Last week my church had revival and it was really great! We had people saved, and some rededicate their life to the Lord. As with most revivals, each night there was an altar call to give everyone who was there an oppurtunity to humbly pray to God, repent, ask for forgivness, etc… One of the things about true revival is that it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it can be really uncomfortable. For saved people, it can mean repenting of sins and asking for forgiveness of sins. It is a season of restoration.
I’m still studying Hosea using Jennifer Rothschild’s study guide (I had gotten way behind but I’m catching up!). One passage from Hosea really stuck out to me while studying.
Hosea Chapter 6:1-3 (ESV)
“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us like showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
This passage in Hosea is talking about Israel and Judah being unrepentant. Hosea is prophesing to the people, telling them that there can be restoration. Revival! A part of the revival process is God correcting us. This past week God laid things on my heart that I knew I needed to change and it didn’t feel good. But just because I went to the altar, asked for forgiveness, and prayed about it doesn’t make it revival. Revival is a process. Like Pastor Henry said “Revival isn’t a series of messages.” Which is so true! In the verses above revival was God tearing down Israel and Judah so He can build them up. God has to knock down my pride to help me grow. He has to show me I can’t depend on myself so I can start depending on Him.
For me, last week wasn’t just a revival but it has been the start of revival. It was a time when God showed me that I was in need of Him, the ways I had gone astray, and He said Let’s begin! But it doesn’t feel good. This week I have caught myself being mean and irritable. Why? Because God has been showing me things about myself that I don’t want to deal with. He has torn me. But He is also healing me.
Whenever you get a splinter what do you do? Unless you want it to get infected and swell up, you have to dig it out. And it hurts! Especially if someone else is doing it for you. I always wanted to be in control of getting the splinters out of my fingers so whenever it started hurting, I could stop. Revival is the same way. It hurts to dig out my sin and bring it to the light, especially when God is the one doing it! It is easier to just ignore our sin, but if we do it will swell up and affect us more than we thought it would.
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord…” To have revival you have to keep on keeping on. Be steadfast! When revival week for my church ended, it shouldn’t be the end of my personal revival. That week was a jumpstart. A call from God saying “I’m ready, whenever you are willing!”. Like I have said about 4 times already, Revival is a process. And it has it’s rewards too “…he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” That’s a promise!
I don’t know what revival may mean to you. It could be repenting, forgiving, letting go, making commitments, being honest, etc… only you and God know that. But remember, don’t stop your revival at the altar. Like verse 6 says in this same passage, He desires steadfast love, and that is exactly what it takes to be revived! Steadfast in our love for Him that we press on through the judgement and allow God to dig out our splinters so He can start to heal us.