A Present, Perpetual, Personal Revival

There’s been a lot of conversation about revival lately. R.C. Sproul described revival as a time when, “the Holy Spirit comes into the valley of dry bones (Ezek. 37) and exerts His power to bring new life, a revivification of the spiritual life of the people of God.” This “revivification” presumes a knowledge and proclamation of the true gospel, and I long to see this in our churches. I also desire to see this in my own soul. I desire a present, perpetual, personal revival. And while I have no real opinion on what’s going on in other places, I wanted to give three strategies for seeing long term, personal revival.

Read your Bible daily

When God gave instructions for the kings of Israel, he commanded the king to write out his own copy of God’s word, and he was to, “read in it all the days of his life.” God goes on to tell us what would be the effect of that daily reading of the word of God. “…that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel” (Deut 17:19-20). And while this instruction is specifically for the king in Israel, the principle remains: If we want to learn to fear the Lord our God, to obey God, and to be humbled, then we must have a daily habit of reading the word of God. To say it another way, if we want to see revival in our own souls, it will not happen apart from the Bible.

Pray without ceasing

If revival is God’s reviving of the spiritual life of the people of God, then we must be a praying people. We are told that we have access to the throne room of God, the throne of grace, where we can, “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16). While we have this open invitation to come, it is too common to neglect this privilege of prayer. And when we neglect to pray, we learn what James means when he says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Why is your soul dry? Is it because you haven’t asked? Have you neglected to come to “the fountain of living waters” (Jer 2:13)? Have you prayed like David, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation” (Psa 51:12)? Have you asked, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you” (Psalm 85:6)? A personal revival will only come through a consistent prayer life.

Do not neglect the fellowship of the saints

Finally, a personal revival never comes by being alone. “It’s just me and Jesus” is a terrible mantra. What do you think Jesus will say to you when you finally get alone with Him? “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:25). God knows that we need that daily encouragement from the body of Christ so that we, “may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13). If we want to see our hearts revived, good works pursued, and sin cast off, we must be connected to the body of Christ. Personal revival is always going to include the church.

A few years back, they asked Tom Brady how he was going to win the Super Bowl again. His answer was, “We’re gonna work on passing, and catching, and tackling, and running. Trick plays don’t win the Super Bowl.” I’ve always loved that answer, because that’s what the Christian life is like. We need to be experts in the basics, because the Christian life isn’t lived by trick plays. People are willing to travel thousands of miles to see a weeklong worship service, but they’re unwilling to pick up their bibles off the nightstand. If we want to see personal revival, let us be engrossed in God’s word, entrenched in prayer, and in love with God’s people. May God truly revive us again.

© Jacob Crouch 2023

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