I thought I would share an article with you which deals with true revival. I found it to be searching, but also encouraging. Along with many others, I have a deep hunger to see God 'do it again'.
Pastor David Servant describes here what he believes is a revelation from God that can help us understand what takes place when true revivals occur. When I consider what took place during revivals such as the Hebrides revival or the Welsh revival, these principles outlined below seem to jive with what took place during these monumentous events, born of the Spirit.
During the Welsh revival, Evan Roberts urged Christians to do the following which are principles that are found in the Word of God :
1. You must put away any unconfessed sin.
2. You must put away any doubtful habit.
3. You must obey the Spirit promptly.
4. You must confess Christ publicly.
In accounts we read of the Hebrides revival, the moment when the Holy Spirit's power was released was after a young man prayed the verse, 'Who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord, he that has clean hands and a pure heart '
"Will there be true revival? Yesin everyones life who hears and heeds the true gospel. Those truly revived ones will pray and labor that others might share their joy. With that thought in mind, I close with a parable the Lord gave to me, one that fills me with hope:
A Parable of Revival
As I was praying and fasting about the need for revival and the work of the Holy Spirit, I received a revelation that helped me understand what is and what will be happening in the church. It was not a vision that I saw with my eyes, but a revelation that I saw in my heart. May I say that I am not one who is given to visions, and this was the first time anything like this ever happened to me. I will describe what I saw in the revelation.
First, I saw many crowds of people. Some crowds were very large, some were medium-sized, and some were quite small. The largest groups contained thousands of people. The smallest groups contained only a handful. The members of each group huddled close together for warmth, because it was very cold. All were shivering, and when one spoke, you could see his breath. Additionally, most within the crowd were dirty. Some were filthier than others, as if they had been workers in a coal mine, covered with soot from head to toe. These ones also stunk, like the stench of garbage. Others were not as filthy, but most were in desperate need of cleansing.
These masses of people all stood at the base on an immense dam which held back a huge reservoir. The dam was hundreds and hundreds of feet high, and it stretched as far as I could see in either direction. The body of water it held back was of equal proportion.
Looking more closely at the dam, I noticed that it was built of bricks. Words were written on each brick, and as I began to read what was written on some of the bricks, I noticed that all were similar in this respect: Each one had written upon it a single sin. For example, written on one brick it said, Gossip, and on another was written the word. Lustful. Also written under each sin was someones name. For example, a brick might have written on it, Liar, and under that, John Doe. There were many bricks that had the same sin written on them, and many peoples names were written on more than one brick.
I looked back at the crowds of filthy, shivering people. Most all of them were standing, but occasionally one in the crowds would kneel, or fall on his face and begin to weep, confessing his sins and asking God to cleanse him. When he did, a brick from the dam would burst out of its place by the force of the water behind it, and once ejected, the brick would shatter into fine dust and disappear. The water that would then gush through the hole would stream through the air, pouring itself on the kneeling one, washing him of his filth. Sometimes several (or even many) bricks would burst from the dam, either all at the same time or over a period of time, as long as the person continued to kneel and pray. In those cases, the streams that would pour forth from the holes in the dam would converge to fall together with great force upon the one kneeling, and the change in the persons appearance would be quite dramatic. Some of the dirtiest became the most clean in a short period of time.
I also discovered that the water that poured forth from the holes in the dam was quite warm. When it fell upon those who knelt, it not only cleansed them, but it also warmed them to the core. They would laugh and delight and sing with joy as they were washed.
The reaction of those in the groups who stood and watched the kneeling ones was mixed. Often, many of those nearby would move away from the kneeling one, not wanting to get wet. On occasion, the entire group would draw back so far that the kneeling one was left alone under his warm waterfall.
However, just as often, some of those near one who knelt would also kneel, confessing their sins. Again, bricks would burst from the dam and water would gush out, cleansing and warming them.
On occasion, the large majority of people standing in one group would, one after the other, kneel or bow and begin to weep for their sins. The force of the many streams of water that consequently converged and fell over them would be very great, bringing enormous blessing, powerful anointing and many gifts. However, in no case did I see a group in which everyone knelt. Often, those who stood among groups in which many people were kneeling would leave to join another group in which many people were standing. Also, I sometimes saw a person kneel only because so many others were kneeling. When he did, however, no bricks burst forth from the dam, no water was poured forth, and that person remained filthy and cold.
Two other things I witnessed as I watched the crowds of people: Occasionally one of those who were standing would look up at the dam and see a brick with his name on it. Out of embarrassment, he would climb up the dams face to that brick and try to pull it from its place with his own hands. None who attempted this ever succeeded, however, because it was impossible. Also, I occasionally saw one who had been kneeling stand up again. When he did, he immediately became somewhat dirty, and force of the waterfall upon him lessened. And if he began pointing his finger at those who never knelt, proudly criticizing them with his mouth, his waterfall stopped, and became very dirty again. Most of those who were kneeling, however, would speak lovingly to those standing around them, saying, Oh its wonderful under this warm, cleansing stream! You can be washed of your filth! Please, wont you join me?
Let me tell you some of the sins that were written on the bricks. One which had my name written on it said, Fearful of Man. When I saw it, I immediately admitted my guilt before God and asked for His forgiveness and grace to fear no one but Him.
As a pastor, I was shown numerous bricks that belonged to people in my own congregation. There were many of the same sins written on the bricks. Some said, Friend of the World. Many said, Lukewarm. Others said, Judgmental. Others: Idolater, which means you make other things in your life more important than God. Many people in the church are more excited about their hobbies and pleasures than God.
Some said, Immorality, which includes not only adultery, but dwelling on immoral thoughts. Some said, Entertains Herself by Watching People do Immoral Things on Television. One said, Views Internet Pornography. One said, Meditates on Acts of Homosexuality. Another said, Sexually Active Teenager.
On some bricks were written, Bitterness Against Another, Mistreats His Wife, and Speaks Against Brothers. There was Lover of Money, Lover of Pleasure, and Cares Only About Himself. There was Receives Payment for Work Under the Table to Avoid Taxes, Wasteful Steward, Uses Gods Money to Support What God Hates, and Does Not Care About the Poor. Many said, Does Not Even Tithe, and around those bricks were many other bricks that had justifications for this sin.
There was Immodest, Always Convinced Shes Right, and Not Submissive to Her Husband. I also saw many which said, Does Not Care About Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel.
Some said, Gossip, Slandered, Fault-Finder, Uses Offensive Speech, and Worthless ReligionDoes Not Bridle Tongue. One said, Does Not Financially Support Young Children From A Former Marriage. Others said, Does Not Honor Parents, Rarely Keeps Promises, and Listens to Music that Exalts What God Hates.
There was Full of Unbelief, Unclean Habits and Addictions, and Self-Indulgent. There was Prayerlessness, Forsakes the Assembling of the Church, and Does Not Desire to Read Gods Word. Many bricks said, Is not Training Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord.
There are many others which I have not mentioned but which are all found in the Biblethe Bible which we all profess to believe is the Word of God. On some bricks were even written, Twists Scripture to Make it Mean What it Does Not, and Redefines the Commandments to Fit His Lifestyle.
The mortar that held the bricks in place also had words written on it, symbolizing four sins that held all the other sins in place. They were Pride, Hypocrisy, Little or No Love for God, and Sins of Shepherds. Before other sins can be dislodged, these must first be weakened. Pride keeps us from admitting our sins. Hypocrisy, acting one way at church and another way at other times, must be confessed. All sins are symptom of one bigger sin, Little or No Love for God If we loved Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, we would serve and obey Him passionately. Jesus said, If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). Finally and fourth, if leaders in the church set the wrong example, their followers have an excuse to hold on to their sins.
Lets go back to the people in the crowds. As I watched, occasionally a person who was standing would point his finger at a nearby group that was laughing and singing as they knelt under a waterfall, and say, That waterfall cant be from God, because their doctrine is wrong in some ways. But the Lord reminded me that He didnt say that it is those who have pure doctrine who will see God, but those who have pure hearts (Matt. 5:8). Jesus didnt say that we would know them by their doctrine, but by their fruits (Matt. 7:20). He said the mark of His true disciples was not perfect doctrine, but love for one another (John 13:35). Just because a groups doctrine is partially wrong in certain non-essentials does not mean that God will not pour His Spirit on them when they humble themselves and begin to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6). Some of the bricks in the dam said, Puffed Up With Knowledge, Doctrinal Pride, and Denominational Loyalty that Transcends Love for the Entire Body.
As time passed, more and more of those standing began to kneel, weeping as they confessed their sins and repented. Bricks exploded from the great dam like kernels of popcorn, and more water poured forth with a mighty roar, until the scene compared to Niagara Falls (only on a much larger scale). The kneeling ones lifted their hands, laughed, sang and prayed in what became a great river that flowed to many dry places in the earth. Eventually, it became such a torrent that those kneeling in it were swept away, as they rejoice and sang songs to their God.
Finally the water ceased flowing, as the reservoir had run dry. Those who were still standing looked at one another with smug approval. The bricks on which their names were written were still in place, suspended in the air only by human pride. Then suddenly, without the slightest warning, every remaining brick in the dam began to fall, converging with other bricks on which were written the same names. In terror, the standing ones watched as the piles of bricks fell with deadly accuracy, first knocking them to the ground, then killing and crushing them, until all that could be seen were heaps of bricks. I was reminded that Jesus said, Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:14). Which are you? "