As a community, we pray for reformation and revival regularly. We do so because we believe that we serve the God who gives reformation and revival, and it is not something we can conjure up or manufacture. When it comes, it will be entirely by God’s sovereign grace and nothing we will have done will add up to what He does. This is the way of grace.
Nevertheless, God loves it when His people stand on their tip toes in anticipation. If God’s grace of revival is like flying to the top of the Eiffel Tower, no sane man thinks that standing on his tiptoes has done much to get him to the top, but every believing man should know that God loves to give that kind of blessing when His people are eager for it and He gives the eagerness.
So given that, what does it look like to be eager for revival, to stand on your tiptoes, asking God for reformation? The center of true, biblical reformation and revival is repentance. Repentance means turning: turning away from sin and turning toward Christ and obedience.
You have heard us say before that sin piles up. People don’t usually just wake up one day and decide to commit adultery or murder and ruin their lives. Usually, they have been practicing with many smaller sins, growing hard-hearted and arrogant, and then they fall into that pit they have dug for themselves. But obedience is actually something like that only in reverse: when you first become a Christian, you start obeying in little ways, and those little acts of repentance and obedience actually make room for you to see new ways and bigger ways to obey Christ. Just as sin begets bigger and gnarlier sins, so too obedience begets bigger and more glorious obedience.
So here is the point: do you want to see reformation and revival in our land? Ask God to show you some new obedience this week, and don’t be surprised if it’s something far smaller than you thought. Don’t be surprised if it’s something like doing the dishes cheerfully or remembering to pray with your wife. But don’t think it’s too small for you. Remember that small obedience is the only path to big obedience: he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much. And a small act of repentance is a mini-reformation.