How Do We Know If Revival is Real?

This week, listen in to Pastor J.D.’s thoughts on revival that he shared at a recent Summit Church staff meeting.

Show Notes:

  • There are two ways God sends revival:
    • All at once” and “over time
  • Rick Warren has said that Saddleback has never had a revival, only a ‘vival’
    • While Saddleback isn’t a perfect church, there’s a lot of evidence of genuine spiritual awakening but it didn’t happen in one service that extended for eight days. It happened through faithful preaching, teaching and disciple making.
    • It’s important to be aware that God is the one who chooses how he sends things.
  • To quote Tim Keller, the definition of revival is, “The intensification of the ordinary operation of the work of the Holy Spirit, occurring mainly through the ordinary ‘instituted means of grace’— preaching, pastoring, worship, prayer.”
    • During these seasons God’s glory gets heavier, sin becomes more real, Jesus’ love and presence become more “felt.” And lots of people get saved.
    • So we get up every day and we do those four things listed out: preach, pastor, worship and pray.
  • My encouragement to you is, don’t force anything, or assume it has to look just like somewhere else.
    • Almost none of Jesus’ miracles happened the same way: Sometimes he speaks, sometimes he spits on the ground—it’s all in different ways. You can not reproduce a miracle. You keep on doing what he has called you to, and God will work.
  • We can long for revival and not assume anything BUT there are a few things that these kind of awakenings always have in common:
    • Prayer—the evidence that God is on the move.
      • I was reminded of this recently in Psalm 71. David, as he got older, saw his main job as “proclaiming your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” I’m not older, but I wanted to share this. I want the next generation of the Summit church (leaders that we’re raising up), to know in the depths of their heart that God is faithful and he answers prayers.
    • The second characteristic is always confession of sin. There’s a greater awareness of your sinfulness.
      • It starts in the church. The few revivals I’ve had a privilege to be a part of always start with the leaderships’ sensitivity to sin.
    • The final characteristic is having an openness to the Spirit.
      • We just join God in what he is doing.

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