I know. October 31st is known for witches, goblins, pumpkins, and trick or treat.
It is amazing to me how in the last 20 years or so Halloween has gone from a one night ‘celebration’ to become an entire ‘holiday’ season of it’s own with parties and decorations that span nearly an entire month. Plus it has become an excuse for every TV station to flood the air with the worst horror movies of all time. Not a genre that I am particularly fond of.
However, this is also the anniversary of a real earth shaking -game changing- historical event that altered the face of Europe and forever changed the Christian Church. 502 years ago on this day- October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany starting The Reformation.
The enemy (Satan) likes to use this day for propagating his dark agenda but on this day a genuine move of God was initiated that still continues. The beginning of a revival right in the face of the enemy on his own day.
For years the church tried to redeem this day calling it- All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve with church services looking forward to midnight which began the traditional Christian celebration of ‘All Saints Day.’ However in our present culture the historical Christian observance of this day has been largely forgotten.
Let us redeem this dark day and pray for God to continue to reform and revive his church. Let’s also in remembrance of the original Reformation pray today for a new awakening to begin in America. May a new door of renewal and revival open in America that no man can shut. In Jesus name, Amen *Top
For once, ‘Good News’ out of California. From CBN:
The SoCal Harvest crusade saw 8,670 people give their lives to Christ over the three-night event held over the weekend.
Greg Laurie, senior pastor of the Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., said it was an amazing experience with more than 100,000 people total attending the crusade held in Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Response: I have attended a Harvest crusade in the past. It really is an amazing experience, particularly since leaders from so many local churches participate. A major part of the crusade effort dwells on counseling new believers to seek out continuing discipleship in local churches.
Beyond all of the glitz and great music is a real move of the Holy Spirit that changes lives and brings real hope to Southern California. The churches and leaders there are looking for a new revival looking back to the examples of Azusa Street and the Jesus People Move which actually changed the whole church not only in California but in America and all around the world. *Top
Last week over 3 million Evangelical Christians marched in Sao Paulo, Brazil proclaiming their nation for Jesus. From Fox News:
Millions marched in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil last week as part of one of the largest Christian gatherings in the world.
The March for Jesus in Brazil organizers report there were three million attendees with more than 10 hours of praise and worship, led by 28 Brazillian gospel bands and singers, and dozens of evangelical pastors and leaders, Evangelical Focus reported.
Response: Revival and an awakening has been going on in Brazil for some time now. Close to 30% of brazil’s population are now evangelical Christians and they have become a real force in the country. Note that Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, showed up and participated in the event. *Top
60,000 gathered in Orlando on Saturday for The Send 2019 -hoping to kick off a new ‘Jesus People’ move of God. From the Christian Post:
“The Send,” was a 10-hour event organized by Youth With A Mission, Christ for All Nations, and Lou Engle of Lou Engle Ministries. The Orlando, Florida event at Camping World Stadium featured several collaborators from various national ministries who hoped to motivate Christians to fulfill their God-given call.
According to Engle, the live-streamed event was inspired by a conversation in 2011 with YWAM members hoping missionaries would rise up following the death of Rev. Billy Graham.
As the day went on, The Send featured pastors and evangelists such Bill Johnson, Daniel Kolenda and Francis Chan, along with worship teams such as Hillsong Young & Free, Jesus Culture, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Bethel Music.
Response: The organizers of this gathering are hoping that this kicks off a new move of God among young people in particular like the Jesus People Move of the last generation. Every move and revival is different but it is the dedication and life changing type of movement among the youth that we are looking for in this generation.
Actually we are hoping and looking for an even greater international revival- a Great Harvest which will be far beyond any previous move of God since the first century.
What does a genuine move of God look like? It is allowing the Holy Spirit to do what he wants to do. It is seeking God and nothing else. It is doing what the Father is doing just like Jesus did.
In the context of a church and especially church services it might be somewhat chaotic or at least look that way to those visiting or on the outside looking in. Read the account about Pentecost in Acts 2. Folks on the street thought they were drunk. A genuine move of God might even be uncomfortable for faithful believers and even strain some of our theology. At least past revivals have.
I recently read a book by John and Carol Arnott about their experiences as leaders during the Toronto Outpouring or Blessing which is ongoing in many ways and in many places as far away as Africa. But the real focus of the book was on preparing for and sustaining the next move of God:
“Preparing for the Glory: Getting Ready for the Next Wave of Holy Spirit Outpouring”
Anyone interested in revival should take the time to read this book. It is full of great experiences and full of hope and insights into what God is doing now and what the next move might look like and how to prepare for it.