In his book A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, Dr. D.A. Carson provides this quote on revival and what history shows them to be like:
“It does not take much reading in the history of revivals to discover that when true revival dawns, resentments are dissolved. When revival comes, self-promotion is seen to be ugly, and withers away. When revival comes, men and women are concerned to be holy, they are serious about integrity, they embrace genuine self-denial and learn to love. When revival comes, our worrying sense of unreality disappears, and heaven seems more real, and certainly more important, than this transient world order. When revival comes, worship is no longer an exercise but one of the chief characteristics of our lives. Buffoonery, gimmicks, and entertainment fade away; the day of Jesus Christ seems to draw near. Out of this fresh experience of the grace of God powerfully working in our lives, evangelism becomes not only a passion but immeasurably more fruitful.
Inevitably, some soon imitate the revival by applying techniques and tests, trying, as it were, to codify grace and domesticate the power of God. Abuses occur, and sometimes multiply so quickly that the revival is quenched or diverted to a pale imitation of itself. Still, those who have witnessed even a little of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in times of blessing are often stamped with peculiar unction. As one revival convert put it, “I was born again in the fires of revival, and I do not intend to die in the ashes of its memory.””
(Image via Benjamin Brophy)