I’m taking a temporary detour this week from the series on divorce.
I begin by quoting a powerful book written by Duncan Campbell who was born in 1898. The title is, The Price and Power of Revival. Mr. Campbell makes this powerful declaration: “How is it that while we make such great claims for the power of the Gospel, we see so little of the supernatural in operation? Is there any reason why the Church today cannot everywhere equal the Church at Pentecost? I feel this is a question we ought to face with an open mind and an honest heart. What did the early Church have that we do not possess today? Nothing but the Holy Spirit, nothing but the power of God. Here I would suggest that one of the main secrets of success in the early Church lay in the fact that the early believers believed in unction from on high and not entertainment from men…How did the early Church get the people? By publicity projects, by bills, by posters, by parades, by pictures? No! The people were arrested and drawn together and brought into vital relationship with God, not by sounds from men, but by sounds from heaven…The early Church cried for unction and not for entertainment. Unction is the dire and desperate need of the ministry today.”
Duncan Campbell is right. We must preach and proclaim God’s Word with the power of the Holy Spirit if we are to experience true revival. Without authority and power from on high, words are lifeless.
Where are men with uncompromising power and authority in the pulpits today? The one thing that all of the great revivals in church history had is the one thing that we are lacking—the power of the Holy Spirit. The problem is that many of us don’t truly want revival, or the power of the Holy Spirit.
This month, as I was praying for revival for our nation, my prayer suddenly shifted to revival for our church. I prayed, “Lord, bring revival to our church.” But I was not ready for the response that followed. I felt as if God was saying loudly, and clearly, “You don’t want revival—it will ruin your schedule, your dignity, your image, and your reputation as a person who is ‘well balanced.’ Men will weep throughout the congregation. Women will wail because of the travail of their own souls. Young adults will cry like children at the magnitude of their sin. My presence will be so strong that the worship team will cease playing. Time will seem to stand still.”
“You won’t be able to preach because of the flood of emotions entering your own soul. You’ll struggle to find words, but only find tears. Even the most dignified and reserved among you will be broken and humbled as little children. The proud and self righteous will not be able to stand in My presence. The doubter and unbeliever will either run for fear, or fall on their knees and worship Me—there can be no middle ground. The church will never be the same again. YOU DON’T WANT REVIVAL!”
The very thing we need is the very thing we’re afraid of. “The Church must first repent; then the world will break! The Church must first weep; then our altars will be filled with weeping penitents” (Leonard Ravenhill).