What Does Revival Look Like?
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Have you ever heard people talk about revival and wonder what they really are talking about? It’s one of those Christian terms that means a lot of different things to people. There really is a historic grid that we can look at in order to identify the elements of a revival. It’s important to identify them so we can try to cultivate those elements.
Revival certainly requires the Lord to do things. At the same time, the Lord responds to us doing things as well. We can till the soil and expect the Lord to send the rain.
SEVEN HISTORIC MARKERS OF REVIVAL
1. An awakening of our offenses towards God, as opposed to our problems in life
When we are approaching sin or other things going wrong in our life because we have offended God, not because it has affected our money, family, or happiness. When there is a brokenness over how we have broken our relationship with God, that is it. It’s not just that our lives have been negatively affected. Revival is marked by the fact that people have a deep conviction and an awakening to how much we need the grace of God and the blood of Christ in our lives.
2. A focus on eternal matters, not just temporal
When eternity becomes the fragrance, the filter, the focus of the things we are talking about and doing. There is very little teaching and preaching today on eternity, eternal consequences, Heaven, and hell. About 50% of people who identify as evangelical don’t believe in a literal hell.
3. A dedication to personal holiness
It isn’t about living a status-quo lifestyle. It isn’t about doing and not doing things like other Christians. It’s not about how close you can get to the world and get away with it. It’s about dedication, being willing to be personally nudged by the Lord. It’s about having a fasted lifestyle, a separated lifestyle. Having things in our life that are sanctified and called apart by the Lord. It’s walking away from sin, distractions, amusements—things that misdirect you that might not necessarily be a sin. Nothing should take energy and affection away from the purpose of God.
4. A love and concern for lost people
Seeing people as golden grain, ripe for the harvest. Having a concern for them that affects our time, talents, and treasure. A concern that emboldens our witness, where we set ourselves aside and think about others who need Christ. A willingness to even be ridiculed for the gospel, for the preaching of the gospel, for the pleading of men’s souls. There are a lot of loving actions being executed by the Church; but if you love your neighbor, you should be concerned about their eternity, their lostness, their need to be redeemed.
5. A decision to make restitution
This is more than just receiving forgiveness. In other words, “I feel so bad about my sin, I’m not just asking you to forgive me; I want to make it up to you.” Recently, there was a news story of a man who had been in jail for some time that confessed to another crime he had committed. There was no evidence for the authorities to even suspect him for that crime, but he had a real encounter with the Lord and he confessed. He wrote a letter with his confession and asked to be punished for the crime. What a mark of repentance. That is the mark of someone who is truly sorrowful for what he had done. When we repent before God, that’s between God and us. When we move into restitution, there’s a ring of redemption we throw to other people. They might not understand it, but God honors it, and it becomes the evidence of a life that is really changed. Restitution is a manifestation of the depth of forgiveness that we have received.
6. An expectation of divine intervention
This is an atmosphere of faith. When revival is happening, there is an inclination to seek the Lord first instead of just relying on our own wits, wisdom, and resources. There is an expectation of a move of God. There is a sense of how great God is and an understanding of how much He loves to intervene in the lives and affairs of men. That kind of atmosphere is contagious and is one of the things that brings people into that spirit of revival.
7. A commitment of service
People begin to set themselves aside--not just in five-fold ministry, but in service. People serve faithfully in the church, in outreaches by the church. They serve those who are serving. One of the manifestations of revival is that those who are being effective in missions receive great support, great workers, great givers, great prayer teams working with them. This is more than function or doing something; it’s a connection to serving the King.
This is not an exhaustive list. These are just a few things I’ve gathered from reading about many revivals throughout history and being involved in the revival in the Soviet Union in the ‘80s. These are clear signs that happen when there is revival fire, revival winds that are moving, little embers, little outposts where the Kingdom of God goes forth from. Let’s till the soil and see what happens when God sends the rain.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!