Nehemiah 9:1 – Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads.
Dead religion happens when people do spiritual things without the life of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said this is what happens when people say and sing things with their lips that they don’t truly believe in their heart. Jesus also routinely rebuked religious leaders for worrying about how they looked on the outside as they religiously performed for the approval of people but did not deal with their inward sinful heart that hated Him and plotted His murder.
Dynamic revival happens when God the Holy Spirit does a powerful work for, in, and through people. In a season of revival, there is a genuine hunger for God’s Word, fresh love for God and hatred of personal sin, and life in the Spirit poured out. Generally, an unusually high number of people become new Christians, and old Christians become awakened to new life in the Spirit.
Thus far in Nehemiah, we have seen a tremendous struggle between two sides of a battle. On one side, Nehemiah’s prayer and planning culminated in the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem, repopulating of the city, and regathering of God’s people for revival worship. Opposing Nehemiah were a well-organized group of enemies and critics who did not want God’s people to freely gather to worship God. Ultimately, this was spiritual warfare and the reason the fight was so intense was because God’s plan for revival was so immense.
Read Acts 2 to see how revival came to the early Church.