WHEN IS A REVIVAL AT HAND
By Charles G. Finney
Edited and paraphrased by Terry Somerville
|1. When the providence of God indicates a revival is at hand.... There
is a conspiring of events to open the way, a preparation of circumstances
to favor a revival... careful observers felt no hesitation in saying that
God was coming to pour out His Spirit and grant a revival...
2. When the wickedness of the wicked grieves and humbles and distresses Christians... sometimes the conduct of the wicked drives Christians to prayer, breaks them down, and makes them tender hearted, so they can weep day and night, and instead of scolding the wicked they pray earnestly for them. Then you may expect a revival. Indeed it has already begun.Sometimes the wicked will get up an opposition to religion. And when this drives Christians to their knees in prayer to God, with strong crying and tears, you may be certain there is going to be a revival.
3. A revival my be expected when Christians have a spirit of prayer for revival. That is, when they pray as if their hearts were set upon it. Sometimes...their minds are set upon something else - the salvation of the heathen and the like - and not for a revival among themselves. But when they feel the want of a revival, they pray for it;...it is the subject of his thoughts all the time, and makes him look and act as if he had a load on his mind...When this feeling exists in a Church, unless the Spirit is grieved away by sin, there will infallibly be a revival of Christians generally, and it will involve the conversion of sinners to God...
(When there is a revival) you will always find that somebody had been praying for a revival, and was expecting it - some man or woman had been agonising in prayer for the salvation of sinners, until the blessing was gained...a revival is more or less extensive, as there are more or less persons who have the spirit of prayer.
4. Another sign that a revival may be expected is when the attention of ministers is especially directed to this particular object, and when their preaching and other efforts are aimed particularly at the conversion of sinners. (particularly sinners in the church)
5. A revival may be expected when Christians begin to confess their sins to one another. At other times they confess in a general manner, (general - not naming any sin in particular) ...They may do it in an eloquent language, but it does not mean anything. But when there is an ingenuous breaking down, and a pouring out of the heart in confession of sin, the floodgates will soon burst open, and salvation will flow over he place.
6. A revival may be expected whenever Christians are found willing to make sacrifices necessary to carry it on. They must be willing to sacrifice their feelings,their business ,their time, to help forward the work...They must be willing to offend the inpenitent by plain and faithful dealing, and perhaps offend members of the church who will not come up to the work. They must take a decided stand with the revival, be the consequences what they may.
...it will not do for them to say "we are willing to attend so many meetings, but we cannot attend any more." Or: "we are willing to have a revival if it will not disturb our arrangements about our business, or prevent our money making." I tell you, such people will never have a revival till they are willing to do anything, and sacrifice anything, that God indicates to be their duty.
7. A revival may be expected when ministers and those who profess Christ are willing to have God promote it by whatsoever instruments He pleases. Sometimes ministers are not willing to have a revival unless they can have management of it, or unless their agency can be conspicuous in promoting it...They have a good deal to say about God being soverign, and that He will have revivals come in His own way and time. But then He must choose to have it in just their way...Such men will sleep on until they are awakened by the judgement trumpet, without a revival, unless they are willing that God should come in His own way - unless they are willing to have anything or anybody employed that will do the most good
8.When the foregoing things occur, a revival, to some extent, already exists...when those things are seen which are named under the foregoing heads, let Christians and ministers be encouraged and know that a good work is already begun. FOLLOW IT UP !
Revival is not cheap. It is not some blessing you can obtain and add to your life or your church.
Revival reaches to the very core of who you are and brings utter brokeness and repentence. It will cost you everything.
Revival will transform you into a holy vessle God will fill and put to powerful use.
Are you ready for revival?
Are you willing to pay the price?