[anzac] RAVENHILL on OBTAINING REAL REVIVAL

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 11:30:14 -0600
OBTAINING Real REVIVAL
-Leonard Ravenhill.

Revival..... another definition would be to recover, repair or restore. 
Hosea 10:12 says: "Sow to yourself in righteousness, reap in 
mercy; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord 
till He come and reign righteousness upon you." What is fallow 
ground? Fallow ground is ground that has been  fruitful, and then 
it has been plowed over, and no seed has been sown in it, and 
therefore it has become unproductive. 

Notice, there is a human emphasis here -- it says that we are to 
break up -- you break up your fallow ground.

Now take another aspect of it here in Psalm 85:6 - "Would Thou 
not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee." So, 
there is an absence of joy, of vitality -- there is an absence of 
ecstasy. The very word "revive" presupposes life. You can only 
revive what has already had vitality -- life that has become sick, 
weak, or apathetic. I think the nearest analogy I can give you is 
a recent case of a man who apparently drowned. He had been 
under the water for an incredible amount of time. Then somebody 
pulled him out and worked and worked on him, and eventually life 
came again. This is actually what it means to revive, 
          It means to revitalize. 
                    It means to restore lost power.
                              It means to recover lost energy. 

In the Acts of the Apostles 3:19 we read, "Repent ye therefore, 
and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the 
times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." 
Whatever else we say about revival we have to recognize this, 
that revival is an act of mercy in the sovereignty of God. There 
is a vast difference between revival and evangelism. When we 
speak of revival in America we think of church advertising, "Our 
revival will begin next Sunday night at a certain time and it is 
going to finish the next Sunday night at a certain time." 
Obviously this is something purely mechanical, it is something 
which men have engineered. I think that one of the offenses of
revival, in the historic sense, is that it cannot be organized. 

As Doctor Tozer said, "When revival comes it changes the moral 
climate of a community." You can have revival that covers a church - 
Spurgeon had that. You can have a revival that covers a city. You 
can have a revival that covers the whole nation -- and I am thinking 
in this context more than in the other contexts (though sometimes 
revival spreads from here to there -- like fire spreads.) Revival 
cannot be organized -- evangelism can be organized. Revival cannot 
be subsidized --evangelism can and usually it must be. Revival 
cannot be advertised --evangelism can.

It may cost millions of dollars, as it often does, to have one of our 
huge, modern, so called revivals. You have to pay vast sums of 
money for time on TV, for example -- perhaps a million dollars a 
night. That's incredible, that's unthinkable to me in the context of 
Biblical revival, or even historical revival. Why doesn't revival need 
to be advertised? For the simple reason, that fire is the most self 
advertising thing that there is, whether it is a physical fire or a 
revival fire. It draws people like a magnet. To bring this down to
modern technology -- revival cannot be computerized. There is 
information thatyou can put in computer and presto, you get the 
answer predicting an outcome according to the facts that were put 
in. But you cannot computerize or predict revival. 

There are periods in which one thing predominates. 
          Sometimes revival is totally taken over by sorrow. 
          Sometimes revival is totally taken over by joy, ecstasy 'till 
          you don't know whether you are in the flesh or whether you've 
          gone out of the earth. Sometimes revival is taken over by 
          stillness.

There are times when you go to a prayer meeting and the power of 
God is there. There is stillness and you feel it is creative. You feel, 
"Now something is building up around here, somebody is going to 
come out shortly with a heart bursting... with some agonizing 
prayer..." Revival cannot be rationalized. Again, one of the offensive 
things about revival is you can't put your finger on the spot, usually, 
as to how or why or where it began. It is supremely an act of God. 

You find a man would go with a series of messages to a community 
and before long that community is alive, it's throbbing. He goes to 
another town with exactly the same group of men, the same type 
of prayer is poured out, the same sweat and soul travail and there 
is no response. You can't predict and you can't organize revival. 
Why? Because you can't organize where the wind is coming from. 
The Spirit, the wind, bloweth where it listeth. If you say it's going 
to come this way, it comes that way. If you say God's going to use 
that man, very often He doesn't even bother with that man. Revival 
so often comes through unknown characters. 

I don't think the world has ever been in a greater sense of turmoil
than it is in this moment. I don't think our nation has. Whatever we 
shall say about revival we have to recognize this: There are three 
things about natural life: conception, gestation, and birth. You can't 
alter the program. There has never been revival, that I can trace, 
that has not been preceded by agonizing prayer. You might say, 
"I haven't got to that stage yet of agonizing prayer. How does is 
come?" Well, it comes through VISION. If we are really going to 
get a concept of revival we have to get a vision of God's sorrow over 
sin. We have to get a concept of how, day by day, we offend God. 
As a nation we offend God in millions of ways. 

When I was praying in the Bahamas one day, I saw a great
column of smoke, which happened to be coming from tires that 
were being burned. It was as black as could be, and over there 
I saw a wisp of smoke going up from the  ground. I didn't think 
much of it until about a year after, I was praying and the Lord 
said, "That volume of black, thick smoke is like the volume of 
sin that goes up every day." All the blasphemy, all the unbelief, 
all the dirty stories, all the lying, all the deception, all sex-
perversion, all drunkenness-- this tremendous column of iniquity 
goes up in the sight of God. And here you have a little wisp -- of 
what? That is the praise that God gets out of His people. If we are 
going to realize how much we need revival we need to recognize
the dimension of sin. We have to recognize that sin offends God. 
Psalm 85:4 says, "Turn us, O God of our salvation and cause 
Thine anger towards us to cease. Wilt Thou be angry with us 
forever?" Psalm 80 verse 3, "Turn us again, O God, and cause 
Thy face to shine." Notice, it's repeated again in verse 7 and in 
verse 19, "...cause Thy face to shine"..."cause Thy face to shine." 

[AMEN!! - This is what we so desperately need today! -ed.]