What is biblical revival?
Thank you for your important question. The concept of revival is sometimes quite misunderstood, and the greatest reason for confusion is when revival is defined by what it may do rather than what it is. Descriptions too often substitute for a definition. Incidents may occur that are thrilling, but these are “incidental” compared to what is essential. The essence of revival pertains to what revival is.
The prefix re- conveys the idea of again. The word vive means life. Together, revival means life again. As physical revival refers to a restoration of physical life, so spiritual revival refers to a restoration to spiritual life. It is a restoration to life in the Spirit or the life of God.
Jesus is called “that eternal life” (1 John 1:2). On an individual level, revival is accessing the eternal life of Jesus as the abundant life and being restored to the life of Jesus as the animating dynamic to your personality. This is the Spirit-filled life—the Spirit filling you with the life of Jesus. This is personal revival.
There is a difference between personal revival and corporate revival, though both pertain to life. The filling of the Spirit is when God fills you with His life, but the outpouring of the Spirit is when God fills the atmosphere with His life.
The outpouring of the Spirit is the manifestation of the presence (life) of God (Ezek. 39:29). Although God is omnipresent (everywhere present), many are not aware of His presence. But when God pours out His Spirit, filling the atmosphere with His presence, everyone in the vicinity (whether saved or lost) is conscious of the presence of God. This atmosphere makes it as conducive as possible for backslidden Christians to be convicted and contrite and for unbelievers to be awakened and believe—without violating anyone’s will.
Revival is life again, whether referring in God’s life in an individual or God’s life in the atmosphere. The life of God is the answer! Everything else is death.
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