The Word of God bears witness of Jesus. The Holy Spirit also bears witness of Jesus. The Spirit leads us to a deeper experience with Jesus through His Word. The purpose of the Holy Spirit in revival is not primarily to manifest Himself through supernatural signs and wonders but to exalt Jesus through His Word. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not about our power to accomplish great miracles. It is about God’s power to transform our lives-and that’s what revival and reformation are all about.
The Word of God provides the foundation or the basis for all genuine revival. Our experience flows out of an understanding of God’s Word. Our praise and worship spring from minds saturated with the Word. A transformed life is the greatest testimony of true revival.
Positive feelings of praise may accompany revival, but they are never the basis for revival. Any so called “revival” based solely on external feelings or experience is shallow at best, deceptive at worst. It is an illusion of spirituality, not genuine godliness. When revival is rooted in the Word of God, it is an experience that lasts and makes a difference in our lives and in the lives of the people around us.
The story of Jesus’ appearance to the two disciples on the Emmaus road reveals the role that the Bible plays in initiating true revival. These followers of Christ were filled with confusion. Gradually, however, He “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27, NKJV). He repeated the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah. Jesus could have worked a miracle to prove His identity or showed the scars in His hands. He did not. Instead, He gave them a Bible study.
Notice their response as they reflected on what happened that day. “And they said to one another, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?’ ” (Luke 24:32, NKJV).
What an example of genuine revival!
Why can’t we trust our feelings? How can our feelings deceive us? What role do feelings have in our walk with the Lord, and what role do they not have?