As we continue to walk through these strange and transformational days, I have had many conversations with Hopesters and friends that start with some sort of “Do you think revival is coming?” To many, this means the non-spiritual among us will turn their lives over to Jesus, and while that may be a great benefit of revival, it’s not an accurate understanding of it.
A quick Google search shows revival defined in numerous ways:
- an instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again
- a reawakening of religious fervor
- restoration to vigor or activity
While there may be many meanings to the word revival, we know that revival can’t happen to something that was never alive. The term revival is only to be applied to a living soul, or to something that was once active.
In terms of spiritual revival, only those who have some degree of light and love in their lives may experience it. Those that have no spiritual life are not, and can’t be, the subjects of a revival. I think we can assume and hope that many benefits and blessings will come to those in our surrounding community as a result of revival among Jesus followers, but the revival itself has to do with God’s people being revived and awakened to their first love…Jesus.
This means that revival is less about our surrounding community and more about you and me.
In the letter of Revelation, we see the church in Ephesus being called to revival. They were a hard-working church, but they got distracted by the agendas of this world.
“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Rev. 2:2-5)
The church in Ephesus was hard-working, educated, morally sound, and withstood hardships, yet it appears they lost their purpose. Too often the agendas and busyness of the world can cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus.
We are living in a transformational time, and I am hopeful that revival is coming. Yet for it to occur, you and I must return to our first love! I would encourage you to spend some time asking yourself these two questions: What things did I initially love about Jesus that needs to be revived? What steps can I take to return to my first love?