“Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”— Psalm 85:6
There is something extraordinary (beyond ordinary) about these times. COVID-19, lockdown, racial tensions, protests and riots, and an exasperated political situation have placed our country in a state of uncertainty. When the world is shaken in such an undeniable way, we Christians ask the obvious question, “Will God use this time to bring about revival?” I have heard people pray for revival. I have seen people post on social media about revival. I think it is good to ask and hope for revival. However, I wonder if people really know what they are asking for when they use the word.
People talk about revival as if it is something that will happen outside the church, as if it begins and ends with non-believers coming to faith in Christ. People being saved by Christ is a likely result of revival, but true revival happens among the saved. It is a reinvigorating of God’s people. Only that which was once “vived” can be “re-vived”. Only that which once displayed the true life of Christ can be renewed in that life. What I’m saying is this — revival takes place inside the church. It is what happens when Christians start acting like Christ-followers again.
The psalmist called out to God, “revive us again,” desiring that God’s people would re-learn how to rejoice in Him. Do we need revival? Indeed! Let each of us, Christians, seek our own hearts and ask, “Do I rejoice in God through Christ? Do I desire to see Him glorified more than I desire anything else in this life, more than money, more than a good career, more than vacations, popularity, success, even more than family?” Are you a Christian? Do you want revival? Ask, “God, revive me! Bring to my remembrance the joy, the passion, the excitement, the love I had when I first believed!”
Then, let us, the church, be revived collectively. Let us examine what we do together. May we be united in purpose. May our small groups and Sunday school classes become equipped and mobilized, serving this city with the love of Christ, no matter the cost. May our worship services be such a focused and mighty display of our infatuation with our Creator/Sustainer/Savior that no guest could ever deny His holy existence. May Eastern Hills be singularly focused on our goal to Follow God, Reach people, and Teach them to do the same. Let us cry out together, “God, revive our congregation!”
This is revival, that the people of Christ would relearn what it means to be alive in Christ. Revival happens in the church. As the church is reinvigorated with the truth of Christ, the world around us, the world that so desperately seeks some kind of truth, some kind of justice, some kind of savior, will start to realize that Eastern Hills is not just playing a game called church. We actually know the Truth. We follow the only just Judge. We behold the only righteous Savior. Eastern Hills, let us cry out together, “Lord, revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You.”