Keys to Revival

by Mike Shreve

Mike ShreveI am seeking God intensely to send TRUE REVIVAL, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that gets ‘out of man’s control.’ I am totally weary of ‘church as usual’ and more than ever, I am ready for a new level of the supernatural. I have discovered that there are keys to revival revealed in the Scripture. In this and future issues of the Shield of Faith I intend to share those keys, one at a time.



For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to REVIVE the spirit of THE HUMBLE, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Is. 57:15)

Jonathan Edwards, one of the fathers of the first great awakening, warned: “Spiritual pride is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of truth. It is the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit to darken the mind and mislead the judgment.” Andrew Murray, a highly respected Christian author, observed: “Do not look at pride as only an unbecoming temper, or at humility as only a decent virtue. The one is death, and the other is life; the one is all hell, the other is all heaven. If you could see what a sweet, divine, transforming power there is in humility, how it expels the poison of your nature, and makes room for the Spirit of God to live in you, you would rather wish to be the footstool of all the world than lack the smallest degree of it.”

One of the most striking passages in the Bible concerning humility refers to Israel’s circuitous journey through the Wilderness of Sin. Only two primary references directly refer to God humbling His people in Scripture. Both occur in Deuteronomy, chapter 8.

First God explained, “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” (Dt. 8:2) So part of the reason that God led them was to bring them to humility. They could not choose their own way and survive. They were totally dependent on Him for guidance in order to achieve their destiny of possessing the Promised Land. And so it is with us.

Second, the children of Israel were admonished to remember that it was God “who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end.” (Dt. 8:16) So part of the reason that God provided supernatural sustenance was, once again, to impress their minds with their utter dependency on Him. Without His intervention, they would surely perish. And so it is for us.

The writer went on to explain that God, through this process, intended to prove that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but…by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” (Dt. 8:3) How humbling it is to know that we cannot feed ourselves or find truth by our own self-effort! God must lead us and God must feed us or we are hopelessly lost and spiritually starving.

In God’s list of seven abominations (those things He passionately hates) the first is a “proud look.” (Pr. 6: 16-17) Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of “pride, fullness of bread and abundance of idleness,” and not just their sexual perversity. (Ezk. 16:49) Pride, especially religious pride, is one of the main hindrances to a true move of the Holy Spirit.

There are repeated warnings in Scripture: “When pride comes, then comes shame…” (Pr. 11:2) “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pr. 16:18) “A man’s pride will bring him low…” (Pr. 29:23)
C.S. Lewis once commented, “The devil is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste, brave and self-controlled, provided all the time he is setting up in you the dictatorship of pride.”

Three scriptural promises stand out powerfully:

  • God gives grace to the humble.” (1 Pt. 5:5)

  • By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.” (Pr. 22:4)

  • He who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk. 14:11)

The greatest challenges to humility are transmitted to us through the following two passages of Scripture:

JESUS REVEALED—“Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:4)

PAUL EXHORTED—“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, (Ph. 2:5-9)

So let us humble ourselves and be obedient, even to the point of death, that we, like Daniel, might hear from heaven, impact our world and be “exalted” by receiving a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit from above. (See Dan. 10:12, Lk. 18:14) A dear friend of mine once commented, “Jesus walks through doors of humility. If you provide Him a door of humility, He will come into your life.” This is true for individuals and for churches as a whole.

Finally, may I remind you that Martin Luther claimed wistfully, “A revival of religion never lasts longer than a generation.” (A generation was about three decades in his estimation.) John Wesley later refuted this, saying that the religious movement God initiated through him had already lasted (at the time of his writing) fifty years. Being a highly organized person, the key to the perpetuation of Wesley’s revival may have been his ability to provide a wineskin that endured beyond his generation. This is our responsibility as well. Let us seek humility and pursue God passionately for a spiritual outbreak in our generation, but an equally important priority must be the igniting of this passion in the next generation that this light might continue to shine.

Mike Shreve has been teaching God's Word since 1971.  He is the founder of Deeper Revelation Books and the visionary behind The True Light Project, an outreach to followers of non-Christian worldviews. Watch Mike's It's Supernatural!  Television interview with Sid Roth here.

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