The Essence of Revival

“And you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1.”
I want to ask you a question.  Have you ever had any experiences in which someone infers one thing from what you say, and that thing is completely different from what you actually meant?
One of the funniest excerpts from a movie I have ever seen is from an old Hallmark movie entitled “The Boys Next Door.”  The movie is about the life of these four special needs individuals who live together and find themselves in all sorts of precarious predicaments.  The scene I am talking about involves one of the main characters going to the grocery store with coupons to get an unbelievable deal on breakfast cereal.  He does so and buys the store out almost.  He shows up at home with a trunk full of cereal and his care taker informs him that he is going to have to take the cereal back.  So he goes back to the store to return the cereal.  He has no idea who he needs to talk to so he just goes back to the checkout line again.  The girl at the register doesn’t ask any questions because she is in time conscious grocery store worker mode, and without skipping a beat she begins ringing up the cereal all over again.  So he pays for this outrageous amount of cereal twice and almost a third time.  It’s a hilarious moment because you can see the look of frustration on his face as she begins to check out the items he is trying to return.  The look that says, this is not at all what I mean for you to do.  You are totally misinterpreting my intentions here.
That’s a frustrating place to be.  You mean one thing, but nobody seems to get it.  I wonder if that isn’t how God feels when he looks down on his church who is “asking for REVIVAL.”
That word enamors the heart of God.  See from the beginning one of God’s favorite pass-times has been infusing life into lifeless situations.  He speaks stars into existence from nothingness, life.  He molds some mud together and then breathes into it, life.  The entire creation account is really a record of God bringing life into and out of that which was lifeless.  This has always been and will always be the intention of God.
When Jesus came there were many side effects of his presence.  blind eyes being opened, lame legs becoming mobile, deaf ears hearing for the first time, broken individuals being pieced back together in wondrous restoration, but none of these things were the reason he came.  Jesus said he came “so that we could have life and that more abundantly.”  His purpose was to give life to that which had until now been lifeless.
We however become so fascinated by the side effects that we miss the power of the true purpose.  We pray for revival because we want to see the manifestations of power that were seen in generations past.  We want the walkers, canes, and crutches to hang on our church walls, the trophy case of our spirituality.  We want the news crews to show up because people are being healed in an inexplicable fashion.  We want the notoriety of multiplicitous church growth.  While all of these things are not bad, and all do to some degree bring glory to God, they are not the purpose for which God wants to send revival.
The purpose of revival is wrapped in its meaning.  Revival is defined as the state of being revived. Or in other words the condition in which life is present where it formerly was absent.  God is not in need of us in order for him to perform miracles.  He will not send revival so that he can heal people.  He doesn’t need a middle man.  He will not send revival so that we will see an increase in giving, he owns the cattle on a thousand hills, if he wants to increase our bank accounts he can do that.  The only reason God will send revival is to redirect a generation of individuals who are dead in their trespasses and sins to a savior that is popular for his life giving power.
The essence of revival is the church returning to the life she once knew so that she can lead the world to a life it’s never known.  Don’t settle for the side effects
Heavenly father forgive me for not lining my motives with your purpose.  Help me to not seek revival based on the ambitions I have for the church and its ministries, but help me to seek revival so that your name will be made famous in all the earth.  So that your bride can be multiplies and your heart can be satisfied by the restoration of relationship with the people you so desperately and recklessly love.  I surrender my will into yours.  Have your way with me.  In the precious name of your son , Jesus I pray.  Amen.”