Monday, November 8, 2010

Are you revived?

Revival, revival, revival.... at church it's all you hear. 'We're praying for revival', 'We're so close to REAL revival.', and so forth and so on. I've been hesitant to post about this because I KNOW it's a sensitive subject. After last night I feel set free. So a lot of people are wondering why is the church praying for revival? Why sit and pray when they can just go get a tent and set up meetings? That seems easy enough but maybe they're praying for someone better than Benny to come and give us the message. Who in the world would come and preach that's better than Benny? Could we get a big enough tent to hold our revival in? What about the weather.... could we have real revival in the winter? Wouldn't the cold keep people from coming?

Ok, I've had my fun, but to tell you the truth, I've heard many of these questions. The answer is one that will scare many people. There isn't a tent or a separate meeting. But a much more powerful preacher would come. It's the power of the Holy Spirit. I know it may be viewed as wrong but I'm going to go ahead and say it. OUR CHURCH ISN'T READY FOR REVIVAL. Why you ask? Because last night we slipped over the edge. The Spirit was falling like droplets of rain right before the flood. What did we do? We put up the umbrella and abruptly ended the service! School tomorrow! Holy Spirit you may fall, but not on a school night. The choir had to get back to Tennessee. People hadn't eaten. We had lots of visitors. Etc, Etc, Etc. You see, when you put things into a worldly perspective of worry, you eliminate the spiritual perspective of revival. So what is this Holy Spirit I speak of? and Why won't he come on our time table?

I view the Holy Spirit as God's wrecking crew. Why? Because everywhere in the Bible that the Holy Spirit shows up, things get turned upside down. Everytime the Holy Spirit shows up in people's lives, their lives are tossed upside down too. Let me give you some examples:

The biggest has to be Saul's transformation into Paul. Hearing the voice of Jesus is one thing, however he received one of the biggest doses of the Holy Spirit so big it blinded him. It was the Holy Spirit that gave him the strength to make it to Rome and ultimately the chopping block. It wasn't Paul the person who was responsible for the writing of most of the New Testament or the preaching of the Gospel to the Romans, but the Holy Spirit.

Even Jesus didn't start his ministry until the Holy Spirit came and descended upon him like a dove. Then there is Acts when in the upper room the Spirit fell and the disciples received their portion to promote the Gospel.

There are times in the old Testament that I believe are times when the Spirit showed up and wasn't manifested in people. The biggest and most used was when Israel was in war. When God sends the Spirit to confuse their enemies. I also believe that one other time he manifested and was seen as an actual person was in the fiery furnace with the 3 Hebrew children. It could have been Jesus, but the results were more in line with the Holy Spirit working. So now we come to the interesting and frightening part.

If the Holy Spirit is such a great thing then why do I keep saying it's scary and frightening? Well you just have to look in the Bible to see the results of the Holy Spirit falling. Acts 2 says: " 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesa]">[a] as the Spirit enabled them." And then it goes on to quote Joel.."‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy."

So in worldly terms, we're going to have a bunch of people speaking jibberish, seeing visions, prophesying, Crying uncontrollably, laughing uncontrollably, maybe even convulsing. Does this sound scary to you? To the regular Metho/Baptist it's pretty abnormal. However, read through the Bible and study all the prophets and you'll see evidence of the Holy Spirit. Imagine this area with thousands and thousands of people full of the Holy Spirit. Imagine the release and cleansing combined with the actual power the Spirit provides. Imagine reading the Bible and having it open up in meaning and instead of just reading it becomes like a movie with the director's voice over telling you what he intended. Imagine having the power over your strongholds. Imagine victory and fulfillment. This is what revival looks like. This week I'm going to study Acts and pray for revival.
I'm including this edit to clarify myself. When I say our church isn't ready for revival it's not a slam on the pastoral staff or the leadership. I do believe they are praying and very much open to it. What I mean is that IF the congregation was ready for it then God would have given Pastor Benny the green light to continue that was obviously not the case.

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