For most ministers, revival is a passion and a goal of life. Everyone wants to see the Lord move in glorious ways. Those ways very from person to person. To some it is people coming to Christ, others might see it as the Lord working miracles. Many might also see it as unity in the city. These are all great and powerful things that we would like to see. This post is not about different manifestations of revival, but the different mindset of revival. What do I mean by that? Some look at revivals as an event. It has a starting point and a definite finishing point. This mindset has some flaws in it, and I would like to attempt to change your mindset on the matter. I do not wish to remove the clear events that might take place, but I would like to set them into a greater context of a revival culture. If we can do this, we can create a multigenerational move of God, that might have a beginning, but will have no end.
I have been in the Church for almost three decades. I have been in revivals and outpourings that have changed my life. I have been in flows of the Spirit that have shifted my mindset and opened me up to more of the Kingdom of heaven. My goal is not to lessen the value of moves of God. On the contrary, I wish to bring them into greater purpose and relevance. One of the things that I have observed is the way the Church loses all momentum between moves. After studying this and those places that seem to maintain momentum, I have a couple of thoughts I what is needed to do this.
Not an Event
First, our mindset of revival needs some adjustment. Most look at revival as periodic intervals of God’s presence. People gather, and there can be a soaking dynamic, or even a salvation dynamic. There can be mass repentance or unusual miracles. Azusa Street is one of those amazing outpourings of God that lasted several years and to this day is seen as one of the greatest outpourings. There is the Welsh Revival is another such outpouring. It swept an entire nation up and over 90% of the nation was converted. There have been two to three great awakenings, depending on whom you hear. All of these are amazing markers in the history of the Church. They should create the hunger in us for God to move upon our land. However, the events were never meant to go from outpouring to the dry season, then back to outpouring. We need to change our mindset from this point forward if we are going to have a multigenerational move.
If we look at revival as a culture created by people who continually desire to host God’s presence, then we can have outpourings that take those very people to new levels of His presence. This will create momentum that will carry culture from generation to generation. One of the surprising things about the people used in the Azusa Street outpouring is that they never saw anything again in their life. They were employed in the most incredible miracles, but it all ended when they left. Time and time again we see that the revival had a start and a finish time. This has become the normal expectation. So much so, that as soon as something begins, people question how long it will last.
The question that we ask is simple. Is this the typical ways of the Kingdom or are we to look for something else? It is a simple question with a dynamic answer. This response will require us to press for something that few have experienced, and many will desire. The answer, of course, is that we are to live in revival, and, therefore, we have to learn things that can sustain the presence of God.
Things to Avoid
We must resist the temptation to divide. If you have every studied revival, you will see the tremendous division that comes about within the leadership and soon the revival will die out. God does not work in the division. One of the keys is to remember that it is bigger than one person or even one group of individuals. We need to stay focused and understand that having disagreements is normal. By all means, we are talking about a group of people coming together in the presence of God and with the ability to think and create. It is normal for different people with different personalities to see things from opposing perspectives. Are we shocked by this? We should expect it and embrace it. The multiple viewpoints show us the many facets of God. Out of every outpouring, many revelations will come forth, and courses will be charted. Having honor for what God is saying to the whole and the individual is going to be key to sustained revival. However, not all revelation holds the same weight, so be humble and submit to one another. Satan knows not to divide; it would do the body well to learn it as well.
Matt. 12:25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
If you want to host the Presence of the Lord, you will have to have childlike faith. Not every night is there going to be spiritual cartwheels. We have to stay in a place where the simplest things that the Lord does is celebrated. Children celebrate the box the gift comes in as much as the gift. We must celebrate the vessel the Lord chooses in the meeting to bring about His plan. Some will be very polished, and others will not. Having childlike faith brings about the expectancy needed for the meeting. Adults are more skeptical. This is not because they have more wisdom, but because they have more history of disappointment. Expectancy is the hallmark of faith. I came across this verse this morning in my prayer time.
Luke 3:15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,
Expectancy will always proceed the move of God. Someone is always expecting something. Suddenlies do not happen by chance; they occur when someone first announces something. Childlike faith helps us celebrated the small beginnings and creates momentum. Be childlike! Don’t let religion cause you to be crusty and dry. The Lord is always on the move. So move with him.
This play of the last one a little, but I want to continue it. No matter the size of a miracle, the power of the meeting, celebrate everything. There are times when only a “minor miracle” is seen. Of course, there is no such thing as a small miracle to the one who is getting healed. I have taught people to celebrate the healed headache as much as cancer. This always positions us correctly with the Lord. There is not one thing that the Lord does that is minor. Everything is a distinct act of his love towards us. It needs to be celebrated with all the enthusiasm and fanfare it deserves. I have watched meeting shut down after the Lord healed 30 people because they would not celebrate. They felt the most needed person in the room did not receive their miracle. The key to more is the heart of thanksgiving. So celebrate it. Give God the glory and magnify what he has down. Don’t be bashful, but be bold. Let the child on Christmas morning come out again. Be excited for all the Lord is doing.
For all of to live in and continually experience revival, it takes a mindset on our part to approach God the way they were consistent with the order of the Kingdom. All of these are expressed in the gospels as Jesus went about doing good. Some of the cities that Jesus rebuked will face judgment on the last day because their response to his work was not met with praise. Things almost always start small, with a taste and see approach. So go ahead and taste. You too will find out that the Lord is good and should always be enjoyed.