article: what is revival?
Duncan Campbell defined revival as "a community saturated with the presence of God.” Campbell witnessed God's awesome and holy presence coming to the island of Lewis in the late 1940's.
Campbell had faith in 'a covenant-keeping God', who would keep all His promises when His people meet His conditions;
- The vessels of God need to be clean, to be willing. (Psalms 24: 110) There needs to be a hunger for God, for His righteousness.
- A people on their faces, rightly related to God would soon know the impact of God - realisation in the land.
- Further, the saints in Lewis entered into a solemn covenant with God, not to rest or cease from prayer until the island (their "Jerusalem") was a 'praise in the earth' ( Isaiah 62)
God's promise is to cleanse from all sin and from all idols. (Ezekiel 36:25)
We can pray as they did in Lewis for 'God to come down, to make His Name known to His adversaries, that the nations would tremble at His presence.' (Isaiah 64:1,2)
Author and bible teacher, Selwyn Hughes identifies three characteristics of revival as:
- An intense, palpable and extraordinary sense of God's presence.
- A deep desire to be rid of all sin.
- A powerful impact on the wider community.
All these, he asserts, were in evidence when revival came to Wales in 1904, and in this sense he views all subsequent outpourings in the light of these features.
In Wales, a revival swept the land in 1904. Much earnest prayer preceded it and the cry of a main figure in this revival, Evan Roberts was 'Bend me O Lord.'
Brokenness, prayer, humility led to an outpouring of God's Spirit. The presence of God filled the community: the homes, the mines and even the public houses.
Revival brought an awakening of the conscience. The law of the land cannot do this, only the Holy Spirit. Family rifts were healed; people who hadn't spoken to one another for a long time were reconciled; outstanding debts were paid. Strong men wept, and the people sang and sang for joy.
Reuben Torrey commented, "In the hour of darkest portent, when the case of the Church seemed beyond hope, believing men and women have met together and cried to God, and the answer has come."
Noted bible teacher, Derek Prince, heard God speak in an audible voice when pasturing a church in England several decades ago: A great revival would come to the UK and the United States, but it would require obedience in the little things.
Jean Darnall, author of "Heaven Here I Come” was another who spoke of a great revival. She saw an amazing vision, repeated three times, of lightning hitting the north of Scotland. She saw rivers of fire spreading like lava across the rest of Britain and then crossing the channel onto the continent of Europe.
Hudson Taylor and Smith Wigglesworth both prophesied of a great revival in the end times before the return of Christ. The revival would happen in Europe. It would spread from there to the rest of the world.
Currently, evangelist Steve Hill, is preaching a similar message to revivalists of former days:
- Get the sin out of your life
- Get hungry for God
- Go after Jesus
- Then the Heavens will open!
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