If I had to give a definition to revival I would describe it as when the Kingdom of God breaks in upon our realities; it is when we are touched by the living God and our lives no longer remain the same.

Revival requires three necessary ingredients: 32

  • A Hunger for More of God
  • Repentance
  • Religious Stronghold Broken

Let’s take some time to look at these three key ingredients for revival.

  1. A Hunger for More of God

When I think of a hunger for God I think of someone who wants God so much that he or she is willing to come to him regardless of what is in their life. We may have sins and regrets but we push past the shame and condemnation of those things to come to God; we may be nervous about being seen by God but we come anyway.

A hunger for more of God brings us beyond ourselves and we seek Him out. We no longer hide and we are ready to reveal our whole hearts to the Lord while we wait expectantly for him to reveal himself to us. The Bible speaks in a number of places about how good it is to have a hunger for God.

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:9 NLT

“God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Matthew 5:6a ESV

And we quickly realize that it is therefore good to remain in a hunger for God. We must ask ourselves, how hungry are we for God, how thirsty are we for Him?
A hunger for more of God brings us past our need to make things right before we come to him. We learn to bring ourselves to the Lord even in our sin. We do not hide our sin or cover it up. We do not try to do away with it ourselves but we become quick to be turned back to the Lord Jesus Christ, ready to give him our sin.

We may have fear, doubt, or worry. We may be in dismay and discouragement. It is at these times that a hunger for more of God has us turned to Him even with the the many things we don’t understand or cannot clearly see. And as we develop and maintain this habit of being turned to Jesus, this hunger that keeps us turned toward Jesus, we come to be known by him and to know him better.

“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into this glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 NLT

As we remain turned to Jesus and hungry for more of God we, by our hearts action, renounce the shame and the condemnation that the enemy would have us under. We, like Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) despise the shame and refuse to have it keep us bound to ourselves — we live free unto the Lord.

In addition to this a hunger for more of God brings us to the end of ourselves. We may have been trying to be good or do the right things for a very long time and yet this often leaves us only tired and weary and with greater sense of condemnation deep inside. A hunger for God saves us from this self-living, self-effort and has us instead, living his goodness and his right things and not our own; here we find the life of the Spirit and the Father’s heart in true measure. Matthew 11:28-30

To review, a hunger for more of God:

  • has us turned to him even with our sin
  • brings us beyond ourselves and what we can do, to Jesus and what he can do (which is so much more)
  • releases our fears, condemnations, shame, worries and such, to the foot of the cross
  • we come to the end of ourselves and the beginning of God in us
  1. Repentance

Repentance is the second requirement for revival and is the turning of our hearts and lives away from sin and toward God. It requires both these elements, a turning away from and a turning towards, and it is the conviction of heart and the confession of our mouths as we read in Romans 10:10.

Before repentance we feel the weight of our sin, we experience the condemnation and the shame of the things we have done wrong, and yet at the moment of turning away from the sin and turning toward Jesus 33 we instantly realize the truth of scripture where we are told,

“So now there is no condemnation for those while belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NLT


Repentance is for us as a way of entering into the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the mechanism within our heart and mind that confesses what has not been right in our lives, and takes hold of God’s grace that changes us and does the work of rightness in our lives from the inside out. Repentance turns toward the grace and goodness and restoration of God.

“So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21 NLT

Now, we may think that repentance is only for ‘those people’ out there. We spend a lot of focus and energy and time trying to convince and bring the unsaved world to repentance before God. And of course repentance is for them, and yet at Capturing Courage we have become convinced that repentance is also, maybe even more so, a call to the body of Christ to intercede and to lead the way forward on behalf of our communities and nations, (just as Daniel did in chapter 9 for the Jewish people).

It is as the body of Christ takes the responsibility for the sins of their own lives first, and then for the sins of their communities and nations, that we become salt and light for this world and participate in ushering in the Kingdom of God to this earth.

The call to repentance is an incredible invitation by God himself to participate in helping to bring the Kingdom of God to this earth.

“But if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

We have been given great opportunity to remain bowed to the Lord in our spirits, hearts, and minds. We continue to know our need before the Lord. We live with a heart that is quick to acknowledge our wrong before the Lord and as we turn to Christ our intimacy and authenticity increases.

Repentance is our response to God’s revelation. It is what we have been doing all through this course. Using the inner-healing prayer model we welcome the revelation of God to our heart and minds. The confession and repentant response is the exact thing that we want to be in habit of — we want to be quick to bring our hearts and lives to God in all things, even the smallest of measures. We do not shrink back from the Lord. But in all things we come bringing our full selves as little children, without fear.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:23-24 ESV

It is incumbent 34 upon the body of Christ to lead the way in repentance and humility. For it is the way of God! As each one of us comes in repentance we do our part and we participate in the increasing of the way of God within our communities and nations.

  1. Religious Spirits must be Broken

Lastly, for revival to happen, religious spirits must be broken. The things of our lives that reflect religion must be renounced and broken off of our own lives and off of our communities and ultimately our nations. As we’ve already studied, Jesus came to save us from our sins and also to save us from religion, the self-management of our sins.

The old way was to make ourselves right with God through much ritual and sacrifice. Until Christ came it was in fact the only way. And yet God had been looking ahead to the day that Christ would become the sacrifice once and for all, and once this time came all people’s are invited to a new way, becoming new wineskins. Jesus taught about this,

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine must be stored in new wineskins. But no one who drink the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine, they say.’” Luke 5:37-39 35 NLT

Jesus is saying that if we want to contain this new movement and work of Jesus Christ through-out our entire lives and experience of God that we must become new wineskins; we must become new in the Lord and the breath of the Spirit over us or we will not be able to contain all that God has for us or for others through us.

Old wineskins are often the systems of our religious gatherings, of our structures of church, maybe even our traditions and customs that we have build around the gospel. And old wineskins are the ways we think and act, as individuals and as teams, that are contrary to the fresh movement of the Holy Spirit.

Consequently, for many of us who have been in church a long time we may not be able to discern the difference between religion and the gospel of Christ. For, even our churches have taken on elements of religion. So, let’s review just a few of the differences between religion and Jesus.

Religion says “Try harder.” — Jesus says, “Enter into my rest.”

Religion says, “Be perfect.” — Jesus says, “I am making all things new.”

Religion says, “You must always and forever more bring a Sacrifice.”

Jesus says, “I AM YOUR SACRIFICE.”

The gospel of Jesus is simple:

  • Trust Christ
  • Rest in him
  • Be the light of Christ


It is so simple that we often complicate it in our quest to be more sophisticated. The gospel needs nothing more added to it and we must therefore be careful that we are not returning in any way to a spirit of law and condemnation.

The early church in Galatia was having this very struggle, they continued to add religion, rules and condemnations, more law, back into their gatherings and faith community. Paul wrote to them challenging them and calling them back to the true gospel of Jesus. The gospel is that God makes us right with him. We are not the ones who do this.

“How foolish can thou be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?” Galatians 3:3-4 NLT

Paul strongly warns:

“Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law it condemned me. So I died to the law — I stopped trying to meet all its requirements — so that I might live for God.”
Galatians 2:18-19 NLT

“But those who depend on the laws to make them right with God are under his curse.” Galatians 3:10a NLT

“This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, ‘It is through obeying the law that a person has life. But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.” Galatians 3:12-13 NLT

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1 NLT

To remain in the work of Christ is to be diligent against anything that is of religion. We are called not into a religion of rights and wrongs but into a living relationship with God whereby, by his Spirit and by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, we are freed unto living.

God does the work of righteousness in us and it is by the Spirit that we are led to live holy lives; the grace of Christ changes us, we do not change us.

The world is chock-full of religions, all of which are demanding penance and paying dues and making sacrifices. Jesus comes and frees us from this.

Let’s repeat it again: The wide way (Matthew7:13-14) that Jesus says many will find, is both sin and religion, and the narrow way that few find is this relationship, grace, and freedom with Jesus. We want to be people of the narrow way. Jesus came to free us from sin and to free us from religion (our human way of dealing with sin).

Of course, it is hard to rest in the work of Jesus Christ. It is not in our nature to stop trying so hard and to trust someone else and the work they have done. Yet, this is the invitation implicit within the gospel — Jesus says come to me and I will give you rest.


“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

To become new wineskins we must remove from our lives the things that keep us thinking that we are in any way making ourselves right with God. The superstitions, the rituals, the do this and don’t do that, our thinking unto law, must fall aside as we come into the freedom and true worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Too many times we have made religion a weighty and burdensome affair on the backs of the people. We have created systems of right and wrong and of good and bad, according to our thinking and our efforts! We must give over these things, put them down at the foot of the cross, confessing them as sin, in order to take on the thinking of the Lord and to rest in the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.

Revival is a call and an invitation to every single one of us to enter anew into the rest of the Lord Jesus Christ. Revival is a call to stop trying so hard and to begin living in Jesus and the work he did on our behalf.

APPLICATION

For our application today I simply direct your attention to Isaiah 58:6-12.

Meditate on this scripture today.

“This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here’ he will quickly reply. Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumours!

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness and the darns around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an every-glowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.” Isaiah 58:6-12 NLT

PRAYER

“God we come to you today ready for a new freedom in your spirit. We want to worship you in spirit and in truth and so we confess that we need your help. Would you increase our hunger, would you continue to bring us into repentance, and would you show us the religious strongholds in our thinking and in our churches that must be put aside. Thank you Lord. Amen.”

SUMMARY – THREE KEYS TO REVIVAL

Revival comes from a hunger for more of God Matthew 5:3; Psalm 51:10;

Revival is repentance Psalm 51:17; 1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalm 38:18

Revival breaks religious strongholds off of our lives
Isaiah 55:1; James 4:7-10; Psalm 51:16-17

Revival is not just for those people ‘out there’ but for us in the body of Christ 2 Chronicles 7:14

As we find revival for ourselves we help to usher in the Kingdom of God to this earth
Psalm 34:18; Matthew 11:29

______________________________

32 The three keys to revival as, hunger for more of God, repentance, and religious strongholds broken, comes from the work of prophet and apostle Ryan LeStrange http://www.ryanlestrange.com
33 Turning away from sin and turning to Christ is simply a shift of taking our focus off of sin and putting our focus onto Christ.
34 Definition of Incumbent: 1. adjective – necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility. 2. adjective – (of an official or regime) currently holding office. 3. noun – the holder of a office or post,
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/incumbent
35 Once people have tasted of religion with it’s strict right and wrong, with being told what to do and how to be, and with it’s reinforcement of our pride, the many prefer this, for it removes risk of relationship with God, it removes ambiguity, it removes humility and a dependance on the work of Christ. In our flesh we will always choose religion over God. This, from what I can tell, is what Jesus is referring to in the last sentence of this verse

=> Let’s go forward to the last lesson in Month Six, Lives of Sulha

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