Revival Revolves Around Revealed Revelation!
Recently I heard a teaching video that reinforced a truth that I have known over the years: Revivals always start at the grass roots level, not with the “Big Wigs”! The speaker shared how the “Big Wigs”, ie. the disciples, especially “the Rock”, Peter never quite get what the Holy Spirit is up to until well past the tenth verse in Acts, the book that records early church history. They think that since the Holy Spirit fell on “devout Jews” in “Jerusalem”, that this new movement was a “revival” Jewish movement! God was moving with in the Jewish culture and faith. That assumption was true, but they did not “see” the big picture: God was moving throughout the whole earth to all mankind.
The teacher asked, “What went wrong?” By the time of 70-80 A.D. Jerusalem had been ravished, the temple destroyed, the original disciples deceased, and the center of Christianity was now in what is known today as Turkey (today primarily a Muslim country), primarily as a Gentile movement. The newly birthed Jewish Christian at the beginning of Acts thought Christ as the Messiah of the Jews who came to reestablish Israel as a nation among nations, but now all that was gone. “What went wrong?” To that question he shares that Luke in his writing affirms that nothing has gone wrong. The early Fathers were trying to do what we as Christians try to do today: put God in a box, in a form we think he should fit into. When Jesus died on the Cross, the veil was rent from top down, exposing the Holy of Holies, God’s Presence, to everyone and anyone. There were no dividing walls remaining in the Temple! Since Jesus’ death, God is no longer in a box! He moves according to His Will and His Ways.
The first few decades the “Big Wigs” of the early Church were trying to figure things out through dreams, visions, and councils while the Holy Spirit kept moving, and by the time Saul/Paul gets zapped, unknown leaders in Antioch are preparing and spreading the gospel. When Saul gets knocked off his horse, he spends time in Antioch, not in Jerusalem to be “equipped for the work of the service” as he professes in his letter to the Ephesians (4) later in his ministry. Trained by Jerusalem he became Pharisee of Pharisee zealously persecuting the Church for the cause of Judaism, his boxed in faith; trained by Antioch he had to be theologically “de-toxed”, receive a new mindset, and becomes an apostle to the Gentiles, open to all in his faith.
In every town he visits, he births a church, the evangelistic spirit, nurtures the new believers, the pastoral, shepherding spirit, teaches them the Word uncompromisingly, the teaching spirit, speaks in tongues, gives prophetic words, heals the sick, etc., the prophetic spirit, and “sees over” what the Holy Spirit is doing in that locality while there, and by letter after he leaves, the apostolic spirit. His training in Antioch proved fruitful! He equipped the small local home churches he found to stand on their own in Jesus by releasing these unnamed individuals to continue the work of service.
As churches, we still think of revival as the Spirit of Jesus Christ breaking loose inside the box, or confine, of our institutional framework. We try to “figure Him out”, just as Peter and the disciples did after his ascension, not really getting it until totally yielded to the Holy Spirit. When they, and we, get to the point of allowing the Holy Spirit to teach us all things, do we finally get insight, “revelation”; we get it! Revival revolves around revealed revelation. All though the “big wigs” of our churches today structure, plan, birth, direct, and implement “revival services” in our local churches, they really don’t get it: God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit moves among his “people” everywhere, doing His Will, His Way! Some times we just have to “Let Go” and “Let God through His Holy Spirit” just do His Word as we “see over” what He is doing and be obedient to it!
Does the Church want revival? Then we just need to yield to, trust, and be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading. We need to quit trying to “figure out” God and His Ways, just obediently follow them under the Holy Spirit’s direction. We need to just let it happen, not orchestrate it! If we want revival, we need to be broken, desperate for God, hungry for the Living Word to be released in our lives, and thirsty for this Living Water that he promised the Women At The Well and us, which produced revival to her town in her day and will produce revival in our towns in this day! We need the Holy Spirit to bring “revelation” so we can have “revival”! Easy to say; a challenge to actually follow and do!