Revival is the process of restoring life to those who are broken, crushed, and contrite. Moses reveals the process in Psalm 90.
Psa 90:3 You turn man to destruction [i.e. You make them broken, crushed, and contrite], And say, “Return, O children of men.”
Why are they broken and contrite? Because they have strayed away from God’s presence. See how it says, “Return”? Revival is about returning to God. He longs for us to live with Him, not away from Him.
Moses goes on to explain how God makes men broken and contrite. He does it by exposing their sin.
Psa 90:8 You have set our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
We sometimes forget that God is the ONLY source of life, but He never forgets. That is why He is willing to expose our sin and let us be crushed and broken because of it. It is for the purpose of getting us to come running back to Him.
We see God’s heart for the revival process beautifully pictured in the New Testament where we see Jesus, after preaching hard for three years in and around Jerusalem, exposing sin and commanding men to “come unto me,” sitting on a hill overlooking the people of that city and morning as he speaks these words:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets
and stones those who are sent to her!
How often I wanted to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing!
See! Your house is left to you desolate;
for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say,
‘BLESSED is HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ “
The heart of God was broken, because He had sent many prophets, and eventually even His own son, to expose their sin and command them to return to Him. But they killed the prophets, and even His son. They refused revival; they would not have it; they were not willing to mourn over their sin and walk away from it.
God has made it clear that He is willing to revive and heal and guide and restore and even live with those who will mourn over their sin when He reveals it.
For this is what the high and lofty One says – he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly and
to revive the heart of the contrite.
I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry,
for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me
- the breath of man that I have created.
I was enraged by his sinful greed;
I punished him, and hid my face in anger,
yet he kept on in his willful ways.
I have seen his ways,
but I will heal him;
I will guide him and
restore comfort to him,
creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD.
“And I will heal them.”
THIS is revival! It is the process of being broken and contrite over any sin we recognize in our life, and running away from it. The path that leads us away from sin, is the same path that leads us into the arms of the One who will revive us and comfort us and heal us.
Keeping it real,
Article Written: Nov 6, 2011
Photo courtesy of: The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible