True revival and reformation must originate from God. We must allow Him to work in His way to receive the greatest blessings. In the best of times, efforts toward reformation are uncertain and difficult to sustain, but for reformation to be profound and lasting, it must emerge from God’s revival.
Revival is not something humans gear up to achieve. We do not determine that the church should be changed, and then it just happens. Instead, it emerges from God’s continuing efforts to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2). His efforts are ceaseless, of course; but the challenge is that we commonly resist His efforts to give us new hearts, clinging, instead, to our hearts of stone (2 Cor. 3:3).
Only by being truly submissive to God (Col. 3:18–25), allowing Him to transform us into loving, caring people (2 Cor. 3:18), shaped by humility, and committed to service (2 Cor. 5:18), will that fundamental change happen. God will revive His church, leading us into true reformation; He will lead us into a compelling ministry of reconciliation, but not until we abandon our efforts to program reformation and instead begin to trust, allowing Him to do His work of transformation.