By Mario Murillo
Two thousand years later Christian theologians still don’t know what starts a revival. Authors release books to tell us the “recipe for revival.” No sooner are they out than the Spirit falls in a way that totally contradicts the book. As soon as we add a “step” to revival, God steps over our step.
Even those that were in past revivals are no help because history shows that the old revival usually opposes the new revival. It seems dangerous to be tagged an expert on revival. As the rock song says, “If I claim to be a wise man then it surely means that I don’t know.”
Revivals have started in more ways than you or I can imagine. Some began among children. Some started in prisons. Some were touched off by the very people the church despised the most. Has God kept us clueless about revival because He knows that anything that we can analyze, we will try to control? That is in us and there is no getting around it.
So why isn’t the devil happy? We are divided, disorganized and ignorant of his devices. There is no major threat of revival in America-right? But he does not relax. Does he know something we don’t know? Like maybe revival has never been actually caused by the church? Does he remember how many times revivals have hit him by surprise? Does Satan respect one aspect of revival more than we do- that revival can strike at any moment in any place through any believer?
Okay, we can’t truly know how to start a revival and Satan doesn’t know how to stop one. That dear pilgrim is called an impasse. Only God can break the tie. So what can we do? Brace yourself…WE NEED TO LOOK AT GOD.
Satan is watching God more than he is watching us because we, my friend are not the threat. Here is a love/hate triangle: God is looking at us, we are looking at the devil and the devil is looking at God.
WE NEED TO LOOK AT GOD-Get this and you have taken a giant step forward. We need to be watching God. But that is so simple and obvious. If it is so simple and obvious why aren’t we doing it? Why in fact are we doing everything else but that? Again, is it because Lucifer knows how to busy us with stuff that seems holy but is irrelevant to revival?
Even our prayers are often not directed at God. They are the statements we have been told to make that will supposedly cause God to work. Face it! God refuses to operate within our formulas. He operates from a secret. “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” –Psalm 25:14
God is looking for a relationship with those who want revival. Exodus 31:18 is strange. It says, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Moses and Israel have waited for centuries to gain legitimacy. With law comes an identity and a legacy. Instead God delays it for weeks so He can commune with Moses?
Here’s the rub: You want revival, but God wants you. Is it possible that in all of our arduous efforts we have overlooked the most amazing simplicity of the entire universe-“If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it shall be done.”-John 15:7
Revival is the natural result of getting so close to God that His secret takes hold and that ignites a chain reaction of others who suddenly cannot live without intimacy with God-and so and so on.
When can we know that revival has started? Something I noticed in the great revivalists who led the great revivals. They had an unshakable conviction that a revival had already started. No matter what anyone said or did they would not back down from the confession “revival is here!” Much of their preaching was devoted to this conviction.
“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!-John 4:35 Revival starters kept an infectious declaration going no matter what. Though the people around felt it was months away or years away, the revivalist says NO! IT IS ALREADY HERE!
Again I ask, when can we know that a revival has started? I got my answer one day at the beach when the tide was out. Gentle white foam tickled my toes. God said “no matter how small that wave is, it is an ocean wave. It is a relative of the tsunami.” Yes, a tidal wave can go 500 mph yet still it is a nothing but a larger ocean wave.
“A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.” –Matthew 12:20. This verse is saturated with meaning but I will limit myself to the part about the smoking flax. Jesus is not going to put out any fire no matter how insignificant it looks until justice is victorious.
The first time you cried out for America to be saved God took you at your word and started a revival fire in you. The first syllable said in prayer for revival at any gathering where women pray started a revival. The first time a pastor told his people how much we need revival the spark was ignited.
The job now is to cooperate with God for bigger and bigger and bigger waves. The tide rises as the revival core pays the price of obedience. If they keep to the intention of the revival it will intensify. If they refuse the hand of man and the ways of Baal the waves will come in faithful and ever increasing power.
How else can I say it? You are a revival starter simply by wanting more of Jesus.