(pic credit: Unknown source)
…the following quotes are real, taken from FB and IG posts…
“Let’s make revival happen right here!”
“Revival’s breaking out! Let’s pursue revival! Let’s get together, go for it, and make this happen… right in our own town!”
“Woohoo! Finally! Time to ramp it up and get some of that ‘revival flow’ going our way! Yeah! How exciting!”
“C’mon, let’s make revival happen!”
Asbury ‘Outpouring’ broke out weeks ago… they’re now preferring ‘outpouring’ over ‘revival’… and, these fires are reportedly burning in dozens of other places… but…
‘Let’s make revival happen here’ has become the catch-call for many across churches in the USA
[Facebook post] “… for those who’ve been pursing revival for years, it’s finally happening! So, what are we doing about it? We need to press in for that outpouring on our homes, our churches and our cities,” writes one social-media post, with thousands of reads, “we don’t have to travel to Kentucky, we can have revival right where we are, and stoke the fire where we’re at, if only we will!”
The post wraps, “Let’s get together and make this happen! Make revival happen here!”
Then, here’s another real FB post (church name not shared), a week after the ‘last Tuesday’ meeting mentioned here:
“Last Tuesday, hundreds of young adults from across our campuses came together for a night of community, worship, a timely message and experienced a powerful move of God!
We’re so excited to see the hunger of these young adults to be used by God. Revival is not only happening in Asbury— revival is HERE.
Make sure you save the date for the next one (date set for 3 weeks from post)!”
[Important to note: the actual meeting lasted about 3 hours, half of which was an energetic preacher giving a salvation message, and promptly ended by 10:30pm… no ‘after-glowers’ or all-nighters…
It would seem that many people in Christendom have a really unique perspective on how revival ‘happens’, and how they can make it their ‘own’.
This all leads to a really, really, REALLY pesky question…
Can We ‘Make Revival Happen’?
I grew up in the Midwest, filled with southern-Bible-belt transplants. We heard a lot about ‘revival’ from pulpits and preachers. I’ve driven past dozens of churches that had a banner on the front lawn, ‘Revival week!’, ‘True Gospel revival!’, and my favorite, ‘Come to our Annual Revival!’
The prevailing idea seemed to be that ‘revival’ is achievable through ramped-up church activities… the strong belief was that calling out ‘we’ll have a revival’ means ‘we’re gonna make revival happen’… even ‘we WILL have revival!!’
I’ve even gone to a bunch of those meetings. The singing was beautiful. The choir was amazing. The preacher was energetic. The altar call was passionate. There were even a few people who accepted Jesus with the altar call [always a good thing].
But nothing in ANY of those ‘we-will-have-revival!’ meetings ever compares to the long and detailed history of what’s been called ‘revival’, ‘outpouring’, or ‘visitation’.
I’ve sat with pastors and leaders who spoke passionately that greater effort and investment will ‘bring the fires of revival’ to their church… usually with a side-dish of distain for many of the congregation, believing ‘if they just got serious about revival, something would really happen’ [meaning, blame the dis-passionate church-goers…].
‘Lets make revival happen’… HUH? Is it even possible?
Revivalists on Revival
Here are a few quotes from some who have actually seen revival fires burn:
“A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life.”
– Andrew Murray
“You never have to advertise a fire. Everyone comes running when there’s a fire. Likewise, if your church is on fire, you will not have to advertise it. The community will already know it…”
“Preacher, keep your knees on the ground & your eyes on the throne.”
“Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself.”
― Leonard Ravenhill
“The story of revivals throughout the ages has been the story of lone men meeting God, of going out and finding God all alone. Sometimes they went down to the church basement, sometimes to the caves, sometimes out under trees, sometimes by haystacks, but they went alone to meet God, and then the revival went out from there.”
“Revival is the result of us hungering for God Himself. Revival is the normal Christian life. Sustain the Holy Fire burning on the altar of your heart, while continuing to cry out for a greater outpouring of the Spirit”
Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.
– Vince Havner
Revival… Outpouring… Visitation… Encounter…
The time where ‘anyone can drop in and see’ at Asbury has come to a close. Now, different flows in the Body of Christ have tried to categorize or define what actually happened at Asbury.
Others have tried to quantify it, usually in ways that would help them ‘fit Asbury’ into their own experience and program (see the opening quotes). ‘Let’s make revival happen here!’
Many wise and experienced Leaders, especially those who have had some history with actual ‘outpourings’ of the last few decades (Vineyard, Toronto, Brownsville, Nigeria, etc.) have begun to speak out and bring clarity to us.
Here’s a representative quote from Rich Gordon, a leader at Bethel Redding, with what those experienced leaders are saying…
“We’re in the midst of a great move of God in America right now… but… we’re not pursuing revival, we’re pursuing Jesus- and the fruit will be revival!”
It may seem hard to perceive, but there’s a careful difference in this particular approach.
If we ‘pursue revival’, history has shown that revival rarely results, and if something happens, it spurts out quickly.
If we pursue JESUS with passion and abandon, then something far more lasting and different happens.
I’m going to be rather bold to say that ‘pursuing revival’ is going after the results that only come out of a deep, locked-in relationship with King JESUS, and the ‘revival pursuit’ mostly comes up short.
‘Pursing revival’ is like wanting bushels and bushels of GRAPES, but forgetting to plant and maintain the GRAPEVINE… because GRAPES come from a healthy VINE.
Real revival is FRUIT from a well-cared VINE.
The revival-vine is a believer who is fully-committed, fully-dependent, fully-connected in heart and life to JESUS, joined together in community with many of the same passion and heart.
Fruit. To get fruit, you must plant a vine. It has to take root. It has to be healthy. It needs good soil, water, sunshine, air, protection, and care. Don’t forget manure! Vines also need support, guidance, and pruning.
[Yeah, take a look at John 15…]
Jeremy Riddle [a passionate pursuer of JESUS for the many years I’ve known him] suggests that the posture of our hearts drawing us deeper into relationship with JESUS will determine how deeply we can drink what God is pouring out right now in these outpourings. He suggests avoiding offense or criticism with what’s exploding in groups all around the globe, and allow what’s happening to create hunger and thirst for JESUS in our own hearts and lives.
Jeremy points out that “you can be an expert fisherman and fish all night and come up empty” …which most of our ‘pursuing revival’ seems to have done…
Jeremy continues, “But when Jesus ‘steps on the shore’, everything changes. What wasn’t available the night before, or in a previous season, may very well be available now. So let faith give you courage to ‘cast your net again.’
These two quotes came up in my feed this week:
“I don’t want revival… I WANT CHRIST! And if we have Christ, there will be revival”
“We will never meet God in revival until we have first have met Him in brokenness”
-Nancy Leigh DeMoss
In this season, I’m not booking any flights to any locations where ‘revival’ is ‘popping’.
I’m digging in right here.
I’m pursuing JESUS.
I’m carving out more ‘secret-place’ time.
I’m going after F2F… Face to Face… פָּנָֽ֗יַ… panaya… Exodus 20:3… the face of the Father…
I’m gonna worship more.
I’m gonna rejoice always and give thanks in everything.
I’m gonna press in to ‘praying without ceasing’, 24/7 conversation with Jesus and Holy Spirit.
I’m not gonna pursue revival.
I’m gonna pursue JESUS.
He’s shown up in the past.
He’ll show up again.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
written by crisbaj
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All Scripture references from New International Version unless otherwise indicated.
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You hammered it Chris!