So, You Want to See Revival?
“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.
Now, we have a garden in our home, and I can tell you, the time between sowing the seed and harvest is quite some time, I mean, months. In between there is weeding, watering, more weeding, staking tomatoes, shooting groundhogs, fertilizing, and feeding plants, etc. The point is, there are intermittent times between planting and harvesting from our garden at our home. That is our reality. Toil and labor among dandelions and thistle – and groundhogs — is the direct result of the sin of Adam and Eve.
But that is not the picture here in Amos.
The scene found in Amos 9:13 is a picture of fruitfulness in abundance and beyond. The sower catching up to, as if to almost overtake the reaper, the guy harvesting the crops. It’s a time when planting seeds and harvesting the fruits from those seeds meet. They are happening almost at the same time.
That picture in Scripture tells us much. It is a constant, consistent event.
And that is true revival.
If we as a Church truly want to see revival, there are some things it needs to stop praying for, and start being (as opposed to doing). While this is not even the beginning of an exhaustive list, the basics for revival are these:
We need to stop praying for the presence of the Spirit or for the Spirit to be “poured out”, “come down”, et. al. Why? He dwells within you already. If you are truly in Christ, regenerated, the Spirit is already present. Stop praying for what you already possess. A sure sign of mysticism (not Christianity at all) is separating the work of the Holy Spirit from the written Word of God. If you ask the Spirit to come down, and something happens, it’s probably not the Spirit of God.
We need to be a people who sees our own sin. Really see it and acknowledge it. See it and say “There it is, that’s one of my sins.” Then seek out other sins in our lives.
We need to be a people who grieve and confess those sins.
We need to be a people who repent of those sins. We need to mortify them, get rid of them, stop doing them, all by the grace of God with eyes, heart and mind focused on the cross and what Christ has done for us.
We need to be a people who, after confessing and beginning the repentance of known sins, grow in the knowledge of our Lord and God by spending more and more time in His infallible, inerrant, totally authoritative Word to us, His chosen people, His own possession.
We need to be a people who, having begun to abide in that Word of His, feasting on the eternal truths, pray and grow in our relationship to God our Father, Creator of all things, of heaven and earth. As our relationship to our God grows deeper, revival draws nearer.
Finally, we need to be a people who, having searched out, examined and seen our sins, confessed and begun repentance of them, being soaked in the Word of God continually, and drawing closer to God through prayer, with an increasingly clearer view of the cross and what Jesus has done for us, need to love – each other, truly. We need to love the world and have compassion for the lost, knowing that were it not for the grace of God, there we are.
That’s it. It’s no secret. There’s no mystery here.
As the Church grows closer relationally to God, and truly lives individually repenting of known sins, then, and only then, the Church local will not only experience, but live continuously, in a state of revival.
The reality of our vegetable garden is there is much time passing between sowing and reaping the harvest.
The reality of revival is that if we, as Christians, live in a constant state of repentance for sins, thriving and focused on the Gospel, drawing closer in our foretaste of heaven by fellowshipping with our Creator, the sower of Gospel seed will be right behind those who harvest its fruits, working together as one, unified fellowship of believers in the local church.
Do you really want to see revival? We have the Gospel. Those days Amos spoke of are here.
The question is not really “How can we have revival?” as much as it is “Do you really want revival?”