Text: “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you”. – Psalm 85:6
What does it mean to be revived? What is a revival?
A person’s spiritual life, ministry, business, finances, marriage, or even your car can be in need of a revival.
To be revived or to experience a revival means:
– To impart new strength and vigor into a person or thing
– To bring back to life; to return or restore to consciousness or life
– To become reinvigorated
– A reawakening
– A restoring back to use after a period of being forgotten, unused, or inactive
– An improvement in the condition or strength of something
Linking it with our walk or relationship with God, personal revival can be defined as a person or individual becoming fully awake and alive spiritually. It is being revitalized or reinvigorated spiritually. It is a significant growth and improvement in your relationship with God. It is becoming a vibrant believer who is fully charged, fully awake, fully alert. It is being full of the strength, power and anointing of God which keeps you from sin, frees you from Satanic yokes and makes you a heavenly minded and focused believer. Personal revival empowers you to continue with the great works Jesus started while here on earth (John 14:12).
My prayer is that this month, God will cause everyone of us to experience a personal revival.
WHY DO WE NEED PERSONAL REVIVAL?
1. Personal revival is the only road to true revival in the body of Christ as a whole
It is when the church is filled with people who in their personal walk with God are alive spiritually and are filled with the power and anointing of God that the church will be revived. Often times we hear that the church is not the building. This is very true. The church is simply an outward expression of what you and I really are on the inside. If for instance the prayer life, worship life, evangelism or commitment level of the church is low, it is because in the personal lives of those that make up the church, there is a very low level of prayer, worship and study of God’s Word.
It is good to have anointed guests ministers and programs that can stir up a revival, but there’s a limit to what those services and programs can do. If after such programs, the people ministered to don’t do anything about their own personal relationship with God, then the purpose of the revival service has been defeated. If after a revival meeting you personally don’t do anything to remain vibrant and alive spiritually, after sometime, things will return back to normal. The spiritually dryness and emptiness will return back. And the result is that the church continues to be in need of a revival even after a revival service or meeting.
Hasn’t it happened to you that after a very powerful ministration you are charged up; you become prayerful and very active in church, then after two weeks or a month, the spiritual dryness, the prayerlessness and lukewarmness returns. It is because we have not experienced a real personal revival. What simply happened was that you were just excited and motivated by the speaker, program or service but deep within you, you haven’t really experienced a personal revival.
2. Personal revival will keep us from being a yo-yo Christian. Who is up today then down tomorrow. Up this month, down the next. Up this year, down next year. Which in itself brings a lot of spiritual frustration, dissatisfaction and guilt that weighs people down.
3. One person that is personally revived can make a big difference before God. When God wants to do a new thing, bring about a turnaround, mighty deliverance or transformation in a family, He doesn’t need everybody in that family to be spiritually alive, vibrant and on fire before He can intervene and bring about a change. With just one person, God can do what He wants to do. One person that is personally revived can make a big difference before God.
– In Ezekiel 22: 30 – God was in search of a person who was personally revived. A person who was awake and alive spiritually and could stand in the place of prayer. With just that one vibrant, spiritually alive, personally revived person, God was ready to bring about a mighty deliverance to the whole nation.
– In Genesis 18:26– 33 – when God was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He told Abraham that if He found just 10 people in that city that were in right standing with God, were living right, were personally revived, He wouldn’t destroy the city. God wasn’t waiting for the whole city to be personally revived before He would bring deliverance and restoration to the land. In fact, if Abraham had gone on to pray to God that what if it was just one righteous person in the land – God would have spared their lives.
CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON WHO IS PERSONALLY REVIVED
1. God can rely and depend on such a person
In Luke 14:16-24, Jesus told a parable of a great banquet where the Lord had invited people to HIS PRESENCE – but these people started giving excuses. I would love to come but I have things to attend to. I have to attend to my business, my spouse, and so on and so forth the excuses kept pouring in. The real issue was not so much the things or people they had to attend to. The real issue was that these people were not personally revived. When you are not spiritually alive and awake, you will always have a ‘perfect’ excuse to justify why you can’t pray, read the Word, or do the things of God. But when you are revived, you are like the deer in Psalm 42:1-2 panting, thirsty and hungry for more of God in your life. God was the last thing on their mind that was why they could give such responses to an invitation to come to His presence. If really they had been thinking of God, had a passion for God, were hungry for God, and now had an opportunity to come to a place where that hunger would be satisfied or met, there’s no way they would have rejected the invitation to come and spend time feasting and fellowshipping with the Lord. If you have been thinking of eating fried rice and they call you from home that they have prepared fried rice, you would be looking forward to going home, you would want to get home as quickly as possible. Clearly, these people didn’t have a hunger and passion for God. They were not personally revived that was why they had such excuses and were not in the least bit eager or interested in the banquet or the presence of God.
God can’t rely or depend on a person who is not personally revived because the person would always have a good excuse not to be where God wants him to be or do what God wants him to do.
The sad truth about not being personally revived is that like it happened in that parable where God got other people to replace those who didn’t accept His invitation, God can replace you.
May we not replaced in His kingdom, may our divine assignment and God ordained place not be given to another person.
2. The person’s life is a source of inspiration – the person challenges others positively – Jesus is a perfect example of a person who was personally revived. His disciples were greatly challenged, inspired and encouraged by His prayer life. His disciples in Luke 11:1-2 asked Him to teach them how to pray. If Jesus had a lukewarm prayer life, there’s no way they would have asked Him to teach them how to pray. It was because they were challenged by His consistent commitment and passion for prayer that they asked Him to teach them how to pray.
Is your relationship with God; your dedication and commitment to God a source of inspiration to anybody? Does your life inspire others to want to spend more time with God or do more for God?
Proverbs 27:17 says iron sharpens iron. When people come near you, do they get blunt or do they get sharper? Are they strengthened spiritually or weakened spiritually?
3. The person is a carrier of fresh anointing
Often times you hear people say things like that man is anointed or that woman is anointed. The truth of the matter is that every believer is anointed (1 John 2:27). We have all been anointed by God, but it is what we do with the anointing of God upon our lives that makes the difference. Some allow the oil of the Holy Spirit to dry up, some others let it go stale. A person who is personally revived is a carrier of fresh anointing or fresh oil (Psalm 92: 10, 14).
The opposite of fresh is old or stale. A lot of believers today are carrying old and stale oil because we are not personally revived. David said fresh oil had been poured on him.
What is the old oil or old anointing? – they are old testimonies, encounters and exploits. It is still talking about what you did for God 5, 10, or 20 years ago, or in your former church. No record, no testimony of what you are doing for God today.
When you are not daily being renewed in the presence of God, you are not daily coming to God to receive from Him, what you will be carrying about is old anointing because you haven’t received anything new and fresh from God’s throne room of grace.
So many people pride themselves in this old anointing. They aren’t doing anything to have a fresh encounter, to do new exploits for God, they just keep going on and on about things they did for God in the past. Forgetting that yesterday is gone. Yesterday’s anointing is not enough for today. Today has fresh challenges that needs a fresh anointing to tackle.
What is the stale oil? – Like oil that is unused becomes stale and thickens, so also will the anointing on a person’s life dry up if it is not used. Your skills, talents, gifts and potentials which God has given to everyone of us (1 Corinthians 12:7) will dry up and become stale if you are not regularly putting them to use.
HOW CAN WE EXPERIENCE PERSONAL REVIVAL?
•so God can always rely on us
•so God won’t have to replace us
•so our lives can make a difference in our homes, church and nation
•so we can be sources of blessings and inspiration to others
•so we are carriers of fresh oil or fresh anointing
1. Acknowledge and accept the fact that you need a revival
Until each of us can get to that point where we can honestly tell ourselves and God that ‘yes, I come to church every week, I give, I sing, I teach, I preach, I do so many things for God, I attend so many services and programs, but the truth of the matter is that I am spiritually dry, I am spiritually empty. In fact, I am dying spiritually. God I need your help, I need your intervention, I need you to revive me’. Until we get to that point, we can’t experience a personal revival. For as long as you feel you are healthy spiritually, it is all well with you spiritually, you are doing fine spiritually, you can’t experience a revival. But the moment you acknowledge that I am sick spiritually; I am weak, empty and dry spiritually, you are on the road to experiencing a personal revival (Matthew 8:10-13).
2. Start taking responsibility for your spiritual growth
The reason why we have so many believers today who aren’t growing spiritually, who are not spiritually alive is because they have put their spiritual life in the hands of one pastor or one church. Philippians 2:12 tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Note something important Paul said in that scripture – in my presence and in my absence – meaning that whether you are under the anointing of this highly anointed man of God or you are not under his anointing, whether there is a pastor to tell you what to do or there isn’t a pastor to tell you want to do, you as a person, take responsibility for your own spiritual growth. Paul was telling the people to take responsibility for their spiritual life; not to put their salvation in his hands, or make it dependent on what he does or doesn’t do. That’s the only way to have and maintain personal revival.
The reason why Jesus grouped the virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 into wise and foolish was because the wise ones were in the group that had taken responsibility for their spiritual growth, the foolish ones were in the group that were putting their spiritual growth in the hands of another person. That was why when their lamps went out, they thought it was just a matter of getting oil from those that have, those that are anointed and they will be okay. I believe that what the foolish virgins had been used to was that anytime they had a problem, they would say I will go and meet my pastor or that anointed man or woman of God to pray about that situation. But that day, their pastor said this time I can’t give you from my own oil, I can’t pray for you. And so because there was no pastor available that day, they had to handle the situation themselves, they had to take responsibility for their spiritual growth, they had to go and get oil for themselves, they had to now try and build up themselves spiritually. But it was while they were running helter-skelter trying to do this that the bridegroom arrived and they missed Him. By the time they got their oil, by the time they became alive spiritually, it was too late. But if like the wise virgins, all along they had been taking responsibility for their spiritual growth, they would have had their own oil at the time that mattered most.
Beloved, it is a dangerous thing not to take responsibility for your spiritual growth. We are not being wise if we are depending on just the message in church to grow, or the prayers of one great man or woman of God. You have to take responsibility for your own spiritual growth. Decide on your own to fast, don’t wait for the church to call for a fast. Organize a personal vigil for yourself once in a month. Read God’s Word and other inspirational books and materials that can strengthen your walk with God. When we have people who are personally revived, then when we come together, there will be a corporate anointing, the presence of God will be so mighty in our midst, the glory of God will be all over the place, and God will do great things in our midst. But it will start with personal revival.
Pray this simple prayer: O Lord, I am in desperate need of a revival, revive me O Lord.
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