Revival: In the Midst of Revival

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In the Midst of Revival

Revival does not happen in a weekend or a day. Those in need of revival require years of repentance. If you have sinned to the point that you need revival, do not think for an instant that you will be built up and renewed in a weekend. It takes years to undo what stubbornness and sin destroyed over the years.

There is only one way to know if revival takes hold of your life. Look at the measure of denial of self you allow the Holy Spirit to increase in your life every day. In the following passage notice that the Israelites were in the second year of revival… certainly no weekend pumped up event.

  • Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all who came from the captivity to Jerusalem, began the work and appointed the Levites from twenty years and older to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. (Ezra 3:8 NASB)

Revival calls for hard work and those appointed for the job must labor strongly and intensely. Revival does not stem from an emotional high that a revival preacher produces from a week-long preaching event at your church. Ezra 3:8 shows us that revival, or “the work of the Lord,” didn’t even begin until two years later. Revival also causes only the appointment of men worthy to work at repentance, whereas in the past, the people would have appointed anyone and accepted any volunteer.

Men who were eighteen years old when the foundation for the ­altar was laid returned when twenty years old and were eligible for the appointed work. For two years, these young men prepared themselves for this day by daily sacrificing unto the Lord.

How many fail today at revival in their lives? God starts to answer their prayers to revive them. However, two years later, He plans for the work to begin, but discovers many returned to their old sins. They had not prepared themselves to get “ready” to do the work while God was quiet. They squandered their time on petty sins and worldly thoughts. They grew bored and restless and went off in “small” ways to please themselves.

  • But suppose the servant says to himself, “My master is taking a long time in coming,” and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not ­expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. (Luke 12:45–47)

Such people did not grow in death to self during those two years, but were content to indulge themselves in the Lord. During the bleak times, they did not grow in their knowledge of Scriptures. They stayed too busy and had no desire to be renewed according to the Word. They read books about the Word, rather than drinking “pure spiritual milk.” Such people become bored with Scripture and desire to be entertained by “Christian” novels, plays, and cartoons. They wanted sermons that entertained rather than preached the Word. They did not get the temple ready, make provision, practice their gift, and get organized while in captivity.

If you are in need of revival, then just ask yourself the following: “Do I know Scripture from ink more than when I first went into captivity?” I say “ink,” because the Spirit may not have been speaking to you, but you should have at least stood at your post memorizing Scripture. Those wandering in the desert should be able to quote Bible verses left and right—even though there is no life in them. If you haven’t prepared yourself this way, why should God revive you?

  • I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O Lord, according to Thy word. (Psalm 119:107 NASB)

God only renews according to His Word, and those who have continued to store it in their hearts will be far more ready for revival than those who have forgotten the Scriptures completely. As a side note, a church where the members do not quote Scriptures to each other on a daily basis desperately needs revival. For if there is one thing Christians should be rich in, it is quoting Scripture to each other by the direction of the Holy Spirit.

  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

Blessed are those who let revival do its work, for they will not only find an abundance of workers, but will find men qualified to “oversee” the work of the cross in others’ lives.

Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers stood united with Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah and the sons of Henadad with their sons and brothers the Levites, to oversee the workmen in the temple of God. (Ezra 3:9 NASB)
True revival allows men to stand united in the Lord. Such men can labor together and show others how to work, because each dies to his own opinions. Where you find revival fire unity, you will find God giving “life forevermore.”

It takes at least two years before one can ever really pronounce that revival by God’s Spirit has taken hold in someone’s life. If after two years they have humbled themselves, allowed God’s Word to work daily acts of sacrifice, then and only then can we speak of revival. Prior to this time, they had only been making right the obvious wrongs in their lives. Up until this point, they lived the baptism of John that prepares the way for the Lord to come to them at a later date. Let everyone, just beginning to experience revival, give themselves over fully to the baptism of John. Then they will be ready for Jesus to come to them. To reject this baptism of John is to forfeit Jesus when He comes to you later.

  • But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John. (Luke 7:30)

The baptism of John brings repentance in specific ways in our lives. Such a baptism asks, “What can we do?” so that Jesus can come to us with the Holy Spirit at a later time. A man who can order his life by asking, “What can I do?” will also ask the same question at Pentecost, “What shall we do?” Those who ask this question and put forth real action will be given the Holy Spirit. Those who began in self-effort to follow the Lord will be shown its futility and will finally receive the Holy Spirit. People who whine that they do not want to act because they fear falling into “self-effort,” just give excuses for being “wicked” and “lazy.” Such individuals will be “thrown outside into the darkness.”

In other words, until this time the Jews had only sacrificed the self they could easily reason with and discern. Up until this time, they repented only of what the preacher or prophets pointed out. The fire that only the Holy Spirit can bring had not taken place and wouldn’t take place until the people were ready.

Like those at Pentecost, it would take three years of Jesus’ preaching and him dying on the cross to prepare believers for that day. Up until this time, their brokenness had been shallow compared to what God had planned. Until now it had only been the preaching of John the Baptist, but it soon would be the fire of the Holy Spirit. How many refuse the Spirit’s work at this point with self-righteous objections? They complain that they have already confessed their sins and cleaned up many things. They insist that they have already wept and admitted their need for revival. They forgot that revival, like crucifixion and childbirth, is a slow process until the last final moments.

The Israelites prepared themselves over the years for the Lord, so God prepared to move in a stronger way. Remember, God will only give us our food at the “proper time,” (Luke 12:42). So few have their sails set ready to catch the wind of the Lord when He begins to blow the Spirit again. How few have sails trimmed and ready even with no wind in sight. Very few people wait for the Lord but instead row to shore to indulge in self once again. The entire book of Ezra covers eighty years, and the waiting time between chapters six and seven lasted fifty years. God will hold back His Holy Spirit sometimes for years. Will we be found ready, sacrificing, working, and waiting when He does decide to move again?

Just look at what takes place after two years. The people had been obedient up to this point. They had proven themselves faithful enough for God to work more revival in their lives. They were dressed in the correct apparel or good deeds for this level. They returned to following God’s Word “to praise the Lord according to the directions of King David.”

  • Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord according to the directions of King David of Israel. And they sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. (Ezra 3:10–11 NASB)

How many will miss the cymbals, praise, and joy when revival does not come as quickly as they would like? The Israelites became faithless and lazy because God didn’t move fast enough. How many said to themselves, “See, the prophets were wrong. God wasn’t really with them,” then sat back and smugly quit?

It took two full years just to get to a place where the foundation of the temple could be laid. It took that long for the obedience and spiritual purity to take place. Many find themselves running late when it comes to this matter called revival. They still do not get ready for the foundation of the church to be laid, because they continue working on the foundation for sacrifice! They never get dressed and ready for service. They have no idea of God’s direction for their lives even in the small things. Indeed, what small things they do see, they cannot be obedient to in the Spirit. Their hearts remain impure in motive and thought. They keep working on the issue of hating their own lives and denying self. Not only are they unprepared for the temple work, they continue as infants in the Lord, crying for more milk. Those who still need milk in the Lord, years later, never changed from mere “babes” and remain unfit to discuss righteousness in the Lord. Why do you think so many pastors preach primarily salvation messages at every worship service? Because their congregation loves milk and doesn’t want to be required to do the righteous things of God.

  • Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:11–13 NASB)

Anyone who has been in the Lord for years and is not qualified to teach has some very serious problems. If, after all that time, they cannot teach others about the glories and the pain of the cross, then they are babes who may be sent into captivity. Hebrews 5:12 declares that if you can’t teach about the crucified life by the example of your life, then you are not acquainted with righteousness; you have little if any wisdom to deal with others’ problems. You cannot speak of God “powerfully” working His wisdom in you that can “perfect” others in Christ. You are not familiar with what is holy in the Lord—no matter how much you share the gospel with others or speak of God working in your life.

Again, let me remind you that even the book of Hebrews says that we must have God’s “permission” before we can move on to other things in the Lord. We must have permission from God to verify that we have matured before moving on. A baby is not born in a week and you will not regain lost ground in a month. Before you claim to move on to anything else in the Lord, make sure you have God’s permission.

  • And God permitting, we will do so. (Hebrews 6:3)

  • We must think of revival as permitted steps to renewal. God responds to your sinful backsliding and begins to bring you back from captivity, but not in your timing. You tell God you want restoration in Him, so He takes you at your word. Then, step by step, He leads you toward reconciliation with Him. You can refuse, however, and go on in the same stubbornness that sent you into captivity in the first place—so watch your heart and life!
    Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

  1. Revival: The Whisper Revival
  2. Revival: The Cross
  3. Revival: Receiving a Revival
  4. Revival: A Shameful Thing
  5. Revival: Revival begins
  6. Revival: In the Midst of Revival
  7. Revival: The Revival Cry
  8. Revival: Wanting to Help: The Opposition
  9. Revival: Revival Resumed
  10. Revival: The Acid Test
  11. Revival: The Whole Camp
  12. Revival: Words of Comfort
  13. Revival: The One Thing
  14. Revival: Discipleship: To Begin

Revival: Everything Said

Revival: Endnotes


The Consider Podcast attempts to express opinions through God’s holiness. Nothing concerning justice or injustice should be taken as legal advice or a call to action. There is no political agenda. There is no individual moral life advice. Indeed, each person is solely responsible before God and man for their actions or inactions. The Consider Podcast is narrowly focused on one thing, and only one thing – the need for all to surrender to a life of repentance according to the whole gospel.

The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, folly and madness with the whole gospel.

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