Psalm 85:6 (ESV) – Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Revival comes from God. We can no more revive ourselves than we can save ourselves. It is a mighty act of sovereign loving grace that brings revival to pass. What we need to do is pray for it, as the Psalmist does here. “Will YOU not revive us again…?”
“Revival” has come to have some very strange definitions by some Christians that cannot stand the scrutiny of the Scriptures. It is not a week of meetings. It is not the demonstration of miracles and healings and speaking in strange languages. It is not necessarily demonstrated by spectacular manifestations of unusual things.
The word means “to live again”. In this Psalm it is that which brings the people to find their joy in God more than anything else.
We cannot plan a revival, guarantee a revival, call something that is not a revival, revival. But we can do what God commands us to do so that He will give the needed revival. We can pray. We can repent of sin. We can fellowship in love with other believers. We can keep short accounts with God. We can persevere in holiness and not give up, knowing that in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. And perhaps God will be pleased to grant the revival that we so sorely need.
And the mark of it will be that we rejoice in Him. We will rejoice in Him together in unity with others. This is a mark of revival that we desperately need to pray for. Oh that we would rejoice in God as we ought. When we are more smitten by God than sex and money and church growth; when the conversion of people to Christ causes us to worship Him with great gratitude, then we will know that, to some degree, we have had a visitation from God that can rightly be called revival. O Lord, send it now, and in the meantime, do not allow me to be taken aside to lesser things than You.