Every time we drive by a church with a sign out front announcing, “Revival meetings here next week,” we are confronted with an understanding of revival that exaggerates the human dynamic. It may seem a small point, and I do not wish to be unfair. But how can we advertise a revival and expect to retain credibility? Presumably we do this because the very idea of revival has been diminished to an event on the church calendar. Evangelistic meetings — maybe that’s all people mean when they announce a revival — are a legitimate program. But true revival is not a scheduled program. It is a gift from the Throne wonderfully interrupting our little programs. The Holy Spirit blows like the wind, unpredictably, mysteriously, uncontrollably, wherever he pleases (John 3:8). We can’t announce him in advance. We can only pray that he will blow our way.

– Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr., When God Comes to Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 2000), 19-20.

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