Thursday, February 09, 2006

Will Revival Come to America?

I was driving down a street late one night when I spotted the above marquee in front of a local church. "The Revival has been cancelled" was the message being brightly illuminated along this busy roadway.
"Did that say what I thought it said?" I quickly asked Melanie as I hit the breaks to turn around for a closer look. "Cancelled!" "Amazing!" I said aloud as I told Melanie that this was so typical of the church of today. No expectancy. No urgency. No tenacity. No revival.
As ridiculous as this looked to me, how do you think that it was perceived by the "lost people" who would see this sign announcing the spiritual condition of the "church at large" that had long forgotten the heart and passion of revival long before this announcement of the obvious?
Has the "revival" been cancelled? I am not talking about one that is predicated upon schedules, guest speakers, and special musical talents--no, those are just cheap, man-made imitation of something that demands much more sacrifice and promises much more than three days of record crowds, love offerings, and false conversions.
The "revival" that I speak of is the one that is nearly impossible to describe with our modern ecclesiastical venacular and one that certainly operates outside of the confining limitations of mainstream Pseudo-Christianity. This "revival" is one that more closely resembles Peter and the the 120 Holy Spirit empowered saints of God spilling out into the streets of Jerusalem and preaching an open-air message that rattled the establishment and saw 3,000 come to salvation that same day!
It is like Paul on Marrs Hill or even Phillip going one-on-one with the Ethiopian eunuch. It is where power, passion, purpose, and purity converge to do the un-doable, think the un-thinkable and experience things that others merely talk and write about in a strictly historical (and now "forward-looking" prophetic) context.
The "revival" that I believe in is a "now" revival! It is about people who see a NOW need that demands a NOW word for a NOW world! It will involve people who don't have to play hide-and-seek for weeks on end to get a "word from God" on whether or not He would have them witness to the lost, go to the broken and dying, feed the hungry, cast the devil out of the bound or oppressed or to lay hands on the sick.
It is those who have feasted daily upon the living bread of life and are an "instant in and out of season" breed of believers who know God and who endeavor to make Him known in both word and in demonstration of the Holy Spirit!
This revival wil never take place in the comfy-confines of a modern "worship" facility. This revival will not be the result of a big-name evangelist renting a football stadium or coliseum and inviting Christian pop-artists and entertainers in order to gather the church crowd to a feel-good fellowship that serves only to suffice the religious quota in an otherwise self-absorbed community.
Genuine revival will take place right underneath the noses of much of the established church and will go unnoticed by the "Christian" media and operate under the faulty spiritual radar of our so-called religious leaders of today.
Why? Because they will not be able to take credit for it and in many cases it will confound them because it will be so beyond what they have been able to believe and it will involved the uneducated, the unlovely, those without the pedigree of their denominational colleges and seminaries and those lacking the "etiquette" and "charisma" that has long been the bench mark of organized "revival."
This new-breed of revival and revivalist will talk different, look different, act different and will not apologize for it! They will fear no one but God and desire nothing but to do His will in seeing a lost and dying world changed and transformed by the message of the Cross in the most desperate of places and to the most forgotten of people.
"The Revival Has Been Cancelled" is not just a sign posted on front of a local church building. It is what was spoken of in the Word of God two thousand years ago:
II the 2:33 says, "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition"
This falling away or apostacia (Greek) is not what most people think. It is merely defined as a "defection" or "deviation" from the truth. This is that "day" in which the falling away is preceding the revelation of the son of perdition (the anti-Christ). Is it not crystal clear?
Or consider:
2 Tim 4:2-52 "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
Its time to simply "preach the Word", not when we feel "led" or "peace about it", but EVEN when we feel out of season!

I hear people say all the time, "I just haven't felt led to go do this or that" or "I just can't seem to get any peace about witnessing in that environment." While that sounds so "spiritual" and "nobel" is certainly flies in the face of New Testament Christianity!

Jesus said, "Don't think that the reason I came was to bring peace (or some restful tranquility), no way, I came to send a sword!" or how Luke 12:51 puts is, "Don't think that they reason that I came was to create an atmosphere of peaceful tranquilly, no way, I came to bring division (or disunion)."

This disunion is when everything within us desires to do the exact opposite of that the Word of God instructs--but we do NOT what we think or feel--but simply OBEY and DO what He has instructed us to do without fear, doubt or hesitation.

We are not looking for CONFORMATION. We are looking for OPPORTUNITY! The conformation came when they found the tomb empty! The conformation came when He sat down at the right hand of the Father! The conformation came when He said, "GO." He needs NOTHING to verify His word! He needs nothing to confirm His commission. He spoke and said, "Let there be light--and there was light!"

Where chaos and lack of order were common place (no peace) He spoke and there WAS!! He needed no validation--He said...It happend! We need to return to hearing and obeying the Word of the Living God!

Maybe this is why the "church house" will never be the destination for today's revival; because it is too "sterile" for the creative power of TRUE REVIVAL. Revival is often unpredictable. Revival is often messy and sometime inexplicable. It can't be shoe horned into most "order of services." The Holy Spirit is the ONE who sets the agenda when it is Him who is moving.

The sad commentary is that His agenda is often more suited for the streets than it is for the "building" that bears His name!

I love what Chad Taylor wrote:

Revival forces the issue of commitment. It deals with heart of the Church and measures the level of compassion. Its the measuring stick of passion. Go to a city's street and you'll find the pulse of the city's church. See the intensity of the light and witness of Christ in the marketplace and you'll determine the intensity of devotion and obedience in the church place. If you find the church on the streets Monday through Saturday. Then you'll surely find Christ in their midst on Sunday! You can't have one without the other: Street and Revival are inseparable!

Revival is waiting for us on the streets. It is hiding from us in the nursing homes and prisons. It is calling to us from foreign fields and obscure places. It is crying, yearning for even one person who will rise from the confines of normality and pursue it!...Revival is a fire, and souls are its kindling.

The REVIVAL has not been CANCELLED--it has just been moved to a more suitable location.


Pastor Troy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Some emails that we received in regards to this post:

"Great e-mail" George W. Jobe
Heaven On Earth Ministries

"Awesome Dude!!!" Alan Lawson, Family Worship Center (Baton Rouge)

Awesome article! This is the kind of stuff that gets me fired up! I praise God when a fresh word of truth comes my way in these terrible times. I believe that the prophet Amos prophesied about the time we're living in when he said: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12). I believe we ARE in the days of the great apostasy, of "defection" and "deviation" from the truth. But I also believe that God has reserved for Himself a faithful remnant according to the election of grace who will stand for truth. Thanks for being one of the few who do! Look forward to meeting you and storming the streets of New Orleans for our King!

Sincerely in Christ, Josef

"Awesome!!!.....thanks PT love ya
Evang. Steve Ignowski