Everywhere I go I hear Christians talking about how much we need a revival. Call me crazy if you want, but I don't agree. I seen revival. I've been in authentic revivals and I can tell you one thing about them that is always true: They come and go. They don't last.
When I was a boy, we would have "revival services" in the church twice a year. I must say that it was often a good experience. In fact, I'll be the first to admit that when we experience revival it brings a renewed zeal and enthusiasm within us. It is encouraging and it’s very uplifting. That has always been true of revivals in the Bible, but there's a glaring reality in the pages of the New Testament. Revival is never mentioned. Not once. In this new covenant, we’re capable of much more than revival. Revival is a solidly Old Testament, old covenant concept.
What we need is a revelation. That's what Paul prayed would happen to the New Covenant believers he loved. He said, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints" (Ephesians 1:18) That's revelation, not revival.
Revivals fade away, but when we get a revelation of who Christ really is in us and who we are in Him - when it is revealed to us just how much He really loves us and just how big His grace toward us really is, that will never grow old, it will never fade away. That's exactly what the New Testament teaches. In 2 Corinthians 3:7-11, Paul is comparing the New Covenant with the Old Covenant, and here’s what he said:
If the ministry of death in letters written on stones came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses, because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to even be with more glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more, that which remains is in glory.
Paul was comparing the glory of the Old Covenant with the glory of the New Covenant. He said there’s no doubt when Moses encountered God on Mount Sinai, he was so revived by the experience that his face radiated, but the problem was it immediately began to fade away. In fact, he was so embarrassed about how fast it left him that he put a veil over his face because he couldn’t hold on to it. Paul said, that old covenant experience did have a measure of glory, but nothing compared to the glory that we understand in the New Covenant. There might be positive aspects to an old-fashioned (or to be more accurate, "Old Testament") revival, but why settle for that? We have the potential to receive New Covenant revelation!
When we receive this revelation of grace, this revelation of who we are in Christ, that revelation comes with a New Covenant glory that never fades away. It will never wear off and it won’t need to be repeated. I remember when I first began to understand the grace walk in 1990. I wondered if I'd cool down on this subject like I had with many other subjects that had excited me over the years. But I haven't. In fact, I'm more excited about God's grace today than I've ever been!
So the idea that we need a revival may sound good, but it is not true. What we need is a revelation of the grace of God of who we are in Jesus Christ. We need a revelation of His grace so that we know that we have received forgiveness for a lifetime. We need a revelation of the fact that nothing we will ever do could cause God to love us any more or any less than He does at this moment. To summarize, we need a revelation of grace! When we get that revelation, that is a wonderful glory that far exceeds revival. And best of all, it's a glory that will never wear off.