A God-Sized Vision That We All Need

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Wikipedia defines revival as, “Christian revival is a term that generally refers to a specific period of increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church or many churches, either regionally or globally.”  Those who lived through revivals recorded the events with awed gratitude.  They speak of thousands professing Christ as the Holy Spirit rolls over the country like a wave.  While there are currently revivals going on in Africa and Asia, it is hard to find anyone that remembers even a semblance of a nationwide revival in this country.  The last one was arguably the post-World War II evangelical revival led by pastors like Billy Graham.

Will there be another revival here? How do they come about? Can one be recognized in its nascent stage? Are they truly beneficial?

Colin Hansen and John Woodbridge have done the church a great service in producing their brief but passionate history and defense of revivals with an eye toward approaching the throne together and begging for another to come within this generation. 

Hansen and Woodbridge assert through historical vignettes in A God Sized Vision (Zondervan 2010) that revivals often come through the concentrated efforts and intense prayers of committed followers of Christ that God gracefully agrees to bless.  The ensuing revivals may last weeks or years and there is obviously no guarantee that everyone who professes faith will persevere but many will. Thus, any revival of any length has eternal ramifications.

Not all committed ministers who pray for revival will experience them.  Hansen and Woodbridge open their book by noting that influential British pastor D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones beseeched God for decades to experience one but God’s grace was sufficient.  Yet, in my humble opinion, revival is well worth praying for on a daily basis.  God may not grant our prayers but is revival really any different from evangelism in that we must proclaim the Gospel and, in order for a person to be saved, God must bless the effort with his spirit (Romans 10:14).

Hansen and Woodbridge remind us that the unlikeliest persons in the unlikeliest places may have their prayer granted and know the grace upon grace of sharing the awed gratitude of those who shared in earlier powerful  movements of God’s spirit.  A God-Sized Vision is a wonderful little book that I pray will send you to your knees as well in the hopes of a historic revival here and now.


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