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Recently my wife, Karla, and I, had the privilege to visit a place called Grimsby beach. This was the place where the Third Great Awakening started. I’ve visited Grimsby, Ontario many times, I had heard that it had revival roots. I imagined that it was a small revival, something not many people knew about. However, as we visited, we could feel such a peace and presence of God that was tangible. Many people may pass this place by without a second thought, but for us Pentecostals we should understand its significance.
I have always enjoyed studying Church history. I have particularly been drawn to the Great Awakenings. The history books don’t usually report that the sparks of revival began in Hamilton and Grimsby, Ontario. It speaks about the mighty works that happened in Ireland & Wales but nothing about Canada. I was happy to have come across this article that speaks about the origins of the Third Great Awakening.
If you know Karla and me, you know that revival burns in our hearts. We desire to be on the frontlines of revival. Our prayer is that revival would spark in every place that we visit. God is wanting to pour out His Spirit in powerful ways. Let’s make seeking God our priority.
Let’s look at a familiar Biblical story to learn how to cause our hearts to burn for Jesus. He is calling us to a deeper relationship with Him where our hearts are burning with passion to see God move.
1. Draw closer to Jesus to get a heart for revival
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. Luke 24:13-16
These disciples recently had Jesus taken away from them. They saw Him die on the cross. They were sad and conversing with one another about Jesus. As they spoke, Jesus appeared to them and they did not even recognize Him.
Sometimes we can focus so much on our difficulties and circumstances that we do not even realize that Jesus is there with us.
2. In Revival things happen differently than we thought
But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Luke 24:21
The disciples were expecting the Messiah to come in a different way that he came. They figured that he would come and fight off the Roman soldiers and free them from their oppression. They did not realize that Jesus came to set them free spiritually. He would come in spiritual power and not with force.
Sometimes we can think we know what revival will look like. We study revivals of the past; we see some similarities and then suppose that God will do the same things. However, that is the way we put God in a box. We must understand that God wants to come in a new way. He wants to do a new thing. Revival may not always come they way we thought it would.
God wants us to be hungry for more of Him. He wants us to have an overwhelming desire for His Presence to touch and change our lives and those of our generation. God does things differently than we perceive that He will do them.
How many have asked God to change your schedule or to interrupt your plans? I believe all of us who hunger for God have asked that. Now during COVID-19 God has done just that. We thought that God would only interrupt a day or two, but for some He has flipped our months upside down. However, we must continue to trust Him. He is preparing the world for revival like never before.
3. The closer we walk with Jesus the more He will show us
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24:27
The disciples had thought one way, but Jesus did things differently. However, as they walked with Jesus, He began to open the Scriptures to them. Things that they had read and were familiar with were now being explained to them in a new light.
This will happen to us as well when we walk closely with Jesus. He will show us His heart for revival. The Holy Spirit will show us Scriptures in a new light. We will begin to see things in a different way then we had understood them before. Draw closer to Him.
4. Revival will last longer and go further than we expect it to go
Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Luke 24:28-29
Jesus was ready to go further. The disciples had to restrain Him to stay with them. Do you want revival to last long? Do you long for more? Ask Jesus to stay. Invite the Holy Spirit to interrupt your meetings and expect Him to do just that.
5. Desire for revival will want His Presence to remain
But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Luke 24:29
Even though they still had not recognized Jesus walking with them, they longed for more. They wanted Him to stay with them. As we get hungry for revival our desire is for God’s Presence. We cannot get enough of it. You want to linger there for long periods of time. No longer can you stay satisfied with a small touch of Heaven. You want to experience more.
Jesus enjoyed their company as well. Because they had invited Him, He decided to stay. How often do you invite Jesus’ Presence to stay with you? He wants to abide with you; not just visit for a short time. His Presence does not have to leave. You can invite Him to stay as long as you want.
6. Revival Presence will open our eyes
Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. Luke 24:30-31
If you want to receive deeper revelation you must stay in His Presence. No more microwave prayers. Abide in Him. Let Him stay with you. His Presence is always readily available for you. Stay with Him until He reveals new things to you.
7. When our hearts burn with revival fire, we must testify
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:32-35
Once they received the revelation of who Jesus was, it all made sense. They had felt fire burning in their hearts, but they had not identified it yet. There may have been some suspicion, but they were not sure until they saw the holes in His wrists. As they remained in His Presence, He revealed Himself to them.
They now had to tell the world. When revival burns within us, we cannot remain quiet. We must tell others about who Jesus is. The fire inside causes us to speak out.
Let God’s fire burn in your heart today. Ask Him for more. Stay longer in His Presence. Stay until He reveals something to you. Listen for His voice. He will speak to you today. His fire will consume who you are. Your life will not remain the same.
Author of Trusting God’s Timing