God sends revival to the world to strengthen the church
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Revival isn’t a new concept. It’s been around since the Old Testament and basically indicates that a manifest, tangible encounter of God’s presence and power is being demonstrated on the earth and in the lives of believers. When Moses saw the burning bush he had revival. God stepped into his realm and into his life with miraculous and supernatural proof of his existence. That proof transformed Moses’ life, thrust him into ministry, resulted in Moses spending days at a time in deep intimacy with God, and resulted in gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in his life. Moses encountered God and emerged a prophet, a leader and a type and shadow of the Messiah. Just as revival suddenly showed up in Moses’ life and changed him personally, then led to a corporate renewal, revival continues to operate the same way today.
When a group of believers (or a person individually) seeks God’s presence, His face, and longs to see His power demonstrated on the earth, and usually commits to a time of prayer, fasting, worship and devotion in order to experience God in a greater way, things happen. What happens? Revival!
God answers the prayers of those who diligently seek Him and when man hungers for a deeper walk with God He obliges. Look at the similarities of so many who give their lives over to the Lord. For many, their testimony consists of a prayer- and a simple one at that. Usually, it’s something to the effect of, “Dear God, if you’re real- please show me.” These prayers are always answered as God promises us in Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” This is also seen in Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all they heart and with all they soul.” Amos 5:4 states, “For thus saith the Lord unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.” Jesus stated in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.”
These verses apply to more than just salvation; they apply to those seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and revival for their churches. One thing that must be pointed out, however, is that man never manipulates or orchestrates revival. Man may humble himself, seek God, pray, fast and intercede, but it is always God who chooses when and where He will pour out His time of refreshing, revival, spiritual awakening or renewal. In short, it is man’s job to beseech God for His presence and it is God who decides where and when He will pour out His Spirit.
God has continually operated in revival. Revival hit the Old Testament believers, was present in the New Testament church beginning with the Day of Pentecost, was seen in the 1700s with Zinzendorf (Moravian), Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley (First Great Awakening), David Brainerd and in Cornwall, England. During the 1800s, revival came to Kentucky (Cane Ridge), Canada, New York and Ireland (Ulster Revival). Revival continued to sweep through the 1900s with the continuous spread of revival in Europe as the Welch revival kicked off under Evan Roberts in Loughor, Wales in 1904. Two years later, on April 14, 1906, Los Angeles, California would see revival and what has been attributed to the American birth of Pentecostalism when the Azusa Street revival began. In 1907, revival broke out in Pyong-Yang, Korea when missionaries heard about the current revivals began praying for a similar move in Korea. In 1914, revival swept through Congo, Africa and in 1936 would hit Rwanda with what was called the “East African Revival.” Revival has continued to spread throughout the world, it isn’t something only experienced by those in the United States who have grown up with a culture based on Christianity, as some might suppose, but has hit every continent transforming sinners to saints and bringing those who call themselves believers to a deeper, more intimate walk with the Lord. Revival can be summed up as God’s presence and power displayed on the earth and in the hearts of those who love Him.
Check the video player to the left for some historical facts and information regarding revival history.