For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15
I write today in the ongoing wake of the Asbury Revival. This revival has taken over much of the talk in the Christian realm. Why? I think it’s because so many long for revival. Our culture has been successfully establishing non-biblical principles to be codified into our laws and infiltrated into our education system. We all know that there is really nothing that we can do individually to stop this avalanche of non-biblical cultural influence. We need revival. This is what changed the culture in Nineveh in the time of Jonah. Revival swept over Nineveh and they changed their ways in repentance. Revival is our only hope.
I am excited for what is happening in Kentucky, I am hopeful it spreads to other areas like a California wildfire. I am hopeful revival hits Salinas, CA. Anytime people are spending time in prayer, worship, and confession… God is at work. I have longed for revival since I came to Salinas and I will continue to pray for revival in this community. Revival brings a glimpse of God’s kingdom. Revival is brokenness healed, slaves freed, demons expelled, sins forgiven, life given purpose, and death turned to eternal life. I’m struck with how revival intersects the earthly and heavenly kingdoms. It’s an image of God’s kingdom and it’s benefits.
Revival is what we should all be longing for, hoping for, and seeking out. Revival is a common thread throughout Scripture such as in Psalm 85:4a, “Restore us again, O God of our salvation…” It is also the only cure for a culture that continues to wander from the truth.
I also don’t want to fall into the trap that big revival events are the main hope for the Christian religion. Big revival events are similar to a wedding day/honeymoon. It is a time of excitement, a time of new beginnings, a time where life’s difficult realities seem to stop for a moment of time. This exciting time also ends. What happens after the honeymoon? What happens after the crowds leave the chapel of revival?
In a marriage relationship, the wedding and honeymoon was great (usually), but what really matters for the marriage relationship is to love each other faithfully. Whether someone is married with much fanfare or at the Justice of the Peace (or even by Elvis), a wedding lasts because of what happens after the event. This is the simplicity of our Christian life. We are happy for wedding days. We are happy for the celebration, but a marriage is meant to last in good times and in bad, in sickness, and in health, til death do they part.
Christianity and revival is the same. We are happy for these events, we are excited for the celebration, the excitement of the “big day(s)” so to speak, but the heart of revival is long-term faithfulness. Without long-term faithfulness, all the work done on the “big day” will end in brokenness. We pray for big revivals, but we also pray for the simple revival of the heart on a daily basis to be faithful to the one that loves us and has taken us as his bride. Isaiah 57 says the Lord dwells and revives “him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Revival is marked by the presence of the Lord. This verse tells us that the presence of the Lord dwells in the spirit of the contrite and lowly. This is how we have daily revival.
It is a common saying, “I love you more now than ever.” Love is strengthened through the good and bad times of our daily walk. Love is strengthened through faithfulness. Don’t get caught up in the thinking that revivals are only big events. Revival is a daily occurrence of the heart that is turned to the Lord. It is daily faithfulness. I would prefer 3000 people choosing daily faithfulness for the long haul than 3000 people as a part of a revival event that turn away a couple years later.
Big revivals are amazing. They are a work of God done in a grand scale with huge excitement. I am so excited to see them. I long for them. But I also long for each one of us to take part in daily revival and long-term faithfulness. It is just as beautiful. A wedding day is beautiful and exciting, but watching two 90-year olds holding hands on their 70th wedding anniversary when all the “excitement” has passed is just as beautiful.
Let our daily prayer be, “Lord, revive us today.”