Lifestyle of Revival Pt 2
Not a One Time Event
I already said this in part one of this hub, but I want to repeat myself. When I say revival I am not talking about an event. I’m not talking about a church meeting.
At one time years ago I was invited to be a part of a panel of people that were trying to start a new type of ministry in Wichita, my hometown. In another city there was a famous place called the International House of Prayer. It was a healing center that was attracting a lot of attention within my particular faith. The people that I speak of wanted to get something like that going in Wichita.
The panel was a group of evangelists, teachers and other types of preaches called together to help advise the people with this vision on how to accomplish it. I felt honored to have been asked to be a part of it.
We talked about what the purpose, mission, calling and so forth of the ministry might be. Ultimately we wanted it to bring revival to Wichita in a big way. At least that’s what I was getting from the conversations. We got to discussing possibilities for the name of the center and I suggested RevivalCenter. Since after all that seemed to be what they wanted it to bring Wichita, revival. The other preachers looked around at each other kind of uncomfortably with a look on their faces like how do we explain this to this young naïve preacher. Finally one of them spoke up and basically explained to me that revival could not be the name. He explained revival is a one time event that sort of explodes then fizzles down over time. They didn’t want this to be anything like that. They wanted this center to have a lasting impact on Wichita.
At that point I decided to just shut up and let the “more experienced” preachers handle it. Nothing ever came of that ministry unfortunately. And now that I am older I can’t help but wonder, if they understood the true meaning of revival if things might have been different. We’ll never know I guess.
The point of that story is obvious I hope. Revival is not a one time event that explodes and fizzles down. True revival leaves a lasting impression on whomever it touches. True revival is a daily event.
A Call to a Lifestyle
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Notice that the verse says “renewing” and not “renewal.” This is because Romans 12:2 is not a one time command but a call to a lifestyle of revival.
Again in the first part of this hub, I said that when people think about revival they get a picture of a highly emotional type meeting. I want to talk about those meetings for a moment more. Why is such a meeting so emotional? The answer is obvious, because of the supernatural things that tend to happen in “revival meetings” as they call them. Prophecies go forth, people are saved, people are healed and cleansed of there sins. In revival meetings people expect to hear testimonies of financial miracles. Sometimes people get filled with the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues for the first time, on and on.
The point I’m trying to make here is that this is the type of stuff that is supposed to happen everyday in a believers life. We are supposed to be Spirit led in our daily lives. Jesus didn’t say in John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you at revival meetings. He said that He may abide with us forever. He didn’t say in John 10:10 that He came to give us life during evangelistic meetings. He said he came to give us life and life more abundantly.
What I call revival meetings are good things. We need evangelistic emotional type meetings I believe that they are God ordained to encourage us and to edify us. To bless us! You hear these meetings sometimes described as “bless me” meetings the implication is that it’s selfish. We need “bless me” meetings to refresh ourselves. God wants us to be encouraged. But He doesn’t want you to look to some hero at a “revival meeting,” some great evangelist or teacher, to do for you what He has already done for you on the cross! He wants you to be the Hero. God has made you to be a champion!
The Life of a Champion
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
God gave you that power for a reason. You see God has provided for you everything that you need in this world to be successful and to win the lost. He has provided you boldness, He has provided you wealth and prosperity, and He has even promised to take care of your health. I am a firm believer in the fact that God has already made his will concerning those things clear to us in His Word. His promises are not maybes. I heard a preacher teach one time that when you ask God for certain things like healing, prosperity and so forth. Sometimes He says “yes,” but sometimes He says “no,” and other times He may even say “maybe.”
2 Corinthians 1:19-20, 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
If God has promised you something in His Word (and He has,) He doesn’t ever say “no” or “maybe.” His answer is always “yes” and “amen” or “so be it” as amen is translated.
But God knows that He has an enemy. One that would not just stand by and let us receive those things that rightfully belong to us without resistance. One that would do everything he could to separate us from our inheritance. That enemy knows Gods Word too. So he knows how to stop us from receiving God’s promises.
James 1:6-7, 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
And that’s why God also gave us armor. That’s why God also gave us a sword.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
He gave it to us to equip us so that we could fight for those things that belong to us. We’ve got to fight for our inheritance. You don’t receive the things of God by standing passively by and hoping that you get them. You’ve got to fight for them by faith.
A Word Filled Life
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge,
And that’s where a lifestyle of revival comes in. You have to live a lifestyle of renewing yourself so that you can be adequately prepared for the battles that come.
When you go to claim what God has given to you, first you have to know what God has given to you. You’ve got to know His Word so that you’ll have something to stand on. A lifestyle of revival is daily being renewed by His Word.
Most Christians don’t know God’s word. Most Christians have never read the Bible through from cover to cover. I honestly believe that the reason for this is not laziness. I know this because The Christian book industry is exploding. That’s why you see a new Christian book store opening every year and that’s why you see most of them stay open. Christians love to read! They’re not too lazy to read there Bible. They just don’t think they’ll ever be able to understand it on their own. That’s why so many Christians are such good customers at Christian bookstores, because those stores are filled with books about the Bible. Most of us don’t read it for ourselves because we’ve allowed the devil to convince us that it’s too complicated.
You’ve heard some preacher go so far into the Greek, or the Hebrew that some of you don’t think you can truly know what the Bible means unless you understand the original language. Or you think you can’t understand it unless you understand the times it was written in.
Don’t let the Devil tell you you’ve got to be a scholar to understand God’s Word. You don’t have to know nothing about history, Greek, or Hebrew. God has made His Word simple enough for a child to understand His Word. Language translation, history, culture of the times. Those things help clarify, illuminate and highlight the scriptures but you don’t need any of them to understand the simple doctrine of God’s Word.
Some people might say “that’s not the problem I just can’t understand the text, all those thee’s and thou’s are too foreign to me.” My answer to that is there was a time in your life when you didn’t understand your mama. You didn’t understand a word that was coming out of that woman’s mouth. But you kept listening anyway. Until one day you said your first word. If you don’t understand God’s Word so what? Keep reading you’ll catch on.
A Solid Life of Principle
Once you do understand His Word then you’ve got to stand on His Word!
I like to read a lot of success literature. Books like “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, or “The Worlds Greatest Salesman” by Og Mandino. Books by Norman Vincent Peale and C. S. Lewis, the list goes on. There’s a word in success literature that you’ll read over and over again in almost all of their books. That word is pro-active.
To define the word Pro-active I have to define the word reactive. Being reactive means someone who responds to stimulus or influence. In other words, someone who is controlled by his or her circumstances. If people are nice to him he is nice to people. If people are mean to him he will be mean to people. If people steal from him he will steal from people. If people cuss at him he will cuss at them.
These are the people that will steal little things like paper clips or pens from the office because they think they’re not paid what they’re worth anyway so it’s okay. That’s a reactive person, that’s someone who reacts according to what’s happening to him or something he believes is happening to him. Ephesians 4 warns us against being such people. “Tossed to and fro,” as it puts it.
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
“To deceive,” it says, to deceive us. That is the plan of the devil! We are not supposed to be pushed around by our circumstances! Not supposed to be controlled by this world system. We are to be led by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Therein lies the definition of proactive. A lifestyle of revival means being proactive. Renewing your mind, your actions, your deeds and your life according to your beliefs, according to the Word of God. We are not to be like the heathens. Who are easily distracted by every temptation, easily discouraged by every setback.
But we are to be like Paul, look at what he said about himself in Acts.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
We can’t let any of our circumstances move us.
Sometimes Christians will try to stand on a promise in God’s Word and when they don’t immediately see it come to pass they start changing their theology. We can’t be like that. We can’t be swayed in our doctrine by the wind of our circumstances. When I say “stand on the Word,” I’m not just talking about believing it. I’m talking about getting it into your spirit. I’m talking about standing when it seems like you’re not standing on solid ground.
A Life of Spiritual Warfare
You’ve got to understand that the devil will not just bow down and get out the moment you claim to believe, even if you really do believe. That’s when he starts fighting the hardest to keep you from getting it. He didn’t fight you before because he didn’t have to. But the moment you start the fight he is more than willing to finish it.
But that’s okay because Jesus said in Luke 9:1 that He gave his disciples, (Are you a disciple?) He gave His disciples power over all devils and to cure all diseases. There’s not a devil that can hold you down or a disease that can take you down. You have been given the Power to become a son or a daughter of the Most High God! And you’ve got to stand on that Power, you’ve got to wield that Power. You’ve got to Fight!
Boldly going forth in all power, in all authority, as a champion of God (because you are a champion of God) claiming the promises of His inheritance, preaching the Gospel and living a lifestyle of Revival!