So, You Want Revival

By Barry Johnson

For the last several months I have been reading and hearing about people praying and believing for Revival here in America. Posts on Facebook, emails, Blog posts and people I have talked to are saying that we need a Revival in America. They see the decline in the morals in our country and know that the only way to have a meaningful change is for God to come with His power.

They ask Him to come and change the hearts of our political leaders; to have Him move in miraculous ways; for Him to draw the unbelievers to be saved.

For many nights I asked God what it would take for a Revival to take place and why, if so many people are seeking Revival, is there no Revival?

Then one night the Lord spoke to me in my dream. He said, “Barry, you want to know why there is no Revival? I have some questions for you. You will find the answer to why there is no Revival as you answer My questions.”

Then He asked the first question. “Barry, what is Revival?”

I looked back at some of those posts, emails and recalled what I heard people say about Revival. Much of what was being said was about some big meeting where God would touch people or about some gifted speaker. Some were asking God to change others, but not themselves.

I did not have to ask God if this was what Revival was. It is not! Revival is us changing. God has made it clear what Revival is. When He spoke to Solomon at the dedication of the temple, He told Solomon, “If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) For God to do His part to forgive and heal our land; we must do our part and humble ourselves and repent.

Too much of what Christians are saying about Revival has nothing to do with being humble and almost never includes personal repentance.

We need to see that to humble ourselves means to recognize two things. One is that we are not as important as we think and the other is, we must see that what we are doing is not working.

We need to come to a place of true humility as believers. Our focus needs to be on ourselves as the reasons for no Revival. We cannot blame the immorality around us. The Christians in the New Testament were surrounded by immorality. The Revival in Acts was not slowed down by it. Rather, Revival flourished in the midst of the sin.

Then God asked me this question. “What needs to be Revived?”

He was asking me what has been lost. I struggled to see what was wrong with His people today. Most of the time for the Israelites it was easy to see. They had turned to other gods. They had gone so far as to sacrifice their children to these gods.

Yes, many equate things going on in our society to chasing after other gods. Worshiping the things of this world. Some equate this country accepting abortion as the same as sacrificing our children to other gods.

These things are part of our secular society and yes, they have crept into the body of Christ. But they are not what is holding back a Revival among God’s people. These things will change when the true heart of what was different about His people in the book of Acts is Revived.

So, what needs to be Revived? Christ made it very clear what the heart of Christianity is. He gave us the Great Commandment in Matthew 22 & Mark 12: Love and worship God and love and serve others. He also said this to His disciples in John 13: By this shall all men know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.

Years after the close of the New Testament people still wrote that people were drawn to Christianity because they could “See how they love one another.”

Today God is crying out for us to return to that love. God’s people are hurting because of a lack of love among the believers. People in the world do not want what we have because they do not see true love among believers.

How can His body represent Him without His heart, without that love?

Then God asked me another question. “What is stopping a return to loving one another?”

For many nights I thought about the answer to this question. I knew what God was asking. He wanted me to see what His people need to repent of or what wicked ways do we need to turn from.

I struggled to see what the answer was. Finally, I cried out to Him to show me. After several more nights, He answered my cries.

“Barry, My people have let themselves become self-absorbed and self-focused. This has caused My children to lose their ability to love each other. Those who have been hurt by this lack of love often have become stuck in their pain. I grieve for these wounded ones. The love that has been lost is the only thing that can heal them.

Others have become ambitious to get ahead in ministry. As a result, they have become focused on pursuing the “big and important.” Almost everything they do is for selfish purposes. Even those things that might look like love are often done for the wrong reason.

Chasing the ‘big and important’ has ruined many of My people. Just like I told Isaiah that I was disgusted by their offerings, those who should know how to love, have far too often turned it into something that is ugly to Me.

Once someone is caught up in this pursuit of the ‘big and important’ they become susceptible to something that I find abhorrent. It is a way for someone to look like they are being friendly and loving, while overlooking those I want them to love. It is what My Word in James 2 identifies as someone honoring ‘the man with the golden ring,’ i.e. someone who has prestige, money, influence, or contacts they need to get ahead. Then others who can’t offer any of this to them are unimportant and invisible.

Barry, self-focus, pursuing the ‘big and important,’ and honoring ‘the man with the golden ring’ are so contrary to love that it’s almost impossible for the world to see love in My people. These attitudes are what is found in the world and should not be part of the character of My people!

That is why it is no longer being said of My people, ‘See how they love another.’

Therefore, no matter how much My people are asking for Revival, there is still no Revival.

I am pleading with My children to repent of these things. They need to turn from these wicked ways so that I can hear their cries for Revival, forgive them, and then I will heal their land by teaching them how to love again.”

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