Summary: I used this as a follow-up to scheduled revival services in our church. It talks about what true revival is and how we can see it. I got the three R’s from Greg Laurie’s devotional a few weeks ago.
The Three R’s of Revival
We’ve just come through Revival services recently…
We have “Revivals” several times a year…
Other churches have “Revivals”…
We hear a lot about needing a revival…
Sometimes churches call their meetings a “revival effort”…
If we look at the world around us, or even at the country we live in, all of us would agree that we need true revival. Not another “Revival” set of services but true, life-changing revival.
In some circles, you hear talk of wanting the “old days” back. Or that they want to see things like they saw “back in the day.” Often, people want to see a repeat of high-emotion… yadayadayadayada
That can come without revival and revival certainly can come without that.
The word “revival” is defined as:
• Restoration to life
• Restoration to use
• An awakening
But the definition that really caught my attention was this one:
• A new production of an old play
Too often, when we are seeking “revival,” we tend to seek “a new production of an old play.” Or in other words, we are looking to see what we’ve seen before. I’ve heard people talk of wanting to see people run and scream and do all these sorts of things; and talk about how seeing those things was seeing revival.
Revival is not seeing or doing physical things. It isn’t running or shouting or hollering or any certain action. Revival is not simply outward – it’s something that happens on the inside. Where God works and revives us – brings us back to life; brings us back to use; awakens us spiritually.
If an ambulance gets a call that someone is dying and needs help, they’ll rush to the scene. When they get there, if the person is on the brink of dying or has just died, often they will try to revive the person. They will try to restore the person to life. The person was alive, now they’re not, and their goal is to bring them back to life.
I’ve taken the CPR course twice in my lifetime… once when I was a boy scout and once just a couple years ago. It’s interesting to see how the course changed from when I took it as a 12-year old to when I took it 10 years later. When I took it the first time, the procedure was to give three breaths, then do 5 chest compressions. This cycle was repeated and repeated. When I took CPR again a few years ago, the procedure had changed drastically. With new and better knowledge of how the body works, they discovered that the blood is quite good at holding on to the oxygen that is in it, while the heart struggles to keep pumping that blood once a person has “died.” This means that doing the chest compressions is far more important than giving the breaths. When I took it a couple years ago, the method was to give 3 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions. Ten years earlier, it was 3 to 5, now it was 3 breaths to 30 chest compressions.
After speaking with the trainer, I learned that the method of giving CPR has changed several times over the last 10 years.
Likewise, some people have tried to change the method of “revival” in the church. But tonight, the method (if you want to call it that) is still the same as it ever was. It’s not in having special services; it’s not in working up an emotion; it’s not in crazy outward signs; the method is the same as it was for the church at Ephesus that Jesus spoke to in the book of Revelation.
Before we can ever talk about revival in the church, this church or the universal church, every Christian must ask themselves, “Am I personally revived? Am I living as a committed, on-fire follower of Jesus Christ?”
Ask yourself that question right now. If your answer is that you are not a committed, on-fire follower of Jesus Christ, then you exist as part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Listen to what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2:
2 I know what you do, how you work hard and never give up. I know you do not put up with the false teachings of evil people. You have tested those who say they are apostles but really are not, and you found they are liars. 3 You have patience and have suffered troubles for my name and have not given up.
All good stuff, so far… then he goes on…
4 "But I have this against you: You have left the love you had in the beginning. 5 So remember where you were before you fell. Change your hearts and do what you did at first. If you do not change, I will come to you and will take away your lampstand from its place.