By Becca Keating
In the state of California, we often have earthquakes—not the big kind (6.5+)—but the small tremors that are barely noticeable. A few towns away my friends might hear the dishes rattle or feel a slight jerk underneath their feet, while I’ve felt nothing. Was there an earthquake? Yes, according to the Richter scale, which measures the magnitude of the quake. Do we stop what we’re doing and rearrange our schedule for the day? Probably not! Do we wonder when the next “big one” will shake all of California to provide Arizona with beach-front property? Yes, depending on our belief in the data and the sources from which the data comes.
From what I’m learning, revival is much the same. Revival is not just one of those weekend events (although the events may bring many people to the awareness of their eternal destiny). Historically, revival lasts for many years. It is like a groundswell among the people, eventually bringing exponential growth of those coming to faith in Christ as well as impacting the culture or region where the revival has taken place. Revivals are seen as the restoration of the church itself to a vital and fervent relationship with God after a period of moral decline. Have we experienced a moral decline in our nation and is there now a “push back” from those on the conservative right? Are we beginning to see signs of revival, revival we are praying for, and for which we have prayed for quite some time?
The concept of revival is derived from Biblical narratives of national decline and restoration during the history of the Israelites. In particular, narrative accounts of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emphasize periods of national decline and revival associated with the rule of various righteous and wicked kings. Josiah is notable within this Biblical narrative as a figure who re-instituted temple worship of Yahweh while destroying pagan worship. Modern church historians have identified and debated the effects of various national revivals within the USA and other countries. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American society experienced several “awakenings” around the years 1727, 1792, 1830, 1857 and 1882. More recent revivals in the twentieth century include those of the 1904–1905 Welsh Revival, 1906 Azusa Street Revival, 1930s Balokole, 1970s Jesus people, 1971 Bario Revival.
Robert Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute states, “I am struck by the high level of anxiety and worry on all fronts. There are many obvious causes of national nervousness: terrorism, crime, and domestic unrest, political divisiveness and manipulation, economic woes, and moral collapse, to name a few. Yet there is unidentifiable angst in the national soul. In our travels and interactions with people across the United States, we conclude this hidden distress is spiritual.” America needs revival, but first, there must be national repentance. National repentance is crucial for ridding a country and its people from the evils that cause fragmentation and dissolution. National repentance is strategically important because of the way the powers of darkness operate.
The teaching pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, Wallace Henley explains that, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places… (Ephesians 6:12). The demonic operates on the principle of ‘place,’ or ‘ground’ (Eph. 4:26-27). It is our own sin that provides the ground on which the demonic can build fortresses nationally. Repentance removes the ground and deprives Satan of his opportunity to control and destroy us.”
The United States repents the same way ancient Israel carried out national repentance: through the faithful remnant. The authentic Church is the agency of God’s authority in the world. This is not mere earthly power that depends on the strength of human flesh and muscle, rather, it is authority against the spiritual forces out to destroy the world. W. Henley expounds, “When the Church repents on behalf of its nation, God releases forgiveness and healing on the land. When that happens the waters of revival sweep across the nation, bringing life where there have been dry deserts and the harvest where there have been barren fields. The best thing for America is for the remnant within the midst of society to begin on its knees, repenting for national sins, and seeking God for revival.”
When revival sweeps a nation, there are changes within the culture that not only indicate a push-back on evil but progress of goodness. “Everyone who’s been paying attention knows the Left’s motivation and the Left’s endgame will be where Christianity either changes or finds itself consigned to the outer darkness, occupying the same cultural and political space as white supremacists,” says David French, an attorney, a staff writer at National Review, and a veteran of the Iraq War. “But here’s what the Left does not understand: religious faith is ultimately too strong to be subordinated to the demands of the state. A clear lesson of history is that the church perseveres. God implanted eternity into the hearts of men, and the spark of devotion to Him is not so easily extinguished.”
So now it is our time, the Lord’s time, to trust Him to revive His church, to revive this nation! I hear the rumbling of an earthquake, not the kind in California but the kind that rumbles in the souls of believers. I hear a rumbling of revival. A revival that is rippling across our land, shaking the ground of prayerful people from coast to coast, from the northern to the southern borders. God is at work in our nation, calling His church to humble itself, repent and turn from their wicked, complacent ways. The revival starts with His church, with His faithful remnant. It starts with you, those in whom Christ dwells. He wants to be at work in you and through you!
Let the rumbling of revival begin!
Submitted by Becca Keating. Becca is an author, speaker, and powerful, contemporary voice on the frontline of politics, media, and religion. Keating’s urgent first-person perspective on faith and policy are ripped from today’s headlines and featured on TV and talk radio. For more information, visit BeccaKeating.net