Are you on the brink of revival? Whether you are a leader and believing for corporate revival or you are a Christian who longs to return to your first love experience, to have your love for God rekindled, or you have loved ones that need Jesus, revival is at the forefront of your mind.
When I think revival, it isn't a tent meeting that I picture. It's not a church with a big banner and newspaper ads announcing a special evangelist with revival meeting dates posted. When I think revival, it's never about a place, it's always about a people. I think sold out, radical followers of Jesus, the kind of believers who think that with God all things are possible, right here, right now. The kind of people who shine a light so attractive, that those who are lost and hurting can't look away. The kind of people who have such a relationship with God that they know His heart, they know Him, they have talked with Him as though face-to-face. They captivate onlookers' attention because of the love of Jesus emanating from them.
These people. The ones who allow Jesus to be the boss, not just in their hearts, but also in their home. Those who succeed at work because they elevate everyone they come into contact with. These people who pray so effectively, that their city begins to be transformed right before their eyes.
I've been on the brink of revival awhile now. I've read lots of stories of past monumental, nation sweeping revivals, but stepping into my own has been a process.
I think all human beings have that thing in us that clings to a bit of control. The more sophisticated we get, the more control we think we have. But revival can't work like that. We can't control the environment of miracles, because miracles don't happen within the realm of human control. To fully step into revival we must learn what children know, LET IT GO. (cue Disney song...)
To allow God full control, either personally or corporately, means that we relinquish our need to control to Him. That is hard enough, but here's what no one tells you. All hell will break out against you when you are on the brink of revival. People who need control will push back. Those who seek to stop revival will make noise. They will interrupt. They may even prophesy against the move of God you are seeking. It looks like chaos. When that Familiar feeling of fear rises up, we are tempted to take back control. After all, we think, "God doesn't work in chaos'.
Oh, but doesn't he?
In the greatest act of creation ever known, God created something wonderful out of chaos. Hebrews 11:3 says, "By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible." (Amp.) The old testament prophets displayed the raw power of God best amidst great chaos. (Read about Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18.) Even Jesus, when He showed his disciples how to calm the storms and walk on water, it was out of chaos. (Matthew 8:27 "The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (NIV)
Our natural knee-jerk reaction is to grasp for the safety of control. But really, God can be trusted with the control, can't He? While it's true that God is not the God of confusion, as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." (NKJV) He is the God of peace - even in the midst of chaos!
Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (NLT) Peace. The shalom of heaven that calls chaos back into order. The shalom of heaven that declares Christ's ultimate authority over every situation. Peace is a beautiful thing, and in the changing tide of life, as we step past the brink, into the unknown of revival, as we make the handoff of control from ourselves to God, we must learn to stay in that place of peace.
With revival, there really are no rules. Only relationship.
And maybe that's the real point anyway.
God has always sought a relationship with us and it's only in our surrender of control that He has our full attention. As we build our relationship with Abba Father, we find that He is utterly trustworthy. And no matter how much chaos is happening in the transition, we can know the heart of God and His immense love for us. We can rest in the knowledge that our sins are forgiven and that Jesus is advocating on our behalf, even now. Perhaps the icing on the cake is that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things. (Which implies it's okay to not know it all, we have a lot to learn from Him and He likes it that way.)
Is the brink of revival in your view? Take it from me, don't mind the chaos, let go of control, rest in the shalom of heaven, and do what He says. That has been my lesson today.