Everywhere you turn, Christians are talking about revival. Books on revival are appearing regularly and selling well. Every major Christian event seems to carry with it the question, "Is this a beginning to the revival?"
Is God preparing to wake up His church? What do we mean when we speak of revival? Certainly revival is more than a week of scheduled meetings with a special speaker. A good case could be made historically that God has always dealt with His people using revivals. It is exciting to study Old Testament Israel and see the continuing cycle of revival and spiritual decline in generation after generation. Church history reveals the same pattern. There comes a time in the life of God's people, when the Lord steps in to bring a time of religious and spiritual excitement and enthusiasm that not only changes His people, but the society in which they live.
What is "Revival?"
One of my favorite definitions of revival is found in the classic study, In the Day of Thy Power, by Arthur Wallis. Wallis says, "Revival is Divine intervention in the normal course of spiritual things. It is God revealing Himself to man in awful holiness and irresistible power. It is such a manifest working of God that human personalities are overshadowed and human programs abandoned. It is man retiring into the background because God has taken the field. It is the Lord … working in extraordinary power on saint and sinner."
My preferred way of looking at the great revivals of the past is to describe it as "God showing up for church." It is simply the church waking up to the realization of Christ in her midst. It is beginning to experience what we already know theologically. We believe Colossians 1:27: "Christ in us, the hope of glory." Revival ...