What is the answer to the problems America is facing? What do our culture, our churches, and our families need most?
Many believe that we need another Reformation, and thus we need to be working on reformation in the church. Some even teach that we need another Reformation instead of a Revival.
Some believe that reformation needs to precede revival. Others believe that revival precedes reformation and will be needed in order to see another great Reformation.
Whatever your view may be, revival and reformation are different … and I believe both are needed!
In a formal sense, we may refer to The Reformation under Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago. But when we speak of “reforming” a person, church, or culture, we refer to a more standard definition.
Webster defines reformation as “the act of reforming; correction or amendment of life, manners, or of anything vicious or corrupt.”
Reformation is something we do in our own lives and something we are responsible for as we influence others.
The Lord told His prophet Jeremiah to warn the people of coming calamity and judgment. He warned His people, “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds” (Jeremiah 18:11 NASB).
The needed response to coming calamity and judgment is for the people of God to reform their ways. As Webster wrote, “correction and amendment of life, manners, or of anything vicious or corrupt.” To that I say Amen and Amen!
We should constantly be trying to bring about reformation in our own lives, families, churches, and society. But as much as I want reformation to take place, I also want the heart of reformation to take place, which I believe is revival.
Webster defines someone who is revived as one who is “brought to life; reanimated; renewed; recovered; quickened.” We need God to bring us back to life—to breathe new life back into us.
When the Spirit of God breathes on His people in seasons of revival, great reformation takes place at every level—in my personal life, my marriage, my children, my family. Revival also changes things in my church, my workplace, my community, and my personal relationships.
The worship of Christ, the authority of Scripture, and a view toward everything eternal begin to take center stage in our daily lives. In times of revival, the presence of God comes in more manifest ways and begins to reform our thoughts, words, and actions, often in dramatic ways.
Let’s work for reformation, but let us cry out to God for revival—revival in me and in others around me. Revival is the very nearness of God that sets our hearts on eternity and prepares us for 24/7 worship of the King of kings.
The message of the OneCry movement is to TURN, PRAY, and UNITE.
It is simply yet profoundly a call to personal and corporate repentance—turning from the things God hates toward the things God loves.
It is a call to extraordinary prayer in crying out to the King for mercy and outpourings of His Spirit like Jesus’ followers did at Pentecost and the years following.
It is a call to connect with other believers on a regular, ongoing basis and to humble ourselves, praying together and seeking His face and turning from sin to righteousness.
Those three things should lead us to carry a burden for being His instruments of reformation and, at the same time, for us to pray and wait on Him to bring glimpses of heaven on earth in glorious seasons of revival.