Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (Psalm 85:6).
Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth (Hosea 6:1-3).
Revival: a word that means different things to different people. Perhaps, rightly so. There are different types of revival. Personal revival. Spiritual revival. Even political revival. Sometimes these various types of revival are so intertwined that they cannot be separated into neat, easy to understand packages.
Personal revival enables corporate revival of the church in part or whole, and corporate revival will affect the nations. I believe we are beginning to experience a worldwide revival that will take us beyond what any of the revivals of the past have accomplished.
I don’t say this to take anything away from the revival movements of the past. They have earned their place in history and are extremely important in the progression of time that has brought us to the present. But I say this to encourage you because I believe the revival awakening that is beginning to take place will be a never ending revival!
Surely we were born for such a time as this!
So what will make this present and coming revival different from past revivals?
I think the answer is found in Hosea 6:1-3. Hosea speaks of revival coming after two days. Peter said a day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day (see 2 Peter 3:8). Before he states this mathematical fact he says, “Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing.”
Peter put great emphasis on his mathematical equation, and this is a very important key to understanding the entire Bible and God’s dealings with mankind and planet Earth.
In the last two days (millennia) there have been numerous moves of God which were usually not embraced by most believers, but rather were experienced by a remnant. Some of these moves led to other moves, but for the most part, each move eventually died out. Even the Protestant Reformation, which birthed and paved the way for many of the denominations in existence today, has not played out as Martin Luther and others originally intended.
Recent movements such as the Welsh Revival, the Azusa Street Revival, and the Charismatic Movement have come and gone. While their effects can still be felt, the power and enthusiasm that was so prevalent at the time has waned and is not making much of an impact on the church or society.
But this is a new day (millennium) and with the coming of this third day of the church, Hosea gives us a very encouraging and clear prophetic word that the coming revival will be greater than the revival moves of the past.
Hosea says that God will raise us up. You may ask, “Raise us up from what?” I think the answer to that question is found in the first verse. In the first verse Hosea says that God has torn and smitten us. You may ask, “How can our God, who is love, tear and smite us?”
I have heard numerous teachings saying God wouldn’t do something like that. I’ve even heard people say that if God would do something like that, they don’t want to have anything to do with Him. And yet, Hosea clearly says that it is God who has torn and smitten us.
I went through a period of time starting around 2002 when it seemed like everything was coming against me. I prayed, I confessed the Word, I took authority over my situation and the devil, but to no avail.
After about four years of this I came to the realization that it wasn’t the devil coming against me. Rather, it was God ordering the circumstances of my life to bring me down and grind me to powder, until there was nothing left of me.
You see, I was getting in the way of what He wanted to do in my life. He wanted to fill me with the fullness of Christ and I was getting in the way of Him doing that. I wasn’t being torn and smitten by the devil. It was God doing the tearing and smiting out of His great love for me. When I thought the devil was coming against me, I was actually coming against God at work in my life!
God knows that the only way to rid us of ourselves is through the process of intense and severe tests and trials. And He knows that until we are rid of ourselves, our effectiveness will, at best, be limited in the kingdom of God.
So yes, our loving God and Father does tear and smite, but as Hosea says, He also then heals and binds up. He removes us from the picture, so He can fill us with all He is.
While believers have encountered this in part during the first two days (millennia) of the church, it is only in this third day (millennium) of the church when believers will fully experience this.
But it begins with a remnant. And that remnant has been and continues to experience intense and severe tests and trials bringing them to nothing, so they can be rebuilt and filled with all the fulness of God (see Ephesians 3:19). We who are experiencing this have been brought down to be raised up.
So what are we being raised up to? To live in His sight.
We can only fully live when we have fully died. And when we have died to self, we live in His sight. Or in other words, in His oversight.
He is overseeing everything we are becoming and everything we are doing. Having died to self, we have surrendered everything to Him (I say this as if it is already accomplished, but in reality, the process is currently ongoing). It is only in total surrender that He can totally oversee. And when He is completely overseeing the affairs of our lives, guess what? He is in control. We are out of the picture and He is literally living His life in and through us.
And glory to God, that’s not where it stops!
Verse three says that if we continue on to know the Lord (we say we know Him, but we are really getting to know Him), His going forth is prepared as the morning.
Now think about that. Do you have to do anything to get the morning to come each day? Of course not! Do we have to do anything to get God to implement and complete His plan for mankind and planet Earth? No!
Are you beginning to see that it is not about us? It’s all about Him! And He will have it His way no matter what. So why do we get to be a part of it all? Because He chose us to be a part of it (see Ephesians 1:4).
You may think you chose to be where your life has taken you. You may think you had free will in the matter. If He hadn’t chosen us, revealed the truth to us, and then put us through the process of dying to self, none of us would have even begun on the journey that brought us where we are now.
So yes, He has torn, and He is healing; He has smitten and He is binding us up—and as we enter this third day, He is reviving us as never before and raising us up to live under His oversight because He is coming!
Coming how? As the rain. As the latter and former rain. Or, in other words, as a continual harvest, bringing about the restitution of all things (see Acts 3:21).
But it begins with a remnant of the body of Christ, then with the entire body of Christ, and finally with the nations of the world becoming the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15).
This is the third-day revival. And it will be sustained because it will be experienced by a people that not only know His power, but have His character, literally becoming love as He is love.
Let me say it again. Surely we were born for such a time as this!