So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. ISAIAH 59:19
A key characteristic that precedes revival is when there was an increase of holiness in the Body. This is true in every revival: a great fear of the Lord, an avalanche of the conviction of sin that cuts the hearts, and repentance towards faith in Christ (Acts 2:37-40).
We might think of the 1700’s, the days of Jonathan Edwards, as a tightly religious, puritanic society. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, the debauchery and drunkenness of society in those times were at its peak, and the secular humanistic ideas of the Enlightenment mocked and persecuted authentic Christians. Thomas Paine, the famous author of Common Sense, declared that Christianity would be eradicated from the Americas within 30 years.
It was in this context that the magnanimous preachers of the Great Awakening emerged. They rode out of the closets of prayer and the study of the Word, thundering against false ideologies, exposing sin, and calling all men to the saving knowledge of Christ. These were not men bound by the fear of man; they were heralds from heaven, hounding lost men and wayward Christians, until they repented of their sins and believed in Christ.
Within a decade, the entire atmosphere of the eastern seaboard had changed. Bars and brothels were closed, worship filled the cities streets, and society was transformed. Jonathan Edwards remarked that, especially among the young people, “radical holiness was the standard of the day.” When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.
At the darkest hour, God raises up consecrated ones who will be a holy banner of light against the kingdom of evil— ones like Noah, Elijah, Daniel, and John the Baptist. They are not given to holiness out of legalism, but out of abandoned love to the God who loved them first. These are the ones who “know their God and do great exploits” (Dan. 11:32).
There has never been a revival apart from a revival of holiness.
Pray for a revival of holiness on college campuses. Pray for college students to lay hold of leading a holy, consecrated lifestyle. Pray for believers on campuses to be able to resist the temptation that comes their way.