What is Revival?

9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 
Psalms 51:9-10 (NKJV)

Here at First Baptist Church we are getting closer & closer to the dates we have set aside for our Spring Revival services.  We have entitled this event ”Sharing Hope with Pinellas Park.”  And the reason for that title is because most and especially those who are unchurched do not know what a revival service is for.  Our purpose for this event is to do two things:  First, of all it is a time where we invite as many unbelievers as possible to hear the gospel that they might have the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Second, it is a time for reflection, renewal & re-commitment for believers.  We want to see as many as possible to come to faith in Christ as we can but at the same time realize that there are many believers who are struggling in their faith with sin & life circumstances.

One of the most common verses of Scripture I hear when referring to Revival is Psalm 51:9-10 as quoted above.  I believe this is an excellent verse to reflect upon for all of us at First Baptist during this revival.  David in the verses previous to this passage is confessing to God his sinfulness and asking God to forgive him.  David even gets to the point that he asks God to please no longer remember his sins and in verse 9 he asks also God to hide his face from his sins.  In my opinion I believe David was having a revival take place in his life.  David paints a picture of what must take place in the life of a believer before revival can take place.  David recognizes and admits to God his sinfulness and guilt before our Holy God.  David even admits  ”in sin my mother conceived me.”  Not only did David recognize he was a sinner because of his actions but he was born with that problem.  David also says “against you, you only, have I sinned.”  Now if you remember the story of David & Bathsheba you will remember that David had sinned against Bathsheba, her husband, and the nation of Israel.  So, why does David say in this passage he had only sinned against God?  What David is doing in this passage is not minimizing his sin to others but is understanding & admitting that by sinning against others he has most importantly sinned against our Holy God.

So, first Davids revival begins with the repentance of sins and seeking God’s forgiveness.  Second, David’s revival occurs because he not only repents but asks God to do a work in him by asking God, “Create in me a clean heart.”   Regarding this passage Henry Smith once said, “David prayeth the Lord to create him a new heart, not to correct his old heart, but to create him a new heart; showing that his heart was like an old garment, so rotten and tattered that he could make no good of it by patching or piecing, but even must cut it off, and take a new.”  Revival begins with repentance but ultimatley can only happen by the power of God doing a work in our hearts that we can never do ourselves but can only ask God to do in us.  For the believer this is a repentant life style of when we fail and fall into sin we repent and turn our hearts back to God & His will.  For the unbeliever there is not really a revival because one cannot revive something that is already dead!  The bible declares that we are “dead in our trespasses.”  So, for the unbeliever they are brought to life by the proclamation of the gospel through which the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, leading them to repentance and placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

So, I encourage all of our believers to take this opportunity to examine our lives and to repent of the things in our lives that hinder us from doing the work of the gospel and enjoying our relationship with the Lord Jesus.  And lastly, be in prayer that God will do a mighty work in our midst during our revival services and that many would come to faith in Jesus.  Remember, revival is not a service it is a change that only God can do in the heart’s of men and we hope to see much of that before and during our upcoming services!  So, lets pray for God to do a revival in ourselves that God might do a mighty work in Pinellas Park.

In Christ Alone,

Pastor Dewayne Slusher

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