“Joseph is still alive!” But when they (the sons) repeated to Jacob everything Joseph had told them…their father’s spirits revived. Then Jacob exclaimed, “It must be true! My son Joseph is alive! I must go and see him…”
Genesis 45.26 – 28
What is revival? How do you know if your church and you are experiencing revival?
Usually, we, as believers, think of revival as a set time(s) in the year to schedule worship services with a rousing preacher to stir our hearts. However, very little in the way of being revived occurs…very little change in our lives and very little change in the church.
Gary McIntosh states that “revival refers to a spiritual reawakening from a state of dormancy or stagnation in the life of the believer.” Notice, this is a reviving of a believer not a non-believer. This means somewhere along the way, we, the church, have lost our focus, lost our passion, and lost our connection to God. We must be revived, reawakened.
Charles H. Spurgeon used this definition and illustration of revival. It is “to live again, to receive again a life which has almost expired.” His illustration depicts “a person who has been dragged out of a pond nearly drowned, the bystanders are afraid he is dead…The proper means are used to restore animation” (life); suddenly, “the rescued man opens his eyes, sits up, and speaks, and those around him rejoice that he has revived.”
Recently, I attended 2 revival services in our local churches, but this time I noticed that a reviving was happening in both. Joe Fondren of Cross Roads BC put it this way, “We, at Cross Roads, find ourselves in a rut! Stuck with the routine. So I prayed! Prayed that God would move us. I scheduled a winter revival. Something out of the routine. The speakers were God sent. Revival starts after the time of preaching. God began to move! People were responding! Satan’s power over doing nothing had been removed. Pulled out of the rut by the Word of God! Eight additions to Cross Roads, 3 by professions of faith today, we still have people coming in search of a church home. Praise, Honor, and Glory be to God!”
During this Easter season, may you experience a revival of the soul to the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, so that the church rejoices with you.