Any movement that strikes in one direction creates a reciprocal reaction. Burns’ tenth principle of revival is the Principle of Recoil. If the church is under a heavy hand of authority, the revival will bring freedom as with the Wesley Revival. If the church has become so free that it is licentious, the revival will bring authority as it did in the Reformation. The principle of recoil then takes effect. As Burns summed it up, “Every revival has a time limit. It has its day, and then it recedes.” After the wave crests and impacts the shore, the ebb begins. The prophetic “leader” passes on. The Truth endures; the fervor fades.
Through the principle of recoil, two things can then happen. The first is that spiritual awakening receives some kind of negative reaction. After the Welsh Revival, a reactionary named J. B. Morgan tried to debunk what God had done by revealing that five years after a hundred thousand had come to Christ, “only” eighty thousand remained. A second characteristic of recoil is that with awakening, corruption can also come. The reputation of poverty in the early Franciscan movement, for example, gave way eventually to the people’s lust for money.
How large, how significant would revival need to be in this country for the recoil of negativity and corruption to surface? Imagine how powerful, life changing (and threatening to some) spiritual awakening would be to cause others to rise up in dismay and disbelief because of personal and national sins.
Burns’ final principle is the Principle of Doctrine. Always, after spiritual wakening runs its God-appointed course, church doctrine moves back to simplicity. This is especially true if the message of the gospel has been forgotten or overlaid with theology or tradition. Whatever the revival, the message of the cross has always become central. Whenever people are moved to know and follow Him, they step up to the reality of their sin and come face-to-face with the only One who can make the necessary sacrifice—Jesus, who overcame death for us on the cross and through the resurrection. Revival makes all other issues secondary.
What is the one doctrine, one Truth in your life that would cause you to pray for revival? When all that is secondary falls away, what is the one central fact of Christianity upon which your faith and the hope of this nation rests?
James 4:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
1 Corinthians 2:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Romans 6:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To stay up-to-date with Jesus Now Awakening:
Phillips, Tom (2016-11-01). Jesus Now: God Is Up to Something Big (Chapter 7 p. 164-165). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC.