I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “revival”.
It’s a buzz word for Christians these days, many are talking about how the church needs another “revival”, about how we are having a “revival”, or about how we are on the cusp of another one.
But what is revival, what is needed to have it, and how might it become your, and my reality?
Google’s Dictionary has an opinion on what revival is…
Revival: “An improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something. An instance of something becoming popular, active, or important again. A reawakening of religious fervour, especially by means of evangelistic meetings. A new production of an old play or similar work.”
Strong’s Concordance tells us what revival is in the Greek:
Revival = anapsucho; which means: “a recovery of breath, a refreshing”
The definitions are endless, but the principles for how how we get there, the ingredients, I believe, are few.
So, do you want a revival? Personally? In your church? In your marriage? In your community?
This is what I recommend you’ll need to “cook up a revival.” Here it is, my recipe for revival.
A RECIPE FOR REVIVAL.
Before you begin you’ll need these tools:
- An invitation from God.
- God’s Spirit.
You’ll also need these ingredients:
Firstly, you’ll need an invitation from God. Only God can bring dead things to life, wait for His nudging and prompting, “child, now is the time for revival!” This is the bowl in which revival begins.
Take your “invitation from God” bowl and place it on your prayer bench. Unless the invitation from God is supported by prayer, the bowl may very well just crash to the ground without realizing it’s potential. Support it in solid prayer.
Then, wash all your ingredients in God’s Spirit. You can not do this on your own, you will need His breath to cover the entire process.
If applicable, you’ll now need to take a good portion of repentance and place it in your bowl, mix it in with unity, and faith. Keep mixing until you’ve completely repented of the lack of unity in the church, the suspicion you’ve held towards other churches and Christians, and the way you’ve taken your eyes off being a part of His body. Mix a little more until you’ve also repented of your lack of faith when it comes to letting God be God in your life, where you have tried to be in control instead of letting Him be. You’ve listened to business best practices and been in day long board meetings instead of listening to God and being in day long prayer meetings.
Once you’ve completely repented, you’ll need to grab a deliverance sifter and sift out anything that might hinder the revival that is to come. Religious spirit, tradition that limits the Spirit, Jezebel Spirits that fight for power, self seeking ways, egos and logos that won’t give credit to another, fear of people’s opinions, a need for control and a desire for money, all have to go. Ask God to deliver you from these evils.
You are now ready to take your ingredients and place them in the oven of action. You have to do something with what God has given you. Let unity, faith and repentance sit in the fire of God, and the fragrance of revival will soon be wafting out asking all to come and enjoy a new day that the Lord has made.
Now, place revival back on your prayer bench and dust it with humility. The reality is that this cake will be so good that people will come from far and wide to taste it. This is the real deal the world is crying out for, if you don’t cover revival in humility it will grow stale very quickly as God’s presence is sustained by the praises of God. Don’t try to take credit for this revival, remember, it all started with an invitation from God.
Finally, take some time to rest. This revival feast is going to get messy, it has to get messy if the masses are going to feast. Rest, eat a little cake for yourself, and then get ready to bake again, for there is a very hungry world out there looking for nourishing revival everywhere.
(This blog first appeared at thescarboroughs.com/blog)
They say every journey begins with a single step.
If you want a big tree, you have to start by planting a small seed.
There is no doubt about it, I’m a pioneer. I love to start things, and to go where few have gone before. I love to blaze new trails. Why? Because I’m excited about those that will come behind me and reap the benefits of the trail ahead.
Truth be told, I stand on the shoulders of my parents and theirs, pioneers in prayer and missions. I want to stand for something in my lifetime so that others can stand on what I laid down.
This last season my wife and I church planted, teaching a small crew how to be the church wherever they live, work, and play, rather than just attend one. We taught a group in California how to be missionaries to their own Western contexts. As a result there are activated Christians in a world that desperately needs the message they bring. By God’s grace and for His glory I share that that group are almost all living a radically more missional lifestyle as a result of our time together at “The Hub Movement”. When we announced the church’s “closure”, one lady moved to Florida to work with homeless and at risk individuals there, another man jumped into street ministry, another family moved to Europe and have engaged missionaly in their community there, and many more ripples have been made. Nothing makes me happier than equipping the saints for ministry, rather than doing it all myself!
And so… the journey of Awaken the Valley has begun.
It seems that as one season closes, it gives way to another, and for God’s grace to “pioneer again” I am thankful.
What will our legacy be from this venture? I don’t know, but He does, and He loves to grow seeds into trees!
As we start off on our journey, I want to encourage you with three thoughts for your own journey.
- Prepare. Every journey beings with a single step, but every step is taken because of preparation. I’ve tried hiking with inadequate supplies, poor shoes, and a poor tent and mattress set up. It wasn’t pretty. I was eaten by mosquitos, slept poorly, and was exhausted way earlier on in the hike than I should have been. Prepare for the journey. You may not know what you will encounter on your expedition, but you can have the tools with you just in case. For a new ministry I suggest that you talk to and surround yourself with the right people, make sure you have a clear vision and that it’s from God, and…
- Pray. It’s all good to have the tools and be prepared for any weather, but things of eternal value come arise from prayer. Their source is Jesus and their destination and motivation is His glory. Pray like your mission depends on it.
- Get on the path! Now get on the path! Take the step, and trust that God will be with you around every corner, and He will lead you out of every valley!
Thanks for joining us on our journey!
You can find out how to get involved with Awaken the Valley HERE.