What If Revival Doesn’t Look Like Revival ?

Photo public domain, courtesy of Pixabay.

Photo public domain, courtesy of Pixabay.

Y’know how everyone says they want revival?  And y’know how so many only really want a revival they can control or own or put their name on somehow?  Oh, you didn’t?  OK, we must move in different circles.  Nevermind.  But have you noticed God’s up to something, and it’s not in the rule book?  Here’s something to chew on.

The Missing Revival


I hear talk of great revival

An end time harvest, overdue

To sweep through towns and cities

There’ll be no room in the pews

From the nearest to the farthest

Get ready, clear the aisles,

It’s coming sure as Christmas

To a church somewhere near you


They say the day is not far off

Such miracles there’ll be

With shouting and rejoicing

As the sinners get set free

It’s so close you can smell it

It’s hanging in the air

When the Spirit comes in power

There’ll be nothing to compare


But what if God has other plans?

What if He won’t comply?

What if our great revival

Doesn’t fit with His design?

What if He smiles and says “No thanks,

I’ve something else in mind?”

Will we find it in our Bibles

If we have to wait in line?


And what if He’s left the building

And is dancing in the streets

With the prodigals and prostitutes

‘Caus He’s found a different beat?

What if He’s crashed their party

The down and outs and losers?

What if He’s set up camp

With thieves and pimps and users?


What if He’s marched into the darkness

With His Cross and wine and bread?

And challenged every lurking demon

To defy him if they dare?

And instead of gracing our pretty pews

He’s sitting in the gutter

With a wino and a painted lady

‘Caus He likes it better there?


What if the Son is rising

With healing in His wings

On the cripple and the refugee

And the kid with silver piercings

And the ones whose minds are broken

Are now His closest friends

And the homeless serve Him supper?

What then?  What then?


What if those who never heard a sermon

Or walked through a church door

Are preaching God’s salvation

To the poorest of the poor?

And those who’ve never read the Word

Are living it instead

As they sit in darkened corners

And share their daily Bread?


I hear talk of great revival

It’s preached across the land

There’s praying and there’s fasting

For God to show His Hand

From mega-church to chapel

From mountaintop to coast

They’re pleading that He’ll hear them

And send the Holy Ghost


But what if God is done

With the shouting and the pleas

And gone to take up residence

In the dregs of human need?

With invitations in His Hand

Is He handing out free passes?

And opening Heaven’s golden streets

To the very least of these?


What if our great revival

So long anticipated

Is not what we imagined

And so fervently awaited?

If after all we’ve said and done

It really isn’t about us?

What if God escaped our box

And started it without us?


And what if undesirables

Get first place at the table?

What if they bring their friends

And steal our great revival?

And what if they don’t need us

To help them be good Christians

What if they found Jesus

Outside our definitions?


I hear talk of great revival

It’s where it shouldn’t be

In ghettoes, pubs and strip joints

And nations that aren’t free

It’s blowing through the windows

And falling from the sky

It’s spreading like a wild fire…..

Did it just pass us by?


© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2016 and beyond.   All rights reserved. Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

11 thoughts on “What If Revival Doesn’t Look Like Revival ?

  1. This makes a nice distinction between craving spiritual/religious experiences versus loving God and neighbor. I’ve seen too many instances where revival supplants Christ as the focus of a group. When Jesus isn’t all in all it often leads to unloving behavior & preferring the sensational to the substantive. I remember a few years ago the Lord pointed this out to me about my own church: We don’t see a lot of dramatic manifestations of the Spirit but people enjoy each other & form connections with each other & the community outside of the church service. I needed my eyes opened to the miracle of love happening right under my nose! I love the mighty rushing wind when the Spirit manifests that way. But too often we despise the day of small things which is not by might nor by power (Zech. 4:6, 10).


  2. Thank you Cheryl,

    I have this sense that revival is already with us, only not in the way we probably would expect or are familiar with. The ‘light bulb going on’ kind of moment that happens when sharing with a fellow saint, the awakening of the different parts of the bride to their relatedness to one another (physical separation, or different social standings not withstanding) and the present reality of her risen Lord and Groom, all point to a kind of revival .

    This road we have not walked before – may we therefore be open to His manifold wisdom in working out His purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

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