Revival or Outburst?

Northern-OutburstIt always makes me smile when I hear someone say “we’re going to have a revival.”  I think it’s presumptuous, but I understand what they’re saying.  Clothe it in whatever other words you’d like, “break-through,” but to me it almost means “we’re going to create a lot of short-term excitement with little long-term impact.”  “We’re going to satiate an emotional longing without an encouraging and equipping effect.”

These are more like outbursts than revivals.  In every revival, I look for the long-term ripples.  I’m often disappointed.  When “God has shown up,” it seems like the people shut down.  A real revival is contagious and like a good virus, it goes on contaminating for the Kingdom.  The original splash kicks off a continuing movement of concentric ripples.  

Otherwise these revivals are just bratty kid outbursts or temper tantrums to get we what we want without paying the price.  How often do revivals have an entitlement attitude?  The emotional satisfaction is like a welfare check.  They only meet the needs of the moment and serve to keep you waiting until the next one.

Forgive my rant.  But, I do have one question for you:

What, in your view, constitutes a real revival?  What is the stuff it’s made of?  

0 thoughts on “Revival or Outburst?

  1. Rob Kampen says:

    That’s any easy one. A revival is where multitudes of those who were dead to God become alive to Him and dead to themselves and consequently fruitful because they now abide in the vine.

  2. Tom Schultz says:

    Its interesting that the words ‘revive’ and ‘revival’ are found nowhere in the New Testament (at KJV and NET), and the latter word nowhere in the Bible! So I think it is difficult to establish a Scripturally-correct usage.
    Current usage has it applied to 1. evangelistic meetings, 2. apparent moves of the Holy Spirit in a meeting, and 3.a broadly reaching conviction of sin and coming to Christ of a large population over an extended period of time.

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