(Message I shared with InterVarsity on Oct. 7th 2011)
Greetings :) I'm really fired up right now so if any of this offends you, that's not my intention (let me know and I'll apologise later when my other senses catchup). But just read and listen to what God may be saying to us.
So we've all heard the word "Revival" thrown around, we saw it at Prefall (read my "Hello Africans..." post if you don't know what I'm talking about) and we spoke of it but I realized we may not really know what it means. So here are some definitions: "an improvement in the condition or strength of something, an instance of something becoming popular, active or important again, restoration to life or consciousness, reawakening of religious fervor."
So yeah God showed us His revival at Prefall leaders retreat (He did something new, woke us up inside, made us more conscious of spiritual realities) but we kinda left Prefall thinking, "Yes, God did something new but that doesn't mean that that is how He will keep working and doesn't necessarily mean that what we experienced is now our 'new normal'" I agree that there is truth to that line of thought and that we should not "idolize" the supernatural experience but at the same time I want to call out how the devil may be using that mentality to spread unbelief with the aim of opposing what God is planning to do.
The devil may be trying to use that mentality to bring doubt... kinda like, "God did something new (He brought revival by the very definition) but maybe He won't continue doing this new thing that He has started doing (maybe He doesn't want revival to spread)? Did you catch that? If you did, lets call it for what it is, "A lie from the devil!" and lets not entertain that spirit of unbelief.
The devil wants us to "play it safe." Yes it is true that we shouldn't idolize the miraculous and it is true that we don't control when the Holy Spirit will be poured out but then let's also pay attention to how the enemy wants to sneak in his agenda into that mentality. Satan wants us to do nothing. It's all up to God right? We have no part to play, God just moves when He feels like it right? There are elements of truth to that but let's look at how the devil may be blinding us to other important elements of truth:
What is the secret to the Kingdom of God??? (Mark 1 plug)
Asking!!!!----> And in order
to ask we must have atleast a little faith that we will receive what we are asking for. When we ask we expect an answer to be revealed to us.
So by the devil making us believe that we should do nothing, he is prevent us from seeing how we actually have an active role to play in partnering with God to bring His Kingdom in our lives and on our campus.
What is this "active role" then?
1) He says, “Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)- Wait a mintute! 'Being still' is doing nothing right? WRONG! Being Still is actually an attitude of the heart. It's acknowledging who God is, how powerful He is and by doing so, thanking Him. It's the same as "waiting on/for the Lord" that is repeated in the Psalms and in Isaiah. It's an act of faith--> Trusting that GOD IS ABLE and that He is who He is and that He can do what He says He can do."I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."-> Being still and waiting on the Lord is NOT being complacent, playing it safe and its definitely not entertaining unbelief in our hearts and minds!
2) We are to ASK and EXPECT GREAT THINGS from God!!! :D
Luke 11: 9-13
“So I say to you: ASK and it will be given to you; SEEK and you will find; KNOCK and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE WILL YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM!"
For those who thought that what happened at Prefall was just meant to be a one time thing for just us leaders to experience that is not true! Before I get into why that's not true, what actually happened at Prefall???
The Holy Spirit happened that's what. The Holy Spirit (who has always been in us ever since we started believing) came upon us. Revival happened-> God "opened the eyes of our hearts", He revealed to us and made us more aware of what was, is and has always been, that is His presence among us. He showed us that "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." (2 Corinthians 3:17) The "crazy" stuff that went down was just a manifestation of that truth, the power of His presence and majesty.
So from that point of view, it is wrong! and even selfish! to think that the way God showed up in a powerful way should be a one time thing. It's a show of unbelief and doubt and its also wrong for us not to desire, expect and even ask for God show up in the same "crazy" way in the lives of others and on our campus.
Look at the early church, Jesus had told them to wait for theHoly Spirit (to desire,thirst for and expect) "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 8) And just like Jesus promised the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit but the story doesn't end there, actually that is how it literally begins :)
The disciple didn't have that crazy experience to keep for themselves. Look at post-Pentecost Peter in Acts 3:6, "Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
We have the "all-surpassing power" of the Holy Spirit inside of us, that God revealed to us at Prefall, and we are NOT to keep it to ourselves we are to claim it, live in it and give it away-> Spread it!
We are not to idolize the miracles in themselves but we are to ask for God to show off for His glory. We need to activate our faith, ask and expect to God to move.
After they faced opposition in chapter 4 what did the believers pray?
"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your Holy Servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."
We should pray:
"Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before." (Psalm 68:28)
"LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, oh LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2)
But we don't pray such bold prayers because we're like "What if He doesn't heal, or if He doesn't do anything?" That's not for us to worry about. Let's do our part: Be still, have faith, expect, and ask and let's leave God to do His part, He can defend His own name, His acts and His timing of how He does things, He doesn't need us to play it safe, wallow in unbelief and not take risks for Him (steps of faith).
Listen to this song:
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6)
(*Shekinah in Hebrew means "the very presence of God" and someone said, "One of the clearest revelations God has given us throughout the entire Bible is His desire to dwell with His people" so without a doubt God wants to reveal His very presence to us and others so lets enter into that truth together. By the way, everything I said, I was addressing to myself as well so lets apply this together with God's help ofcourse.)
"May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him." (Psalm 68:1)
"He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
All the glory to God! Love u guys! ♥
One thing I want to add: God loves us as we are, His grace and mercy is enough for us. He sees our flaws and loves us the same. I confess it is hard to believe most times but God does not want us to struggle on our own. He wants to help us. So lets pray, " I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief." (Mark 9:24) It is God who softens our hearts and takes the blinders from our eyes so that we can see clearly. He is the one that calls us "out of darkness into His marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9) So I'm sorry I left that out and was kinda harsh, but thank God His grace is enough for me too :)
Last thing! GOD IS AWESOME!!! Even though we do not always believe what He tells us in His word, He still decides to call us and use us and HE WILL definitely help our unbelief, all for His glory! :) Thanks God for your mercy, grace and faithfulness! :)
"For the sake of Jacob my servant,
of Israel my chosen,
I summon you by name
and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me.
I am the LORD, and there is no other;
apart from me there is no God.
I will strengthen you,
though you have not acknowledged me,
so that from the rising of the sun
to the place of its setting
people may know there is none besides me."
God works miracles and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Watch this video to help activate your faith: http://www.sidroth.org/site/News2?abbr=tv_&page=NewsArticle&id=11084
"Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!" (Psalm 68: 32-35) =)
REVIVAL'S COMING SOON!!!!!!! :D :D :D