top of page

Spiritual Revival Will Never Happen Until We Get This Right

Updated: Aug 23

spiritual revival will never happen until this

As a worship pastor, It's refreshing to be back in person worshiping together after a year of quarantine. Though many churches are meeting in person again, something is different, and everyone feels it. I think many church leaders expected a surge of people to flood in through the back doors of their auditoriums. After a year of not meeting, surely these people missed worshiping together so much that they would be overflowing with passion and zeal, right? But that's not really what is happening—at least, not everywhere. People are tired. Many churches are seeing less than half the attendance numbers they had back in March 2020. So what is happening? Where did everyone go? I think most Christians can agree that we need some kind of revival.

We need a fresh wind from the Holy Spirit. But what does that even mean? What does revival look like? Some people might define revival as louder singing, more hands being raised, and more excitement about spiritual things. Let's pull out all the stops—maybe a sermon series about revival or some kind of initiative or event that brings the life back into our church services. But wait a minute. Here's the problem. To induce revival by adding more energy and excitement into our services is like lighting a piece of paper on fire next to a wet log. It might have the appearance of a burning hot fire, but that's all it will be—an instant flame with no power or heat. So what is the answer? How do we restore the joy of our salvation? How do we bring back the excitement for the things of God? Is it prayer and fasting, listening to sermon podcasts, or singing worship music?

  • In Isaiah 58, the people of Israel prayed and fasted. But they prayed and fasted while exploiting workers, arguing, and fighting with each other. God told them that they were missing the whole point... the fasting he desires involves sharing food with the hungry, providing shelter to the needy, and clothing the naked.

  • In Ezekiel 33, the people of God came to the temple to worship God, but while they worshiped, they were hoarding money from the widows and orphans who starved to death. God said, "My people come and listen to my words but to them it's like listening to a love song because they leave unchanged. They worship me with their lips but their hearts are greedy for selfish gain."

  • In Amos 5, people sang songs and had exciting religious festivals while they were depriving justice from the poor. God said, "Away with the noise of your songs. I don't want to hear them!"

  • In Joel 2, the people would tear their clothes to show how sorry they were for their sins, but as they were confessing their sins, they were simultaneously devising their next sin. God told them not to tear their clothes, but to tear their hearts instead.

Throughout ancient history, the people of God tried to worship him by doing "Christian" things like fasting, listening to sermons, and singing songs. But each time, God would say, "No, thanks!" The missing piece to their worship was "love." True worship is not about more fasting, more sermon podcasts, more worship music, or more serving. It's not about more doing. True worship is about love.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus which command was the most important, Jesus replied, the summary of the law and all the prophets is this: "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself." True worship is about love. It begins in the heart. It starts with seeing God's love for you and then letting his love come in until it floods your entire soul and strength. God doesn't want our songs until he has our hearts. He doesn't want our service until he has our submission. Revival is about restoring the heart of worship back to each and every believer. It starts by seeing the love of God until that love breaks us down, empties us, and then fills us until it pours out of us and touches our neighbor.

If 2020 showed me anything, it was that social media is filled with people who have faith but do not have love. But "if we have faith to move mountains and do not have love, we are nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1) If we sing songs, listen to sermons, go to church, go to small group, serve at the local non-profit, but do not have love... we gain nothing. God is not interested in the boxes we check. He wants our heart. He wants our deepest desire to be him. He wants us to see love and then be love to him and our neighbor.

If we are to experience revival, we must repent from the sins of selfishness, anger, slander, impatience, and bitterness toward our neighbor that was so prevalent over the course of last year. Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor is our spouse, our friend, our co-worker, our stranger, and our enemy. We can love the lovable people in our lives with no problem, but what about the neighbor who doesn't deserve our love? We deserved the wrath of God to fall on us when we were God's enemy, and yet he went to the cross to die for us instead. This is the kind of love we have been called to. When the love of God fills us, it comes out of us. When the world says, "Offend me and I will cancel you," Jesus says, "Offend me and I will die for you." This is the love God has for us. And this is the love that needs to take over our churches if we are to see a Holy Spirit awakening. This is the kind of love that will bring revival. This is true worship. Love as you've been loved.

Read more from the book "You Are What You Worship"

184 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

In the new song I just released, the last line of the chorus says, "If I fear you, I won't be afraid." When we think of fear, we typically think of unhealthy fear. We think of anxiety, panic, and stre

Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page