In our #Revival1972 series so far, we’ve featured the testimonies and stories of the folks who were right there when it happened at the Clocktower, the generation that experienced the Charismatic Renewal as well as all the other young men and women of God who came after that.

This time, we’re changing angles from triumph to troubles and trials: What are the obstacles and pitfalls to revival we face in the present day?

We spoke to the young (and young at heart) for their reflections and thoughts on what could hinder revival today.

When we talk about the obstacles to revival in our nation today, one of the greatest barriers is the intellectualism with which we approach our faith.

Many of us are second-generation, third-generation Christians who were not privy to the move of the Spirit that happened in the revival.

We’ve been raised in Christian families. Many of us have been raised in Christian schools.

… intellectualism is something that will bring us halfway but not all the way into the throne room, because that will require a personal experience of the Most Holy God.

We know a lot about God. But the question then becomes, do we know God?

When it comes to Christianity, intellectualism is something that will bring us halfway but not all the way into the throne room, because that will require a personal experience of the Most Holy God.

Coming into His presence, you can’t help but be changed.


I struggled with this myself as well in my younger years and I went through my own crisis of faith, but the Lord was very merciful to me.

Just when I was at the cusp of leaving the faith, the Lord rescued me from myself by revealing Himself to me in a way that I couldn’t explain and couldn’t deny.

And so, if you ask me about barriers to revival, I would say that a cerebral understanding of Christianity – which doesn’t translate then into a deeper move and a deeper work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts for actual change – is something that we need to be aware of.

I think one of the biggest problems that young people face nowadays is the fear of speaking up.

We are so immersed in cancel culture that whatever we say or whatever we do, we have to think through them so many times.

We get so fearful that we swing to the other extreme – we just don’t say anything because we don’t want to get cancelled. 

That holds back a lot of people from stepping out to live out their faith wherever they are, or to even share the Gospel with their friends or invite them to church.

To see revival in our time, we need our people to rise up in boldness and in conviction.

We need to know that the God who has done all these things in the past – He can do the same for us today again.

And when we look back in future at our chapter, we will be in awe of what God has done with us, through us for our generation.

We need to cry out for more of God. We need to really yearn and hunger and desire for more of Him!

Sometimes we have an idea of what revival looks like, and we want God to move again in a particular way.

You can’t put God in a box. When God moves, and when God brings revival, there is no format that He follows.

The thing is, are we willing to partner alongside Him? If God is choosing another ministry, another church to bring in revival, are we willing to surrender?

Are we willing to lay down our pride and run with them in order to see God move in Singapore and bring revival?

We really need to be willing to lay down, to be willing to surrender. We need to be willing to do what God asks us to do, even if there is no recognition at the end of the day.

After all, it’s only God who sees!

I see two obstacles for my generation. The first is the fear of man.

Honestly, it can be very scary. In today’s world, you see cancel culture, you see your friends being so opposed to Christianity. We need to break free of that fear, so that we fear nothing but God.

John Wesley once wrote: “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.”

We need to break free of the fear of man, only then we can really pursue what’s on God’s heart. 

The second obstacle is disunity in the body of Christ.

As a young person growing up, I came to see that there are so many denominations all following the same God. I found it awesome that they love the Lord in their unique ways – I love that.

In my generation, I see so many non-believers whose hearts have hardened towards God. Many of them don’t want to go to church or be part of Christianity because we can be so divisive.

We need to turn our hearts back to John 17:21 which is Jesus’s prayer for us in the Garden of Gethsemane, that we would be united so that the world might believe in Him. 

One problem may be in how we see Jesus.

We see Jesus as this boss that just comes in and tells us, “Oh, you need to hit these targets before I will come in and do something.”

We think that Jesus just wants our attention, Jesus just wants our work, Jesus wants our hands… but Jesus wants our heart first.

And so, many people have been attempting to corporatise their programs, corporatise their worship – forgetting how personal Christ is.

I am worried that we might miss out on who God really is.

We need to encounter the Holy Spirit. But many aren’t even open to the embrace of the Holy Spirit, the one who comforts and reconciles them.

My biggest concern right now is that due to how things are being polarised, many in the next generation has built up “camps” of people they need to fight.

They may think of their teachers as the enemy. They may think of their parents as the enemy (especially for first-generation Christians). They may think of other people as their enemy, non-Christians as their enemy, other denominations as their enemy…

But they forget the real enemy is Satan.

Revival must come from a place of unity. Revival must come from a place of reconciliation.

So my hope for young people today is to extend forgiveness. When Christ came down to die for us, He did not come to deliver judgment first – He came to reconcile.

The biggest obstacle I see amongst us pursuing revival, is this fear of what people will think when we start to live a life that is radical in Christ.

The danger is becoming a generation that cancels ourselves because of this fear, a generation that mutes the voice that God wanted to lift up in and through us.

But the moment we are able to live boldly and radically for Jesus – there’s nothing that can hold this generation back from experiencing and encountering the greatest revival of all generations.

  1. Which of these responses stood out to you and why?
  2. Take a moment to consider your talents, gifts and past experiences.
  3. Take a moment to consider the make-up of your generation. How do they live?
  4. Based on these, what might God’s role for you be in your generation?
  5. How will you live that out practically?