We’ve heard prophecies about it; some believers’ say it is needed, and it is coming, with heartfelt prayers lifted to heaven, asking the Lord to send the rain, send revival! Revival means many things to many people. According to Merriam – Webster.com, revival is defined as an act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived: such as renewed attention to or interest in something; a new presentation or publication of something old; a period of renewed religious interest or an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings. That’s a mouthful!
Revival is needed when there is a spiritual and moral decline in our lives or nation. We need revival when we find that we have drifted away from a Christ-centered and kingdom-centered life into spiritual indifference and worldliness. We may cry out to the Lord for revival, but it is still in His timing when this occurs. He is still sovereign. When He moves, we move!
I believe revival is when God’s people realize their need to be restored and revitalized in their walk with Him, leading to their repentance, then God pours out His life-giving Spirit on them. If we want to see a revival for our families, cities, and nation, we must first set our hearts on seeing a personal revival in our lives.
Revival starts with us, so we need to look at the condition of our hearts. He wants to revive our hearts and give us the breath of His Spirit to breathe life into us, our families, cities, and nations. The Lord wants us to have healthy hearts to get us ready for the great awakening and harvest of souls He is planning.
Tim Sheets explains in an interview with Jamie Galloway on “Something More” (ISN TV) that we may have had pockets of revival in different places and times, but this third great awakening is a kingdom revival and will be worldwide! Christ is coming back for a glorious church (Ephesians 5:27), which he believes will emerge during this great awakening. The foundation is built upon the apostles and prophets. We are the New Testament church, the Ekklesia, which is to rule and reign (Matthew 16:18-19).
He also states that God’s angel armies are being released in greater force to assist us by carrying out the decrees we speak based on God’s Word (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 103:20). Our responsibility is to declare what God says by speaking, prophesying, or decreeing His Word, and this releases the angels to carry it out. Angels are a flame of fire and minister fresh fire from the altar of God, releasing His glory (Hebrews 1:7; Ezekiel 1:13).
Call to Awaken!
Every great awakening starts with a personal awakening first. If you are on fire for the Lord, you may not need a personal awakening, but many in the body of Christ and our churches need awakening!
In the fall of last year, there was a call to Awaken! On October 17, 2019, I heard these words in a dream, “Awake! Get your life in order.” It woke me up! As I prayed and pressed into this declaration to hear the Word of the Lord, the Lord revealed to me what He meant. It was a clarion call (clear and shrill) for the body of Christ to awaken from our sleep and come into alignment with God’s kingdom and our kingdom assignment.
The Lord Jesus is calling His church to awaken to the things of the Spirit, to righteousness (1 Corinthians 15:34), and His kingdom. We are to put off the works of the flesh and live for Christ and to advance His kingdom. We are to walk in faith, think kingdom thoughts, and to see things through God’s perspective. We have the mind of Christ! Meditate on these Scriptures that reveal how we are to live in these times: Romans 13:11 – 14; Ephesians 5:8 – 21; 1 Thessalonians 5:1 – 6; 1 John 1:5 – 7; Revelation chapters 2-3).
During these past few months, we have heard this cry to awaken from pastors and prophets. God does nothing except He reveals it to His prophet’s first (Amos 3:7). We need awakening to an awareness of what the Holy Spirit is doing today. We need to discern the times and season we are in and the right prophecies for today. As prophetic people, we need to focus on what God is doing and saying. The sons of Issachar had an understanding of the times and seasons, and what Israel was to do (1 Chronicles 12:32). The enemy has tried to discourage the body of Christ with the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and social unrest. But the Lord is using this time for our good and His purposes (Romans 8:28).
We are seeing a shaking going on in the world today, which the Lord has allowed so that the things which cannot be shaken may remain (Hebrews 12:27-29). We must live in response to what the Father is doing, not the plans and agenda of the enemy. Jesus modeled for us a life of living in response to the Father.
Prophetess Michelle McClain- Walters shares in her recent Facebook live posts that God wants to awaken our hearts to a new level of faith and authority, leaving fear behind so that we can propel forward in advancing His kingdom. We are to awaken to Him and seek Him for in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28; Hosea 10:12). He is awakening us to the truth of the Word of God. We are to awaken the power within us, and to who we are in Him, so we don’t squander this time.
We are here in this generation for such a time as this, whether you are a baby boomer or in Generation X, Y, or Z (Esther 4:14). We are born for battle. We have been given everything we need to enforce the victory that Christ won for us (Colossians 1:13; 2:15; Ephesians 1:20-23; Revelation 12:11; Luke 10:19; Matthew 18:18-19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-18). That is what spiritual warfare is all about! We are born for these dark times. (Isaiah 60:1 – 2).
God will prepare us for what is coming, even though we may go through some things. We see from the prophetic where we are to be, so we know we are going to get there. We see what is coming by the Spirit (John 16:13). God allows circumstances in our lives to see how we will respond. We must learn to trust and believe Him, and then He will reveal His glory (John 11:40).
When we walk in fear, it means we don’t trust God! Behind every stronghold in our mind, there is a lie of the enemy. And behind every lie, there is a fear. If we have an understanding and revelation of the love of God for us, we can believe Him for anything! Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the LORD is His treasure. Isaiah 33:6 (NKJV)
God is allowing things to wake up the church. He has brought us into the secret place and has called us to humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and repent so that He can heal our land and bring us into the next step and calling for His Ekklesia, His church (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). Revival flows from the church!
He wants to show us once again who He is as our covenant-keeping God during this time, just like He revealed Himself to the children of Israel as they came out of Egypt. He wants to proclaim His name to us (Exodus 33:19). We must know God for ourselves and awaken our eyes to see Him from His perspective, to see who He is. He is Jehovah Jireh (the LORD will provide; Genesis 22:14); Jehovah Rapha – the LORD who heals you; Exodus 15:26); and Jehovah Nissi – (the LORD is my banner; victory; Exodus 17:15). He is I AM (Exodus 3:14). He wants to unveil Himself and show Himself strong on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Jesus revealed the character and nature of the Father, so the names of God are also His names. Jesus will meet you wherever you are and will be all that you need. He declares I Am!
“I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6 (NKJV); “I am the Good Shepherd.” John 10:11; (Psalm 23:1-3) (NKJV). He will lead, guide, and comfort us.
“I Am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:8 (NKJV). He has everything in-between as well. He’s got it covered!
“I Am the resurrection and the life.” John 11:25 (NKJV). For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV). He is our life.
“I Am the light of the world.” John 8:12 (NKJV). He will guide us and show us what to do.
He wants to awaken our ears to hear His voice (John 10:27). We must learn to discern the voice of the Lord rightly (Hebrews 3:7-19). We learn to listen to and know His voice as we get into His Word. We must hear, believe, and obey.
He wants to awaken us to His glory within us. Get into His presence! Everything we need is in His glory. He has put His glory in earthen vessels; therefore, we must release it (2 Corinthians 4:7; Colossians 1:27). We are glory carriers!
He wants to awaken us to the vision and focus for our lives. God has an assignment for everything He designed us to be (Psalm 139:13-16). We need to know who we are in Christ and what He has called us to be.
God wants to awaken us to a new level of gratefulness. We must live with a thankful, grateful heart (Philippians 4:6-7; Ephesians 5:18-21; Psalm 34:1-3). You can’t be grateful and complain at the same time! Gratitude is an incredible weapon.
The Lord wants to awaken our inner man, our heart. It is the fire of God, the Holy Spirit that will stir us to awaken our hearts and minds.
Call to Repentance!
We see throughout the history of the children of Israel that there was a call to repentance before times of restoration, healing, and refreshing came (Joel 2:12-32; Hosea 5:13-15; 6:1-3). So, the first step towards revival is sincere repentance, humility, and turning from sin. These are heart issues. We must allow God to reveal what is in our hearts that is not pleasing in His sight, and that is harmful to us and our relationship with Him. Repentance means changing your mind by turning from following your way and turning to God, asking Him to forgive you, and forsaking your sin.
The Bible talks a lot about our hearts. The heart is the center of who we are. It refers to our spirit or inner man and is the seat of our words, thoughts, and actions (Proverbs 23:7; 27:19). Our words and actions reflect the intention of our hearts (Matthew 15:18-20). We are to guard our hearts and keep it with all diligence, above all else, for it determines the course of life (Proverbs 4:23). Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Therefore, what we believe and what is in our heart’s matters. Faith believes in God and His Word (Hebrews 11:6). Let faith guard your heart. Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). He wants to purify our hearts and mouths!
Let’s look at some conditions that our hearts could have. (These are not in any particular order). As you read through the list, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of these conditions in your heart.
- Our hearts have turned from God, and we are following our ways and the ways of the world.
- We have a hard heart through unbelief or are half-hearted concerning things of the Lord
- We have a divided heart trying to serve two masters
- Our love for God has diminished, and we do not love Him as we once did. We have lost our first love and have become self-centered.
- We have forsaken a Christ-Centered life to embrace watching TV, and have time for sports and entertainment more than praying, worshiping the Lord, and reading and studying His Word.
- Living an unholy lifestyle by what we watch, listen to, or do.
- We don’t grieve over our sin and the sin of others.
- Our jobs, careers, and making money take first place in our lives.
- We have forsaken the assembling together as the body of Christ. We may not all be able to gather in our church buildings, but we can still get together on-line. Many have neglected this opportunity.
- Our conversations don’t focus on the Lord and what He is doing but rather about the news, weather, world, and national events.
- We are speaking negative things over our lives and situations rather than what God has said, which brings life.
- We have allowed corrupt talk, i.e., gossip, slander, complaining, jealousy, contention, strife, etc.
- We don’t have a desire to share the gospel with the lost.
- We don’t take a stand for Christ and Biblical values.
- We have lost our joy, peace, and passion.
- We are prideful, arrogant, and self-centered.
- We are fearful, worried, and anxious.
- We have forgotten who we are in Christ and the covenant that we have with the Father through Jesus and His finished work on the cross.
- We have followed after idols and become like the world.
- We have allowed bitterness, unforgiveness, offense, division and strife in our relationships and churches
- We don’t trust the Lord to be our source by looking to the ways of the world and getting into debt
- We have grieved the Spirit or quenched the Spirit and fire of God in our lives
The list could go on! It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). We don’t wake up one morning and find that we are a different person overnight. Our hearts change little by little over time if we allow it!. Perhaps we’re not heeding the voice of the Lord when He is speaking. We’re too busy and distracted to listen. Or we’re not obeying.
Maybe you don’t see your heart on this list, but the Lord may want to take things out of your life that He didn’t plant, or they are not what He has designed for you, His best. He wants to remove anything that was planted by the enemy and uproot it, i.e., fear, disappointment, depression, grief, etc.
Our hearts can deceive us, and we may even think we are doing okay (Proverbs 21:2; Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 1:8; Galatians 6:7), but it is the Lord who searches the heart and reveals it to us because only He truly knows and sees our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; Jeremiah 17:9 – 10; John 2:23-25). It is His Word that discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). So, we must spend time in the Word so that it can change us and keep us from sin (Psalm 119:10-11; Romans 12:2).
Jesus said we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind (Matthew 22:37). How do we do this? We can’t do it of ourselves. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us by revealing our hearts and helping us to change (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:26-27). Only He can bring the revelation, show us how to apply God’s Word to our lives, and give us the grace and power to walk in it (Psalm 119:11).
When we minister to the Lord through worship, prayer, and spending time with Him and His Word, we come into His presence, and we are changed. Everything in our lives flows from this place of relationship. When was the last time you had an encounter with the Father? When you sat in His presence and asked Him what was on His heart to pray? He wants to recapture our hearts and for us to know His heart! The Lord is awakening our hearts to return to our first love for Him (Revelation 2:1-7). Our first love is the love that Jesus gives us for God and each other (1 John 4:6 – 19; Romans 5:5).
It is the Holy Spirit who can tenderize and purify our hearts (James 4:8). He is the refiner’s fire (Proverbs 17:3). He brings the fire, and He destroys everything that is not of Him. The psalmist asked God to search his heart to see if there was any wickedness in him (Psalm 139:23-24), and to create in him a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).
Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:12 – 14 (NKJV)
Call to Action!
Ask the Holy Spirit to shine the light on your heart. Ask the Lord to baptize you again with the Holy Spirit and fire to consume all that is not pleasing to Him. Ask the Lord to forgive you and to cleanse you from all sin and unrighteousness and secret or presumptuous sins. He is faithful and just to do it (1 John 1:9). We may need to forgive others as well and also allow the Lord to bring healing to the wounds in our souls. Charles Finney said if you aren’t going through seasons of repenting, you are probably backsliding!
Call to Surrender!
After we repent and turn from our sin, surrendering to Him is the next step. We surrender our lives to Him as King of kings and Lord of lords! Jesus wants us to be His disciples – to be all in, to forsake all. We can then surrender our hearts to Jesus as Lord. We make Jesus King of our lives by surrendering our hearts, wills, and lives to Him completely. Total surrender to Him.
What does surrender look like? It is dying to self (John 12:20-26), living for Christ, and putting Him first and as the top priority, i.e., first in our thoughts, plans, ambitions, decisions, time, etc. He becomes the Lord and ruler of our lives. Surrender is more than just yielding. It is about committing all that we are and have to Him. We honor Him as our deserving King by putting Him first, by obeying Him and worshiping Him. Worship is giving honor, respect, and attention to someone or something. True worship of God is surrender to Him.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (NKJV) (The AMP Bible says your rational act of worship)
Salvation is free, but there is a cost to discipleship. We must be willing to give up everything, including our families and lives, to follow Him (Matthew 10:37-39; Revelation 12:11). We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).
What is our cross? Typically, it’s something we don’t want to do that He is asking us to do! The cross represents every part of our lives and giving it all to Jesus in service to Him. Denying ourselves isn’t the same thing as submission. We deny ourselves so that we can submit to God. It is not the situation that is the cross, but our response to that situation that is the cross.
There may be some suffering involved. He told us persecution for righteousness sake would come (Matthew 5:10) and to everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12). He told us to remember that the world hated Him first. Jesus said that in the world, we would have tribulation but to be of good cheer because He overcame the world (John 16:33)! When we give ourselves to Jesus as His follower, we will experience the abundant life He has promised us (John 10:10).
I believe it is essential to ask the Holy Spirit daily if there is any sin that needs to be dealt with and also surrender our heart, will, and life to the Lord. Don’t take offense and forgive everyone from the heart (Matthew 18:35).
Call to Holiness!
We need a Spirit of holiness and the fear of the Lord upon our lives. God is Holy, so we are to be holy.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13 – 16 (NKJV)
To be holy means to be cut off or separate from, not common or ordinary. Biblical holiness has moral meaning and relates to God. We can grow in holiness and godliness by guarding against worldliness (1 John 2:15), renewing our mind with the Word of God (Romans 12:2), thinking godly thoughts (Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:8), increasing our knowledge and trust of Him, and by obeying Him.
When we see His holiness, it gives us a new understanding of God. We should not lose sight of His majesty and holiness while seeing His love, mercy, and grace. Don’t take these for granted and treat them lightly. He is holy and worthy of all worship, praise, glory, and honor. He invites us into a relationship with Him as Abba, Father, but He alone is God (Psalm 86:10).
“Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” Revelation 15:4 (NKJV)
Call to Prayer and Fasting!
Once we have repented for our sins, we can fast, pray, and repent for the sins of the church. Things like unbelief, legalism, false doctrines, following the traditions of men rather than God, grieving the Holy Spirit, jealousy, gossip, slander, strife, etc. Remember, revival flows from the church (2 Chronicles 7:14). Next, pray, fast and repent for the sins of our nation, i.e., abortion, racism, prayerlessness, idolatry, injustice, greed, corruption, violence, murder, etc. (Joel 2:12-17; Nehemiah 1:4-11; Daniel 9:1-19). Repentance turns away God’s judgment and births revival (Jonah 3:1-10).
We are to gather together and intercede for the body of Christ and our nation (Isaiah 64:9; Ephesians 1:15-20; 3:14-21; Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Be led by the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit how to pray and allow Him to pray through you in your prayer language. Revival starts with 2 or 3 interceeding and then grows as the Lord works on the hearts of His people and draws them to stand in the gap and make up the hedge!
“So I sought for a man among them who would make up a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV)
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (NKJV)
Come, and let us return to the LORD, for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight. Let us know; let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth. Hosea 6:1 – 3 (NKJV)
Even though God has said something and has a plan, we need to pray it into fulfillment, or it won’t happen (See Daniel 9). God does nothing on earth except through man (Psalm 115:16). He gave us His Son Jesus to return the dominion of the earth to us after we lost it to Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:26-28; Luke 4:5-8). God is in charge, but we are in control. Therefore, a man needs to pray and release God’s power into the earth by yielding to the Holy Spirit and cooperating with Him, which brings heaven to earth and rivers of living water.
We must pray for discerning the times and seasons of the Lord and for divine connections. You don’t need to try to do things on your own and in your strength. As you walk in the Spirit and follow His leading, He will connect you with those flowing in the same river of revelation. Pray for His will to be done and His kingdom to come from heaven to earth. We must pray for unity, wisdom, and the strength to contend and endure. Create an environment for His glory through prayer and worship.
Cry out for justice and mercy (Psalm 89:14). Justice and mercy are at the root of revival. God judges sin and injustice because He is just and loving (Ecclesiastes 3:17; Isaiah 30:18-19). He must destroy the evil from the earth. God’s mercy is His love, compassion, and kindness towards people (Micah 6:8). The mercy of God convicts you of sin, so there can be repentance. He desires mercy, but He must have people crying out and praying for it (Zechariah 7:9; Psalm 119:149). Pray for righteous judges to speak the truth.
Are you ready for revival?
Do you hunger and thirst for God and a move of God? God is not done yet. I believe there is another great awakening for the world, bringing healing, miracles, and a great harvest of souls coming into the kingdom of God! We need to count the cost and make up our minds ahead of time on how much we are willing to suffer loss for the gospel and revival, so we will have the strength and endurance to stand (Luke 14:25-35). Our only hope is revival! We need to keep our hearts ready for the next advance. We set our hearts on You.
We can’t live off of past revelations! We need to make way for new wine and must pour out the old, previous disappointments, the old mindset, and revelation, and position ourselves for the outpouring of the Spirit of God (Mark 2:22). He is doing a new thing, and we must be ready for it (Isaiah 43:19). We can’t assume it is going to be like anything we have ever seen or experienced before. Don’t do it man’s way but God’s way.
2020 is the Hebrew year 5780, year of the mouth. As prophetic people, we are to proclaim or decree God’s Word over our lives, families, cities, and nations (Matthew 10:27). To proclaim is to cry out, publish, announce, or decree. We need to not just prophesy for God but from God. His Word will not return void, but God will cause it to prosper (Isaiah 55:11). God is the source of life. Decree and prophesy to the dry bones, things that are dead, and call them to live by the Spirit of God (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
God sends the rain to come into the dry places in our lives to restore and fill us so that rivers of living waters will flow out of us (Isaiah 41:18).
Then the LORD will be zealous for His land and pity His people. Joel 2:18 (NKJV)
Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. Joel 2:23 – 24 (NKJV)
He gave the outpourings faithfully before, and He will pour the former and the latter rain, the final outpouring as well. There will be a mass harvest of souls overflowing rivers when the glory shows up. Keep contending. More waves will show up!