We all remember the era of Billy Graham, or at least remember hearing about his impassioned preaching and the millions of souls he reached for the Lord during his days of traveling and touring. Was Billy Graham’s heyday the most recent “revival” in modern Christianity? Have we been dry, distracted, disassociated, and missing the opportunities God is giving us for revival?
Christian author, teacher, and speaker Beth Moore says: no more. In her June 2nd blog post entitled “Rain Down Revival,” Beth mourns that Christians have been crying for revival with our mouths, but leaving no room for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.
“So many of our pastors, leaders, evangelists, and teachers are crying out for it. We see glimpses of it. We feel it pressing on the walls of many of our churches. The paint is beginning to crack. We sense a change coming. The roof shifting. We know the sun of righteousness is rising on a different kind of day and the horizon beaming with a new shade of color on young and old, on rich and poor. On all who would let Him lift their chins despite their sins, for our redemption draws near. I feel the stirring of a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in my own congregation and sense that He’s ushering us step-by-step and person-by-person and Sunday-by-Sunday to a place of open-armed willingness for whatever He would give us.…”
Beth asks: Why does God wait? The answer is convicting.
“I think one reason is that we are afraid for Him to do whatever it would take. We are scared of the uncertainty of revival. We don’t trust God with the work of His own Spirit. He might embarrass us. Or make us change our minds… we are worried about Him working contrary to our tastes.”
The enticing, but hard-to-grasp subject of revival has been a topic that many Crosswalk contributors have tackled over the years. Debbie Przybylski of Intercessors Arise wrote about what Revival Passion looks like:
“There has never been a revival without passion… The word ‘passion’ means ‘highly excited, expressing strong emotion, with strong feeling, zeal, eager desire.’ Great passion and zeal were expressed in the past revivals. This passion was for holiness, for purity of life, and for obedience.”
She then goes on to say that, for revival to take place, there must be a passion for God’s word, anointed preaching, prayer, holiness, and for those who are lost.
In another article on revival, entitled “Radical Obedience,” Przybylski discusses the Sermon on the Mount, and how God’s revival can only be accomplished through our obedience to his will, his words, and his truth.
“We must learn to say “yes” to the purposes of God every day of our lives. Many of us are praying for revival. If we want to see revival, you and I must be revived ourselves. God is after us—all of us. He is raising-up a Church that is steadfast and radically obedient.”
I think it’s easy to look at the rising generation of Christ-followers and see that some sort of revival is indeed happening.
Young “Millennials” are seeing brokenness and staleness in the churches and political parties they grew up in, and they are leaving to create new communities. They are taking to the Internet and writing countless blogs: mini-memoirs of growing up in ultra-conservative families and churches, and sharing harmful experiences that may have been swept under the rug in pre-Internet eras - perspectives that need to be told for growth and healing to take place. Young Christian bloggers aren’t afraid to see God working through their experiences to teach them new things they never learned in Sunday School, and they’re neither afraid of nor hostile to modern science (such as theories of Old Earth and Evolution) – claiming that God is bigger than any one theory, Christians don’t need to fear scientific discoveries. More than anything, I have noticed a trend in vocal young Christians refocusing life, love, and issues onto the message of Christ Jesus and his gospel. Rather than referring to the Bible as “The Word” – they have begun again to use that term to describe Christ Jesus himself (as the term is used in John 1 and Revelation 19).
What do you think? Is this young “revival” of words, terms, and refocusing faith the same kind of revival Beth Moore longs for in her blog post? Or is it just a new generation coming into its own in a very vocal way? What kind of revival do you pray for?
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for Crosswalk.com
Publication date: July 3, 2013