What’s the difference and does it matter
REVOLUTION; A sudden, radical, or complete change, A fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something, A change of paradigm.
REVIVAL; Renewed attention to or interest in something, A period of renewed religious interest, An often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings.
AWAKENING; A rousing from sleep, A rousing from inactivity or indifference, A revival of interest in something (such as religion)
But more importantly what does scripture say?
REVIVAL; Revive the spirit, Will you not revive us again, Restore us, LORD God, Renew a steadfast spirit within me
AWAKENING; Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, Dreamers lying down, who love to slumber, When will you arise from your sleep, So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
Scripture does not specifically use the word revolution but it does show instances of revolution such as in Revelation where Jesus comes back to earth to conquer Satan and sin in the world. We also find these words; “Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves, and why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?” Romans 13:2. These definitions go hand in hand with scripture.
In the dictionary revival and awakening basically mean the same thing such as an act or instance of reviving, renewed attention to or interest, often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings, a rousing from sleep, inactivity or indifference, a revival of interest in something (such as religion). Scripture also alludes to an awakening and being revived as to be aware, alert, sober, and to be revived, restored and renewed.
What I find in the above information is that both the dictionary meanings and what Scripture states about revival and awakening is that both are personal matters. Therefore, I believe Scripture does not tell us to corporately awake and revive; it is talking to us as individuals. Revolution on the other hand is a different story and I will not be touching on that subject.
Scripture is full of advice guiding us, as individuals, on how to stay firm in our faith, walk closer to God, to remain strong, and to have and show the fruit of our faith as individuals.
Romans 12; 2 sums it all up by telling us. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Again, as individuals.
Other words in scripture that guide us, individually not corporately, are; regeneration, renewing, restore, steadfast, clean heart, not to lose heart, and strong in the Lord (locations in scripture can be found in your Bible).
My personal beliefs are that Scripture is telling me to straighten out my own life, get the fruit I display and my true beliefs to be on the same page, awake and revive any thing in my life that is out of sync with my walk with Jesus, and be corporately in fellowship with other believers as directed by the teachings of our Lord through Scripture.
Once the excitement recedes, the masses have gone home, the strength of numbers have disappeared, the euphoria of some true and some false sings and wonders have vanished when the crowd dispersed, and you are alone with your thoughts and feelings, who has not abandoned you? Jesus, the one you owe your salvation, blessings, joy, and life to. He will never let you down or abandon you so when you have walked away, backslid, fallen into sin, or just became distant to Him. Do not wait for a corporate revolution, revival, or awakening to repent and be restored. Turn to Him and work it out.
Matthew 7:24-27 states “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Why do we need to remember these words? It is because they are spoken to us as individuals not corporately. Our relationship with Jesus is a personal one not a corporate event and that the sins of society, culture and the whims and morals of fickle people change as often as the weather. The best and lasting revolution, awakening, and revival start with us as individuals as we are redirected to God.