I sat in my class, "secret life of revivalists", yesterday morning and as our teacher spoke on the life of Evan Roberts I became overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn't hold back tears as Holy Spirit filled the room as story after story told of one man's total surrender to the will of God. The result... the Welsh revival. A few major themes are arising from living in a Kingdom culture and studying revival and to be honest they're wrecking havoc on my life routines. Revival has never come through the complacent.
Each week in my class we take a look at the private lives of revivalists that were the catalyst for mass moves of God. These revivals including, Azusa Street, Welsh Revival, East African Revival, Argentine Revival, 1st-5th great awakenings and more transformed more than just the church, it transformed cities and nations, it changed the complete culture of the environment. Bars closed, crime decreased, churches were packed, the most notorious of sinners brought to repentance by an encounter with the Holy One. Revival TRANSFORMS culture.
It is possible that we've become satisfied with an outpouring of His Spirit when God wants revival?
An outpouring of the Spirit on our individual lives or even in our corporate church meetings results in renewal. The outpouring is literally God showing up and coming into an IMPACT with our lives. This impact causes a renewal. Renewal is what brings healing to the Bride. Renewal ushers in JOY, praise, worship, and HOPE. Renewal causes repentance (change in thinking). Renewal literally brings believers into BELIEVING. It is when Truth (His reality) has a head on collision with the strongholds and bondages that the enemy has so deviously placed in our lives. When we encounter Him, His Truth, we repent and are changed as we see the schemes of the enemy for what they are and we see Him for who He is! I love renewal. Renewal brings us into a revelation of our True Identity as part of the family of God. Renewal is beautiful it includes AWESOME encounters with God. It rebuilds families. It ends depression, anxiety, fear, doubt, and other issues that hold us down. Renewal causes super charged church services where the will of God is being performed amongst the body.
You cannot have revival without renewal, but you can have renewal without revival.
As we've studied the lives of these catalytic revivalists each of them (the people or the church) had an ENCOUNTER with God. They had a RENEWAL. They had an outpouring of His Spirit on them. Often this renewal occurred YEARS before revival came into play. The renewal led to a complete change in mindset which eventually assisted in birthing revival. What I've noticed is that many of us are completely satisfied with just the renewal (Praise God for renewal)! But often we are rarely willing to move into the sacrifice and devotion it takes to usher in a revival. Renewal transforms the body, but it does not have the MASSIVE effect of Revival on a city or a nation.
Evan Roberts had an encounter with the Lord that marked His life. Holy Spirit asked him, "will you give me EVERYTHING?". Roberts felt the weight of the question in such a way that he spent five days weeping, unsure if he could answer the call. When he did yield and say yes, he was never the same. Roberts went on to fast regularly, pray sometimes 11 hours a day, each night he spent at least two hours in the Word and one hour listening to the voice of God. It was living a life of surrender, fasting, prayer, and servanthood that thirteen years later led to the birthing of the Welsh revival.
The Welsh revival changed the culture of a nation. Hundreds of thousands saved, services every night that were packed out as the lame began to walk, the deaf heard, the blind saw, families restored, drunks stopped drinking, drug addicts transformed, churches overflowed as entire cities HUNGERED AFTER GOD. This is Revival.
We can't all pause our lives to pray eleven hours a day, but we can each hunger for revival in such a way that we're willing to do whatever Holy Spirit is asking of us. What is He asking of you to usher in revival in our nation? Will you fast one day a week? Will you pray an extra hour? Will go visit the homeless? Will you call up that uncle that you haven't talked to in years? It isn't about sacrifice, it's all about obedience. It's not about law, it's about love.
Once the outpouring has transformed your life, what will be your response? Will we take what has healed, redeemed, and restored our lives and believe for this same God to do it for the masses?
Revival is coming to America and I want to be apart of it. I want it to be in my life. In my family, In my church. In my city. No price is too high to see the presence of God sweep our land. For the Lamb that was slain to receive the reward of His suffering. To see the masses heart's turned toward God.
Be Blessed, J. Tate