HOW TO HAVE A "PERSONAL" REVIVAL
-by Andrew Strom.
"Practical steps that will revolutionize your Christian walk"
For many years now I have studied the accounts of past Revivals and Revivalists. This is what I am known for - writing and speaking on the subject of 'Revival'. But when you study this topic, one of the things you see very quickly is that we in the church today are living well below the level of Christianity that should be considered normal. (-Even a lot of "Spirit-filled" believers today). When you see what kind of Gospel was preached and what kind of Christian life was lived in the Revival days of old, you start to hunger for that kind of Christianity again. And you start to see that there is a kind-of "Revived" life that is very attainable for us all today - but so few are walking in it - or are even told that it exists.
In many ways, what I am talking about is the Normal Christian life. It is nothing else but the "new creation" life found in Romans chapters 6 - 8. There is nothing "amazing" about it at all. Yet it is so far above the kind of Christianity that we have been led to expect, that many think it "unattainable". How very sad - because it is the free gift of God to us all.
Is it possible to walk before God in a constant state of being clean before Him - and knowing it? Is it possible to walk with a totally pure heart and clean conscience as our "normal" state - every day? Is it possible to live in true victory over sin - at a practical level? Is it possible to have the strongholds of sin and pride in our fallen nature so dealt-with that they hardly bother us at all?
The answer to these questions is Yes. And one of the key things that I want this website to be about, is how to come into this kind of Christianity - how to literally have a "personal Revival".
THE STARTING PLACE - "REPENTANCE"
As all Scripture and Revival history shows - a true Revival begins with "Deep Repentance". And in our personal lives, it so often begins with making a "list" - literally - of ANY sin or compromise or "cloud" that is in our life - and confessing those sins to God with real sorrow and repentance. Any person who cannot make a 'LIST' like that - and spend time confessing their sins before God (-And forsaking them!) - is not really serious about becoming 'Revived'. This is the first place to start.
In fact, please stop reading this right now. Please find a piece of paper and write down a List of every sin or 'doubtful' thing in your life. Ask God to "shine His light" into your heart and show you everything that you need to repent of. Then simply get alone with Him and go through that List - repenting of each thing one by one - deeply confessing and forsaking them before the Lord.
I believe a lot of people will have a "Personal Revival" just through doing that! -In fact, I know of many people who have literally been 'revived' through this simple process. So please - DO IT NOW! This first step is so important that I do not believe there is any point reading further until you have gone through it.
THEN - "WALKING" IN IT
Now, after you have been through this Repentance process, what you are left with is a CLEAN CONSCIENCE. [-This is assuming that you have already been through the other basic steps found in Romans 6 - 8. ie. WATER-BAPTISM (-a "death" to the old life) and also RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT (-without which we do not have the 'POWER' to walk in a truly 'Revived' state). Please see my other articles for more on these two steps if you need to].
Assuming that you have these basic things in place, and that you have now REPENTED DEEPLY by confessing your sins to God one by one, you should now sense a RENEWED COMMUNION with God through having a totally CLEAN CONSCIENCE before Him. Is that what you are sensing?
The Bible speaks many times of having a conscience that is "sprinkled clean" by God. -And what a precious thing that is! In fact, it is fair to say that the Christian life consists of- (1) Getting a clean conscience, and (2) Keeping it clean! -It is pretty much as simple as that!
So how do you "walk" in a 'Revived' state before God? -Simply by walking in a way that KEEPS YOUR CONSCIENCE CLEAN. That is what Romans 8 is all about! -That is what 1 John 3 is all about! -Keeping your heart PURE before God. -Getting a clean conscience and WALKING IN IT - by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Below I have compiled a number of testimonies from readers - telling about their experience of this continual "clean" state before God - and how it happened. Remember - this is a "GIFT" from God - and to experience it we MUST have His Spirit. The testimonies are below:
As a word of encouragement, I have been screaming the message of deliverance from sin, freedom from bondage, and slavery to righteousness from Romans 5-8 for about the last five years.
The most common response is a list of reasons (actually, justifications) of why these verses simply CANNOT mean what they seem to mean. Another response is that simple "mystified" look - as when one cannot quite process what they have just been told. Still another sad response is that of sheer anger.
Nevertheless, "He is able to save to the uttermost." The Book of Revelation declares that He has "freed us from our sins by His blood." In yet another place we are told that we "died to sins that we might live for righteousness."
MARY BELLE WRITES:
I just read your word, "My Experience of a CLEAN HEART", and it is a word that the Body of Christ must hear. If we only lived out from Romans 6, our lives would be revolutionized. We are not living the "normal Christian life" because we don't believe that it is obtainable except through struggle and trying to do our best.
Most of the believers in Christ have never walked or lived according to what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross for us... We have lived the "sub-normal life" and believed it to be the truth. The lie of satan must be exposed and the Church of the Living God come into the complete fullness of who she really is.
I think your article is exactly right! In fact this has been a normal life for me. Whenever conviction arises I do something about it and return to that place of rest and freedom from sin. I don't think there is any other kind of Christianity, unless a person is willing to live under conviction of sin and not do anything about it.
Many of these truths aren't taught in a lot of churches... Not death to self, not the crucified life, and as you know - that's where it all starts. Many don't know who they are in Christ Jesus, have no idea we are Clean, Justified, released from our old nature to take on His nature.
The fact that so few experience this does not mean we should change the Gospel, so willfully sinning people can feel better about their relationship with God - so they can feel better than God wants them to. But I think we also need to give them the tools so they can live in Romans 8.
I attended an evangelical seminary for a year, hearing over and over about imputed righteousness, and almost nothing about actual, overcoming righteousness, and seeing hardly any.
In "Are You Walking in Romans 8?" you preached that we must have a pure white robe to be normal Christians and to enter heaven. Isn't this what Jesus said in Revelation 3? But how many U.S. 'Christians' have heard this preached? No wonder the knee-jerk reaction that some will have when the Biblical standard for going to heaven is finally taught.
Jesus' heart is grieved, and He wants us to speak out the truth, even if this offends some people and makes them uncomfortable. Smith Wigglesworth said, ~"I want to make people either mad or glad." We must teach what Jesus requires, as well as how people can live in Romans 8; otherwise, millions who think they are Christians will be doomed.
I think the most radical difference between overcoming-you and the undercoming majority is your statement: "God gave me a true 'fear of the Lord' from the start, and a deep repentance where I literally went right through my life and repented of everything I could find that was not godly."
This happened to me, also, over 30 years ago.... I had a healthy fear of the Lord. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, how can the church make right decisions about many things if they don¹t even have the beginning of wisdom. Satan has taken the fear of the Lord from the American church, and the 'church' is mostly not really Jesus' going-to-heaven church.
We will see the prophesied revival which will just be a group of people who are living as true going-to-heaven Christians. Then the world will know.
That's my opinion. I would love to share more, regarding what will help the church truly overcome, including how God told me I was in danger of going to hell when I was willfully lusting, and how He told me to live in the kingdom with my whole heart, not just my head, which I¹ve found is a huge key to overcoming sin.
The heart is much more than a pump. It¹s the deepest center of our emotions. Andrew, you talk a lot about having a pure heart. I believe that Jesus means this literally. He says we are not to look at a woman with lust in our heart, and that we need to do whatever we need to in order to not do this and be able to go to heaven. He says we are to forgive everyone from our hearts, otherwise the tormentors have a right to mess with us. Jesus says we are to love God with our whole heart, not just our heads, or even with part of our heart. Why do lovers say, "I love you from the bottom of my heart?" Why does the Bible speak of the heart about 1,000 times?
I think one of the biggest keys you¹ve learned is to keep your heart pure, not just your head. But most Americans don¹t understand this concept. Most pastors don't understand this, yet it's the first part of the greatest commandment.
The 'church' must repent, and we need to speak what the Holy Spirit is putting on our hearts to speak. Then we will be one, not just a few of us, but many. It will be so awesome!!! We will see it if we don¹t give up.
I, and many others walk in what I call 'righteousness conciousness' daily. As for my walk, I keep in communion with my Heavenly Father at all times, making corrections and receiving forgiveness as necessary, but staying in His presence always. He shows me where to correct, where to re-examine myself, when I need to repent in order to stay in this blessed state. This should not come as a major upset to anyone. Isn't this how Christianity is supposed to be? As far as I can see, this is the only way to live... the only way I'd ever WANT to live. We are new creations... as it says in another translation..."we are a new species of being, that never existed before." Humans with God inside. Hallelujah!! I say we should live in the light, as children of the light.
I loved your essay on walking in cleanness. I too experience a daily walk with the Lord wherein I do not find myself having to repent all the time. Some things are SETTLED! I was delighted to hear your story, because I agree, there should be more of this easy wonderful walk with God.
At one time in my life I was an alcoholic, drug-addicted prostitute. I was arrested and in jail when I made a complete and total surrender to the Lord. He put me in Romans, Chapters 5-8 for about 3 months continuous study and prayer. When I left that jail at the end of six months I was a set free captive! Today, six years later, I walk as a new creation that Jesus Christ has made me! I serve as housemother/counselor in a women's ministry for ladies coming out of addiction and sin and turning to the Lord for that victory. I agree with everything that you have "preached"! After all, "whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!"
Years ago after a wonderful meeting with the Lord in prayer one night my faith was ignited and my wife would say I went from a 1 to a 10 overnight in my relationship with God. I often shared my faith with other believers who were constantly contending with my new faith. One day I was reading thru Romans because of some contention about the Holy Spirit. I knelt down to talk to God and He spoke to me and asked me "What do you see?" and I said I see that I don't have to sin any more, and He said to me "That's what I wanted you to see". Our Baptism into His death and raised into His new life should not be contaminated with unbelief or arguments of "I can't stop sinning, it's too hard". These are lies that are contrary to the truth. I never knew before that moment that I was freed from sin through Baptism (Romans ch 6). That lack of truth in my life was a source of great struggles and self condemnation for years.
Andrew, Perhaps as well you can post chapter by chapter the Watchman Nee book, The Normal Christian Life on here... I am finding that I must read more than once this book and I also believe that this sinless life as explained in this book and also in the book of Romans is something that must be by revelation, not just teaching. It must be "got" as it is so very deep. Add to that your sermons, and other perhaps teachings by those whom you have also mentioned as preachers of this sinless life and hopefully the readers will be able to appropriate the truths by revelation.
I finally found someone who believes as I do! I sat at my computer and cried. I'm not a weirdo after all! I don't believe any Christian should live a yoyo life (up and down). Another thing that I'm not hearing in the preaching of the Gospel, is Maintenance - How to Maintain the Salvation that you receive.... nobody tells you HOW to maintain what Jesus has given you.
Dear Andrew, [You wrote:] "Normal" Christianity is this: Walking before God with a totally clean conscience and a pure heart - as our 'normal' state before Him. -Utterly clean. No STRIVING or "TRYING to be good". This is clearly what the New Testament describes as normal. - Literally walking before God with "no consciousness of present sin".
Yes, absolutely. That is what we are doing. And if something "pops up", we take a good look at it (being "transparent" is our goal) and deal with it. If there is indeed something there, then repentance and taking authority over it are the order of the day... and we keep on walking! Is this preached today? Sadly not.
I hope through these testimonies you can get a sense of how simple - yet how vital this "clean conscience" state is for Christians. It really is the 'Normal Christian Life'! It is simply Romans Chapters 5 - 8, and I do not believe that any lesser state is acceptable at all. -In fact, it is totally unacceptable for any believer.
I am truly hoping that this article will give you some practical insights about how to come into this state in your own life. That is what it is all about. -First 'GETTING' a clean conscience - then 'WALKING' in it! Quite a simple concept - and utterly scriptural. But remember - we must have the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT in our lives before we can walk in this. -It is only by HIS strength and leading that it is possible.
I am currently writing a book on how to have a "Personal Revival" - and it should be finished soon. But in the meantime, there are a number of audio sermons here on SERMONINDEX relating to this. Some actually experience a "Personal Revival" through listening to these - which I truly thank God for. -The most helpful ones to download are probably "How to Experience Personal Revival" and also "Are you Walking in Romans 8?" But others such as "Repentance in Kansas City" may be helpful also.
Below is one of the most recent testimonies about this:
"I'm from Germany (18 y.o) and it's just a few months ago I visited your page for the first time. I think one of the first sermons I listened to was about Romans 8 ... In the beginning I could not imagine that this kind of Christianity you preached exists at all. But I thought about it again and again and now I'm so thankful... I now live in a state where there is no sin in my life that rules over me. I am so full of life now, because I realized what this life Jesus promised is all about.
I am so happy that there is nothing that controls me except my Lord and God Jesus and I started fighting for this truth in my youth group. Yesterday I preached a sermon about hell and Romans 8 in front of about 50 people. Some were really touched by the Spirit, others just said I am crazy and that this kind of Christian life without all this fleshly stuff is not possible. I said one part of the gospel is to get free from this bondage of sin. Some got mad and said the gospel is just love and has nothing really to do with our sins. So I hope I will be able to start this in our country because we are so weak that I often prayed: "God, send revival or take me home."
And believe me, the first time I made a decision for Christ was about 2 years ago, but somehow I am not sure that I got saved at that time. There was so much sin and worldly stuff in my life that I'm convinced I was just some kind of "almost Christian".
My church is a pentecostal church with everything except prayer meetings. So I just want to thank you that I am now living in a state that I think is what you call a revival state. I know God did this and I did nothing for it..."
As I said, it may be best to start with the two sermons - "HOW TO EXPERIENCE PERSONAL REVIVAL" and "ARE YOU WALKING IN ROMANS 8?" You can download these here on SermonIndex below-
I pray that we all truly and deeply experience "Personal Revival", my friends.
God bless you all,