Brenda kicks off this month’s series on Growing Together for Revival with this call to personal revival in today’s Monday Minute.
The Call to Personal Revival
by Brenda Pace
Military assignments afforded me the pleasure of living in a variety of locations and climates. I still wonder how I survived six hot and humid summers at Ft. Benning, Georgia—there should be a medal, or six. Snow was still a possibility for late April and early May in Germany. Oh, but cherry blossom season in DC made up for any climate discomfort Uncle Sam placed upon me.
I now enjoy living in a location where I experience all the seasons, yet I do not complain if summer or winter is cut short. Give me the refreshing delight of spring and fall. Even now, I’m sitting on my back porch to enjoy a view of the surrounding trees with newly golden leaves. I grabbed a sweater and a throw to protect myself from the slight autumn chill that accompanies this new season.
Whether it is a much-needed cool breeze after a long hot summer, or longed-for sunshine following winter’s chill, the change refreshes my spirit. Refreshment is a word that conjures satisfaction, energy, a boost, or a pick-me-up needed to revive body or spirit.
Refresh. Repent. Revive.
The writer of Acts used a form of the word refresh in an account of Peter preaching after the healing of a crippled man:
Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Acts 3:19-20 ESV
The miraculous event of the healing naturally brought a lot of attention to Peter. To his credit, he took the opportunity to turn the attention from himself and do a little preaching about Christ. His message was specifically with the Jewish nation in mind, calling the nation to repentance.
The word refreshing in Acts 3:20 means “to cool off,” “a recovery of breath or revival” (Vincent’s New Testament Word Studies, 1997). “Times of refreshing” is an appealing promise, until you see it joined with the requirement of repentance. Repentance and refreshment seem like strange terms to pair, don’t they? Yet, they are a necessary pair for revival—both nationally and personally.
I’m of the opinion that we need refreshment and repentance as a nation. Just as in Peter’s day, though, national repentance depends upon the personal repentance and faith of individuals. Repentance is more than feeling sorrow or regret. It is a turning from sin and turning to Christ. The refreshment that follows is only something the pardoning of Christ can accomplish.
Personal Revival is the restoration of a Right Relationship with God
Simply stated, revival is being in tune and agreeing with what God wants—restored to right relationship with him. 1 John 4:13 tells us that as Christians, we live in him and he in us. Yet, we are often unaware of his presence. For me, this comes when I become too focused on temporal things over eternal things. I become too focused on the noise of my environment instead of the calm voice of the Lord. I become overwhelmed by the cares and concerns of family, friends, community, and culture over the peace afforded me through Christ. For a personal revival, I must pause and turn down the volume of the noises that distract and focus on retuning my spiritual ears to the voice of God and allowing his supernatural grace to restore my first love.
Any season is a season for revival. The stories of great revivals of the past have always inspired me. I’m reminded that the same God who healed the cripple man in Acts 3, is the same God who brought revivals throughout history. I pray he will do it again, and start it with me—and maybe you too. May God make revival history through us.
Read: Read Psalm 85.
Reflect: How do you define revival? According to Psalm 85 what are the results of a revived heart?
Respond: What do you need to tune out in order to tune in to the voice of God for refreshment and revival?
Father, thank you for the promise of refreshment of body and spirit. I pray that I would have clean hands and a clean heart before you. I pray your blessings on our nation and that you would call individuals of our nation to personal repentance that would result in personal revival. Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? (Psalm 85:6) Amen.
Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby
Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth and Tim Grissom