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Editor's journey

Is revival waning?

SPRINGFIELD, MO. – People want to know: Are churches in the United States still experiencing revival or renewal? They want to know if altars are still filled with new converts and if tears of repentance are still seen on the faces of believers.

Some inquire out of curiosity, because much of the media attention has faded. But others ask out of disappointment, because, on the surface, the Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to be moving as powerfully in their churches. They wonder if revival has waned everywhere.

It’s unfortunate that we tend to measure the work of the Spirit by what is occurring in a church across town or one 2,000 miles away. The Holy Spirit is at work in every rural community and every urban center. Countless thousands are coming to Christ and receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There is unprecedented interdenominational cooperation and a thriving prayer movement. Congregations are reaching out to the lost in innovative and compassionate ways. Without question, churches are experiencing the presence and power of God.

But some ask if this deserves to be labeled "revival." Quite frankly, how we tag an outpouring of the Spirit is insignificant. Let someone else affix the labels and debate the nuances. There are more important questions that deserve our attention: What can we do to experience greater intimacy with God? What steps can we take to see the Holy Spirit move in a greater way in our church and family? And what can we do to reach more people for Christ?

The Holy Spirit is not slothful or inactive. He is with us, beckoning us to seek more of Jesus. But, regrettably, we inhibit the work of the Spirit in our lives and churches when our hunger and humility fade.

Is revival waning? There is a more timely and personal question we should ask ourselves: Is there anything in my life preventing me from becoming more like Jesus?

If so, let me encourage you to make an altar where you are and allow tears of repentance to flow from your heart. Your humility and confession may be the beginning of a fresh outpouring in your life … and in your church.

— Hal Donaldson

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