.

  3. Bill says:

    Greg: I hope and pray that you are wrong!
    I don’t mean for these answers to sound flippant, but when you ask, “What is revival?” my response is: what you’ve been living.
    When you observe, “If each revival is different, how will we know when we see it?” my response is: we’ll know it when we see millions of people living what you’ve been living. Or, something like that.

  4. Cecil Walker says:

    This kind of tragedy can take any place and at any school in our country. May God be with the students, faculty, and the families of this school.

  5. Pastor Josh says:

    I will truely agree that this world and America needs a stirring of God. This year alone we have had one call in at a school about a boy with a gun and a bomb threat at another. I guess that is what America get’s when we take God out of our school’s. We see a turmoil in America because America keeps getting further and further away from God. We would rather sit down on our couches and watch TV then read our Bible and pray. Something does have to change. I know from teaching our kids that God is stirring something inside of them of late. Our services are getting longer and God is moving within them. Kids are praying over kids. They are glorifiing God like they have never have. This is what I believe is going to happen through out America. God is going to usher in this new generation like no other. I hear people pray for a revival but do nothing. You have to act on it for it to be. If you pray for one you better act on one. Revival is a time where christians turn away from the old and turn into the new. It’s time the christians start acting on the word of God then sitting on it.

  6. Mag says:

    We are preparing for our fall “revival”. The pastor said last Sunday…we really should be at the point that we don’t need a Fall Revival…we should be stirred so strong and burning so bright that we need a Fall one week “cool down”, not a “stoking up”. Actually, I think many of us need that regularly…a cool down, so that we don’t burn out…so that we stay refreshed and walk in his grace.

    Not really related to your post, but I so agreed when he said it. A one week “revival”? come on, now?

    Greg: I feel your fear. I tried to comment on your blog, but for some reason, WordPress won’t let me sign in to comment. I’m an idiot. But, I liked your post on getting your daughter’s bill paid at the DMV. That’s my whole week!

    Pastor Josh: That preaches. Yup.

  7. Rachel says:

    Revival happens everyday when we read our Bible and pray!

  8. Kathy says:

    IMHO, Revival happens one heart at a time, which eventually impacts the whole nation, but as I read recently on Mike’s blog, we need to remind ourselves that America is not the chosen nation of God anymore than is Tanzania or Russia. One heart at a time, one witness at a time.

    As far as the unraveling of our moral fiber in this country, y’all might be interested in reading a book I’m going through with a group of friends.

    “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian. It can be difficult to find. I finally gave up and bought my online through Amazon.com. He unmasks the planned market strategies and gives the names of the groups that set out to change and desensitize the emotions, minds and hearts of the American public. I’ve just started reading it, so my recommendation is with the caveat that I do NOT know where he’s going with the rest of the book, but these first chapters are more than interesting.

    But aside from all this, God has give us our own ‘marketing plan’ to reach the hearts of those that do not know their Savior. It’s a simple but powerful plan, we need only to implement what Jesus left us and asked us to do, otherwise, I fear the prediction about the overrunning of our country by Islam is not far from happening. May God forbid it.

  9. Niki Nowell says:

    Another well written post my friend! I think you are spot on and yet I think we will continue to see these tragedies play out before our eyes in the future. There will be another school shooting eventually – sad, but I’m pretty sure it will happen. America IS in desperate need for revival, but I would add to Kathy’s comment in that it only BEGINS everyday when we read the Word and pray. Those things are what fuels a revival – they aren’t the revival itself. God begins it, but there has to be action from us as well.

    What does revival look like? I thought that was a sad question. Can we as followers of Christ not recognize when God is at work around us??? I don’t think revival is the whole nation choosing Christ over sin – though that would be glorious. I think it begins with each of us using what God gave us – life and salvation – and loving those around us so much that they can’t help but want what we have…an overabundance of things to give to others. It sounds easy, but how many of us get so caught up in our own daily grind that we don’t even take time to chat with the neighbors, send a thank you note or a note of encouragement to someone who needs it, or even invite others into our own homes because it involves too much preparation, time, and money? WE as believers have gotten a bit lazy and since the revival begins with us, we had better get our priorities straightened out. Have we forgotten what it is that we have to share with others? Do we not really understand just what our salvation means?

    “If my people will humble themselves…” My question wouldn’t be “What does revival look like?”…it would be “What does humbling ourselves look like?”

  10. Niki Nowell says:

    Sorry, I referenced Kathy’s comment and meant Rachel’s.

  11. Bill says:

    Yes, Kathy, I think you are correct about the need for all of us to be reminded that America is not the chosen nation of God any more than Tanzania or Russia. I thought I’d covered this when I wrote:

    I understand completely the difference between this nation which has a Christian heritage and the spiritual kingdom of Christ. America is not the kingdom, any more than Albania is; but, that which happens in both nations has a dramatic impact on the kingdom.

    I really resonate with what you say when your write: “Revival happens one heart at a time, which eventually impacts the whole nation…” What I don’t understand is why many amongst us seem to subscribe to the notion that since revival is an individual matter it is not a corporate concern. I see it just the opposite: Since revival happens one heart at a time and eventually impacts the whole nation it must be a pervasive concern kingdom-wide. Lord willing, I’ll be writing a bit more about this in the days ahead.
    I think our dear sister Niki from Denver, who is very close to this situation, has a unique perspective in spiritual insight when she writes:

    America IS in desperate need for revival, but I would add to [Rachel’s] comment in that it only BEGINS everyday when we read the Word and pray. Those things are what fuels a revival – they aren’t the revival itself. God begins it, but there has to be action from us as well.

    Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts on this topic. As I sit here writing these words tonight, I’m struck with an overwhelming sense of burden for those who were impacted by this horrific tragedy. Let’s be in prayer for them, especially Emily Keyes’ family.
    Blessings to all,

  12. Mark Wilson says:

    > Revival happens one heart at a time, which eventually impacts the whole nation

    Hi Kathy

    I’m right there with you. THAT is how this next renewal will happen, I pray in Jesus name. I don’t want a boom-bust situation, I want something that lasts for generations and truly makes a difference to the fabric of society.

    > What does revival look like? I thought that was a
    > sad question.

    Hi Nikki

    Sad? Why? You and I are wanting the same thing in revival…

    > I don’t think revival is the whole nation choosing
    > Christ over sin – though that would be glorious. I
    > think it begins with each of us using what God
    > gave us – life and salvation – and loving those
    > around us so much that they can’t help but want
    > what we have…an overabundance of things to
    > give to others.

    That is EXACTLY what I pray we have. Yes! But the thing is, why I asked the question… I’ve read lots of great book about revival and fire and past revivals. They all centered on one person and when the person passed from the scene, the revival ended in that place. In my heart I cry out “no no no let’s not have that again”. I truly want people’s hearts to be changed so that the revival is so subtle that it’s like an iceberg… most of the action is unseen… until it sinks the boat that was carrying the evil-doers. Too late! Bye bye! And the only thing that can do that is… the body of Christ (that means each individual person) truly being a shining light… or to be more accurate, first LEARNING how to be a light… no wait, before that comes actually figuring out HOW to be a light… THEN doing it, THEN being the light in the world.

    Did you know that the dark ages began at about the time that the Christians of the time began to all go into monastries? All the light went into monastries… and the world literally went into the dark ages. Do you know what happened at about the time the world exited from the dark ages? Martin Luther took religion back to the people and the printing press began printing bibles!

    Now THERE is the clearest explanation of what Jesus meant when He said that WE are now the light in the world. If we’d just LIVE our lives for Him, that our worship/prayer/faith life will bring light to the world. It’s right there in history, if only we will see it and accept it and live it.

    Bless you guys,

    PS – Bill, what a blessed place you have here that encourages such great conversations!

  13. Pingback: Why we need revival - Bill « My life as a Christian

  14. Pingback: *You* are the light of the world « My life as a Christian

  15. Kathy says:

    I’m so sorry, Bill. There was no intended claim to an oversight, rather an affirming, backing of your original statement about God’s chosen country. Sorry for the redundancy. Can I blame it on the Versed? 🙂

    btw-the mention of the book was to present a possible source for us to understand how all dark sins have been successfully transformed into acceptable day-to-day practices. It may well help us deflect this influence on our children and those to whom we are ministering.

    Mark, I always look forward to your comments and you didn’t disappoint me today! Right on, dear brother in Him!!

  16. Bill says:

    No problem at all, Kathy. We are of the same mind. My main reason for the clarification is to be sure there is nothing fuzzy circulating around the point, especially when it comes to the need for spiritual renewal.
    I do plan on getting the book you recommend. It sounds like Kupelian has done some important work to identify the prinicpalities and powers we are forced to contend with.
    Blessings to you, as well, dear sister,

  17. Niki Nowell says:

    Sorry, I never intended to offend you. Since I don’t know you I took your question at face value and it *sounded* like a Christian brother wasn’t sure what revival is. I did find that sad. Thanks for clarifying for me and you’re right – it sounds like we’re on the same page. Now that we have that settled, I’d like to hear more of your thoughts.

    How will we see it and know it’s revival?

  18. Mark Wilson says:

    Hi Niki

    hehehe. No worries.

    > How will we see it and know it’s revival?

    Mmmm… I dunno. That’s why I asked you! hehehe.

    Seriously, I think if we asked 20 people the same question, we’d get 20 different answers. Some people say there is a revival going on in Toronto. Some people doubt what is going on there. I don’t know either way, personally. Some would say there is revival in Mozambique (6,000 churches in 6 years) and some other places in Africa and perhaps Mongolia are in revival.

    If you want my inner feelings and hope and fears on this, I don’t want a short term revival. A spike in emotions – not for me thanks. I want a steady build-up and a long lasting reversal of the rubbish in the world.

    But I know that I might have to live through a short revival – before I get to see the long one. I think many many people are asking for the quick-fix revival and I suspect God will answer their request.

    But after revival (sometimes) comes judgement… and I think that the people asking for God to do a quick fix, should really be reconsidering.

    IMO we should instead learn to “do” church right, learn how to live as light in this world, learn to be changed in ourselves and then change the world around us.

    My gut feel is that praying for a lazy-boy revival is a cop out. Why not forgo that lazy-boy revival and ask for a TRUE change in US… and change that then spreads from person to person, from house to house.

    Sure God can pour out so much Spirit that we’re blown away. But as always, we’ll just return to our old ways when the action ends. We always do… because nothing ACTUALLY changed. Look at the history of revivals!

    So this is why I’m in favor of Him changing me, and changing you and then changing the people around us. I want to see us walking in love and kindness and authority (and on water!) and doing the things that Jesus said WE CAN/WILL do. Then that will spread and spread in an unstoppable way.

    No lazy-boy (God doing all the heavy lifting) revival for me please. I’d rather have a revival where each person becomes a priest and each person lives their God-given destiny and TOGETHER we become the bride of Christ.

    This is my dream of revival: Revelation 19:7

    Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
    For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his *bride* has made *herself* ready.


    Do you know what happens after this verse? The end. (hint hint).

    Bless you,

  19. Pingback: No lazy-boy revival for me thanks « My life as a Christian

  20. Mark Wilson says:

    Hi Nikki

    I just posted a more complete response on my blog

    I look forward to hearing your response here.

    Bless you!

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  22. If your titrd of goverments that rule by oppression,
    If you are tired of leaders that exploit the weak,
    If the morality of our people bothersyou
    If socio-political and spiritual crrectnes, matters to you
    If the reign of heretics and apostates upset you
    If the legal system that was made for you safety and protection
    now condems you wrongly and the Church Christ’s indifference to sin
    bothers you! !
    Then we need revival

  23. Nicole says:

    I think it’s unfair to say that the great revivals were “short-term fixes”. Those who participated in and witnessed the glory of God in their hearts and in their midst testified to those who came late and to those who never came. Opportunities were amplified by their testimonies according to God’s plans and purposes, and people who would never have heard the Gospel were forced to make decisions for or against the Lord.

    Mankind in his sinful state can only take so much glory, and God knows exactly how much that is, how much will penetrate the hardest hearts and affect generations to come. People today are still studying the Great Revivals and learning that intense and committed prayer, spiritual warfare, and some physical suffering went into the invitation and preparation for revival, not to mention personal sacrifice. When revival came and the glory of God was manifested by the Spirit in signs, wonders, miracles, healings, and, yes, speaking in tongues, with prophecies, interpretations, and people being laid out in the Spirit, they didn’t argue about doctrines or occurrences because they knew the holiness of the Spirit when He visited them.

    Anyone who truly desires bona fide revival commits to full surrender to Jesus Christ and invests in the kind of prayer which says, “I want all you have for me, Lord God Almighty. Nothing less.” And then they obey.

  24. Waraba Martin says:

    That is wonderful analysis Bill.We gotta seek God for revival not only America but as well Africa-Uganda.

  25. cheryl johnson says:

    Real revival will have little to do with government programs or political leadership. Real revival will happen when Christians start doing what the Bible says – forgiving the person in the next pew; sacrificing pleasures to support the suffering and dying church elsewhere in the world; fasting and praying. Instead, we have one potlick after another, church splits, and “worship” that ends the minute we leave the sanctuary. Parents shuffle their kids to public schools where they spend their day as athiestically as possible. Do the parents sit down with them later and tell them what the word of God says? No,they’re too busy with sports and entertainment. Will parents put them in Christian schools? No, it might affect their ability to make a buck later in life. And it would require sacrifice. If we do not repent of worshiping materialism, comfort, and entertainment, God is going to send His people a wake-up call. I have an urgent feeling that we don’t have much longer.

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