Why Awakening and Revival Are Not the Same Thing

Can revival fires be stoked enough to produce another Great Awakening?
Can revival fires be stoked enough to produce another Great Awakening? (Facebook)

Wherever I travel nationally and internationally, the cry coming from His people and our nation is for revival and another "Great Awakening." An awakening goes beyond the influence of a revival. Revival brings back to life the people of God from a state of slumber and apathy.

A "Great Awakening" comes to a whole nation, changing even the culture of the time.

The Psalmist exhorts us that: "What we have heard and known, what our fathers have had told us, we will not hide from our children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord ..." (Psalm 78:2-7).

As it pertains to revival, a knowledge and understanding of the history of revivals is essential in our preparation for what God is planning to do on the earth.

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My husband and I were brought into the Kingdom of God in 1950 and 1951 during a "season of revival." Three different moves of the Spirit were happening at this time. The Argentine revival from 1948-1954, led by Dr. R. A. Miller and Tommy Hicks; the "Latter Rain" Revival of 1948-1951, coming out of North Battleford, Canada; and the "Hebrides Revival" on the west coast of Scotland, led by Duncan Campbell. All deep moves of God begin with those who are listening to the One "who daily lives to make intercession for us."

The Hebrides Revival was birthed as a result of two sisters, one 82 and the other 84, who were listening and received a promise from the Lord. "For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants" (Isaiah 44:3 ESV). They stood in faith on this promise and faithfully interceded for those lost and wayward in their villages. Miraculous events happened as a result of the intercessions that arose from these islands.

In a similar way, during this same season of revival, strong prayers and intercessions arose out of the small town of City Bell, near to Buenos Aires. This great move of God was preceded by intense travail, weeping and visitations.

A thread that runs through many accounts of revival through the centuries can be summed up in these words from Dr. Miller's booklet, "Thy God Reigneth," page 12: "As the war in the heavenlies progressed, intercession reached out for lost souls ... The fountains of the deep were opened as tears flowed like streams down the faces of those young folk caught up in God."

We have personally known folks who were immersed in a fresh baptism of His love in the "Latter Rain" Revival. George Warnoch, one of the leaders of this move of God, wrote in his "The Feast of Tabernacles" that, "... in the spring of 1948 God came forth in answer to the prayer and fasting of His children, poured out the gifts of the Holy Spirit and revealed the fact that now at this time He would bring His Body together .. " During this same season of time, the healing revivals spread across the United States. Men such as William Branham, Oral Roberts, jack Coe, Kenneth Hagin, Gordon Lindsey and many others helped usher in a fresh season of evangelism with signs, wonders and miracles.

There were also college revivals at that time under the leadership of Henrietta Mears. Bill Bright and Billy Graham were strongly impacted. In a biography of Henrietta Mears, we read this inspiring observation about hundreds of college students: "They prayed on into the late hours of the night, confessing sin, asking God for guidance, and seeking the reality and power of the Holy Spirit. There was much weeping and crying out to the Lord ... Then, the fire fell ... God answered their prayer with a vision. They saw before them the college campuses of the world, teeming with unsaved students, who held in their hands the power to change the world. The college campuses — they were the key to world leadership, to world revival."

The church, and especially our young people, need to have a biblical, historical perspective and a personal encounter with the God of Revival! To have some grasp of the powerful moves of God under Patrick in Ireland (4th Century), Bernard of Clairvaux (11th Century), Francis of Assisi (12th Century), and then of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Knox from the Reformation era in the 16th Century, is essential in helping us understand our revival roots.

Knowledge of the "First Great Awakening" in the 18th Century with men such as Count von Zinzendorf, John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, and then the "Second Great Awakening" of the 19th Century with men such as Charles Finney, William Booth, A. B. Simpson and D. L. Moody will inspire a whole new generation to cry out for the revival fires of God to fall once again.

As we end this very brief survey of revival, let me encourage you to study the Azusa Street outpouring under the leadership of William Seymour in 1906, as well as the very powerful move of God's Spirit that ushered in the Charismatic Move and the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and the 1970s.

Read, study, worship, pray and prepare for the greatest harvest of the Holy Spirit we have ever seen. The King is coming!

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