Are you scared of revival? Do you really want a revival akin to the one described in the book of Joel? Where the land is confronted with impeding doom, destruction, judgment, darkness, and fear? Maybe many of the wives, husbands, sons, and daughters feel like this right now in places like Egypt or Tunisia?
In the West, we usually want revival without repentance. Prosperity without sacrifice. Wisdom without humility. Healing without suffering. I confess, the revivalism of American Christianity is a whole lot easier for me stomach at times than the revivalism outlined in Joel. The genre of revival that makes me “healthy, wealthy, and wise” and allows me to go out to Applebees after the “revival service” is a genre of revival that eventually makes me “sick, bankrupt, and foolish.” As Leonard Ravenhill once said, “The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it!”
A “cliff note” version of the book of Joel reveals a few important principles about revival that help guide our prayers:
- Revival comes during a time when a great crisis is acknowledged.
- Revival is a corporate response to God in repentance, fasting, mourning, and prayer.
- Revival leads to restoration of people and land with a promise for God’s Spirit to be poured out on all flesh.
While modern-day Egypt and Tunisia are certainly not ancient Israel let us contend in prayer for revival for their nations. Unlike our unseen crisis in America, the crisis in Egypt and Tunisia is fully exposed. May those who KNOW Christ be unwilling to live without revival in their hearts, churches, and lands.
“Turn to me now, while there is time.
Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Don’t tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish.”
- Joel 2:12-13