When revival comes, we should expect to see change taking place as we undergo a profound shift in our condition. At a personal level, we expect a renewing of our minds. At the family level, dysfunction changes to mutual respect and support. At the church level, we’ll see a move from the appearance of godliness to genuine spiritual life and power.
We should also expect change/transformation to be seen at a societal level, touching every aspect of people’s lives. There are also stories of God’s transformative power impacting even the physical environment – healing of the land.
Concerning such spiritual breakthrough, however, for us to get there, surely God must first come here? Is there anything we can do to “invite” Him to come to us? “Apart from me”, Jesus said in John 15:5, “you can do nothing”. George Otis described this as the Immanuel Principle. We need God with us.
Deuteronomy 4:7 says, “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us when we pray to Him?” May we see this in much greater measure today!
We need God’s presence, and we should invite His presence. When Jesus sent the disciples out to preach (Matthew 10:5-7) He encouraged them to announce that the “Kingdom of Heaven is near”. He was not just making a suggestion that the time was near, but that God had “come down” and was revealing Himself in Jesus and in what Jesus was doing.
Although we cannot place the constraints of our own expectations on what revival might look like, we can seek to position ourselves in readiness for when the Lord comes. Quoting George Otis again, “revival can be summed up in a simple phrase, “DAD’S HOME!””
So let us today cast off our limited imaginings of revival and reflect on the fact that when it comes it will be pervasive, affecting every area of life and society. It will be powerful, and apparent to all. And it will be peculiar because God will work in a unique way in our communities. We’ve got lots to anticipate and to look forward to!
Heavenly Father, I recognise that there is nothing else that will satisfy fully but Your presence in our lives and in our communities. As I think on this, it is scary, but help me to truly hunger and to reach out for You in these days. Give me grace to be prepared for Your reviving, and to be faithful and effective for Your Kingdom. Amen