In whom WE HAVE redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace Ephesians 1:7.
A study of the history of the Church would show us that revivals have been used by God to bring His people back to life again. You can study some of the ones that started in our own nation and their tremendous impact (1730‑1740 First major Awakening; 1790‑1840’s Second major Awakening; 1850’s Third major Awakening; 1903‑1909 Azuza Street ‑ modern‑day Pentecostal Outpouring; 1930‑50’s Healing Revival…). Some call them revivals while others call them moves, outpourings, awakenings, spiritual rain, visitations, and times of refreshing. It seems as though, at times, revival was the only answer or remedy. They have come, generally, for three reasons:
(1) To counteract spiritual decline;
(2) To create spiritual momentum (to the work of God in the earth);
(3) To recover spiritual truth/light/life.
Revivals do bring us back to life again but revival itself presupposes that things are in a state of decline. The purpose of revival is because the fruit that should be there, is not there, and revival counteracts the spiritual decline. The fruit of revival, though, should not be the need for more revival. It is to return us to our roots, our foundation, and our first love. It should return us to our roots in Christ and staying rooted in our redemption to where we do not decline. There is a life element we contact in revival, but there is life in redemption – through our roots. Redemption means to release through payment of a ransom. We were slaves to sin, satan, and the curse but God paid for our release through His Son Jesus. The price has been paid and it was paid in full.
My experience with some people who used to be a part of our church was that they based everything changing on a revival that was going to come but resisted hearing truths about what they already possessed by their redemption in Christ. That, of course, wasn’t as exciting to hear as what the Celebrities of Hype would lead them on with. Everything to them was about what “God was gonna do,” not what He already did. They romanticized about “the coming revival,” but would neglect being doers of the Word that clearly spelled out their daily responsibilities as a Christian. It created a never ending false hope of what was “Gonna come,” instead of hope based on what Jesus already did for us. They moved from church to church seeking out whoever they perceived were in the “New Move,” or “Current flow.” Sadly, they are still waiting on the elusive “What God’s a gonna do.”
Yes, we need revivals to counteract spiritual decline, create spiritual momentum and recover spiritual truth but I also found it interesting that Jesus never put the emphasis on revival but on abiding (John 15). The New Testament emphasis is also on our redemption in Christ. God wants His Church to stabilize their relationship to Him. “… the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit,” Proverbs 12:12. As trees of righteousness we need to return to the roots of our redemption in Christ.