It has been said that God moves in seasons, and that like the sea, the outpouring(s) of His Spirit come in waves.
The Bible however, does not limit God in such a way – instead it speaks of His powerful, majestic ways as being limited by nothing either in heaven or earth. God is sovereign, all-knowing and all-powerful and present everywhere, at once.
The enemy is not like that. The silliness of pictures on facebook that show Jesus arm wrestling with satan only confirm that we have wandered far from a strong biblical understanding of the person of Christ. Pictures of a man with thorns on his head, meant to represent Jesus, are not helpful either, and portray the wrong message so essential for the Church at this critical hour of world history. The Bible does not focus long on the terrible crown of thorns – but it does linger long and deliberately on the resurrection of Christ and the empty tomb. We worship and serve a living Christ who is engaged in building His Church in this very day and age.
Let that message thump home in your heart, right now, Jesus Christ is building His Church.
The claims that God is not going to bring revival until we do ‘this or that’ are just not true, and are an example of the rampant legalism that has gripped many in the Church, tearing down hope and faith. Let’s be clear, revival is not directly promised by Scripture. Revival is not the hope for the future for our nation, Jesus and His glorious gospel is but we can ask for revival!
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Revival is a great hope and aspiration – but it is not the main agenda. Jesus said that He would build His Church and that nothing would be able to withstand it. There has never been a generation in world history that God has not been at work in one way or another, and that certainly is the case today.
God is always at work.
What is seasonal is our ability to distinguish and discern His activity. God may be at work and we just don’t realise or sense it, sometimes God hides it from us, testing our hearts thoughts and attitudes. But He is at work. Our task is to respond to what God is doing and to cooperate with the leading of the Spirit walking in the discipleship triplets; faith, obedience and holiness.
What I believe is perhaps the greatest move of God in world history, is happening right now. It’s not something that is coming and yet to break upon us, it is already here – and God is calling us to walk in it.
What is the calling? To live our lives in ferocious loyalty to Him. It is an initiative of God that was placed in our hearts the moment Christ forgave all our sins, taking our judgment away and giving the very righteousness of Christ to us, making us holy in His sight. Can you say that you are loyal to God? It’s a crushing challenge. Has God got your heart? All of it?
There is a move of God under way and this is it.
It is a life of commitment to walk in faith and obedience to Christ, but also to walk in love. They are the key ingredients of what honours, pleases, blesses and brings exceeding glory to God. But it takes God to help you live that life that pleases God. You can’t do it by yourself and in your own strength – if you know the gospel then you will already be aware of that! There will not be a single thing in heaven that was produced by you! God strengthens and inspires us to live a life pleasing to him. What is emerging in us is a ferocious loyalty to God, and we need to encourage one another to continue in it-until death. It’s as extreme as that!
We depend on God’s love. If we know God we will love one another, care for one another. That love for God, and for one another is the greatest sign of who we are – it defines us. A ferocious, church-wide loyalty to God is significantly better than revival. Revivals come and go. What God plans for us is something far longer lasting, permanent, rewarding and Christ-exalting. At the heart of it all is a resolute passion to see Jesus set in place as the magnificent obsession of our lives. That will not just touch friends, villages and cities, but it will spread the gospel like wild-fire across the nations and continents.
It sounds simplistic, but it really is the greatest thing the Church will ever experience, and out of that most ferocious loyalty to Christ and His Word, will come astonishing signs and wonders, miracles and healings and most of all, countless salvations as people turn to Christ as we live our lives in humble, willing and joyful obedience.
May that ferocious loyalty to Christ grip your heart.