But revival--a real spiritual awakening--did not occur. How do I know? Because when the services ended, everything went back to exactly the way it was before. The burdens we had for our own sin disappeared. Our zeal for the lost faded. Our commitments to serve and love the Lord and Him only vanished. So while we had great "services" the actual Revival was no where to be found.
Don't get me wrong. Having revival services can certainly spark that great movement of God among us so that we make recommitments to the Lord, see people saved, marriages restored, and relationships healed. We pray for those kinds of things to happen this week.
Billy Graham once said, "When revival comes, I expect to see two things: first, a new sense of the holiness of God on the part of the Christians; and second, a new sense of the sinfulness of sin on the part of Christians."
So how do we have a revival? R. A. Torrey prescribed this: "First, let a few Christians (there need not be many) get thoroughly right with God themselves. Second, let them bind themselves together in a prayer group to pray for revival until God opens the heavens and comes down. Third, let them put themselves at the disposal of God for Him to use as He sees fit in winning others to Christ. That is all. I have given this prescription around the world, and in no instance has it ever failed and it cannot fail."
It begins with me. And you. Evangelist Gypsy Smith was once asked how to start a revival. His answer: "Go home, lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor. Draw a chalk mark all around yourself and ask God to start the revival inside the chalk mark. When He answers your prayer, the revival will be on."
We anticipate some anointed, inspired and inspiring music and preaching this week! But Bro. Joe and Bro. Slater didn't bring revival with them in their suitcases. If revival actually comes to Utica Baptist Church this week, it will be because you and I have repented of sin and sought the Face of God. "Lord, send a revival--and let it begin in me!"
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com