Isa 57 :14 And it will be said:
“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
15 For this is what the high and exalted One says—
he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Revival is about many things. First and foremost, it is about an unusual Presence of God:
Isaiah 64 [a]Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains would tremble before you!
2 As when fire sets twigs ablaze
and causes water to boil,
come down to make your name known to your enemies
and cause the nations to quake before you!
3 For when you did awesome things that we did not expect,
you came down, and the mountains trembled before you.
We can expect God to do the unexpected when He comes bringing Revival!
The Presence of God in Revival will be in accord with His character in the Word:
Isa 63:7-10 I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us—
yes, the many good things
he has done for Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses.
8 He said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will be true to me”;
and so he became their Savior.
9 In all their distress he too was distressed,
and the angel of his presence saved them.[a]
In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them
all the days of old.
10 Yet they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he turned and became their enemy
and he himself fought against them.
Isa 61:1a,2-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me…to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
(see also Isa 35:1-2ac, 3,4a,5,6)
The Spirit of the Father comes in kindness, mercy and compassion bringing comfort,
praise, peace, healing, deliverance (Isa 49:8-9) prosperity (see Ps 85 below) and guidance.
All of these should be evident in a genuine Revival.
Many believe large numbers of salvations would be expected:
1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
and covered all their sins.[b]
3 You set aside all your wrath
and turned from your fierce anger.
4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
(see also Isa 51 :4-6).
Revival is clearly a Sovereign move of God:
Isa 51: 5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
But His people have a part in preparing for it:
Isa 40:3bc …prepare
the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.[b]
The highway that the Spirit of God comes on is mentioned many times either explicitly
or implicitly. A highway is a road free of obstacles.
Isa 57:14…“Build up, build up, prepare the road!
Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.”
Sin is the primary obstacle to experiencing the Lord’s Presence (in Isa 35:8 the Highway is called the Way of Holiness):
Ps 5:4-7 4For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
5The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
6you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
7But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.
Heartfelt repentance leading to Forgiveness is key:
Hos 6:1-3 “Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.”
(also see again Ps 85 )
One of the obstacles to Revival is not responding rightly to the Lord’s discipline. When
we come under His judgement, we need to press on to acknowledge His character and
nature in our lives.
The ultimate goal of Revival is for the Lord’s Glory to dwell in our land (Ps 85:9)
resulting in all the wonderful blessings mentioned above.
Perhaps the most amazing promise of Revival is the Transformation of the Church
which it will bring:
Ps 80:14-18 Return to us, God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted,
the son[e] you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
When I first read these vv, I thought they were a prophecy of the Messiah (see vv15, 17).
But the NIVSB notes that this is directed to Israel (and by extension the Church, see v16).
In fact, when the Church is transformed by Revival, we will start to truly have the
Character and Characteristics of the “son…raised up for ” God Himself!
(All references to New International Version (NIV))