Contrary to popular belief, revival should never be the utmost desire for the church. Its utmost desire should be the elimination of a need for revival, which would mean that the church is so full of holy life that revival is no longer required. You see, there is no need to revive a vibrant life…it is already alive and well!
Furthermore, I firmly believe that many churches today are in such a carnal state that revival is not a viable option. Think about it…why would God revive something that He never intended to live in the first place?!? I know this is a harsh statement, but, contrary to popular opinion, the truth can be harsh sometimes…and convicting.
It is clear from Scripture that the key to a lively and vibrant church is the presence of the Holy Spirit. In John 6:63, Jesus Himself declares that “it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.” The directness of this statement is just as profound as its simplicity, because it leaves little room for debate. Therefore, if it is the Spirit Who gives life, then life within the body of Christ cannot come from any other source. It is also very telling that, immediately after Jesus spoke these words, “many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:66, NKJV)
Paul reiterates the importance of the Spirit of life in Romans 8:9-11, NKJV:
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
When the principles outlined in both of these passages are applied first to individual Christians, the end result are Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, vibrant Christians so full of life that no one can ever declare them dead. Furthermore, churches filled with these individual Christians take on the very same characteristics, thus rendering the need for revival null and void.
Yes, I desire revival as much as the next person, but I know that Christ desires much more from His body than simply being revived…He wants us to have life more abundantly. We must get back to being led by Holy Spirit in all that we do, both personally and corporately, so that we can truly live for Christ and put to death a need for revival once and for all.