Without a life of repentance and separation from the world there can be no true revival. “And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers” (Nehemiah 9:2). Wherever there is biblical restoration, there will be an ever-growing awareness of the Lord’s call to separate from all that is worldly and sensuous.
Over the years I have observed that it is the separated, Christ-consumed, holy-living Christian who has most effect on the secular world. The ungodly expect Christians to be separate and clean, totally “other.” On the crime-infested streets of New York, with demonic spirits raging on all sides, only a pure, separated, Christ-filled Christian can put the enemy to chase. Compromisers are frightened off and their own sins condemn them.
God is raising up a remnant of believers who want revival but only as it conforms believers to the image of Jesus Christ. And when it comes in its fullness, the majority of Christians will either not recognize it or, if they do, they will reject it. The separated remnant will hear the trumpet sounding and will know what God is saying.
God owns everything we have. We keep saying, “Lord, I give this back to You!” But we have never really owned anything. “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. . . . The wild beasts of the field are mine. . . . For the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:10-12). The Lord is saying to us, “Go up on the roof and examine your heart!” Are you a just steward of His property? In light of eternity, in light of the frailty of life, how much do you spend on yourself, in comparison to His work?
The great effect of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the laying down of everything on God’s altar, as we get our eyes off the things we possess. At Pentecost it was said, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).