Revival in Australia, Part Four
By Jason Harris
This brief series on revival in Australia has not been an overview, but merely a few brief windows into the rich spiritual heritage of our nation. We could yet talk of the great evangelistic works of Lionel B. Fletcher and John G. Ridley, of Chapman and Alexander in 1912, of the great evangelistic work of Billy Graham in 1959 (his Melbourne campaign attendance of 130,000 still holds the record for the largest crowd ever at the MCG). But I trust we have already seen enough to widen our perspective and waken our hearts to the work that God can and will yet do in Australia.
There was a time in Australia, that when the evangelist came to town—even Sydney town—the civil leaders held ceremonies to welcome him. There was a time in Australia when the bars were closed after 6pm. There was a time in Australia when 89% of the population considered themselves “Christian.” And yes, there was a time in Australia when the Spirit of God moved so powerfully in our nation that souls were converted to Christ in amazing and dramatic ways. No, it wasn’t all fun and games. No, it wasn’t easy. And no, we were never a Christian nation. But God has worked here before and there is no reason why He cannot do it again.
We cannot with a good conscience bemoan the lack of revival in our nation if we are not willing to submit to God in our own hearts and lives, for what is revival if it is not God’s people coming to a place of great submission to a great Saviour.
Many hours have been spent arguing about whether revival is the work of God in response to man or the work of man in response to God. One thing is certain, God does not rely on you and I for anything. And yet, how dare we stand back and blame God for our state when we ourselves have not submitted to His clear instruction in our lives. We are responsible to submit. And that means preaching the gospel in our Jerusalem. Right here. Right now. Our country. Our Responsibility.
I dare you to go back to your own church and let God begin His work there. I dare you to believe that God can work in your town, in your church, in your life. Revival begins in the heart of a believer, it grows in the local church as the word is skilfully and powerfully proclaimed, and it overflows into the lives of everyone it comes in contact with. Perhaps there was a time in your past when you were in a state of revival. Do you remember the fellowship with God? The joy of spending time with Him and fellowshipping with His children? It’s time to join me in praying, “Do it again, Lord. Please. Do it again.”