Becoming an Instrument Of Revival
The lives of those that God has used in revivals past illustrate the key ingredients that should be present in all of our lives, if we long for God to come and visit us in our day. As you answer the accompanying questions, ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of your life that need to be changed if He is going to use you as an instrument of revival. Then, allow God’s grace to give you the desire and power to make these resolutions a daily reality in your pursuit of His glory.
1. RESOLVED: To experience revival before proclaiming revival.
“No one is used in revival who is not himself revived first. Those whom God uses in leadership in revival are always men who have met with God in a powerfully personal way. No one is ever used in revival whose experience of God is no more than a coldly impersonal theology. Revival begins with men who have a deep, firm, and life-changing experience of God.”
What would you point to as the key, life-changing encounters that you have had with God in the course of your Christian life?
As you look back over the past year, how would you describe your personal walk with God? Have you had times of meeting with Him in “a powerfully personal way”?
How “qualified” do you believe you are to be used of God in helping to give birth to revival? Are you a man or woman whose “heart is on fire”? Is your experience of God more than a coldly impersonal theology? Do you have a white-hot heart for Jesus?
MY HEART-CRY: Lord, by Your grace, I will consistently take time to “wait” on You, until I have a fresh encounter with You.
2. RESOLVED: To ensure God gets the glory for anything He does through me.
“The men used in revival were always concerned that God should have the glory for anything He chose to do through them. God brings revival not for the enjoyment of His people, but for the glory of His name; and He will not share that glory with men. They were men with a humble idea of their own ability.”
Do I have an exalted and inflated view of my abilities, or an honest and humble view? Do I ever seek to boast or draw attention to the ways that God has used me or the things He has accomplished through my life and ministry?
Could God trust me with revival? Could He trust me not to steal any of the glory for myself?
MY HEART-CRY: Lord Jesus, I will be intentional about drawing attention to You, and I will refuse to accept credit for anything You do by way of revival in and through me.
3. RESOLVED: To cultivate my passion for holiness and godly living so that God can use me for His purposes.
“The men God has used in revival are men whose experience of God has led them into a passionate desire to be holy. They are men with a sensitive conscience. They fear God and sin, and nothing else! They have a great opinion of God and are touch-sensitive to sin.”
Do I have a passionate desire for holiness? Is my conscience “touch-sensitive” to anything that might grieve the Spirit of God? Are my true affections, values, and desires temporal and earthly, or eternal and godly?
Are there any details or aspects of my lifestyle that are worldly, rather than godly? Is there any change I would be unwilling to make, any item I would be unwilling to get rid of, any habit I would be unwilling to break, in order to walk in purity of mind and heart? Are there any steps that need to be taken to purify my life or our home?
MY HEART-CRY: Oh God, I will daily ask You to reveal any unknown sin to me and immediately confess it with a heart attitude of repentance, and take whatever action is necessary to overcome it.
4. RESOLVED: To be fully and wholly surrendered to the Lord without reservation.
“Christ laid His hand on [this] proud minister, and told him that he had not gone far enough, that there were reservations in his surrender.”
Deep down, are there any reservations in my surrender to God? Do I love Him more than I dislike anything He might ask of me?
MY HEART-CRY: Dear Master and Lord, by Your enabling grace, I will daily commit to not count my life as my own, but wholly Yours, and declare each day, “Lord, here am I, send me.”
5. RESOLVED: To be diligent in making application of the Word to my life each day as I study and meditate on it.
“The leaders in revival are men who are obedient to the Word of God. All who have been used of God in revival were diligent in the study of Scripture and the application of the Scripture to their lives.”
How would I describe my relationship to the Scripture? As Whitefield expressed, do I daily receive “fresh light and power” from the Word? Am I diligent in my study of the Word? Do I personally apply the Word to my life, and am I obedient to its commands?
MY HEART-CRY: Oh, Author of the Eternal Word, I resolve to not begin a single day without first reading and meditating upon Your Holy Scripture and asking You to make it real in my life.
6. RESOLVED: To establish my ministry as my all-consuming passion with no competing interests.
“Revival leaders do not view their ministry as a job, still less an interest or hobby; rather, it is an all-consuming passion.”
What is my overall attitude toward ministry? Do I view ministry as a job, an interest, a hobby? Or is it, for me, an all-consuming passion? How would others perceive my attitude toward ministry? How is my attitude reflected in my daily schedule and choices?
MY HEART-CRY: Jesus, with Your help, after my priority of family, I will prioritize Your kingdom work with a longing in my soul for Your glory to be on display throughout the world through an empowered, revived church.
7. RESOLVED: To be a man (or woman) whom God can entrust with the demands of revival.
“The men God uses are prepared for hard work and discomfort. God rarely uses leaders in revival who are afraid of hard work, because He would not be able to trust them with the commitment that revival demands.”
Is there a root of slothfulness in my life? Do I place conditions or terms on my service, or am I willing to sacrifice personal comfort and conveniences for the sake of Christ and His kingdom? Could God trust me with the long hours and hard work that revival would demand?
MY HEART-CRY: Yes, Jesus, I see the price You paid on the cross and the call upon my life to embrace the cross in order to be used of You greatly. I ask You to give me the courage and strength to carry the cross of Christ, no matter what the cost.
8. RESOLVED: To be a man (or woman) of determination and perseverance in seeking God for revival until He sends it.
“The men God uses are determined. They are determined to keep on until God hears them, determined never to give up until God has His way. They will not allow anything to distract them from the determined search for revival during their lifetime.”
Am I determined to see God send revival – in my life, in my home, in my church, in our nation? Is there anything that I have allowed to distract me from the “the determined search for revival”? Do I genuinely long for revival?
MY HEART-CRY: I confess, Lord, I can grow weary in well-doing and too quickly race on to the “next thing.” Like the prophets of old who always pursued but never saw the revival they longed for, would You give me the same kind of faith and vision that will not subside with the passing of time?
9. RESOLVED: To be a man (or woman) of prayer, assaulting heaven for revival, so that God would receive the glory.
“Those whom God uses in revival are men and women of prayer. Almost every Christian leader today laments a lack of personal prayer, but very few are determined to do anything about it. We are not sufficiently concerned to make a radical alteration in our schedules and get down to the ‘unproductive’ and unnoticed battle of assaulting heaven.”
In an average week, how much concentrated time do I devote to prayer for revival? Is the example of my prayer life such that others around me are burdened to pray for revival? What “radical alteration” in my schedule might be necessary for me to engage in the “battle of assaulting heaven”?
“When we do ask, it is half-hearted and insincere, ‘because you ask with wrong motives.’ We want revival to improve our reputation, vindicate our theology, add to our denomination, or just to encourage or excite us. In other words, we want revival for our sake, not God’s.”
Why do I want revival? Is there any degree to which I desire revival for my sake, rather than for His sake? Do I long more for the benefits and blessings that revival would bring, or for the glory that God would receive through revival?
MY HEART-CRY: Even as You, Lord Jesus, are ever interceding for me before the Father, I commit to be praying for revival every single day until You come down and visit Your people.
10. RESOLVED: To prepare my own heart for revival before attempting to lead others in seeking the Lord for revival. Lord, let it begin in me.
“There is no point in seeking revival for the church, and its benefits for the nation, until we are prepared and longing for revival in our own lives. Only when we realize and admit our true condition will we long for revival.”
Am I prepared and longing for revival in my own life? Do I have a sense of need for personal revival? Am I being honest before God and others about my true spiritual condition?
MY HEART-CRY: In Jesus’ name, realizing revival begins with me, I will not ask You to do in others, what I am not willing for the Holy Spirit to do in me. Each time I pray for revival, Lord, remind me to ask You to begin it in me.
– The key statements are adapted from Brian Edwards’ article, “The Men God Uses,” which appeared in Life Action Ministries’ Spirit of Revival magazine.
© Heart-Cry for Revival Conference. HEART-CRYFORREVIVAL.ORG