A Revival – Deep And Widespread – Out Greatest Need
By S. B. Shaw
By revival we mean a “time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19)—resulting in the thorough renewing and great deepening of spiritual life in the hearts of God’s children, the reclaiming of backsliders and in conviction, repentance (including confession and restitution), conversions and consecration—in power and glory.
God’s plan for each of His children is that from the hour he is born of the Spirit he should continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth but alas, how few are faithful to all the light given and constantly diligent to add to their faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity, in order that they may be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (See 2 Peter 1:5-8).
How few, like Paul, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press (continually) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And hence the need of revivals!
To revive means to “restore and renew life—to raise from languor, depression or discouragement.” “A revival is a time of renewed interest in religion after indifference and decline; a period of religious awakening.”
A genuine revival is more than an outward reformation. It is a restoration of divine life and power, and revivals are, primarily, not for the unsaved, but for the church. The very need of a revival is brought about by the coldness and backslidings of those who have once been made partakers of the divine nature.
Time to Cry Aloud!
Is it not time to cry aloud and spare not to lift up the voice like a trumpet and show the people of God their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins? Surely the need beside which every other need sinks into insignificance is revival, a deep and widespread revival.
We are no pessimists. We do not for a moment lose sight of the fact that the foundations of God stand sure. We do not for a moment question that God has His thousands who have not bowed the knee to the world, the flesh, or the devil, nor been swept from their mooring by the present floodtide of false teaching and doctrine. These unite in declaring that the only remedy for the evils we deplore is a revival—a revival brought about by the mighty working of the Spirit of God in awakening and quickening and saving power.
O for a revival that will turn the professed people of God back from their idols of sin and worldliness to serve the true and living God—back from their “broken cisterns” to the “Fountain of living waters.” A revival in which the Word of God will be preached without compromise or apology in the power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. A revival that will overthrow sin of every kind, popular as well as unpopular.
A revival that will take every desire for worldly amusements and abolish every ungodly scheme for raising money for the support of the gospel. A revival that will sweep away the pride that prompts all worldly conformity and extravagance in dress and manner of life, and melt the millions of dollars worth of gold that is now used to adorn the body into coin and dedicate it to God for carrying the gospel to the unreached. A revival that will take the people out of their worldly clubs and societies and secret lodges and put them into the “secret place of the Most High” where they will “abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
A revival that will save the people of God from covetousness and love of the world and all uncleanness of spirit, mind and body. A revival in which professors of religion will have their eyes opened to see and feel their responsibility for souls and in which they will confess with broken hearts their former backsliding, their carelessness and indifference, and in thousands of cases their actual transgressions of the moral law.
A revival that like a flood will “sweep away the refuge of lies” and “overflow the hiding places” of all them that would hide away from the light of God’s Spirit. A revival that will unearth and uncover every device of Satan for deceiving souls, whether found in the church or outside of it, “For the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show unto them His covenant” (Psa. 25:14).
The Shortness of Time! The Importance of Eternity!
A revival that will make both the church and the world to realize the shortness of time and the importance of eternity. A revival in which judgment light will shine not only on the unsaved but in which God’s people will see their duty and realize their opportunity as those that have lost sight of the things of time in the light of the coming Judgment.
A revival that will make heaven and hell, Calvary and the resurrection, salvation from sin, cleansing through the Blood, and the gift of the Holy Ghost—living realities by the revelation of the Holy Spirit in harmony with the Word. A revival in which the sinfulness of sin will be so revealed that instead of excusing and pleading for it, souls will turn from it in utter loathing and cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24) and refuse to find comfort in any thought of imputed righteousness as a covering for sin but cry out for deliverance from every wrong affection and from every evil thought and desire and rest not until the old man is crucified with Christ and the very body of sin destroyed.
A revival that will sweep away selfishness and narrowness and all sectarian spirit and bring those that now spend their time in criticism of each other down on their faces together before the Lord, crying out for the salvation of lost souls.
A revival that like a tornado will sweep away all the old dried up sermons and all the cold formal prayers and all the lifeless singing, and like a whirlwind will carry everyone that comes in its path heavenward. A revival that will fill the hearts of saints with holy love and so burden the hearts of God’s ministers that the word of God will be like fire shut up in their bones (See Jer. 20:9).
A revival that will help the people to honor God with their substance and so have their barns filled with plenty (See Prov. 3:9,10). A revival that will open the windows of heaven by bringing all God’s tithes into His storehouse. A revival that will so fill the saints with love that they will rejoice in the opportunity to give their time and money and if needs be, their very lives for their brethren and for the salvation of a lost world.
A revival in which the presence of God will be so revealed that multitudes will fall under the power of God and cry for mercy as they did on the day of Pentecost. A revival that has so much of Heaven and so much of God’s glory in it that all the world will be compelled to see and feel its mighty influence.
A revival that will gloriously defeat the powers of darkness and hell and make earth and heaven ring with shouts of victory over a multitude of souls snatched from the eternal burnings and won for God and heaven—yes, a revival that will never need to be revived but that will sweep on like a mighty wave of the sea that nothing can hinder until time shall be no more!
For such a revival our heart cries out to God! For such a revival we are ready to watch and toil and pray. For such a revival we believe the blessed Holy Spirit is interceding in many hearts. Such a revival God is able and ready to give. But for this He must be inquired of by His people to do it for them (see Ezek. 36:37).
May God grant it not for our sakes, but for His own name’s sake and for His own honor and glory! Amen and Amen!