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What Happens in Revival

God has been described as “one pent-up revival.”[1] When saints live in the reviving power of God’s presence, the world takes note that there is a God, we have been with Him, and His name is Jesus.

Revival is God’s self-disclosure. It speaks of a Savior who yearns to dwell in the midst of His people. It is the positive work of the Spirit that deals with the negative character traits of sinful humanity.

Revival is the sovereign activity of God. No one can force His hand to act, or else He would not be the Almighty. Yet the Lord has chosen to place responsibility for revival in the hands of men. This is the great mystery of revival: the Lord sovereignly moves and yet acts in accordance with the prayers of His people.

For revival to come, we must comprehend that in and of ourselves, we can do nothing. Yet, our responsibility is real. This means that a cooperative effort between God and man takes place for the Spirit to be poured out. God has given us the privilege of pursuing revival through those means He has established in His written Word. The Spirit moves the hearts of men to move the heart of God—a mystery indeed.

Revival is a revelation of God’s holiness. Revival is a “person or a community saturated with the presence of God … an invasion from Heaven which brings to man a conscious awareness of God.”[2] This awareness of God includes the revelation of His holiness. The beauty of His holiness will always illuminate our sinfulness, which subsequently produces tremendous conviction of sin. When we look at our sin through the presence of God, we begin to understand how hideous our transgressions actually are. This is Christ’s goodness revealed to a race of rebels (Rom. 2:4).

Revival produces deep, heartfelt repentance. When the Holy Spirit descends, He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). Heartfelt repentance produces a change in character, and a change in character produces a change in lifestyle. History demonstrates that according to the depth of conviction will be the depth of repentance, and according to the depth of repentance will be the depth of the revival. Revival is always a move of the Spirit that produces repentance and personal holiness. It cannot be otherwise.

Revival is new life. Heartfelt repentance and a passion for holiness impart new life to the saved and the unsaved. The river of living water that pours forth from the throne of God gives life wherever it flows (Ezek. 47). When that river flows through the church, there will be power and desire to reach the unsaved. When it sweeps through the streets of our cities, radical conversions will abound.

New life produces new priorities. The light of God’s brilliance illuminates the meaninglessness of worldly pursuits. Compromise falls off as love for the Savior replaces the depraved love of the world and the twisted love of self. Vibrant worship and prayer become the norm.

New life in the soul means new life in relationships. When men and women abandon themselves to Jesus, the result will be transformed lives that affect every relationship they have. Marriages and families are restored as godly virtues replace wicked character traits. When rebellious teens are genuinely converted, their rebellion ceases. The power of God delivers the fornicator, adulterous spouse, or homosexual from their sexual addictions to live in pure and holy freedom. Revival is literally new life for individuals, families, churches, and nations.

Revival is spiritual revolution. “Revival is a divine method of operation in human history . . . an instrument of spiritual revolution.”[3] This spiritual revolution is birthed through radicals and martyrs who reproduce after their own kind. They see the world through the eyes of Christ and are willing to lay down their lives for the One who laid down His life for them. This is the place of desperate love and surrender to Jesus, where sacrifice ceases to be a burden.

An explosive missionary spirit is always a byproduct of revival. The Lord uses common saints who live in the light of eternity to turn the world upside down. They comprehend that people are eternal creatures who will live forever in heaven or hell. So they joyfully abandon themselves to the cause of Christ to rescue a self-destructing world no matter the cost.

The manifest glory of God is the greatest hope for the salvation of our loved ones, the most effective means of restraining the wickedness that is sweeping America, and the only power that can transform cities and nations.

[1] Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, Minneapolis, MN, Bethany House Publishers, 1959, p. 139.
[2] Stephen Olford, Lord, Open the Heavens!, Wheaton, IL, Howard Shaw Publishers, 1969, p. 60.
[3] C. E. Autrey, Revivals of the Old Testament, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan Publishing House, 1960, pp. 14, 16.

Excerpted from Rend the Heavens, by Glenn Meldrum, copyright © 2005.

Glenn Meldrum has been a national evangelist since 1997. Prior to his calling as an evangelist he pastored for 15 years. He is ordained and holds an M.A. in theology and church history from Ashland Theological Seminary. Visit www.ihpministry.com for articles, sermons, books and information on Glenn Meldrum and In His Presence Ministries.