|Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
As NRB 2010 is fast approaching, I am reminded that if we truly want to reach the world for Christ in our generation we must first acknowledge our own need for revival. And we must begin in prayer.
Great volumes have been written on revival, so I do not presume that my thoughts would be of any particular value to you. Yet so needful are we of revival that I have included in this space the thoughts of others on the topic of revival.
In describing revival Charles Finney said, “Revival is the renewal of the first love of Christians resulting in the conversion of sinners to God. It presupposes that the church is backslidden, and revival means conviction of sin and searching of hearts among God’s people. Revival is nothing less than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
Robert Coleman called it “that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing.”
Stephen Olford characterized revival as: “an invasion from heaven that brings a conscious awareness of God.”
Relating the intimate nature of it, Vance Havner expresses revival as “the church falling in love with Jesus all over again.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones articulates revival simply but elegantly: “A revival means days of heaven on earth.”
Consistent with its transformational nature, James Stewart defines revival as “the people of God living in the power of an ungrieved, unquenched Spirit.”
According to Andrew Murray, “a true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness, making God’s love triumph in the heart.”
In describing its essence, Charles Spurgeon observed that “genuine revival without joy in the Lord is as impossible as spring without flowers, or day-dawn without light.”
“In revival,” noted Brian Edwards, “the minds of people are concentrated upon things of eternity, and there is an awareness that nothing else really matters.”
In speaking of our desire to see it come, G. Campbell Morgan said: “Revival cannot be organized, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again.”
While acknowledging our desire for it, Warren Wiersbe cautions us saying: “There are no shortcuts when it comes to revival. The church desperately needs revival, but it is not going to come by quick and easy methods. Evan Roberts prayed for eleven years before the Welsh Revival broke out, and his ministry during that remarkable time broke him physically. More than one hundred thousand people were converted to Christ during that mighty awakening, but it was not the result of manufactured meetings (they were spontaneous) or manmade promotions. True revival goes deeper than that.”
Perhaps Howard Spring said it best: “The kingdom of God is not going to advance by our churches becoming filled with men, but by men in our churches becoming filled with God.”
So, I ask that you pray for the upcoming NRB Convention, that God will bring the men and women he wants to be there for His purposes alone and that His will be done in everything we do. And, finally pray that as NRB seeks to advance the Kingdom of God through electronic media, may we too become men and women filled with God.