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The God Who Blesses
It is God's nature to bless. He created us to be blessed by Him. The outpouring of God's Spirit upon a person, group, or area is one of God's greatest ways to bless. This book is all about such blessing. God poured out His Spirit in special abundance in Old Testament days from time to time and again in New Testament times. Throughout the history of His church, God has continued to do so in all parts of the world.
What shall we call these special times of blessing? Some like the term spiritual awakening. Others prefer to use the word revival. Sometimes it has been termed spiritual renewal or the outpouring of the Spirit. Perhaps the briefest and most time-honored term is simply revival. So this book is about God's grace, giving revival to His people.
VARIETIES OF REVIVAL
Sometimes God has given personal revival to a hungry-hearted, deeply devoted Christian. What a blessed experience of spiritual refreshment and new manifestations of God's grace and power this brings! It is always an experience to be remembered and cherished. Are you really hungry for personal or widespread revival? God is eager to come to you in grace and power.
Sometimes God gives revival to a local church or group of people. At times a whole community is blessed and changed by revival. On a few occasions an entire region or even a whole nation has become spiritually awakened and morally transformed by a widespread outpouring of God's Spirit in revival.
At times revival has lasted only a day or two. Yet God has been so powerfully present for that brief time that more spiritual transformation has resulted than from months and years of ordinary Christian life and witness. At other times revival has lasted for months.
GOD COORDINATES REVIVAL
In times of regional or nationwide revival, God's Spirit has worked in one church after another and in one community after another. These times of revival visitation by the Holy Spirit sometimes have begun almost simultaneously in various churches in a city or community, or sometimes in various cities of a given nation, and on occasion have even begun almost simultaneously in different parts of the world. I will describe such. Only God can plan that kind of coordinated divine working.
It is almost as if God's spiritual fire from heaven has touched down like a powerful tornado of blessing and leaped from place to place. All these divine manifestations have been marked by an unusually widespread awareness of God's presence, God's mercy, and God's transforming power in the lives of people.
God is infinitely original in His working. In no two places are the accounts of revival the same in their details. God's mighty work of salvation has transformed the most hopeless situations and the most spiritually damaged people. The more widespread any revival movement becomes, the more transforming are the moral effects in the areas where God's holy fire has burned.
REVIVALS OVER THE CENTURIES
God visited Israel with times of revival during the Old Testament period. He visited the early church with revival, and then over the centuries He has come again and again in revival to bless His people. In the early years of this century (1905--10), revival fires burned. God sent powerful awakening to Wales and many places in England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, India, Korea, Manchuria, China, Japan, Australia, Madagascar, Norway, and in parts of South America and the Caribbean islands. In the middle of this century, God sent revival to some of the American Christian colleges and sent revival outpouring on some of the Hebrides islands.
Will revival sweep across our nation again? Do we need revival today? Revivals are the sovereign working of God, but they are always related to the obedience of God's people. Are you and I willing to prepare the way of the Lord by prayer, fasting, and obedience?
The purpose of this book is to thrill you with true accounts of how God has worked in powerful blessing over the centuries and around the world. May God increase our spiritual hunger to see Him bless our churches again with great spiritual renewal. May He bless our nation again with mighty spiritual awakenings.
God is the God of revival. Until Jesus comes again, 'times of refreshing may come from the Lord' (Acts 3:19). Will you read these true accounts of revival and ask God to increase your spiritual hunger for God to visit us in grace again? Will you make intercession for world revival and world harvest a part of your daily fellowship with Jesus? He is even now interceding for us (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Will you join Him in petitioning for a new, mighty spiritual awakening? Lord, send Your fire again!