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Redigging the wells of revival – Part 9

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Ukachi

Revival is not mere happenstance, but a Sovereign response to the cry and yearning of his people.

One of the mysteries about God and about revival is that the way and timing of God’s response to the prayers of His people defy analysis.

If we desire and expect a revival, then we must prepare and pray for it. But, how and when God will respond is beyond our control.

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“Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone” (Zechariah 10:1 NKJV). Though revival is not planned for, those who wait and expect it must prepare for it.

The seal of divine sovereignty is visible on every aspect of revival.

The timing, the choice and calibre of men God uses, the gifting and passion God gives to the vessels He chooses to use, the mystery surrounding their lives and the ministry they operate confirm the mercy and grace of God at work. With God, there is no coincidence, but a divine arrangement.

Most times, revival starts with one man or a select few and its ripples would spread beyond to the community.

It is God who raised up the men whom He uses in every generation. God raises the pioneers or arrowheads of every revival.

Garrick Isokari Braide who pioneered the 1914 revival was a Church sexton who had a passion for God before the Lord called him to lead the revival in Bakana land, in present day Rivers State.

The late Joseph Babalola who was the point man during the 1930 revival was a caterpillar truck driver when God called him to go and preach His word.

Jonathan who pioneered the Spirit Movement In 1927 was believed to be a house steward.

Augustus Wogu, one of the Old Umuahia brethren who were the forerunners of the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria was a civil servant with the Nigerian Ports Authority.

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The late Archbishop Benson Idahosa was a salesman with Bata Shoe Company before the Lord raised him to play a key role in the Charismatic revival in the 1970s.

Geoffrey Numbere was a student trying to study Geology when God called him. He soon lost interest in his studies and took to the ministry.

These men whose names are by no means exhaustive left us a rich legacy of Pentecostalism, which we enjoy today.

We could add to this list, foreign missionaries like Alexander Bill, Rev. S. G. Elton and others who died in the course of spreading the gospel in Nigeria.

These are some of the pioneers of the Pentecostal and Charismatic revivals in Nigeria.

Some of these men were laymen, without any theological training or spiritual pedigree. They were sovereignly chosen to pioneer revivals in our nation. They had a fire and passion for revival, which our generation lacks. We must pray for restoration and a rekindling of the fire in our generation.

The challenge before us is how to build on the spiritual foundations, which the early revivalists have laid. Isaac re-dug the wells, which his father Abraham had dug and restored their previous names.

While the Philistines spent their time polluting the wells, Isaac and his servants explored for new wells and fresh water.

Strange and extra-biblical doctrines pollute the wells of revival. We must contend for the faith that was handed down to us by our fathers.


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