“And He said, 'The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.' ” (Mark 4:26-29)
Jesus describes how the kingdom of God is spread like seed being scattered, but the sower does not know how the seed yields its crop. The crop reaches maturity on its own until it is time for the harvest. As the grain grows into a blade, then head, then full grain, the sower is able to observe all that is happening, until it is time for him to reap.
When we sow the gospel, we do not know how it will grow, or what the harvest will look like. We continue to sow in faith. We are able to observe the signs along the way, but ultimately it is the Spirit who prepares the harvest. Revival is not something that should blindside us, there will be signs along the way. We will know when it is coming. Revival is change, revival is turning from and turning to, revival is not more of the same. Revival comes when the Body of Christ desires something greater.
I remember the revival that inspired the movie "The Jesus Revolution." I was in grade school in the 1970s. Christians would greet each other by pointing their finger upward to signify "one way". Fish stickers and signs were popping up everywhere. I remember my father talking about the revival and why everyone was so excited. There was also a darker side to the revival. My Christian friends and I were relentlessly teased in school. We were called names like "Jesus freak". But, no matter the cost, we continued to live out our faith. We would evangelize to our friends and would even pass out gospel tracts or little booklets that shared the gospel through an illustrated story. It was the growing family of believers that encouraged us, even as little children. The harder the enemy fought, the more families were added to the church.
Everyone seems to be asking the same question of when revival will happen here. Everyone wants to know how we share in the revival that we see happening around the country. Revival comes when the pain of our disobedience is severe enough. Revival begins when the body corporately comes before the Lord in humility. The Holy Spirit is an irresistible draw. The move of the Spirit becomes irresistible and the draw extends from the Kingdom out into the world. That is when revival occurs.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your Holy Spirit. I welcome the presence of your Spirit. Let your Spirit move through me and through your body. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, amen.