One of the greatest hindrances to revival is pride.
Pride suggests we don’t need revival and, outside of extraordinary circumstances, don’t much need God. We can run our own lives, thank you, and we will contact God if, and when, we need him.
But humility has a very different view- one that much more clearly sees the truth. We are weak in our own strength and need the Lord desperately. The bible tells us, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that he may exalt you at the proper time.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)
One of the results of a humble heart is an ability to experience a deepened connection with God through revival. And, conversely, revival always results in a deepened humility. Humility and revival are intricately connected.
Here are five reasons why we need humility if we are to see revival.
1. Humility knows man’s need. Revival comes to those who hunger and thirst for God. But if one thinks he is full he will never long to eat. Revival comes to those longing for the touch of the Great Physician. But if one thinks he is healthy he will never visit the doctor. Seeing our need for God causes us to come to God and coming to God allows us to find him.
2. Humility recognizes man’s limitations. Revival does not come by our power and strength. Revival is the outpouring of the power of God himself. If we think we are strong we fail to seek the Lord’s power. When we see our weakness and inability, we can turn instead to God to seek what only he can do. Pride relies on the strength of man. Revival relies on the strength of God.
3. Humility understands man’s place. We are not God. We are not sovereign. We cannot save. Humility understands these things and, therefore, has no problem with bible words like “service”, “surrender” and “sacrifice”. Humility also knows the great truth that we do not deserve God’s grace but still God loves us and adopts us into his family in salvation. Revival is about God taking frail creatures like us and pouring into us his love and presence and power.
4. Humility sees the importance of prayer. All the great revivals of history involve deep, lasting and meaningful prayer. The Revival of 1857-59 was even called “The Prayer Revival”. Revivals both spring from prayer and lead to prayer. The humble heart turns to God in prayer knowing the need for God’s presence and power. Pride sees prayer as a box to check. Humility sees prayer as oxygen to breathe.
5. Humility lives by faith. Pride lives by the flesh while humility lives by faith. Pride seeks to work for personal accomplishment while humility seeks God’s accomplishment through its work. Revived hearts are hearts that trust God deeply and believe him for great things. The life of faith is a life that inherently trusts God and not man. Revival involves a deepened faith in God’s ability, including his ability to work through people like us. All revival involves a deepened life of faith.
Perhaps God is working on you in the area of pride and is prodding you to humble yourself. It is not that God finds you worthless and unusable. On the contrary, God does this work in you because he loves you and wants to deepen you and to use you in even greater ways. Humble yourself before him and ask him to do his work through you.
After all, humility is the position of revival.