In the first two parts of the series, we looked at what is central to revival – the reawakening of the believer’s heart – and why Christians need this. But once we realise the need for revival in our own lives, it is helpful to know what to look for. In other words, what are the marks of revival? How will you know when God has begun that work in you?
The first mark is this: you will be renewed by the Holy Spirit. Of course, this is not the same as being born again, though it may feel like it! Your desire for God and your love for Him will have a focus and a strength that you had when you first believed. Though we are children of God, we do not often live like it, or think like it. Revival restores our first love, and gets us back to where we should be – in love with Jesus.
It is sometimes difficult to know when we have drifted away from God. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says that He stands outside the door, knocking. This verse is quite rightly used in connection with salvation, because those who do not know Jesus, need to consciously invite Him into their hearts. But the verse is actually addressed to the church in Ephesus! This church was planted by Paul, was pastored for some time by the apostle John, and yet had drifted away from Christ. They had drifted so far away that Jesus Himself felt He was excluded – and He wanted to take His central place again. That is revival recognising that we have drifted we have been “slack” in our love for Him, and asking Him for complete renewal.
In his letter to the same church, Paul describes the fruit of the Spirit as being “light” (Ephesians 5:9). The life of the Holy Spirit will produce light in us. Light illuminates – it shows things as they really are and destroys fear of the unknown. Light causes growth – plants need it to survive. Light brings heat and drives out darkness.
Are you bathed in His light? Have you allowed the Spirit to renew you completely – to show you how things really are in your life? To drive away fear and release you to trust God more? Open your heart to Him and ask Him to renew you now.