Revival Begins With Us — So Where Do We Start?
In 2012, I released a prophetic word that essentially declared God is waiting on us. God is not holding revival tightly in His fist, refusing to release it. I’m convinced that many of us are waiting on God to move when in reality He’s waiting on us to move. My 2012 prophecy was: Revival begins with you.
At the same time, I’ve discovered we cannot set ourselves on fire. Not really. God is the ultimate fire-starter. But we can position our hearts close to His burning flame of love and catch His fire as the wind of the Holy Spirit blows it in our direction. We can’t do God’s part, but God won’t do our part.
So if revival begins with you—and me—where does that leave us? Waiting on the Lord, but not in the way we have been. The Hebrew word for “wait” in the context of waiting on the Lord is “qavah.” It is active verb that means to wait, look for, hope, expect; to wait or look eagerly for; to lie in wait for; and to wait for, linger for. We need to wait like we expect Him to show up.
1. Look for the promise. Jacob went into a downward spiral after he thought Joseph was ripped apart by lions. He was never quite the same after he lost Joseph. When he heard Joseph was alive, his spirit stirred but when he saw the wagons that Joseph sent to bring him back to Egypt for the grand family reunion in the midst of a famine, the spirit of Jacob revived (Gen. 45:27).
Look at the promises of revival God has given through prophetic words. Look at the scriptural incidents of revival and deliverance. Look for the promises of God and be revived.
2. Drink from living water. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, but with a Word famine rising in the land and the nearly-constant spiritual warfare raging, many are thirsty for a rhema word of God—a true Holy Spirit-inspired prophecy that flows like a river of living water. After Samson struck down 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass, he was thirsty.
“‘You gave this great deliverance through Your servant, but now may I die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?’ So God split open the basin at Lehi, and water flowed out of it. He drank, was refreshed, and revived” (Judg. 15:18-19).
The living water God provides revived Samson—and it will revival us.
3. Stay humble. God resists the proud. He does not revive them. He gives grace, exalts and revives the humble and repentant. Walking in a revival lifestyle means walking in a repentance lifestyle—we need to be quick to repent when we’ve missed the mark.
“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15).
4. Pray for personal revival. When the son of the widow of Zarephath died, her response to Elijah showed she connected this death to sin, but Elijah knew better. He knew it was not the Lord’s will for the boy to die. Elijah took him out of her arms of unbelief and despair and into his arms of faith. Elijah set out to pray.
“He cried to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, my God, have You brought tragedy upon the widow with whom I live by killing her son?’ And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, my God, I pray that You let this child’s soul come into him again.’ He Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he was revived. Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and returned him to his mother, and Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” (1 Kin. 17:20-23).
In order to revive that which looks dead, we need to stop looking at the outward condition, which stirs unbelief and despair, and pray until we see God’s will come to pass.
The psalmists prayed revival prayers. In these prayers, the word “revive” is from the Hebrew word “chayah,” which means “to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live forever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.” It also means to restore and cause to grow.
“You who have shown me great distresses and troubles will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.”
“Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?”
“My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word.”
“Turn away my eyes from beholding worthlessness, and revive me in Your way.”
“Behold, I have a longing for Your precepts; revive me in Your righteousness.”
“This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word revives me.”
“Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, that I may keep the testimony from Your mouth.”
“I will never forget Your precepts, for with them You have revived me.”
“I am greatly afflicted; revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.”
“Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness, O Lord; revive me according to Your judgment.”
“Plead my cause, and defend me; revive me according to Your word.”
“Great are Your compassions, O Lord; revive me according to Your judgments.”
“Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness.”
“Revive me, O Lord, for Your name’s sake, for Your righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble.”
5. Believe God will answer. When we pray, we’re supposed to pray in faith, nothing waivering. James says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive anything from God (James 1:8). Habakkuk prayed to God, believed for an answer—and got one:
Habakkuk 3:1-3: “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth. O Lord, I have heard the report of You, and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of these years make them known; in wrath remember mercy. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.”
Be encouraged. You can see personal revival. And we can see national revival.
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