Humility–A Key to Revival

To The Church, a revival means humiliation, a bitter knowledge of unworthiness and open confession of sin on the part of ministers and people. Revival is not the easy and glorious thing many think it to be. Some imagine revival as the pews and pulpit being filled with fresh power and authority, but in reality a revival comes to scorch before it heals; it comes to convict ministers and people for their unfaithful witness, their selfish living, their neglect of the cross life, and it comes to call them to daily renunciation of themselves. That is why revival has always been unpopular with large numbers within the church. It accuses them of sin, it tells them they are dead; it calls them to wake up, to renounce the world and follow Christ.

We don’t like to consider this being a possibility, but from 2 Chron. 7:12-13 we see that God will send the judgment of shutting up the heavens if sin is present. We needn’t let that discourage us though, because He also promises healing and restoration (revival) if humility and repentance is displayed (2 Chron. 7:14). Instead of blaming society for the times for our ineffectiveness as a church, we need to see if it is we who are responsible for God turning His face from us and thus from our nation as well.

For God to send His promised restoration and healing, His people must heed the call to repentance, fasting, and prayer (2 Chron. 7:14). Since fasting is a biblical means of humbling ourselves, it is the only spiritual discipline that enables us to meet all the conditions of this 2 Chronicles passage.

For a suggestion on fasting, Bill Bright, in his book The Coming Revival, gives the below advice for leading a congregation in a fast:

1. Set a specific time for corporate fasting.

2. Give clear instructions (what to eat, drink, what not to eat, drink, etc.)

3. Focus on prayer.

4. Set up a temporary hotline to answer questions on fasting.

5. Do not expect all to participate or attend meetings for prayer.

6. Teach your people to expect results.

Many churches that experienced revival had been spending an inordinate amount of time in prayer. These churches often conducted corporate prayer meetings from 7 till 12 midnight several days per week, while other prayer groups within the church would gather to pray in addition to that in homes and other locations. Before making such a commitment, we need to ensure that our prayers are accompanied by radical amendment of life, and not before. All night prayer meetings that are not preceded by practical repentance may actually be displeasing to God. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Sam. 15:22)

To delve deeper into the humility that is fundamental to revival [and to spiritual power], we recommend reading the free online book titled Humility, written by Andrew Murray. This small booklet (45 pages) can be found by clicking this link. Besides merely reading this book, we recommend it be used as a devotional and seriously taken before God in prayer.

For something so profound and fundamental to the Christian life…,

“how few ever think of making it [humility] a distinct object of continual desire or prayer.” —Andrew Murray

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