There are three people and one thing that are usually used to carry a revival forward. These people are God, a sinner, and usually someone God uses. The one thing that is always used is God’s Truth.
Have you ever heard of preeminent grace? It’s basically when God influences events so that He draws a sinner in. You have probably heard of some people who come to church or hear the Truth by some strange turn of events, it’s just like that. So God uses His Providence to move a revival forward, he brings people to a place where they can hear the truth.
God also uses His Spirit, (The Holy Spirit), to work in everyone’s heart and minds. We are all different and no one person can speak right into everyone’s situation. But the Holy Spirit can. He knows us more than we know ourselves, and knows exactly what truth needs to be heard. He gives that truth so much power that in can crush the proudest person!
How does He give the truth? Well, sometimes by speaking directly to that person’s heart. Usually He also speaks through a preacher or Christian.
Once God has drawn someone in, spoken to heir heart, or spoke through someone, we come to the sinner himself. The truth is no good if it’s not obeyed! God helps a sinner by giving him grace to change. He also uses people, as an example to the sinner. Christians are ambassadors for God, sinners look at them and read their body language, their eyes, words, and actions. They weigh it all up, just to see if the Christian is any different.
Check out this story. Charles Finney, a revival preacher in the 1800s, had just been in a town that was seeing revival. He was just visiting a factory, and because he was well known, one lady saw him and started whispering about him. Finney just looked at her, she was so disturbed that she couldn’t go back to work, no matter how long she tried. She finally just sat down, and he sat down with her. They talked and she was convicted of sin very quickly.
In fact, that conviction spread like wild fire right through the whole factory. The owner, who wasn’t a Christian, stopped all the works so they could hold a huge prayer meeting.
A few days later, almost everyone was said to be converted! It all started with one sinner looking into the eyes of a Christian who’s soul was burning for God. If we play down, or are embarrassed, or don’t feel deeply about our feelings for Jesus, we will do damage to any sinner who sees that in us.
Sinners aren’t expected to employ all that to see themselves saved. That’s the Christian’s job. The whole drift of a revival, and everything about it, is designed to show you the truth, for you to obey or resist.
Let’s ask God to speak these truths to our hearts, and to help us obey.