A few weeks ago I was offered an opportunity, by my pastor, to briefly share what The Lord has placed on my heart during this weeks church service. He's having me speak for a few minutes before he brings the message.
I sat down last week and began thinking about what I felt Jesus wanted me to share.
From a series of conversations with Him I decided to write this blog.
This is part one of a two part series. I'll ask that you not make any decisions or judgements on this post until you've read both pieces. The second part I will post tomorrow morning as the conclusion to the series I call "The Secret to Revival."
Throughout my years in various churches there has been one common theme among the majority. That theme has been the passionate pursuit for revival and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through signs and wonders in their midst. I've been around people that only and always spoke about revival, the lack of revival, and how we all needed to have their same passion for revival.
I'll say this before I move forward: God can use anyone He chooses. Our limitations will never prevent God from working in our lives when He decides to move. The prerequisite for being used in revival and being used in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit has never been and it never will be perfection. If that were the case no one would've ever been nor would they ever be used again in such powerful ways.
Kris Vallotton uses the scripture in Matthew 26 to illustrate how anyone can be used.
"As they were eating he said, "I assure you that one of you will betray me." Deeply saddened, each one said to him, "Iím not the one, am I, Lord?" He replied, "The one who will betray me is the one who dips his hand with me into this bowl." (Matthew 26:21-23 CEB)
The point Kris makes is that the disciples didn't know who the one was that would betray Jesus. Kris says that had Judas never performed any miracles, if every time the opportunity to pray for someone came up, Judas said "I've gotta run to the bathroom", the disciples would've known immediately that Judas was the betrayer. The fact that the disciples had no idea Judas was the betrayer alludes to Judas moving in the same healing power as the other disciples. If Judas moved in the healing power of the Holy Spirit and experienced the same signs and wonders the other disciples experienced, than I would say it doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, God will use and work with whomever He chooses.
There are a lot of reasons why we haven't experienced revival or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the way most dream about or pursue. One of those reasons is that we disqualify ourselves because we think we're not worthy to be used in such an awesome way. We consider our past and our sins and we say to ourselves, "God can never use me." Well, that's simply not biblical or true. Again, God will use whomever He chooses and our past will never hinder Him from using us for His work. So stop allowing what you think of yourself to keep you from what God has chosen for you.
Moving forward, I believe there is a secret to unlocking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and creating an atmosphere for signs, wonders, and miracles to become common practice in our daily lives. This secret has two distinctive parts that we'll take a look at below.
The first part to this secret is very simple. Stop praying for, asking for, talking about, thinking about, dreaming about, and reading about revival until you refocus your attention.
We need to stop focusing all of our attention on revival. Stop making revival our main focus in life. Stop praying ONLY for revival.
Why do I say to stop focusing on revival? Because I've seen hundreds of people in various churches spend their lives only focusing on revival. It becomes their only focus and mission in life. These same people have a tendency to become extremely judgmental towards everyone else in their lives. Their judgment works it's way around the church first starting with people with whom they are not friends. They begin to look around noticing all the people that aren't engaging in the service. They judge people for not shouting, dancing, laughing, or raising their hands. They say something like "Well they just aren't as passionate or on fire as I am." Then they begin judging their friends within the church. They talk on the phone and notice how their friends don't speak about revival nearly as much as they do. "Well, I can't be around people that don't want revival as much as I do. They'll just drag me down." Then they begin to judge the church leadership and eventually they begin judging the pastor of the church. When their judgement has run its course they usually leave that church in search of a more "revival friendly" atmosphere. And then the same process starts all over again.
The results are churches lacking revival and lacking the outpouring they are seeking yet they are filled with hurt and broken individuals that show zero relevancy or appeal to the outside world.
Next time you're in the mall walk up to random strangers and ask them if they want to experience revival. Most of them won't have a clue what you're talking about except, I'm sure, they'll assume it's something "christian." Can we present the power and love of Jesus to the world without sounding like a bunch of wacko Christians? Yes, of course. I don't remember Jesus sounding like the Pharisees before He prayed for and healed people. As a matter of fact, Jesus spit in one mans eyes and in another He made mud and smeared it on the guys face to bring healing. I definitely don't see anyone in church doing that kind of stuff. I'm not telling you to walk around spitting on people to see if they get healed, I'm just wondering if sharing and expressing the love of Jesus looks like something other than what we're used to inside church.
That leads me into part two...which will be available tomorrow morning.
Thank you for reading part one.
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