As a teen and young adult I witnessed, experienced and participated in what was truly a revival and spiritual awakening during the Jesus Movement. One day it was one way and the next day another. One day I was an outcast for being a believer and a follower of Jesus. The next day people were waiting for me at my locker to ask me about my faith. I was gathered up and swept away and completely changed by it. I've been waiting, praying, working and hoping for another Revival ever since.
Completely ruined for anything like average or ordinary life. Don't care about things that others seem to get excited about and even live for. I found that pearl of great price - that treasure hidden in a field and since then everything I see is through that lens - every decision made with a mind and heart imprinted, overlaid with a sure knowledge that there is only ONE thing important enough for me to really strive for - really live for. The God whose living breath and presence explodes every average thing we know and makes normal something vivid, alive and colorful in an otherwise gray and dull and cookie cutter world.
So to say that I think about Revival a lot would be an understatement.
Following are just a few of those thoughts - something I started writing while reading the Gospel of Mark in my "Revival Study Bible."
Here goes :)
So many people are talking about Revival these days.
But do we all mean the same thing when we speak of it or even pray for it? When we pray for revival what is it that we are asking God for?
Winkie Pratney often says, "Don't seek revival. Seek GOD. Revival is just Him showing up in a culture."
Long ago we also used to say. "If you want revival draw a circle on the ground, get in that circle and pray for revival to come to everyone in the circle." So, what we are asking God to do then is something He has so clearly said he WANTS to do. John the Baptist said "I baptize you in water, but one is coming who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."
So the mission statement of Jesus would be, at least in part, to:
1. Fill me/us with the Holy Spirit - John the Baptist - Mark 1:8
2. Destroy the works of the devil - John the Beloved - ! John 3:8
John the Baptist announced number 1 under the anointing and compulsion of the Holy Spirit and the Apostle Johnc learly stated number 2 in 1John 3:8
I was not created to live without the flow of the Spirit in me. Without the anointing power of God, without Him moving in and thru me - my work and my words quickly become dry and dead and my heart is not far behind if I don't humble myself and ask for it. With my total surrender and obedience to Him comes revival in ME and then through me to my "world" - my sphere of influence and the places of obedience where God calls me.
Charles Finney defined revival like this "Revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God."
We pray together for many reasons. Getting away from our "self focus" is one. Exposing ourselves to the passion and purpose of others is another good thing, but a main reason is that Jesus promised He would be in our midst when 2 or 3 are gathered together. He knows we not only need Him - but each other and that power comes out of that unity. The same kind of love and unity that the Godhead continually have with each other. In our little Wednesday morning prayer group we have been amazed to see that power and anointing and the resultant answers to prayer are often obviously exponential.
"One will put a thousand to flight. Two, ten thousand."
Winkie wrote this in the Introduction to the Gospel of Mark page 1358 in the Revival Study Bible. (which I unashamedly import, promote and make available through the materials distribution arm of our ministry)
". . .Revival is the influx of the miracle life of the Son of God. It flows, in holy love like living lava and light, into a cold culture, frozen in its own fossilized time and space to the claims of God and the call of another world. That divine life is always accompanied by power, real power, to reverse the effects of decay and destruction, to flow against the flood of evil. The evil of the mind is ignorance and idolatry; the evil of the soul is infidelity to God; the evil of the spirit is the influence and infestation of alien entities; and the evil of the body is illness and disease. And God is against all evil."
Revival will destroy the works of the devil in ALL of these areas even though people are often called, gifted and anointed more in one area than another. Oh how we need each other! In so many ways.
Let us not neglect our prayer life, friends, and let us not neglect to pray for and with each other - both for the larger manifestations of revival in the culture, but also for revival on a cellular level - in our own hearts - in our families - in our work - in our play - in our overt ministry - in our day to day interaction with others. It will spill over. It WILL reach critical mass. God will do what He wants to do if we obey Him - not just out of obligation but out of love. . .not just so our country can last longer or be better, but so that He can get what HE wants - loving relationship with us - each of us and everyone we know, everyone we meet, everyone who hasn't heard, everyone who is still in rebellion against His loving, holy embrace.
He wants revival far more than we do - both in us and in the world.