Why and how revivals decline – Part 31
Often times, revivals are lost mid-stream because the initial momentum of prayers that gave birth to it is not sustained. Leaders tend to be carried away by the thrills and demands of the revival, and fail to spend enough time in prayer. When leaders spend less time in prayer to sustain a revival, they make themselves vulnerable to Satan’s attack.
When revival leaders pray, they become more sensitive to what God is saying to them, and become alert to the devil’s ploys. It was said of Evan Roberts and the Welsh revival that “for three months before the outburst of revival in Loughor, Evan Roberts had slept little as he continually interceded for his beloved Wales and sought a deeper communion with the Lord. This, too, seemed to be a key of the revival. Regardless of how great the revival fire burned, they kept praying for more.
The Outbreak Of War
Some of the historic revivals have always preceded some major wars. As Rick Joyner wrote, “There is no more devastating judgment than war. The first ‘Great Awakening’ in America preceded the Revolutionary War, which terribly devastated the cities and countryside of America. The ‘Second Great Awakening’ preceded the Civil War, which was the most devastating war in America’s history. The Welsh Revival, which greatly impacted the whole world, but especially Europe, preceded World War 1.” These wars in one way or the other reduced the impacts of these revivals. In essence, we can say that Satan at times uses wars to negate or blur the gains of revival.
Revivals fail, when the leaders face serious moral problems like immorality; adultery, divorce, etc. These problems jeopardise their moral standing to carry on with the revival. In many cases, the revivalists lose God’s favour and the motivation to continue. They quietly fade away from the scene, leaving people wondering. For four months in 2008, at the Lakeland Church in Florida, a Canadian evangelist, Todd Bentley, was mightily used by God to ignite a revival fire that attracted hundreds of thousands from Europe and America. Before long, it was discovered that Todd was living in adultery with one of his staff. He quickly vanished when his secret lifestyle became public. Thereafter, the crowd that attended his meeting thinned down. Television studios like God’s Channel stopped broadcasting his programme abruptly. His deceptive lifestyle left many Christians stunned. He faded away as quickly as he emerged on the religious scene.
When pride sets in among revival leaders, sometimes through sharing in the glory of God, then the Holy Spirit begins to withdraw His presence from the scene. God will not share His glory with any man. It is for the same reason of pride that those who had experienced revival previously seldom pioneer another move of the Holy Spirit.
Jonathan Edwards, who witnessed various revivals, cautions against the danger that pride poses to the health of revival: “The first and the worst cause of error that prevails in such a state of things (that is revival) is spiritual pride. This is the main door by which the Devil comes into the hearts of those that are zealous for the advancement of religion. ‘It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind, and mislead the judgment. This is the main handle by which the Devil has hold of religious persons, and the chief source of all mischief that he introduces, to clog and hinder the work of God.” Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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