Will this be your year for REVIVAL?
Every year around January I see a lot of Facebook post about churches fasting and praying for a fresh move of God, and for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Some might call it revival In January 2011, the church that I was then on Staff at as Children’s Pastor concluded a 28 week revival. Going through that experience, I probably have a little different view on revival than most of the church world. Let me start out by saying a few things so no one misunderstands me.
1. I do believe in fasting to get closer to God, however fasting does not change God it changes us. If all we do is go without food for a period of time without spending that time seeking after God then all we have accomplished is self control and discipline, which is not really a bad thing unless your purpose was to hear from God. God does call people to a fast sometimes and I am wholeheartedly behind it. Some people choose to fast to hear from God or get closer to Him and I am wholeheartedly behind that also. A lot of fasting that is going on now seems to be a fad that everyone does at the beginning of each year. A corporate thing that local churches do because that’s what we do in January of each year. I also see a lot of people posting how much they miss what they are fasting and are counting down the time until they can indulge in those things again. Then they usually post a picture of their binge when they are done with their fast. A minister that I highly respect once said that he would rather live a fasted lifestyle than to go on and off of fast. That seems to be where I stand on the subject. We should not allow things that stand in the way of us and God in our lives all year instead of going without it for a month then going right back to it the rest of the year.
2. I am not against people being hungry for more of God, seeking after him, and wanting to see a fresh move of the Holy Spirit. What I wonder about are churches and ministers that have been praying and seeking God for revival and a fresh move for years and never see it. I would like to ask some of them, ” How is that working for you?”
3. I do believe that some revivals and moves of God are sovereign. Meaning that God just poured out a blessing by his own will and it was going to happen no matter what. However, most of the time we have to cooperate with God to see things happen. If you have been praying for revival for years and have not seen it, maybe you should rethink your whole approach. God is willing! Are we? About half way through the 28 week revival people started complaining about being in church so much it was a huge change in their lifestyle. However, some of the same people that were complaining were the ones praying for revival. Are we willing to do what it takes to experience a revival and then are we willing to do what it takes to keep revival? Or, will it end when the services end and everything goes back to the way it was. You see some people that went through that 28 week revival are now serving God in a radical way and continuing to live the revival lifestyle. Some of the people that sat through all 28 weeks of revival services post things on their FaceBook page like. I’m depressed, I’m board, I’m stressed out!. What’s the difference in these 2 types of people?
There comes a time when we must put legs to our prayers and obey what God has told us to do or we will never see the move that we desire to see. As I said I probably have a little different view on Revival than most. You see to experience revival it takes a change of lifestyle. Are we willing to do what it takes to see it? It’s God’s will that we experience him every day. It’s God’s will that we walk in a fresh anointing every day that overflows into the world around us and touches lives. But until we take that anointing to the people that need it and release it into their lives, we will never see that move that we are praying for. It’s God’s will for us to walk in the spirit, so we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. However, if we continue to feed our flesh on all that the world has to offer we might never experience walking in the spirit. Until we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and be the hands and feet of God to the world around us we will never experience the things that we have been praying for for the last 20 years.
If we always do what we have always done, We will always have, what we have always had. To expect anything different is Ludicrous.
Revival is not a series of meetings where everyone gets refreshed and touched by God. It might include it, but that not what it is. I think Charles Finney said it best when he said, “A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.”
My friend we need to quit praying that God would send revival! He sent you to your city. Become the revival that you have been praying for! Can you imagine the revival we would see in our communities, if we would just step out of our churches and obey the great commission and Go into all the world and make disciples? What if we would start to lay hands on sick people and pray for them when they ask us to pray for them, instead of just saying ” I will pray for you” and then forgetting all about it and never really praying for them.
One night during worship toward the end of the revival at our church the following list came to me and I wrote it down in my notes on my phone.
You know you have experienced revival when…
1. When you start laying aside all weights and sin that gets in between you and God.
2. When you have a renewed love and passion for the things if God.
3. When you begin to serve God with not just our mouth but our actions.
4. When you fervently serve God not just at church but every day of the week everywhere you go.
5. When you get so full of God that his presence begins to overflow in your life and begins to touch those around you.
6. When nothing else satisfies you, but more of God.
7. When you become so desperate for God that you do whatever it takes to get Him.
8. When your desires become God’s desires.
9. When your love for God becomes so strong that you just can’t help but tell others.
10. When the fire of God in your life becomes so big that people start to come from all around to watch you burn.
11. When you submit yourself to God so much, that the change in your life becomes so evident that people can’t help but notice and start to ask you what is different.
12. When the desire to be in God’s presence is so strong that you don’t ask if you should go to church, but nothing can keep you from going to church.
13. When your love for God is so strong that you would never dishonor him by allowing sin in your life
14. When you love God so much you can’t help but worship him not just at church but every day through your lifestyle.
15. When you love God so much that you don’t have to be manipulated to give. You can’t help but to give because you love Him and his works so much.
16. When you rediscover your first love. The feeling and passion you had when you were first born again.
17. When you don’t need to be led into worship, you just enter in.
18. When it ceases to be about us and it becomes about him.
19. Instead of constantly seeking a blessing from God you become a blessing from God.
Actually this list is the lifestyle that a Christian ought to be living in the first place, but because we become distracted from the things of God and become spiritually dead we need to be revived.
The reason we need a series of meetings is that we are so dead we need to be jump started. After we have been jump started, we should be able to keep the charge.
Revival is a lifestyle.
Someone once said ” I would rather live a fasted lifestyle than go on and off of periods of fasting.” I personally would rather live a revival lifestyle than attend a series of meetings.
Below are several Quotes on Revival that have greatly impacted my Life….
“There are two great reasons we don’t have revival.
1. We’re content to live without it.
2. It’s too costly. We don’t want God to disrupt our status quo.
The Christian life can only be lived one way, and that’s God’s way. And God’s way is that I leave all and follow Him”. ~ Leonard Ravenhill
When is a revival needed? When carelessness and unconcern keep the people asleep. – Billy Sunday
Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.” – A.W. Tozer
A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. – Charles Finney
We need to quit praying that God would send revival! He sent you to your city. Become the revival that you have been praying for!
The church that becomes focused upon maintaining itself instead of the gospel becomes a dead branch of the living vine… Thomas C. Oden
I’m sick and tired of only reading about church history; let’s make some by the grace of God! – LEONARD RAVENHILL
Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking. First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again–until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other. – General William Booth
The true follower of Christ will not ask, “If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?” Rather he will say, “This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!” ~ A. W. Tozer”
Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ.” ~ Billy Sunday
Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself. – Leonard Ravenhill
A revival does two things. First, it returns the Church from her backsliding and second, it causes the conversion of men and women; and it always includes the conviction of sin on the part of the Church. What a spell the devil seems to cast over the Church today!- Billy Sunday
If you don’t see a revival starting around you; let it begin in your own heart, then let it overflow to others…
You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it. -Leonard Ravenhill
Reaching the lost is the lifeblood of a church. If you aren’t winning souls, be so disturbed about it that you change! – Willie George