[i]by Leonard Ravenhill[/i]
Revival......another definition would be to recover, repair or restore.
Hosea 10:12 says: "Sow to yourself in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord till He come and reign righteousness upon you."
What is fallow ground?
Fallow ground is ground that has been fruitful, and then it has been plowed over, and no seed has been sown in it, and therefore it has become unproductive.
Notice, there is a human emphasis here -- it says
that we are to break up -- you break up your fallow ground.
Now take another aspect of it here in Psalm 85:6 "Would Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee." So, there is an absence of joy, of vitality -- there is an absence of ecstasy.
The very word "revive" presupposes life. You can only revive what has already had vitality -- life that has become sick, weak, or apathetic. I think the nearest analogy I can give you is a recent case of a man who apparently drowned. He had been under the water for an incredible amount of time. Then somebody pulled him out and worked and worked on him, and eventually life came again. This is actually what it means to revive,
It means to revitalize.
It means to restore lost power.
It means to recover lost energy.
In the Acts of the Apostles 3:19 we read, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Whatever else we say about revival we have to recognize this, that revival is an act of mercy in the sovereignty of God.
There is a vast difference between revival and evangelism. When we speak of revival in America we think of church advertising, "Our revival will begin next Sunday night at a certain time and it is going to finish the next Sunday night at a certain time." Obviously this is something purely mechanical, it is something which men have engineered.
I think that one of the offenses of revival, in the historic sense, is that it cannot be organized. As Doctor Tozer said, "When revival comes it changes the moral climate of a community."
You can have revival that covers a church -- Spurgeon had that.
You can have a revival that covers a city.
You can have a revival that covers the whole nation -- and I am thinking in this context more than in the other contexts (though sometimes revival spreads from here to there -- like fire spreads.)
SI Moderator - Greg