Revival is all about knowing Jesus. It is a reawakening of the spiritual faculties of the soul.
It is a personal and vital experience with the Savior. Knowing Jesus-really knowing Him as a friend-is the essence of all revival. From the depth of his personal experience with Jesus, the apostle Paul shared that he is praying for the Ephesians to “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19, NKJV).
This is in contrast to the story of the end-time virgins, five of whom had an outer form of godliness and religion but lacked an intimate experience with Jesus. Referring to their great need, Jesus said, “‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you’” (Matt. 25:12, NKJV).
Knowing God always leads to obedience. God’s law reveals His love. A deeper relationship with Christ leads to a greater desire to please Christ. Obedience is the fruit of love. The more we love Him, the more we will desire to obey Him. Any so-called revival that does not emphasize repentance for the times that we have willfully broken His law is suspect. Religious fervor may stimulate a temporary religious high, but lasting spiritual change will be lacking.
In these passages John makes two crucial points. First, knowing God leads to keeping His commandments. Second, loving God leads to loving one another. John’s point is clear. Genuine spirituality results in a changed life. The heart of revival is not a warm sensation of feeling close to Jesus. It is a transformed life filled with the joy of serving Jesus. God’s great goal in all revivals is to draw us closer to Him, to deepen our surrender to His purpose for our lives, and to release us for witness and ministry in His cause.
How are you in your own personal relationships? What do those relationships tell you about your own walk with the Lord? In what ways might you need to progress in both your relationship with God and with others?