Revival: The Revival Cry

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The Revival Cry

  • Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy; so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away. (Ezra 3:12–13 NASB)

What a cry! The heads of fathers’ households wept. Old men wept while many others shouted for joy. What a strange cry or sound went far out into the land. No one could tell if the people were shouting for joy or weeping. Whoever heard this cry knew it wasn’t entertainment taking place. The priest did not tell stories and crack jokes from the pulpit. There is no sound like that of a people in the mist of revival. It is an unearthly strange cry not often heard. It is loud and prays just as Jesus prayed while on earth. Just as Jesus prayed and learned obedience from what He suffered, we, even in revival, can be reconciled to God in the same way. The passage below is the daily revival cry lived out in Jesus. If we live a daily revival cry like this, we will not need what is commonly referred to as revival.

  • During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered. (Hebrews 5:7–8)

The next passage tells us the only way we too can overcome sin. As you “suffer in your body,” a revival cry will be heard by everyone because God tries desperately to form Christ in you again. 1 Peter is straight forward. Only those prepared to “suffer” with this “attitude” will find victory over sin.

  • Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1–2)

This type of revival produces a sorrow and rejoicing that only the cross can work and magnify in intensity. It replicates the cry of Jesus as He nears the end of the crucifixion, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?” Yet this cry mixes with the cry of faith, “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” Every Christian should walk with this cry on his lips every day, but it intensifies during revival times.

  • …as sorrowful yet always rejoicing… (2 Corinthians 6:10 NASB)

This sorrow results from the cross working in each of us daily. The cry consists of the resurrected life that comes from death to self. We feel God’s judgment of our sin and His mercy deep in our souls. No more self-pity that comes from conviction of sin. Gone too is the self-righteousness that refuses to weep over sin. If you do not hear this cry, you will not witness true revival. The rejoicing does not come from falsely claiming God’s mercy, nor does it come from whining over sin. This cry happens in the Holy Spirit’s timing and power; man cannot produce it. Man can mock it, but he cannot produce it. This cry rejoices in God’s mercy and weeps at what was lost because of sin.
When man experiences false ­revival, he either wants joy or sorrow, but not both. He wants to ­rejoice about God’s mercy, ignoring his sin and correction. Or he wants to weep about his sins without repentance in his life, boasting of his false humility.

How few find weeping equal to rejoicing in the Lord. They clamor that those who weep are too hard on themselves. Those refusing this joyful sorrow say we should just claim the blood of Jesus and move on. However, to those in the Spirit, weeping is the sound of joy, and the sound of joy is weeping.

  • Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. (Luke 6:21 NASB)

Let us not be fooled at this point. Revival might have taken a foothold, but we are not yet reconciled fully to the Lord. Foothold revival is not full revival, just as the beginnings of childbirth does not mean the birth of a child. When someone finds revival, only the end of revival matters—reconciliation with God.

  • The end of a matter is better than its beginning… (Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Until we can, by the permission of the Holy Spirit, state that someone has been reconciled to God, we cannot say that revival did its work. Why do you think God writes the following to Christians: that we should be “found at peace with him”?

  • The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be ­destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness… So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make ­every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. (2 Peter 3:9–11, NASB, vs. 14, NIV)

Revival means that God renews His patience toward you and you renew “every effort.” He wants you to repent; He wants you to get back to 2 Peter 3:11. So many stop revival fires by their unholy conduct and lack of godliness. They simply refuse to deny self enough to get to a place of reconciliation with God.

Hard Work

We fall into the need for revival because we slowly let self and sin have its way with us. The little tolerations of the flesh send us into captivity.3 The small justifications and defensiveness concerning our sin send us into a foreign land. All of our self-righteous talk about conviction of sin and demanding righteousness, only causes us to deceive ourselves. That tough sermon our pastor gave was really a dodge that kept us from taking sin seriously.

As a result of this, revival becomes a slow process. If God gave us revival quickly and easily, we would again take for granted His love. We did that before He sent us into captivity and God will not permit it to happen again. The Lord delays revival so that we might take sin seriously and never allow ourselves to be taken captive again. Plus, in order to fix the shattered relationships and messes we created, it will take much work. This was true when we first came to the Lord and much more so after restoration. Revival, like salvation, is a difficult matter.

  • …and if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? (1 Peter 4:18b NASB)

Listen to the Lord and what He says about true revival and never again will you fall prey to those who preach easy wide-road revival. Pray to the Lord to delay His peace in your life that you might not ever “return to folly” again. Hear what God the Lord will say about His revival and His peace. If we do this, we will once again truly see His “glory dwell in our land.”

  • I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly. Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. (Psalm 85:8–9 NASB, emphasis added)

God makes us wait long and hard for revival so that we might not ever need it again. Remember, the need for revival results from deep sin. I have never needed revival and pray that I never will. I certainly have needed refreshing in the Lord, but never revival. We need refreshment when we have been emptied out in doing the Lord’s work. Revival on the other hand, comes from the need to revive the new life in us once again. Revival calls for slow, painful, agonizing hard work. Revival means the returning again to the pangs of childbirth. It allows God to put us back on the cross, to once again drive in the nails and drain us of self. However, like one who has been hurt before as God attempted to crucify self the first time, it is harder at first to endure the pain again. Like a wound that will not heal because we keep hurting the same spot over and over. It is as if a woman failed to give birth the first time only to start all over again to give birth to the same child a second time.

  • My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you… (Galatians 4:19)

If revival happens in your life, you can expect moments of rest followed by a new resurgence of conviction of sin. During this conviction, God waits to see if you will repent with “godly sorrow” to what He has already shown you. Why should He show you more when you will not respond to the little bit placed before you? Why should you look for more sin, when you haven’t repented fully over the old sins? But how people love to delude themselves. They think that if they always look for the causes of sin in their life, God will accept them. He wants your repentance, not your self-analyzing!

Again, you will rest for a moment, only to be convicted of some new sin. You must keep in “step with the Spirit” and repent fully, or the new life will not form in you again. If you don’t keep in step, the revival will fail in your life. You must place your feet in the footsteps that God marks out for you.

  • Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

God sends pain with revival because our flesh must be crucified. In fact, the joy of revival stops from time to time so that God can let you die a bit more to sin. Just think how self-righteous and puffed up you would become if God gave you the fullness of Him back all at once. Most people are too difficult to live with when they think they have a little bit of correctness in the Lord. Think what kind of monster they would be if God really gave them His Spirit.

We see the pain of revival happening in the fourth chapter of Ezra. Opposition to the revival took place and the building of the temple stopped. God allows opposition to come against us to remind us we must deal with the sin in our lives. Much is at stake and God does not waste a second of any hour in the day. If He has stopped the flow of progress in your revival, stop, search your heart, wait for Him, and repent of what He shows you. If you see no obvious sin, read the Word and build yourself up in the faith, so that you might be ready for the next work. For if this revival does not take root and stick, you have little hope of salvation.

  • But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit… (Jude 1:20 NASB)

  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.

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

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