I was in San Antonio, TX last week preaching at a local congregation, known as United By Grace. The week-long services are what would be called a revival. Revival services used to take place in many of our churches on an annual basis. It was an opportunity to awaken the membership from a possible content or casual view of why we are even doing “church.”
Over the past decade or more, annual scheduled revival meetings have gone away and many churches never have them anymore. It has been said that you really can’t schedule a revival. Only God Himself could even conceive of crafting up a revival within a church. So, churches have moved in the opposite direction and now don’t even try to present an opportunity to see if God would dare move during a scheduled revival meeting.
I haven’t personally preached a revival series in many years myself, but this seemed to be different. As I prayed through wether or not to accept the invitation to do so, I began to examine events in Scripture that were planned out, yet God decided to “show up.”
Jesus performed his very first miracle at a scheduled wedding. Jesus was crucified at a scheduled Passover annual event. So God can show up even if man created or scheduled event.
I took the church through a process of what I believed might be a way to have an actual revival. I preached through the 51st Psalm. I called it the “Create in me a clean heart” revival series.
First, there is a process of crying out for mercy. Second, a process of reminding ourselves of the Justice of God. Third, and an important phase for revival, is the crying out to be cleansed. And lastly, once all the other elements had been dealt with, we can cry out for a total restoration.
Through it all, many church members renewed their commitment to Jesus, and on Sunday morning of the last sermon of the revival, 11 new souls were saved.
Did revival really happen? I believe it did. My prayer is that it is a lasting revival that will be able to sustain United By Grace for years to come.
Stay in the Light,
1 John 1:7,