The greatest need in this country and the world today is revival in the Church of JesusChrist. “Yet Alas! The whole idea of revival seems to have become strange to so many good Christian people. There are some who even seem to resent the very idea, and actually speak and write against it. Such an attitude is due to both a serious misunderstanding of the Scriptures, and to a woeful ignorance of the history of the Church.” Many people question whether America can experience another awakening ever again. “Will future awakenings be confined to the mission fields of developing nations? Third World countries only? Has the West grown so hardened through humanism and adoration of materialism that society could resist the power of the Holy Spirit?” Yet, “with God all things are possible.”
Are the current social, ethnic, relational, philosophical, economic, and spiritual obstacles too much for God to overcome? Only God can subdue this pluralistic society that has so quickly waned spiritually. Awakenings are not merely periods of increased personal responsibility, religious awareness, or spiritual fervor; with the arrival of national spiritual awakenings comes societal reformations: corrupt, immoral, unjust, and ungodly people and societies can return to honesty, purity, justice, and holiness.
During a revival, renewal, or awakening there is not only an epic reviving of Christians but also an indelible impact on the perils of society. The period of God’s blessings may last for many years, as did the First Great Awakening, or rather briefly. When the winds of renewal have faded, however, the Church often slips into a period of silence or even lethargy. This unknown period completes this cycle while its cessation could give birth to another awakening. It is not that the Spirit of God cannot sustain the higher life for Christians; rather, the Spirit who allows times of decline to cause His people to pray for growth and power.
Let us pray for the wind of His Spirit to blow through our land like He has before!
Martin-Lloyd-Jones in Christian History 33 (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, Inc., 1989), 2.