Saturday, December 31, 2005

What Does A Real Revival Look Like?
I received the latest edition of Ministries Today and was captivated by an article concerning the church in Nigeria. RT Kendall talks about how he went and saw for himself hundreds of people praying, crying out for God and asking for revival. It is said that in Africa they see more miracles, the dead raised, blinded eyes opened, things we read about in the Bible, but have yet to see much of in the US in our time. The question was posed, could it be that revival is already there, they simply haven't recognized it?
Do you remember when Jesus appeared to His disciples after the resurrection? He walked among them risen but unrecognized. Perhaps it's true of our time. We constantly seek revival, earnestly begging and seeking for a move of God unlike anything we've ever seen before...but what if it has already come? What if God is already moving, He is simply looking for some of us to move with Him?
When I was a child our church had one and two week revivals...all week. To me, the night revival broke out and God really moved was the night the preacher didn't preach, people shouted, fell in the floor, prophetic utterances occured, and the altars were full. I love revival, am a revivalist, but I also believe revival is more than I thought as a child.
Acts 8 tells of Phillip going to Samaria and preaching Jesus, as a result people were saved, healed, and delivered, and the entire city was filled with great joy.
Perhaps there is more to this revival thing than I thought...maybe we just need to walk what we already know out...Some must enter in!

10 comments:

michigan preacher said...

Hey, Neil. I have a friend in my area that is Nigerian. He has toldme some stories of the miraculous things that God is doing there. I think the main reason we in the USA don't see the miracles like in poor areas of the world is that we are too "fat" here. By that I mean that we don't think we need the Lord. In Nigeria, or the Congo, or China, the people there have nothing but God. They are the blessed poor, and they know it.

Could it be that we in America are so rich, compared to other nations, that it has dulled our spiritual senses, and brought about unbelief? Remember, in Jesus hometown, He could not do many miracles there because of their unbelief. Just my thoughts. Happy New Year, Neil!
~Jeff

Henry Haney said...

I definitely think the hunger level for God is much higher in some of these third-world countries. I have a dear friend in India who runs an orphanage. He tells me of the miracles they see, but he also tells me of the hours and hours of prayer they engage in each and every day.

Last year he came to our church (he comes to the States during "Monsoon season" every year) and I shared with him my concern about lack of spirituality and revival here....he simply asked me "are you praying enough?" I was a little taken aback by his forwardness, but it's definitely food for thought.

But Pastor Neil you make a good point too about the fact that often God is moving....we just don't perceive it! The men of Issachar (I Chron 12:32) had understanding of the times- I pray that we don't miss our time for revival!


Oh by the way- Happy New Year and welcome back Pastor Smith
-Henry

Neil said...

Allow me to rattle a little bit, to be open, honest, and extremely human. For some time now I've been in a funk, a mood, feeling rather lost...sometimes even confused. I want God in my life in a very real and relevant manner. I believe in the apostolic-prophetic dimension of walking with God, too the point that I truly believe that the Church of God must return to it or this denomination will lose it's place in history as a significant movement. With all of that said, I also believe that most christians are more event or experience oriented than relational. So we move from revival to revival, crave the laying on of hands and beg God to allow someone to call us out to offer a prophetic word, rather than developing an intimate relationship with the Lord. All of these things have their place and I believe are necessary...but somewhere along the way we have to recognize the movement of God and enter into what God is already doing. Perhaps we have long prayed for revival without understanding that revival is the resurrection of something dead, but once revived it must live out what has been imparted into it. If my marriage is dead and it experiences a revival, I shouldn't keep praying for it to be revived, I should pray and do what ever it takes for it to remain revived. Perhaps what the church needs more is renewal, keeping it new...which involves the decision to enter into whatever God is doing and remain there.

Last night I preached for the first time since November, shared the word the Lord has been dealing with me concerning entering into the rest of God...some must enter in...I for one am one of the some. To recognize who we are in Christ, what we have in Him and what we can be if we choose to enter into His rest.

Forgive the long post, but from the time I was saved I have wanted to really serve and love God, from the time I was filled with the Holy Spirit I have wanted to be full, anointed, used of the Spirit, to walk in the demonstration of the power of the Spirit...not just emotional, but truly effective for the kingdom. From the time I was called to preach I have wanted to preach well, effectively, and to minister to the lives of those God enabled me to communicate with...Just to please God in all that I am, say, and do...Some must enter in...There must be a people that rise up as the manifest sons and daughters of God in the earth during these final hours...who knows how long the final hours will be, but shouldn't there be a people in the earth that expresses the desire of God?

Henry Haney said...

Ok- I'm not sure how far you want this discussion to go before you make your next entry, but I'll comment on one more thing you touched on-the relational aspect of revival.

This is something I struggle with at my church. It seems that there is a segment out there who view revival only in terms of outward manifestation (or as you termed "experience-oriented"). I think some would be pleased if I never preached another sermon and we just "had church".

Don't get me wrong- Pentecost is something to be felt and experienced- but it seems we don't like to leave the upper room and go to Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria...and the uttermost parts of the earth.

There are different schools of thought, but I do believe that God will move among His people before His return- BH Clendennon (AOG preacher) says something like this "will Christ come back for a church that was any less than what He left when he ascended into heaven?"....He's coming after a "glorious" church...in my mind- we're not there yet.

ps: I like your theme...some must enter in.

Neil said...

I am convinced that before Christ comes for us He will come to us. What I am becoming more convinced of is that He may be coming to us and we are unaware of His presence with us. I agree with your accessment of Pentecostal people, we tend to be committed to what we feel more than who we feel. Yet, the truth of the matter is we must bring the Spirit and the Word into harmony and allow the Holy Spirit to radically change our lives!

PT said...

This past Sunday afternoon as I was preparing for the evening service, I read the account of the great commission in Mark 16. It was verse 20 that really grabbed me. Basically it was saying that the gospel must be preached, then it will be confirmed with the miraculous. Now, coming from a charismatic background I'm all for "having church" but not at the cost of the word. the word has to be preached and according to scriptures, what is preached will be confirmed by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
I've been reading a book by Reinhard Bonnke, and that's how he has been effective in Africa. He preaches the straight up word and then allows the manifestations of the Spirit.
This is what I desire...to have a greater understanding of the word, preach it with compassion and power, and then see the manifestations of Spirit. To me this would be how we could see a revival/renewal outpouring also.

Neil said...

I think PT has hit the nail on the head. We have followed signs rather than signs following us. Doesn't the Word say these signs will follow them that believe? And doesn't it say that the apostles went everywhere preaching the Word and the Lord was with them, confirming the Word with signs and wonders. It's His Word, He's responsible for it. I don't want to be misunderstood here, I love to sing and shout and dance about, love the manifestations of the Spirit, I just think we've gone to church so long we've forgotten what it's all about. I also believe that we are so concerned with political and denominational correctness that we have lost our concern for what God thinks.

Lamar Vest once said that sometimes we ought to stop what we're doing, ask God if He likes it, see what He says, and if He doesn't, then do something that He likes...what a thought!

michigan preacher said...

With the Charismatic renewal, we seem to have placed an unheathy amount of attention to outward signs. so we have become people seeking a sign, and looking for "where the river is flowing". Jesus said the river is flowing in us, from out of our innermost being. So, just as you have said, Neil, the signs must follow us.

PT said...

I got one more thing to add, its actually a quote I heard from Mike Murdoch..."the prove of the desire is in the pursuit!"
Let me tell ya, that will preach. As a matter of fact, I'm using it this Sunday.
If we can grasp the truth of this concept, we will begin to understand why third world nations are experiencing God like they are.
I encourage you to just meditate on that and search your heart, ever since I've heard it that's all I've been doing.

Neil said...

my name is neil brady and i live in victoria B C all I want is Justice equallity and respect