by Rich Murphy
God is desiring to sweep across our land in revival. More than just revival though, the last outpouring of the end time move of God. The time is short, and the bride is not yet ready. We must be made into the bride without spot, wrinkle or blemish (Eph 5:27). That is the purpose of this last outpouring...preparing the bride.
The revival that God is bringing is different than any other in church history. This will be a mightier work, with greater signs and wonders than ever before. It will span the globe, where other revivals have been limited to a country, or even just a region of a country. The people who God uses will be different also. Past revivals have been preached by evangelists. This revival will be preached by prophets and apostles. Why? Because God needs to work through those ministry gifts in order to accomplish the work He is preparing to do.
We must decide if we are going to become part of this last outpouring. Or, are we just going to sit by and watch? Are we willing to pay the price to allow God to do whatever it is that He sovereignly desires?
WHAT IS REVIVAL?
First of all, revival isnít getting an evangelist to come in, and do a series of meetings to stir the people up. We have developed an understanding in the church today of ďholding a revival.Ē You know what I mean, itís usually one week of special meetings a church has in the summer. You canít hold a revival. All you can do is participate in one that God is throwing.
For it to be true revival, it must be a sovereign work of God. That means we canít schedule it in advance. Only God can accomplish it, and that in His timing, and in His way.
The prefix ďreĒ in the English language means ďto do again.Ē The root word ďviveĒ is from the Latin for ďlife.Ē So, ďrevivalĒ means ďto bring to life again.Ē You canít bring those to life again who have never been alive before. To be revived, you must have been alive once before.
Revival really isnít for the lost, but for the saved. We tend to think of revival as getting the lost into the church. But, thatís not what itís all about. When revival is happening, the lost will come into the church. However, the reason they will come is because of the changed hearts of Godís people. That will draw them. That will show them their need for salvation.
Once the Holy Spirit cleans up the Body of Christ, then He will start drawing the unsaved in. But, that canít be the start of it. If we start off trying to get the unsaved coming into our churches, theyíll just see how messed up we are. That wonít draw them to Jesus.
HOW DOES REVIVAL BEGIN?
Revival is always birthed through prayer. Not your typical church prayer meeting either, but true crying out to God in intercession. An hour long prayer meeting where 45 minutes is spent sharing prayer requests and 15 minutes of giving God our shopping list isnít what Godís looking for. He will only be free to move when we start crying out to Him with a true hunger for His Spirit to pour out upon us.
We must bathe our churches in prayer. There must be so much prayer that it becomes a tangible force that you can feel when you walk into the sanctuary.
When revival comes, it will come suddenly. Every time that God moves in the Bible, He does it suddenly. People will be praying, waiting, watering the seed, and it will look like nothing is happening. Then suddenly, revival will break forth. The Brownsville revival in Pensacola, Florida came suddenly. If you look on their web site, there is an article called ďCaught by Surprise.Ē Although they had been praying for revival, they were surprised when on Fatherís day 1995, it actually broke forth. God didnít warn them, He just moved!
Thatís how it will happen every time. Donít try and figure out when God will start revival in your church, just try and get ready for it. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray, and pray some more! Cry out to God for His outpouring, and watch...when the time is right, He will move.
God will probably use another vessel than the pastor. What we are seeing the revivals that are currently happening is that God has brought someone else in to light the fire. That doesnít mean that the pastor isnít important, heís the one who has to prepare the fire. As the revival progresses, God will use a team of the pastor, the worship leader, and the prophet or apostle to accomplish His plan.
Revival by its very nature requires drastic change. You canít have revival, and have church as normal at the same time. You might have regular church services, but they will be drastically different from what youíve known before. You canít just have your normal church schedule either. The work that God is going to do will require more of your time, and your members time than anything youíve experienced before.
God will require us to change our schedules, change our plans, change our worship, change our administration of the church...in fact it will require us to change just about everything that we are doing.
HOW DOES REVIVAL END?
Revival always ends because Godís ministers cause it to end. Not Godís people, just Godís ministers. How do they do that? By not allowing the Holy Spirit the freedom to move in any way He so chooses.
God doesnít work in a box, and whenever we try and put Him in one, we stop whatever work it is that He is doing. How do we put Him in a box? By the structure we try and place upon His move. Structure through scheduling, developing denominations, trying to make Him move in one place the same way He is in another. All of these are man imposed, not God imposed. Ministry imposed restrictions can prevent God from moving freely in our midst.
Why do ministers put these restrictions upon God? Because they are uncomfortable with the true freedom that revival brings. They want some sort of structure so that they can ďkeep in control.Ē
A revival can end just as fast as it starts. In fact, it can end on the same day it starts. We must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to do whatever, whenever, however, through whoever He so chooses. Otherwise, we stand the risk of stopping the outpouring He desires to bring. If you arenít comfortable with that, repent now, and let God prepare your heart for true revival.
WHAT DOES GOD DO IN REVIVAL?
True revival centers around the altar. It isnít about great preaching. In fact, God will be moving so greatly that there may be very little preaching in a revival service. It isnít about church growth. It isnít about wonderful praise and worship. Revival is a work in the heart, and that only happens at the altar.
Intercessory prayer is essential to revival, but so is altar time. The prayer will prepare the ground for God to move. The altar is where God will do the moving. These two cornerstones will be the framework that God will use to accomplish His work.
It is at the altar that God will accomplish these four works. Donít despise the time at the altar! It is essential! That is the place where God will do the surgery upon our hearts. We must be ready and watchful for all that God desires to do.
|Why Do Some People Fall Down When They Are Prayed For?|
Book On Revival
"Send Your Fire"
Copyright © 1999 by Rich Murphy, Maranatha Life, All Rights Reserved.