8/25/16 The Pursuit of Revival

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Psa. 85:6

Morning Meditation 8/25/16

This text says, “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” I have been a student of revival from the beginning of my ministry. I did not say I was an expert on the subject or a good historian of revival movements. I have read and do read of the movements and rejoiced in the mighty work of God in such movements. It thrills one to read of the experience of God in such times. It thrills one to see the profound effect that a mighty revival has on a city or a country. There are those of us who are burdened for such a revival in the local church, even one that would spread out to include our whole nation. That is a worthy burden. It is completely possible and we who believe the God of the Bible know that He is able to do in His sovereignty what He chooses to do. We also know that He responds to believing prayer. But we also know He cannot be talked into changing His mind where it is not his will.

I have prayed for a wide spread revival for our churches and nation for over 42 years. I must confess I have not yet lived to see what I have prayed for. I have seen small movements of God in different places and upon certain individuals. I do believe the burden for revival is possibly at the foundation of the so-called revival movements that spring up here and there. The charismatic movement was and is an example. It does not come near meeting the criteria of a genuine revival on the order of the Book of Acts or revival from a historic perspective. Then there is the “laughing revival movement.” Yet the gambling joints and the beer joints in those areas of these movements are losing none of their customers! Let me tell you. If you had a genuine revival, there would be undeniable evidence of such magnitude that it would have sinners worried. No one is worried. And true revival has not come.

I decided a few years ago that if I waited for revival on a church or national level that I might not experience it in my life time. So I began to re-examine my study of it from an individual and personal standpoint. I did find that personal revival can be experienced anytime and at all times by those who pursue it diligently and by faith. God is here. We do not have to talk Him into coming. As long as our perception of God is limited to “If we can only get God to come and meet with us and manifest His presence in our midst” we will not have personal revival. He is here. We need to quit praying like He is somewhere else. He is here.

Tozer asks, “Why do some persons ‘find’ God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course, the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.”

Then Tozer gives a list of those individuals in history who knew God in a special way. Men none of us would deny knew God in personal revival. Then he suggests some things these men had in common. He says, “I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity. Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis, I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that, when they felt the inward longing, they did something about it. They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response. As David said, ‘When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek’” (Psa. 27:8).

I believe John 7:37-39 gives us the way of personal revival: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

First of all this passage is written as a commentary on the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. That is what the parenthesis is about. Jesus said “He that believeth on me as the Scripture hath said.” What is it to believe on Jesus as the Scripture has said? Paul helps when he says: Rom. 9:33 “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Rom. 10:11 “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Every person who is saved has believed on Him in this manner. Your salvation has confirmed it. The greatest manifestation God we will ever receive is the new birth, and that comes when we believe the gospel which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. . .” (Rom. 1:16).

The word “believeth” in verse 38 is a present active participle. The present tense means “to continue to believe.” In John 4:14 where Jesus talks to the woman at the well, He told her, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” The word “drinketh” in this verse is an aorist active subjunctive verb. The aorist tense means to take one single drink once for all. The subjunctive mood means that the offer is there but it must be responded to. So in John 4, when Jesus is dealing with the woman at Jacob’s well, He is speaking to her of salvation. In John 7 He is speaking of Pentecost where the Holy Spirit came on believers as the Presence and Power to live and carry out the great commission. It has to do with the continual Presence of Jesus in the Person of the Holy Spirit supplying to us and through all that we need for carrying out His work on earth. So He used a present participle in the word “believe” (John 7:37) to show that we must continue to drink and to walk by faith in His unseen presence. Paul says, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Col. 2:6).

I have done what I am about to say. So it is not a criticism. But it is a fact. We hear preachers get in the pulpit and scold the congregation because of the lack of revival. They say, “There is sin in the camp or revival would come.” And it is hard not to agree with such statements as that. But have you ever noticed that the one in the pulpit is a judge of those of us who don’t have personal revival, and if you look closely, the man preaching has no signs of personal revival in his own life? I have come to the place where I have to say, “I am not disagreeing with you. But would you please show me how you obtained this blessing?” If he thinks he has revival and doesn’t, you are drinking out of the wrong stream! I had Roy Hession come and speak to my church on personal revival. He stayed in my home. We talked personally. There was no doubt in my mind that this man of God knew the experience of which he spoke. Those who knew him, said this was also true of Tozer.

Tozer says, “What God in His sovereignty may yet do on a world-scale I do not claim to know. But what He will do for the plain man or woman who seeks His face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days . . . We have within us the ability to know Him if we will but respond to His overtures . . . We will know Him in increasing degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice.”

We need to drink of the fountain which never runs dry. If we drink daily, there will be rivers flowing out to bless others without any special attempt or effort to be a blessing. And it won’t be us that is the blessing. We are just the channel thought which the Holy Spirit flows out to others.

May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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