Revival - A true spiritual awakening

Revival - A true spiritual awakening

Revival - A true spiritual awakening

Aquil Cheriyakalathil

"Revival"- is a word we've been hearing through social media and other means for a few days now. I am writing this here as a person burdened by seeing non-stop live broadcasts where messages are preached and things carried out which are not aligning with God's Word. These words are written here only in the light of God's Word, it may sound critical when you read, but let me remind the readers at the beginning to read and understand without prejudice.

The term 'revival' has various meanings and interpretations in the Christian circle. Some interpret it in their own way and give it a wrong picture by twisting it. But true revival is a divine intervention that revives the soul and ignites a deeper connection with God. Let's think about what true revival is from historical accounts and from the light of God's Word. 

What is a true revival?

Revival is a divine intervention in the life of a godly man desired by God himself. While it is true that revivals and emotional experiences may accompany this spiritual movement, they are only manifestations of the deep and profound activity taking place in the hearts of believers. A misconception about revivals is that they are simply large gatherings marked by songs and emotional reactions. Such gatherings can certainly occur during these periods, but this is not just that but goes beyond the outward manifestations of true revival feelings. It involves a real transformation of heart and soul. Revival is not only about stirring up emotions but also about truly encountering the living God and moving in a life-changing way. And in the central part of this revival, it highlights a restoration of spiritual vitality in the church and in the individual lives of God's people. It is a divine intervention that gives new life to the hearts. This revival leads God's people into deeper communion with God and ignites a passionate quest for intimacy with our Creator. It results in living a life filled with the Holy Spirit, a strong desire for holiness, and a strong passion for God's Kingdom goals.

Revival is not a human effort but a supernatural act of God's grace. It brings about a radical change in a person's outlook and brings believers closer to God and enables them to live in the world bravely by holding fast to their faith in the face of adversity. Throughout history, there have been great interventions of God to bring about a change in periods of spiritual decline. A notable example is the Great Awakening in colonial America in the 18th century. Fervent preaching and widespread conversion become a highlight of this revival. This spiritual awakening was to have a profound effect on society itself and lay the foundation for a revolution. Likewise, the ministries led by John Wesley and George Whitefield in England in the 18th century changed the lives of many, and their teaching of the Word of God and their emphasis on personal holiness led to the transformation of countless lives, the revival of the church, and a clear social reformation. We see this history as a powerful reminder of God's faithfulness to His people and His willingness to intervene in times of spiritual need. This shows that revival is not a human effort but an act of God's grace that can bring deep social and spiritual transformation.

As we turn our attention to the Word of God, we see a pattern of revival in Nehemiah chapter 8. After years of exile and spiritual dryness, the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem and under the leadership of Nehemiah and Ezra. Their journey from spiritual exhaustion to intense divine experience draws a powerful illustration of a revival. In Nehemiah 8, we see the people gathering together to hear the law being read out loudly. Their remarkable desire to hear the Word of God and their hunger and thirst for spiritual truth is reflected there. Then the people listened attentively as Ezra read from the Book of the Law, showing their respect and acceptance of God's Word. And there we clearly see the people responding with heartfelt worship, lifting up their hands in praise, humbling themselves in reverence and acknowledging the glory of God. This response reflects their deep understanding of God's holiness and their deep fear of God in His presence. And being convinced of their disobedience, the people's lamentation over sin is an important aspect of this revival. This true burden of sin leads to joyful delight in God's mercy through experiencing God's forgiveness and grace. Finally, their increasing obedience to God's commandments also indicates a real-life change that accompanies revival. As they faithfully respond to God's Word, their lives are transformed, and they become advocates of spiritual renewal in their communities.

Through this passage of God's Word, we get a broad picture of true revival. What is seen there is not merely the goals of getting something worldly or achieving something or making one's own name and movement bigger, but a real hunger for God's Word, devotion and true repentance, deep joy in God's mercy, and obedient life. What happens in true revival is a deep thirst for God's Word for God's people. It is not simply out of curiosity or for any personal gain, but more than that it is a reflection of a desire to meet God and live life according to God's will. Just singing songs and speaking in tongues saying we don't need the word here clearly shows that it is not true revival! As individuals and communities immerse themselves in the study and ministry of God's Word, they are transformed by its life-giving truths. God's people approach preaching and teaching through the Scriptures with great fear and reverence, recognizing that they are hearing from the living God, replacing outward reverence with bringing about spiritual transformation and transformation in their lives from a deep understanding of the authority and power of God's Word. Through a deep thirst for God's Word, God's people in revival are drawn to the beauty and majesty of God's character and lead themselves to give heartfelt expressions of worship through spiritual truths. When people see God's glory, their hearts are stirred with awe and reverence, and they prepare themselves to respond with humility and gratitude. In addition, it brings a deep awareness of personal sin and heartfelt repentance before God. There the people face the reality of their own disobedience and rebellion against God's holiness. This leads people to a sense of deep sorrow and repentance. This burden and lamentation over sin is not fleeting, but it springs from an understanding of the glory and holiness of a holy God. A complete change occurs in the life of a person who has understood the holiness of God, just like the reactions in the life of Isaiah in the Old Testament and Peter in the New Testament when they understood the glory of God. Faced with the holiness and justice of God, they are convinced of their own unworthiness and inadequacy, and it leads to sincere repentance and a desire to turn from sin and pursue holiness. From the conviction of this sin, it comes to understanding the depth of God's forgiveness and mercy. God's people feel joy and gratitude when they see God's boundless love and heart through Jesus Christ. This joy is not based on fleeting emotions but is rooted in the certainty of salvation and relationship with God. And this happiness permeates all aspects of people's lives and transforms their outlook, attitude and behaviour. They then lead to a deeper sense of peace, contentment and hope. This joy, which is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and mercy, sustains God's children in times of trials and tribulations. And through true revival, God's people are ready to obey God's commandments. There is a real transformation in the life of a child of God and they become more like Christ. This obedience is not forced but springs from a sincere love for God and a desire to please God in all things. And this experience also results in a life of continuous sanctification for a holy life through revival. It is characterized by humility, dependence, and faith through obedience that empowers believers to walk in God's ways. 

It is a sad but true fact that all the arrangements that are being carried out in the name of 'revival', putting aside the Word of God, are far away from the Word of God. They preach only materialistic purposes, saying that the currencies of different countries will fill your houses and your border is going to expand, How can then these meetings be called as true revival based on the Word of God? It can never be said that they preach God's Word because they occasionally quote some parts of God's Word and interpret things according to their own interest here and there. God's children must be made aware of these kinds of activities and be empowered to react against evil associations. May our pulpits become places to truly teach and preach the Word of God! Through that, the people will become aware of these actions that deceive the people by adulterating the Word of God, and prepare themselves to live their lives based on the Word of God. May God help our churches and God's servants to take the initiative. 

As we long for a true revival in our churches and communities, let us recognize that it begins with us. And let us earnestly pray for the Spirit of God to move among us, to awaken hearts to the truth, and to transform lives. In God's infinite mercy, may God prepare the church and individuals for true spiritual renewal and revival!"