Here’s a great article from MinistryToday by Norman Benz: “Defining Revival“
Norman Benz observes that:
“Revival is always extraordinary, beyond what we consider to be the normal work of God.”
Then he proceeds to identify what revival isn’t.
Part 1 continues with has a number of observations and statements about revival from different folks like Raymond Ortlund, John Armstrong, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Richard Owen Roberts, Stephen Olford, J. Edwin Orr, Malcolm McDow, James Burns, and Robert Coleman.
My favorite is from Raymond Ortlund who states that revival is when:
“God comes down to us.” “a season in the life of the church when God causes the normal ministry of the gospel to surge forward with extraordinary spiritual power. … What sets revival apart is simply that our usual efforts greatly accelerate in their spiritual effects.”
In Part 2 Norman Benz lists six characteristics of revival:
1) Revival is the cooperative effort of mankind with God.
2) Revival is like an ocean wave.
3) Revival is characterized by the extraordinary speed with which it spreads.
4) Revival often follows a spiritual decline in the church and community.
5) Revival touches both the intellect and emotions as people are drawn to God.
6) Revival produces extraordinary results.
“When revival comes, a sovereign blessing occurs that is deep and lasting. The kingdom is advanced and the Word is more deeply rooted in the people”s lives. Revival is always the return of fresh life to the people of God. So while God is in control and we are the recipients of his gifts and blessings, He receives all the glory.”
Response: If you are interested in revival, the article is a must read. The six characteristics and the explanations under each are well worth the price of your time.
We are in a spiritual decline in the church and in this nation and all of the Western world. We’re in desperate need of revival and most of the church doesn’t even recognize it. Come Holy Spirit–bring revival to this land once more.