Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

21 May 2008

Revival... what to do with it?

I'll say this. I'm expecting revival to come to my city. It's the City of God. I want my kids, my self, my marriage, my youth group, my young adult group, my church, my city's economy and such, to be prepared for revival. I want them to know that it's coming so that they contend for it and prepare for it now.

I'm expecting it to be extravagant and shaking.
I'm expecting it to be messy.
I'm expecting it to be hard to manage.
I'm expecting it to take more time than we all have.
I'm expecting God to be gigantic and breath taking.
I'm expecting the dead to rise.
I'm expecting the church to love it and hate it.
I'm expecting to be looked at as a nut.
I'm expecting life to never be the same as it is today.

Like many of us... Francis Frangipane (Elijah List) has been watching with anticipation the goings on in Lakeland Florida as they experience an astounding healing revival. I want you to hear what he wrote yesterday:

"I personally have been following the Lakeland revival on God.tv. Yes, there are minor things I might do differently, but I have been moved by the spiritual hunger of the people and also by the remarkable miracles and conversions. Most importantly, I have been touched by the attending presence of God's glory. Yet, while my heart swells with joy, I also fear. For when we cry for a holy visitation, we are crying for God's Kingdom--the very reign of God to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. My concern is, when we entreat the Almighty for His Kingdom, are we truly ready to surrender ours?

Most in first century Israel did not understand the goal of a visitation; they were blessed, touched and healed, but they did not attain God's purpose, and for them Jesus wept. Nevertheless, on Pentecost Christ's disciples did, in fact, carry the visitation to its appointed purpose: the early church became the dwelling of God on earth. The citywide church was united, committed to prayer and focused on Jesus (see Acts 3:1). Miracles were ordinary, as was extravagant giving to the poor. The early church set the standard for visitation: signs, miracles and conversions, but also Christ-centered unity among church leaders and believers alike.

If there is no functional, Christ-centered unity among the churches in your city, then let's begin by praying for the leaders. Yes, let us rejoice in the beginnings of revival. But, with sobriety, let us also keep in mind that the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God." (click here for the full word)

A couple of thoughts:

1) "There are few things I might do differently" - No matter what church/job/concert we walk into, thinker types will usually experience this feeling. I know I do. And when it slips into criticism... it's wrong. My way is not God's way. He's got farer reaching plans than my list of wants and expectations above.

My friend Matthew has a blog called "Jesus needs new PR". It takes some friendly pokes at Christians who do dumb things. Lately I've been wondering if it's the PR people who need to begin to work harder for Jesus. God does great things through people who aren't always understood by the masses. Think about Paul and Timothy. Paul stirred the pot and Timothy gently came in after and said, "here's what he meant..." Not undermining, but as a compliment to Paul using his different gifting.

People take a lot shots at Todd Bentley for various reasons. Most of which are easily explained if you take the time to find out more. A number of people who have been to Lakeland have loved the morning meetings at Ignited Church with Stephen Strader. He says the same thing as Toddy does... just without the shouting. It's not contradictory to Todd... it's complimentary and someone explanatory. In fact, it's HIS church that this revival has overtaken... yet he's thrilled to loose Todd Bentley to push the spiritual buttons on GodTV. Because he's anointed to do so! So let's get some good communicators who've got the back of the people of God!

2) "When we entreat the Almighty for His Kingdom, are we truly ready to surrender ours?" - Good question. I sure hope so.

3) "Miracles were ordinary, as was extravagant giving to the poor." - This is something that many people miss. This whole revival miracle thing... isn't just a circus. Why does Todd Bentley want more media covering this revival? So that more people can see God's handiwork. Cancer healed... a line of discarded wheelchairs... dead coming to life. (I saw that all last night!) It pumps me up and I actually believe it! I can't imagine what someone who doesn't believe would think! It's about showing a hungry world that God is alive and powerful.

And what for? It's so that God can change our hearts to be more loving, generous, caring... Todd Bentley's wife gave a very moving word the other night along the lines of , "how much do we really love our neighbors?" This is what this whole thing is about. Giving... love...

4) "the goal of a visitation from God is that we become the habitation of God."- this is what I really want. I want to see a city residing in the presence of God. Arenas and cameras and guitars are lovely... but the goal is to walk with God hand in hand to school.

I'm giddy with anticipation at what God is up to.

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