| Revival... a revival of what?|
Often I have heard over the years that we need to seek God for revival. This has been encouraged both at the local church level, denominational meetings, and through various ministries such as Sermon Index. Many talk about revival and pray for revival. But I must ask, a revival of what? Briefly, I'd like to offer up the following meditation on the topic. Lord willing, such will give place to a lengthier message in the future.
As a starting point that many students of revival have pointed out, to pray and seek for revival is to admit that we need reviving. That somehow there is something deficient in our present Christian experience. That somehow things are not as they should be. Unless this is realized, then any "revival" we are seeking is simply a soulish frenzy of religious activity that we wish to add to our present religious diet that seeks to somehow excite and satisfy ourselves in some fashion. Such a mentality looks at revival as a blowing the lid off the church. When in reality, as Leonard Ravenhill pointed out, revival is not when the lid blows off the church, rather, revival is when the bottom drops out. But such is not something we are often willing to accept. For the proud people that we are, we simply are not willing to suffer the necessary humility that comes with the bottom dropping out. We want everything to go smoothly and easily.
So with this foundation laid, I would like to assert three principle things that I believe to be the aim of all genuine revival:
Apostolic FaithApostolic PracticeApostolic LifeIf you haven't noticed already, I've used the adjective apostolic to describe the things we are to return to. For if the church is to be anything, it is to be apostolic. Not apostolic in the oneness pentecostal sense of the word. Rather, apostolic is a word used to describe the quality and level of dimension to which we as the church are to aim to attain. For if the church is not apostolic in quality, then it is not the church its supposed to be. As Art Katz said time and time again, apostolic is a word we should salivate over. For if that word doesn't get our mouth watering, then nothing will. And if we do not hunger for that which is apostolic, then we will be all to easily satisfied with something much less that purports to be the real thing, but is in fact something entirely other.
In our aim for apostolic faith, at the most simple level we are talking about the doctrines of the faith, "once for all handed down to the saints." (Jude 1:3) That is, there is an actual body of doctrine that has been handed down by the Lord and the original apostles that is to be the basis for everything we believe. Apostolic faith has no room for novelties. However, apostolic faith is much more than ascribing to razor sharp orthodoxy. Rather, apostolic faith has to do with seeking to embody the reality of that faith. Just as the Word was made flesh in the incarnation of Christ, so it is to be made incarnate in us who believe.
In seeking to embody the reality of the faith, such will give rise to apostolic practice. Apostolic practice is the issue of walking out the apostolic faith. The apostle Paul regularly encouraged the church to, "walk according to the pattern you have in us." (Philippians 3:7) For Paul could so boldly state such amazing things as: "...it is no longer I who live, but Christ..." (Galatians 2:20) He didn't say such a thing as just some sort of theological truth as many preachers do today. Rather, these are realities which Paul walked in for all to see, and for all to follow. Thus he could say: "...be imitators of me, just as I am also of Christ..." (1 Corinthians 11:1). This imitation is to be a way of life by where we practice what was preached. It is the outworking of the gospel message, not only in our own personal lives, but also in the life of the church assembled.
Finally, apostolic practice is intimately tied to apostolic life. If apostolic practice were to be the wineskin of our faith, that outward thing that is visible to all, then apostolic life is the wine of our faith. The issue of apostolic life is ultimately the issue of resurrection. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ. And in seeking to live out the resurrection life, we will find that our old wineskins from the world and our denominational traditions are completely incompatible with the new wine we have received. To try and continue on in the practice of the old wineskin will lead to the spoil of both. For Christ wants to act no different in you then when He walked among the world. But sadly, we often want to have it both ways in spite of the Lord saying we cannot.
Much, much more could be said than has been said here. But to summarize, what is needed in our day and generation is nothing less than a revival of apostolic Christianity.
| 2008/4/21 23:50||Profile|
| Re: Revival... a revival of what?|
I posted this pretty late last night, so I thought I'd bump it... Your thoughts?
| 2008/4/22 6:53||Profile|
But to summarize, what is needed in our day and generation is nothing less than a revival of apostolic Christianity.
Amen, i think this is a good word brother
[url=http://www.cfcindia.com/web/mainpages/articles.php?display=article31]The new testament pattern by Zac Poonen[/url]
| 2008/4/22 8:46||Profile|
Thanks for posting this, Kingjimmy.
I agree with you.
The Cross having Preeminence.
I also believe there won't be any Revival without Repentance.
| 2008/4/22 9:09||Profile|
I believe in that word of knowledge, and I support your sentiments. I have also felt;
For what reason?
what is the point?
what are we christians trying to prove?
Lets get off the revival bandwagon per-say, and lets rest in God , I have confidence that HE will Touch us as we wait and rest intead of feeling as though we are on this moral crusade.
For without ME(Yeshua), ye can do nothing......
I feel as though we all are so quick to read these books and listen to these sermons and then we get on an all out fanaticism out of what we feel we need to do. The response has been the pattern of what we have learned, our hearts have to be entirely made -over and surrendered.... We still trust in chariots and comforts
Revival? We as a community, a world of believers particularly in America need to wake up to see our Christianity is currently daunting and nightmarish. I believe one reason is bcuz we are the ones initiating this brand, and not the Supreme YHWH through the Christ of Scripture and history.
I dont believe that many christians in this day in my opinion and also factually even understand the condition in which we r in. Not to mention, our christianity is a safe-house christianity, we really dont want any mess stirred up! We dont TRUSt in Jesus, we trust in the IDEA, the CONCEPT of what could be in JEsus, but we arent man and women enough to step up to the plate with Christ in severity and urgency..
Of course brothers and sisters, I am definitely including me, this is a national-global and universal situation....
Let us pray, and as Bro Tozer stated, pray until we pray
| 2008/4/22 16:50|
| Re: Revival... a revival of what?|
The results of Revival could be defined as things happening in the church, families, communities, states and nations that brings glory to God.
That's the results of revival.
Revival is having the unction to not only pray for but having obedience to HIS WORD, which will bring these things to pass as he leads us, even if it isn't the popular thing to do.
| 2008/4/22 21:44|
We still trust in chariots and comforts
This is so true. We still fall back on our own strength, instead of the resurrection power of Christ. With a little work and know-how, anybody can learn to make a chariot. If they are particularly skilled, they may produce an assembly line for chariot making. But, resurrection is not something you can roll off the assembly line. It is something only God can bring about after you are sufficiently and entirely dead.
Not to mention, our christianity is a safe-house christianity, we really dont want any mess stirred up!
We can't afford to be stirred up though! We have a church mortgage to pay for! Salaries and retirement to secure!
| 2008/4/22 22:01||Profile|
you made me laugh on that note of retirements and church mortgages.....
Not that it is funny, far from it, but I can honestly say that I have heard many people talk about these issues.
I am currently going through something sort of debilitating, and i am use to being active and full of life as it pertains to the subject, not to mention, I have a wife and 2 boys....
I have looked, thought about, reasoned, considered, tried to work through the discomfort, you NAME it, I have no outlet of relief or help, I cannot get this "chariot " moving like I want to.
So, I am in the position that I am literally stuck here until goodness and mercy relieves the discomfort and lack of mobility.
Hey, you know what I grieve at, It might not happen like I need it or want it too, or even at all.....
This is just an example that we as humans will have to sometimes be put in the debilitating situation of having to deal with whatever condition the Holy spirit allows until he changes us....
| 2008/4/22 23:25|