Characteristics of a Revivalist
While revival is a ‘sovereign, supernatural move of God’, God, still in His sovereignty, chooses individual men and women to be His ‘human agents’ in initiating His revival.
One post, one chapter or even one book by itself is not enough to be able to cover the diverse characteristics found in the men and women that God uses to stir the body of Christ.
One common thread seems to be their love to soak in the presence of God and in His Word. This makes total sense to me because you cannot face the world with the power of God without first seeking God’s face.
- They Loved and Consumed the Word of God
No revival can be found outside the Word of God. Any revival that sways from making the Word of God as the foundation sways into dangerous zones. Men who loved revival took God’s Word as it is and became one with it.
They did not passively read God’s Word. The Word became everything till every shadow of doubt was cast away from them.
It is said about Smith Wigglesworth that he was never found without a Bible. He once said, “Believers are strong only as the Word of God abides in them. The Word of God is spirit and life to those who receive it in simple faith, and it is a verifier of all who own its sway.”
Know your Book. Live it. Believe it. Obey it. Hide God’s word in your heart. It will save your soul, quicken your body, illumine your mind. The Word of God is full and final, infallible, reliable, up-to-date, and our attitude towards it must be one of unquestioned obedience.
One of my greatest inspirations comes from a young revivalist from Wales named Evan Roberts. God used this young man to see a great revival in Wales at the age of 26. It is said about him that he was a constant student of the Bible and was never found without it, either in his hand or pocket.
- They Prayed Specific Prayers
Their prayer was not any general prayer. It was specific and precisely targeted. Prayer increases your sensitiveness to the Holy Spirit and your desire to follow the Word of God.
The story behind Evan Roberts is that he began to earnestly pray for revival at the age of 15. He remained steadfast in his prayer for eleven long years thus leading to an encounter with God. As a young man he spent hours praying in his room until once, his landlady became afraid of him and asked him to leave.
Most of us have not prayed for revival for even three days. But this young “teenager” did not grow weary of praying for revival till he saw his nation turned upside down.
- They Consecrated Themselves to the Call
Another powerful characteristic of a revivalist is their consecrated life. You cannot do what everyone is doing and expect to see something unusual.
God lives in holiness. He calls us to be holy just as He is holy. In the purity that comes from daily surrender, you position yourself for an encounter with God.
This does not mean these revivalists were perfect. It only means they pursued God persistently and died to their flesh everyday. Somehow every revivalist seemed to have disengaged themselves from youthful pleasures of this world. Think* Think* – what do you need to disengage from today?
- They Dreamed of Revival
A Church Elder queried how Evan would feel in the event he was absent when the Spirit of God fell; as a result there was not a night of the week when he was not at some meeting.
Roberts writes, “…for ten or eleven years I have prayed for revival. I could sit up all night to read or talk about revivals.”
Day and night without ceasing Evan Roberts prayed, wept and sighed for a great spiritual awakening.
All the revivalists who at some point carried revival were inspired by other revivalists or revivals. They surrendered their dreams for the plans God had for them. They exchanged their desires in return for God’s desires.
They talked about revival, thought about revival, prayed about revival and wept through the night for it. They read about it, sang about it and most of all, preached about it till their eyes finally embraced it.
In one sentence – they were consumed by the heart of God. How about you? Are you ready?