By J.W. Alexander
A time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord is also a time for great searching of hearts (Judges 5:16). Will you give a few moments to consider some questions concerning revival in your life?
Are you an enemy of revival? To treat lightly the operations of the Holy Spirit is very dangerous, not unlike the sin of the Pharisees who dishonored the miracles of Christ. Men may grieve or fight against the Lord and oppose His work of grace by denying it or by dwelling on everything that seems to be false in it, even when the Spirit of God is clearly and mightily moving people to Christ.
Do you rejoice in revival? The church cries to God: "Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6, KJV). The Church on earth and in heaven has no greater joy than one sinner repenting. God and Christ rejoice over multitudes being renewed and forgiven. Is this your joy also?
Are you a subject of revival? You hear about, and perhaps speak about, revival, but have you, yourself, been revived? This is a very serious question that you will have to answer if you are faithful to your own soul. It is not enough to be a church member. A revived church possesses revived members. Are you such a person?
Do you pray for revival? Revival begins in prayer. This fresh gift of the Spirit from the loving Savior at Pentecost was born in the midst of the cries and tears of His people. While they were yet praying, God was near to bless (John 20:19, 26; Acts 1:14; 2:1).
This precept is still true. As revivals begin in prayer, so they are maintained by prayer. Therefore, in the church meeting, in the prayer meeting, in the Sunday school, in the family, and in the closet, pray, pray, pray!
Are you helping forward the cause of revival? There is much work to be done among Christians and the unconverted. Almighty God is the only effectual power. Yet men are coworkers with God, humble instruments to convey His truth and promote His glory.
Do not say that you are too weak. He has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty. Do not say that you have no influence. You have already expended too much influence on the wrong side. Go forward in the name of the Lord, with light and love, and you will see the fruit of your labor.
Does your heart care for the converts of revival? New converts are endangered creatures, lambs in the midst of wolves. Christ cares for them and wants us to care for them also. It is not the will of the Father that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:14). Beware of how you offend new Christians or make them stumble. Seek to prevent their straying from Christ. Seek to help them with sound doctrine. Earnestly work to bring them to an intelligent and sincere profession of faith and then to useful labor for the Master. Half of the benefits of a revival are lost from the neglect of those who have been converted.
Have you sought to honor God in revival? By every true revival of religion, glory goes to the Lord God Almighty. But this glory is lessened by everything in the work of revival that clouds divine grace or exalts man. Oh, how careful we must be to maintain a reverence and godly fear of the Holy One in every meeting, every devotion, and every word!
Are you a candidate for revival? Are you longing for God to do a new work in you? Are you desirous for His new work of grace in you, or are you presently cold and indifferent? Stir up the gift of God in you and seek His face anew regardless of how you feel spiritually. Set yourself after Christ with a sincere heart until He is found of you in a new way.