Sunday, October 2, 2011

Is Revival Possible?

Perhaps the question itself sounds skeptical. After all, don't we believe that "all things are possible with God"? But our culture is drastically different from cultures that have experienced great revivals. Isn't it?

Maybe we should first define what we mean by "revival". It's not a specific event, as when you see a sign on a church building reading, "Revival - June 20". A genuine revival is when people newly discover the truth of God's Word and are filled with passionate love for Jesus. It is a fresh wind of the Spirit of God blowing upon the people of God. It is a valley of dry bones made to live again. This doesn't happen in a single church or denomination. It may start with individuals, but soon it spreads to others, crossing denominational lines, like fire jumping from field to field.

There is a growing sense among many that revival is coming, simply because it is so desperately needed. It has been during such times of departure, hopelessness and sin that revival has come to those who earnestly sought God.

In the Welsh revival of 1904, God chose a young man named Evan Roberts. Born in a Christian home, at the age of 12 he left school to work in the local coal mine to help his injured father. The following year he joined his chapel, seeking never to miss any of the meetings. He became a Sunday school teacher at an early age.

When Evan was 26 he prepared to train for Christian ministry. Warned by his mother that this would be a hard life, he replied, "I am willing to work for my Redeemer till my dying day." On September 29, 1904, while attending a meeting with fellow student Seth Joshua, Evan heard him pray, "Bend us, Oh Lord!" This gripped Evan's heart for two hours till the next meeting when he prayed, "Bend me, Oh Lord!" It was here that he received the Power (the baptism of the Holy Spirit). Following this experience Evan was consumed with a passion to evangelize. During the month of October he sought God's guidance as to how to do it. He experienced visions confirming to him that God was about to descend in revival power. This was the beginning of an awakening that would not only impact the church in Wales but also would make front page headlines all over the world.

Much has changed in the world since then. The influence of church was central to society, whereas now it is on the periphery. A reversal of the situation would likely not happen overnight. Rather it will be a constant battle to win back Kingdom ground that has been lost to the enemy. It will be a struggle both in individuals and in the corporate life of the church for God's perfect will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Are we up for the challenge? Are we willing to cry out, "Bend me, Oh Lord?" We must be bent away from our will and conformed to His before revival can come.

For more information on the Welsh revival of 1904 visit their website at

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