Last quarter, I visited Scotland and Wales, key countries in past revival history. God opened up doors for us to worship at Moriah Chapel, where the Welsh Revival broke out in 1904. We also visited John Knox House, Scotland, and Bible College, Wales. These visits were an opportunity to learn more about past revivals and, more importantly, to re-dig old spiritual wells in alignment with the revival of our days.
In Genesis 26:18-19, the Bible tells us that “Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. Also, Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of running water there.”
A Generational Relay
Isaac could have dug fresh wells, but that would have taken more time and effort while ending his father’s legacy. So, he “dug again” to restore that which was timeless but which the enemy had tried to stop. Thus, when we talk about re-digging old wells, it’s not a call to idolise past moves of God or places. No. To re-dig is to restore the timeless.
Today, we have an even more sure example in Jesus. John 4:4 tells us that, during a trip, “Jesus needed to pass through Samaria.” At the time, Samaritans were descendants of people who were once Israelites, but both nations no longer interacted. Yet, compelled by the Spirit, Jesus passed through there and stopped at Jacob’s well. This meeting point was not a mere coincidence; it was strategic. Christ showed that while Isaac physically re-dug old wells for water, the new dispensation has spiritual wells of living water. There, Jesus spoke these timeless words to the Samaritan woman, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you’d have asked him and he’d have given you living water.”
God, in establishing a new covenant, still recognised the old. Therefore, we must also appreciate God’s labours through the fathers of faith. For, as Christ said, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it. Not one word of the law or prophets will pass till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:17).” This is why, at the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses (the law) and Elijah (the prophets) appeared to represent their mantles. With God, what is old does not pass away. It is a sure foundation on which He builds because He is unchanging even as He reveals more of Himself.
There’s a lesson here for us—shepherds and sheep alike. Revival is a relay race in which batons are passed. As God works through us, we must remember that the race is not about one runner. We are participants working across generations towards the eternal. Therefore, as we believe and trust for the new, we must learn and take the baton from those who have gone ahead (Jeremiah 6:16).
Grasp the Baton
Since God began speaking to me about revival, He has led me to study past revivals. Not as a means to replicate them by human power or will, but to grow in the knowledge of how He moves and to understand how people engaged with His past moves. Just as people criticised Jesus when He walked the earth, so were past revivalists criticised. Indeed, when God does a new thing, He moves differently, and people may not recognise it in the moment.
For me, understanding that I am in a relay compels me to learn from the past and fortify myself with wisdom for the race ahead. From the place of wisdom, we are equipped to re-dig old wells and bring forth fresh water as we run our own part of this generational race with God’s Spirit.
Friend, I encourage you to seek God’s face about the spiritual wells He has called you to dig or re-dig. There are many things the Lord is doing in this season through great vessels globally; it is our generation’s turn to build on the timeless. Remember, just as Jesus did not visit to idolise Jacob’s well but to bring forth something fresh and everlasting, so it is with us when we visit old wells (literally and metaphorically). The gates of revival are opening again, and the Holy Spirit will once more flood the hearts of men. Therefore, learn from what God has done in the past and build on it, keeping the everlasting fire burning.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for counting us worthy to see revival in our generation. Thank You for Your faithfulness and mercies upon this generation and for doing exceedingly abundantly above all that we can imagine and think. We are expectant of Your move—do it again. O Lord, do it in our time.