Preparing for Revival
While there is no “recipe” that will guarantee revival, God’s Word outlines the conditions that must precede a visitation of His presence in revival. Nowhere are those conditions spelled out more clearly than in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (ESV)
The following questions have been designed to help us evaluate whether or not we are meeting God’s conditions for revival. As you prayerfully consider these questions, ask yourself, “Am I a candidate for revival? Is my life in such a state that God could be pleased to send revival to my heart, my home, my church, and my community? Could God use my life as an instrument of revival?”
Ask God’s Spirit to search your heart and to reveal any specific aspects of His conditions for revival that you are not meeting. Note each question where He brings conviction of a need for revival.
If My people . . .
God’s promise to “hear, forgive, and heal” is a conditional one. It begins with an “if.” It cannot be claimed by just anyone; it is for God’s people. Do you qualify?
- Am I a child of God? Was there a time in my life when I received Christ?
- Have I trusted in the grace of God and the shed blood of Christ to save me, apart from any good works I may have done?
- Do I recognize that I am under “new ownership,” that my life is not my own any longer, that I have been “bought with a price,” and that I belong to God?
- Is my relationship with God the most important thing in my life? Am I daily cultivating a meaningful, intimate relationship with Him?
Who are called by My name . . .
What a privilege and responsibility it is to be “called by His Name”! When those who bear the name of Christ begin to reveal a likeness to the One whose name they bear, the world will be irresistibly drawn to Him.
- Do unsaved people in my neighborhood, my community, and my workplace know that I am a Christian?
- Do I consider it a privilege to be known as a child of God?
- Do I quickly identify myself as a believer when I come in contact with unbelievers?
- Do I reflect His holiness, integrity, and spirit in my daily conduct and dealings with others?
- When those around me have a personal or a spiritual need, do they turn to me to help them find real answers?
Humble themselves . . .
Our Lord exemplified a life of true humility. He left the splendor and glory of heaven, clothed Himself in our humanity, and stooped to wash the feet of those He had created. He did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life for the salvation of the world.
- Do I esteem all others as better than myself?
- Do I rejoice when others are praised or promoted and I am overlooked?
- Am I more conscious of my own unworthiness and spiritual poverty than of the faults and failures of those around me?
- Do I desire to serve those in my family, church, and community, and make them a success?
- Am I quick to admit when I am wrong and to seek forgiveness?
- Do I grieve over my sin and how it affects a holy God?
- Am I transparent and open with others regarding areas of spiritual need in my life?
- When there is a breach in a relationship, do I take the initiative to go and be reconciled?
- Do I take personal responsibility for the condition of my life, rather than blaming circumstances or others who may have hurt me?
- Am I quick to forgive and to extend mercy and compassion to those who wrong me, rather than harboring hurt?
And pray . . .
Prayer is the tool of God, given to the saints of God, through which the will of God is accomplished on earth, as it is in heaven.
- Do I pray?
- Do I have regular, concentrated times of prayer when I am alone with the Lord?
- Do I faithfully pray for the needs of my mate, my children, and other family members?
- Do I pray regularly for my pastor, my church, and other believers in my community?
- Do I pray earnestly for revival and spiritual awakening in my community, my nation, and the world?
- Do I pray specifically for those around me who are lost and in need of a Savior?
- Do I regularly pray with other believers for God’s will to be done in my life and my world?
- When God quickens my heart during the activities of the day or even during the night hours, am I quick to respond and pause to pray?
- If revival in my home, my church, and my community depended on my prayers, would there ever be revival?
And seek My face . . .
Revival is the fruit of the pursuit of God, not of His gifts. To seek His face means to desire intimacy with Him above all else.
- Do I spend time daily sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word and worshiping Him?
- Does the Lord Jesus occupy the center of my thoughts throughout the day? Is He the supreme object of my affections?
- Do I earnestly seek to learn more of the heart, will, and ways of God on a regular basis?
- Do I desire to be in the company of God more than any human friend or family member?
- Do I desire God Himself, more than anything He could give me—material possessions, comfort, convenience, problems solved, personal happiness?
- Do I love righteousness and hate evil?
- Am I quick to agree with God when His Spirit convicts me of sin?
- Have I repented of and forsaken every action or habit in my lifestyle that is not pleasing to God?
- When I face difficult decisions or people ask for my advice, do I instinctively turn to God for His solution and His wisdom?
And turn from their wicked ways . . .
God will not hear and answer the prayers of those who insist on going their own way, those who refuse to repent and forsake their sinful ways.
- Have I repented of and forsaken every “secret” sin that God has revealed in my heart, in my thoughts, or in my private life?
- Have I been thorough in my repentance, forsaking not only sinful behaviors, but the root sins, heart attitudes, and worldly values that have produced those behaviors?
- Have I deliberately, decisively, and thoroughly removed from my life every influence that might tempt me to make provision for my flesh or to sin against God in some way?
- Am I accountable to a godly person for any areas of my life where I may still be vulnerable to return to my “wicked ways”?
- Can I honestly say there is no unconfessed sin between my soul and the Savior, that my heart is pure and my ways are pleasing to God?
For more on the topic of revival, check out yesterday’s episode of the Grounded videocast where hosts Erin Davis and Portia Collins along with guests Bill and Holly Elliff and more proclaim, “He’s Done It Before. He Is Doing It Again.”