Revival is a work accomplished by God. It is sovereignly given and governed.
Who could accomplish the extraordinary results revival brings, where thousands are swept into God’s kingdom in a matter of days, and whole nations are awakened to His presence? Who could change your city in an instant, reviving every church and awakening the unbelieving? Only God.
But the Lord’s pattern has been to use certain tools in the process. And His most oft-used instruments are men—men who are ready to be used.
When God desired to turn the 400-year bondage of His people into glorious liberation, He called out a man He had been preparing for 80 years. When He chose to build a picture of His coming kingdom, He brought forth a neglected, youthful shepherd who was a man after His own heart.
When He was paving the way for His Son’s entrance, He used a wildly unconventional prophet who had been filled with the Spirit in his mother’s womb. When God longed to sweep 3,000 into His kingdom in a display of Pentecost power, He used a man who had freshly suffered his greatest humiliation and failure but had found faith at an empty tomb and empowering in an upper room.
And when you read the history of revival, it is littered with the stories of humble, broken men and women, filled with the power and boldness of God. Whitefield and Wesley, Edwards and Brainerd, Von Zinzendorf and Carey, Lanphier and Finney, Davies and McCreedy. He even used a young Bible student named Evan Roberts to be His voice to spark a revival that shook the world.
None of these men were used because of their persuasive speech or clever wisdom. Each had been taken through a process, often painful, to bring them to the end of themselves.
They had died to self-effort and self-promotion. They were men of prayerful dependence, who knew that they must decrease so Christ could increase. This humility gave them boldness and authority gained from purified intents.
These were imperfect men who were passionate for God’s presence and glory. They knew that the greatest need of their world was simply GOD.
They had released their grip on empty idols and were ready to call others to the same from the vantage of their revived experience. They were men ready to be filled and overflowing with the demonstration of the Spirit of God and His power.
His Personal Call
So, when God calls you to wake up in the middle of the night so He can give His you richest manna, do not resist Him. When He takes you through the crucible that grinds away every vestige of self-promotion, submissively realize its purpose. As He lays upon you boundaries that others seem to ignore, see it as His jealous discipline, and do not kick your feet in childish immaturity.
When He prompts you to speak strong words with prophetic edge, do not shrink back in fear. If He leads you to take steps not normal for your ministry but most assuredly from Him, cooperate instantly. And most importantly, when He calls you to a life of unceasing prayer, see intimate communion with Him as your greatest work and highest privilege.
If you believe you’re the next name for the record of revival history, you aren’t. But somewhere in the shadows, God is preparing men for seasons of great leadership. These are His men of revival—the men God can use.