Revival is life again! A restoration to life; to spiritual life. Broadly speaking, it is a restoration to the life of God. On an individual level, revival is the filling of the Spirit, the action of the Spirit filling you with the life of Jesus Christ and restoring spiritual life in Him. On a corporate level, there is an outpouring marked by the Holy Spirit filling the atmosphere with the life of God. The spirit of a meeting thus charged with His presence is dominated by a consciousness of the Spirit and the realization that God has come down. This inescapable awareness is what brings people to their knees in brokenness—the lost for salvation and the saved for revival.
It is important to remember that the access to corporate revival differs from our access to personal revival. For a corporate outpouring of the Spirit, the words of God that form the foundation of faith are given as promises. They point to that which is future. “If my people…then will I” (2 Chron. 7:14). “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty” (Is. 44:3). “It is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (Hos. 10:12). “I will pour out of my Spirit” (Acts 2:17). “Greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). As promises, these statements are future potentialities, and all such promises must be obtained. You cannot take for yourself what is not yet a present reality, but you can ask. You cannot take a future potentiality, but you can and should ask for God to grant what He has promised. The access of faith begins with asking. This is the faith of intercession for revival that seeks a blessing even for those who will not seek it for themselves. We ask in the present that at a point yet future God will do according to His word.
For the filling of the Spirit or personal revival, the words of God that form the foundation of faith are presented as facts. They state that which is present. “Christ liveth (He is living) in me” (Gal. 2:20). “But thanks be to God, which giveth (He is giving) us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). “But he giveth (He is giving) more grace” (James 4:6). These are statements of fact regarding our present realities, and such facts need not be obtained as promises. These are realities for today that can and must be taken. Therefore, our access of faith regarding personal revival begins not with asking but with taking—taking that which He has already been provided. Simply take the present provision to benefit from it.
Appreciating the differences between personal and corporate revival draws out this important contrast. Personal revival, based as it is on present facts, is immediately available, while the blessings of corporate revival are deferred. Being mindful of both forms of the Lord’s working, let us speak carefully. While we seek the Lord for corporate revival and ask that He would soon grant a time of refreshing, let us not mute the message of His present provision for personal revival. To continually use the language of, “We are not there yet,” can mislead people if they mistakenly associate with personal revival provisions the delay inherent in waiting for a future visitation. Focusing on a delay when considering facts intended for immediate taking may confuse thoughts of personal revival with the process of maturity, and this threatens to discourage faith. Remember that revival is not the same as maturity. You will not mature immediately upon experiencing personal revival, but revival will serve to restore (immediately restart) the maturing process.
Thus, it remains for us to understand the facts of His present provision and take—without delay—what God has made immediately available. Take in faith and be revived. And having accessed the present provision, join the many that cry out for corporate revival, for the outpouring of the Spirit that others may be blessed. Ask that again He would come down.
John Van Gelderen
About This Blog
Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.