No matter how things may seem in the world today, we always have hope, and we always have a call to action.
John 14:1 says, “Let not your heart be troubled” (KJV). That’s because we, as the Church, have an assignment. The events of 2020 and 2021 so far are a wake-up call for the entire Church. That’s why it’s so fitting that the word of the Lord through Brother Copeland is that 2021 is the Year of the Local Church.
In a recent message at Eagle Mountain International Church, David Barton shared a powerful word for the Church during this challenging time. He addressed the current yearning for a revival in America and shared the good news that every time there has been a revival, it has come during major social turmoil. Revival changes the way people think and act, so we have the perfect landscape for this to occur.
How do we know when a revival will occur? There have been a number of revivals in America that we can learn from. To help us be the Church as we look forward, there are things that are always part of revival. Here are The Top 5 Actions That Spark Revival that we can pursue together.
1. Run to the Roar
“I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” –Hebrews 10:38 (NIV)
When a lion roars, he gets the attention of everything around him. In fact, a lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 8 miles away. And there’s a purpose for it. A male lion is a slow mover, so though he is very powerful, he doesn’t make a good hunter. So, he will position himself on one end of the savannah, while the females move to the other end. When he roars, animals instinctively run away from the roar and right into the waiting group of lionesses.
These prey don’t understand that if you want to be safe, you have to run to the roar. The same is true with believers. First Peter 5:8 tells us that Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Our response? Run toward him, not away from him. To do this, we have to engage in a new way of thinking.
Proverbs 28:1 (KJV) says, “The righteous are bold as a lion.” That’s supposed to be us. We should run to the roar because we’re the ones who are supposed to be doing the roaring. So often, believers see themselves as lambs. So, they play defense and wait until something happens before they engage. To see revival—to see a change in our nation—we must operate on the offense, not the defense. We must be courageous.
Think about Revelation 21:8, which says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (KJV). The faithless and cowardly, in other translations, are in the same category as the murderers, sexually immoral and others who are going to hell.
Everyone else listed in this verse is going to hell for what they did. The fearful and cowardly are going for what they didn’t do—for not having backbone and refusing to stand.
The cowards and the fearful don’t want to engage in social issues. They don’t like battles. But that’s not who we are. If we want to be counted as righteous and see revival, we have to engage and be willing to take this action that sparks revival—run to the roar.
We’ve been playing defense for 40 years, and we’ve seen our country taken slowly from us. We have to move to offense. God made you and the local church for battle—for standing up and contending for what is right!
2. Each One Reach One
“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” –Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)
Revival comes when the local church—as in we the people of the Church—begin reaching out with the purpose of bringing people to salvation. Sometimes we look at the big picture, and it seems overwhelming. We think big ministries or missionaries will take care of the salvations, but that is not what God intended.
Right now, 32% of the world is Christian. If we set out with one objective—for each one to reach one person in one year—64% of the world would be Christian in one year’s time. If we start looking at revival as small steps, rather than a large event, we will see revival.
Get away from the crowd mentality. It’s a distraction. This year, in the Year of the Local Church, let us take this action that brings revival—each one reach one.
3. Focus on Discipleship
“Go therefore and make disciples.” –Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)
Now, we can’t stop at reaching that one person. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 isn’t just about winning souls; it’s about teaching people everything Jesus has taught us. Discipleship changes things—it changes people and their thinking, and it is found in every revival of the past.
When the majority of local churches are not teaching the full Word of God because they don’t want to offend anyone, they are missing the call to disciple people. Revival comes when the truth is taught in the local church. Instead of just calling for a sinner’s prayer, they’d have the tough conversations about how no-fault divorce is not biblical; they’d teach people to see things through the lens of the Bible when it comes to the economy, criminal justice and education.
Watch David Barton teach why it’s so critical for us to defend the truth.
Right now, only 6% of the world has a biblical worldview. We need a change! A revival changes the way people think and act. We need to start applying a Bible verse to every issue and help people understand how practical God’s Word is.
The local church cannot afford to view success as the number of people in attendance, the size of the building or the amount given in tithes. Jesus didn’t build the Church—He built the Kingdom. When we take the action that brings revival by discipling others, revival will come!
4. See Revival as a Process, Not an Event
“Stop judging by mere appearances.” –John 7:24 (NIV)
If you’re praying for revival, how do you know when your prayers have been answered?
History shows that spiritual change works itself out in public policy. For example, when people rise up and stop tolerating the killing of innocent unborn children, that’s a measurement of revival. Many people don’t realize that this change comes day by day, rather than just in one event.
Learn to see revival as a process, not an event, and your expectation and participation in bringing about revival will increase exponentially.
The first revival in America was from 1730 to 1770. The second ran from 1801 to 1878. These two revivals spanned over decades! Many people in those revivals didn’t even know it because ‘revival’ wasn’t just one or two dramatic events. Instead, it happened over time. It’s very similar to the way kids outgrow their pants. You don’t realize it’s happening until all of a sudden, one day, they are 2 inches too short.
Revivals are also transgenerational. That’s why it is so critical that the local church rise up and disciple millennials and Generation Z to teach them right ways of thinking and living, while also encouraging them engage the culture. Knowing that revival is a process, not an event, is key!
5. Fight Small Battles, Rather Than Large Wars
“Shammah held his ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the LORD brought about a great victory.” –2 Samuel 23:12
During the American Revolution, there were countless instances where, rather than waiting for national assistance, local residents—mostly church congregants—gathered to fight for their own territory. When the British came, pastors gathered their people and went out and fought. They focused on the small battles, and that is what helped fuel the final victory.
To see revival, we as the local church, need to fight for our assigned territory. We, as individuals, need to fight where we’ve been assigned. For example, some of the national battles with education curriculum began in the city of Fort Worth before it spread. We need Christians fighting at local levels to protect our nation.
That’s what Shammah did in 2 Samuel 23. He stayed and fought against the Philistines for a bean patch because that’s where he was assigned. He stood his ground and won. And because of this, “The LORD brought about a great victory” (verse 12).
We keep looking for a national victory, but what we need are local victories. Don’t let national events distract you. Zero in on your local community. A collection of local revivals ushered in past national revivals.
When we get enough local victories, that’s how we’ll win a national victory. That’s how we’ll see revival.
As you move into 2021, the Year of the Local Church, make a decision to participate in the top five actions that spark revival. Your seemingly small contribution, compounded with those of your millions of brothers and sisters in the Lord, will not only bring revival, but turn our nation and world to the Lord and to good!
Watch as David Barton shares more about the signs of revival.
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