Preparing for Revival: Getting Back to The Basics

I received an article last friday (6/1/07) from Charisma +online, and meant to put a link to it sooner, by J. Lee Grady: “Preparing for a Spiritual Hurricane“. It is quite good and right in line with what we have been talking about lately. To read the whole thing, Go to Fire in My Bones and click down on the archives at the top.

At the end of the article, Grady stresses the importance of getting ‘back to the basics’ in preparation for revival:

When God visits us to bring His winds of revival, those winds will also destroy man-made religious structures. It’s time for all of us to find shelter. Here’s how I believe we must prepare:

1. Reinforce our foundations. I fear that some of us have veered from the basics of faith to follow the latest spiritual fads. We charismatics tend to chase after anything trendy. In some churches today people are delving into exotic teachings and coining new terms including ‘spiritual fathering,’ ‘apostolic alignment,’ ‘armor bearers’ and ‘heave offerings.’ Any new believer who wanders into our meetings will need a translator to understand this spooky vocabulary.

There’s a place for such things (and a biblical basis for some of them) yet it’s possible that the trendy can overshadow the important. If the devil cannot deceive us outright, he will tempt us to get out of balance so that we lose our primary passion for Jesus. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing.

2. Get rid of the junk. The smelly garbage in the church today is going to fly when the winds of God hit us broadside. We must remember that revival is not just about the impact of church growth and new converts; it is also about gut-wrenching repentance and judgment. You can’t have Acts 2 without Acts 5. The exciting fire of Pentecost is also the fearful fire of holiness.

An alarm has sounded. Those in ministry who have not heeded the warning have little time left. I am pleading with you: Get your house in order. Destroy your materialistic idols. Stop all sexual compromise. Stop defrauding people and misusing God’s money.

3. Hide in God. I love the new worship bands on the scene today, but recently I’ve been having some unusual times of intimacy with God while singing from an old Baptist hymnal I owned as a child. Today when I open that book and begin to sing the words to “Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross,” “esus Paid It All” or “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” I get choked up and can’t finish.

I can’t explain my reaction, but it’s not due to religious nostalgia. I suspect my heart is aching for something of substance in an age of cheap imitations. Those lyrics, although they are old-fashioned, are still charged with power because they anchor us to the bedrock of simple devotion to Christ. As this storm approaches, I plan to cling to what matters most.

This is really good counsel. Also in my last article Decker Mclaster left a very important comment that I believe should be part of a ‘getting back to basics’ response to preparing for revival:

“A constant expectation of a future event often robs one of the opportunities presented in the present. … Live life as if there were no tomorrow. Seize the day – rest in Him – do what you see the Father doing!”

We should always remember to live in the moment and respond to what God is doing right now, even as we look forward and prepare for a coming revival.’ *Top

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10 Responses to Preparing for Revival: Getting Back to The Basics

  1. I am shocked. And thrilled at the same time. This came from Charisma magazine?

  2. I see that, I can’t tell you how this thrills me. I had given up on that magazine years ago because I could not deal with the types of ministry they promoted on there.
    Yes, he is right on in his points and that is wonderful! I really pray that the church will get it right in America. Maybe the backlash from all of the bubble gum will send us right where God wants us in the end.
    Thanks for posting that.

  3. Yes JC, and some of the same things we have both been talking about recently too.

  4. Alternately, it could be nothing more than another recipe for revival that ends up being half-baked. How many different ways have been published which are purported to initiate revival if enacted? Or for that matter, how many “prophetic” words have been spoken in the last 20 years that have spelled out exactly what’s happening in the heavenlies and delineated the path of revival through society? By now you’d think we’d answered the age-old question of revival: is it a sovereign work of God, or does it comes in response to means plied by people? History makes me lean on the sovereign work of God side, which means I really track with Decker’s comment.

  5. SLW: The beauty in Mr. Grady’s ‘back to basics’ it is what those of us in the American church need to do anyway, regardless of whether we are seeking revival or not.

    This is not any kind of formula, this is just what I believe the Spirit is saying to the churches, particularly those of us in the Charismatic/Pentecostal sector. Especially to some of us Charismatics who seem to be somewhat unaccountable.

    Sometimes it reminds me of Book of Judges: ‘Everyone doing what seems right in their own eyes.’

  6. I am leaning towards the sovereign side as well lately. I just think that we lack the insight to know when our efforts are really God’s promptings.
    It may seem that Evan Roberts prayed in the Welsh revival by reading the accounts. And this would place revival in the hands of any committed person who chose to assault heaven for a revival. To follow this line of thinking, if we do the same, we will see the same results. Which would be nice of it weren’t for that whole thing where it doesn’t actually work.
    I think Evan Roberts was born when he was, under the circumstances that he was in order for God to work out His sovereign will. And so today there are voices crying out as well, that God chose to put into place “for such a time as this”. We must know the times that we live in and respond to His promptings if we are to see revival.

    That is how I am seeing it more and more after being on the revival trail for 16 years now. I have seen local revivals over the years but in every single instance, I was just there when it happened and was myself.

    That points to a divine plan that most times is simply beyond my ken.

  7. Michael,
    I can see that. If in fact we did repent and got back to the basics, revival would probably take care of itself!

    “Sometimes it reminds me of Book of Judges: ‘Everyone doing what seems right in their own eyes.’ ”

    That makes me a little nervous, while at the same time I can say, “amen.” Overbearing authority is frightening, but chaos is, well, chaotic and defeating. If we had ever figured out how to sharpen each other without sticking sharp things in each other I’d feel much better about the prospects. How can we hold one another to the Word without quenching the Holy Spirit? It seems such a delicate balance to me, one that requires steadiness (even stillness), but the church is always such a roiling cauldron, and the pendulum swings right pass balance to the extremes in every period.

  8. JC:
    I think your’s is a very healthy attitude!

  9. God has been speaking to me for weeks now on Getting back to basics…this just lets me know I’m not totally deaf…

    And yes, I lean toward to sovereignty of God…to a point…because didn’t God tell Solomon…If My people which are called by My name…

  10. “I am leaning towards the sovereign side as well lately. I just think that we lack the insight to know when our efforts are really God’s promptings.” -Amen JC, right on.

    I believe that revival is a sovereign work of God, but that he asks us to participate and respond. Most of the formulas and things that people cite as bringing in revival, the church should be doing anyway.

    What would it be like if the things that we associate with revival became a normal part of the church environment. What if it lasted an entire generation?

    What would happen if the next generation of Christians took off where the last generation left off for a change, rather than starting all over again?

    The whole church and country could change for the better in one generation.

    Unfortunately, recent research done by statisticians and pollsters seems to indicate that we are in danger of losing an entire generation instead and the American church is in danger of declining to European levels in the next 20 years. We really do need revival and we need it now.

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