Updated: Sep 6, 2022
There is no straightforward recipe for revival. Good works cannot yield salvation or revival. Following a checklist doesn't force the Holy Spirit to work within us.
But although there is no recipe for revival, there are prerequisites—requirements to obtaining the grace we need.
In order to see revival, we must receive God's grace. The grace of God is something that is freely given, but James 4 tells us of some conditions that need to be met so it can be received.
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." - James 4:6–8
We understand that God's grace is unrestricted. The Word of God tells us plainly that He gives more grace. There is continually enough grace with God. The question is not, "Does He have enough grace?". The question is, "Are we willing and able to receive it?
When we live in pride, we are incapable of receiving the grace of God. He resists the proud. If you desire God fighting against you, be a proud person.
While God states He resists the proud, He promises to bless those that are humble. Those who elevate themselves are resisted, but those who humble themselves before God are welcomed.
Humility is not living your life being depressed or discouraged; it is a joyous culmination of our need for Him and reliance on His grace.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." - Isaiah 57:15
Believers who say they want revival must eventually confront the real questions: "Do I genuinely want to follow Him? And what if His will is different than mine?"
Christians who are humble do not say "no" to God. There may be seasons of hesitation in discerning the will of God, but even while seeking it, their stance is still one of surrender and obedience.
The word "submit" in James 4:7 means "to place under." We are called to position ourselves beneath the authority of God. From this place of yielding to God, it is understandable that we also "resist Satan."
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" - Romans 6:16
Revival is not something; it is somebody, and that somebody is Christ. We will not have revival without seeking to know Him.
God gives us an invitation and a promise simultaneously, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw night to you."
Revival is an invitation from God to intimacy, not a game we can play. God desires for you to be close to Him.
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:13
Our need to follow God does not shrink the longer we walk with Him. It ought to amplify.
"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" - Philippians 3:10
What is the pursuit of your heart? Is it to know Him? Pursuing Him will guide you to "cleanse your hands" and "purify your hearts," as James 4:8 tells us. While we draw closer to Him, we acknowledge the worthlessness of the sins in our life and leave them behind as we reach for a relationship with God.
Many of us perceive the ordinary Christian life as just lukewarm and recurring sin and the rare interruptions of revival. We may disagree verbally, but it is how many of us live our day-to-day life.
God's goal for us is different. The typical life of a Christian is to be revived with Him. It is a life abounding with His grace through a humble and surrendered Christian, one who is earnestly seeking God.