Category Archives: Revival Issues

-We Believe; Help Our Unbelief!

This week while reading in Mark I came across the story of the boy with an unclean spirit that the disciples could not cast out while Jesus was in the mountains praying (Mark 9:14-29). What really leaped out at me was the response of the Father after Jesus says- “All things are possible for one who believes”:

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

It was like trumpets were sounding and God was obviously trying to get my attention. Then the thought clearly came to me that this should be one of the key scriptures that I remember and repeat during my prayers this coming year.

I do believe everything in the bible and I have experienced and participated in numerous healings and miracles in my life but they are still the exceptions rather than the rule. When I pray for someone and they receive healing I am still surprised. Thankful but pleasantly surprised. Sort of like the folks praying for Peter to be released from prison and then when he actually knocked on the door they were shocked.

I also believe that I am not alone; that this is where the American church is right now at the close of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We believe in the miracles of the Bible and all of the healings that Jesus performed. Most of us believe that God can still do those things today but we call them ‘supernatural’ and view them as exceptions in the ‘normal’ life of the American Christian and the church. There are even some of our brothers and sisters who believe that God stopped doing that stuff once the Bible was completed.

That’s why I believe that we should be praying this year for the entire America church (every faithful part of it) and pray for a new awakening, a new sovereign work of God, a new reformation of the church, and revival:

“We believe; help our unbelief!” 

I do believe that it is already here and coming to a church near you. We just need help to dial up our faith and receive. 

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-Revival Implications: The Kingdom and The Church

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We continually pray for the Kingdom to come and yet many of us ignore the implications. Jesus did not come to build a mega church or start another religious system nor will he be coming again to establish a new one on the earth. The Kingdom of God is already established.

During his life on earth he was constantly bucking up against and challenging the religious organizations, leaders, and the latest theologies of his day. I believe that one of the major characteristics and goals of the current and coming world revival is the shaking and realignment of the church and leaders toward actually reflecting the Kingdom rather than religious traditions of the past and the current popular thinking of the day.

Many of us who are looking for revival and a new awakening are trying to relive the glory of past revivals wanting God to do the same thing to us all over again. Those are actually lessons that the church should have already gotten and incorporated in our DNA along the way and should have prepared us for the coming Kingdom on earth.

There is nothing wrong with drinking from the wells of past revivals and we should incorporate and take serious every past move of God. But they are suppose to be like an oasis that supports us and helps us on our current journey. We are called to move on. When we stay at those wells and glory in the past we may end up limiting what God can do in our midst today. Some have actually camped out at one well and have established churches and religious systems and theologies that reflect that particular move of God and refuse to move on and question anything different.

The Reformation was a major move of God that brought major changes to the church. A major emphasis of that move was on the logos Word of God, the Bible and true theology. There are many churches and denominations today that have refused to move on from that major well.  When it comes to Azusa Street, there are many Pentecostals camped out at that oasis questioning the water everywhere else. One of the major problems of the Charismatic movement is a tendency among many to seek out only the rhema and the newest ever more radical ‘spiritual’ thing while ignoring what God did when he inspired Luther and Calvin and others to seek and nail down the foundational teachings of the Bible.

We continue to pray- “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

What if we really got what we prayed for? What would happen? Any move of God that brought the Kingdom into the midst of our churches today would bring radical changes. The church is called the ‘Body of Christ’ and is called to do what he did. Now that would be radical and that is what we are facing in the move ahead. It will not be about building mega churches or organizations or making new religious systems or establishing theocratic political powers. It will be all about bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to all of the world before the coming of the Lord.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  -Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,…Isaiah 61:1-2 (ESV)

Here’s a link to a great article that got me thinking about this issue in Ministry Today:  “16 Contrasts Between Kingdom Age and Religious Systems

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-Doctor Shocked After Prayer Heals Woman’s Cancerous Tumor

Symbol of Christianity, white version.

          (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a report of a documented healing that has left the doctor rather shocked and without explanation. This story is from Israel and the woman is a Christian who was told that part of her leg had to be amputated because of a large cancerous tumor. She went home and prayed instead. Later the tumor was found to have completely disappeared with no trace.  Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

An Israeli woman and her doctor expressed shock and amazement when the woman’s massive malignant tumor, initially found in her leg, vanished almost completely after five months of no treatment, only intensive prayer.

<Read the whole article>

Response: This healing was actually presented on TV in Israel. When healings and miracles are referenced in the major media it helps to create an environment where revival hope and faith can expand into the dominant culture. 

The major revivals in our past were all witnessed and referenced by the major media of that day- mostly in newspaper articles. One of the more difficult factors to overcome in America today in order for a new awakening to actually get into the dominate culture is the fact the major mainstream media is overwhelmingly secular with very little regard for religion and particularly Christianity.

Healings are taking place all across the country right now but you would never know it except through blogs and the social media. A breakthrough into the major media like this story could bring the necessary hope, faith , and expectation that would take revival out of a few local churches into the cultural mainstream.             *Top

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-Is Churchianity Getting in the Way of Revival?

Is Churchianity getting in the way of revival? I believe that it is.

We all have pre-conceived ideas about how God can move among us and bring revival. For most Christians it is confined to the 4 walls of a church building or maybe a special tent or conference. Even when we go to the streets we take our Christian culture, language, and music with us.

But what if God really wanted to do something different in our midst?

Well we have a myriad of ‘heresy hunters’ to take care of that unfortunate turn of events. After all, we might want revival but most American Evangelicals expect it to come during a 20 minute sermon surrounded  by 3 hymns and a couple of prayers with an offering in the middle. Plus it better be over in exactly on the hour cause the next service starts when the big hand strikes 12.

Of course I am being ridiculous but mix in your own form of worship and church structure or denominational traditions and see where God is really allowed to move.

What if he wants to move downtown on main street or in the neighborhoods, or maybe at your work or business? what would that look like?

Here’s a good article on this issue by Nicki Pfeifer: The Next Move of God

She writes about how God was moving unseen in the Greek and Roman culture of the 1st century and how Apostles like Paul responded to what they found and how a real move of God followed.            *Top

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-Revival Issues: ‘As to The Lord’

St Paul's Cathedral dome from Paternoster Squa...

(St. Paul’s Cathedral London via Wikipedia)

 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not vain.” -1Cor. 15:58

As the story goes the noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question: “What are you doing?”

-The first replied: “I am cutting stone for a shabby 10 shillings a day.”

-The second answered: “I am putting in 13 hard hours a day on this job.”

But the last said: “I am helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London’s greatest cathedrals.”

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One of the major issues of this current move of God revolves around where we spend the greatest amount of our waking hours. For most of us in America and in the Western world it is our jobs and occupations that take up the lion’s share of our lives.

Unfortunately it is a common attitude among Christians that work is a necessary evil that we do in order to support our families but it has no real eternal significance.  It is the few hours a week that we spend volunteering at church and involved in teaching Sunday school or some kind of ministry that is really important.

It is the imperative of this ‘Kingdom Come’ revival that we gain an understanding that everything we do is to be done “as to the Lord” and we are actually called to bring the Kingdom to work with us and expect to see the blessings of the Lord in a new way brought into the marketplace.

For years my day job was something to be tolerated and to get out of the way until I could do what was really important like teach a Bible study or preach a sermon or even play the big organ for the main service on Sunday.

Like most Christians in America I had the attitude that serving the Lord meant doing some kind of ministry. Then after pastoring for 3 years and finding out that it really wasn’t my calling I resigned myself to spending large amounts of time on a secular career that I never really ever wanted or prepared for but found that the Lord blessed it like I belonged there.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but feel like some kind of a failure of sorts even though I was immensely successful in a sales career and was able to touch more lives than I ever would have otherwise.

It has only been in the last several years that I have finally realized that I am right where the Lord placed me, doing what the Lord called me to do, both in my secular job and in the ministry in spite of my poor attitude over the years. Like two of the workers building the great cathedral in London I really didn’t see the vision of what the Lord was building in my life.

It is time that we all see the Kingdom come and His will be done at work for a change. That would truly be called revival.             *Top

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