Friday, March 03, 2017

Ever heard of Jonathan Goforth & the Manchurian Revival?

Jonathan Goforth was a missionary to China along with his wife Rosalind from 1888 into the 1930's.  Goforth survived a brutal sword attack during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 that left him with numerous near-fatal wounds. But they persisted. Jonathan was transformed by his encounter with revival in Korea in 1907 and desperately sought God through prayer, repentance and faithfulness to the scriptures that God might bring revival to China. 

And God graciously answered. In 1908 as Goforth spoke throughout Manchuria in various cities God moved in power bringing deep repentance of previously hidden sins among the Christians followed by thousands of conversions to Christ. The spiritual landscape was transformed. The fruit of this revival is felt to this day in the thriving Chinese church.

Goforth has left us some inspiring quotes on revival:

“There never has been a revival except where there have been Christian men and women thoroughly believing in and wholeheartedly pleading the promises of God,”

“Pentecost is yet within our grasp. If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idols remain still enthroned; because we still insist on placing our reliance on human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that ‘it is not by might, but BY MY SPIRIT.’”

"I love those that thunder out the Word. The Christian world is in a dead sleep. Nothing but a loud voice can awake them out of it."

Thursday, March 02, 2017

How do you define a revival?

I like this one by Martyn Lloyd-Jones: "revival is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, brought about by the intercession of Christ, resulting in a new degree of life in the churches and a widespread movement of grace among the unconverted. It is an extraordinary communication of the Spirit of God, a superabundance of the Spirit’s operations, and enlargement of his manifest power.”

Let's ask God to work such revival in our lives, churches & the nations!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Did you know that revival is taught in the Bible?

The Bible instructs us in how to understand and pray for revival. We see patterns of decline and revival among the reigns of the different Judges & Kings. Almost every judge in the book of Judges is raised up in a period of national revival in Israel. We see great revivals during the reigns of David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Josiah.

The New Testament, particularly as recorded in the Book of Acts, is one long revival from Pentecost to Paul's inprisonement and beyond.The addresses to the churches in Revelation is a call for revival for at Ephesus, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Laodicea.

And we have a whole Psalm at least dedicated to revival, Psalm 85. Hear the pleas of God's people hungry for revival:

Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us!
Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?
Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
Psalms 85:4-7

Let's pray that God brings deeper revival in our day characterized by a greater experience of the power of the Spirit, a fresh love and wonder for the gospel of Christ, and a life-changing awe at the holiness of God all resulting in radical consecration and service and an abundant harvest of lives made new!