| Living the NORMAL REVIVED Christian Life|
I received this from Andrew Strom today. I know some of you may disagree or argue some of this. I am just placing it here for reflection for our own selves. There is something about this that rang true for me. I know that if I am not in a continual state of revival everyday- then I am usually getting lukewarm. I can tell when this is happening and ask the Lord to remedy it right away when He shows it to me. But are we not, as a church, getting to this place that this revival life is supposed to be "normal" for evey believer- as it was when Paul was around. It should be- but who is around to show this power of living to the rest of the lukewarm church. I will be standing firm to show the state of revival in my life/heart until the day I die.
In Him, Chanin
Living the NORMAL "REVIVED" Christian Life
-by Don Lamb (June 28, 2004).
In this critical hour the Western church needs to get PAST the
"Theology of Revival" and the "OUTPOURING of the Spirit" as
something separate and totally distinct from NORMAL Christian
life. Christians need to live the everyday (yet extraordinary) life of
being the NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH. God is leading us NOT TO
ALLOW them to become an event or happening that occurs as a
"subculture" within the Church once every fifty years for a few
special Christians. But God is leading us to expect that the fullness
of Christ will be poured out and actively present in the everyday life
of all Christ-centered believers and fellowships.
This is clearly the subtle difficulty with our current theology of
"revival" and "transformation." It sets up many mind-sets and
notions that are simply unnatural to the New Testament Christian
experience. For example, look at the Church throughout history.
She gets broken, desperate, and very serious about her urgent
need of revival - the Spirit graciously comes along - she recognizes
that His power is something that she cannot minister without - she
wisely partners with the Spirit and leadership calls for extended
times of intercession and proclamation of the radical truths of the
kingdom to the lost around her - the work explodes - but then she
fantasizes that she shouldn't have revival for too long a period
because the rapid growth of the Church will wear her out and the
emotional excitement will drain her - then the work dissipates and
because so much focus was on this one aspect of the kingdom
there are reactions and accusations and let-downs.
I believe in these last days that God is going to take away the
"weariness" of our approach as it relates to the TRANSFORMATIONAL
EXPERIENCE of the church. We have got caught up into over-defining
and explaining everything and consequently have missed the power
of simple REVIVED CHRISTIANITY.
Somewhere along the way the theology of "revival" has always been
one step removed from all the other "normative teachings" of the
Church. Revival has been relegated to the domain of the "ambiguous" -
something we never know how to get a handle on and receive from
God. Therefore, revival tarries and we have to continue to keep
spiritual awakening "out there" in the futuristic realm "when it will
some day come."
As a result, TRANSFORMATIONAL REALITY, through deep revival,
never becomes PRACTICALLY INTERTWINED with all the other
aspects of everyday Christian living. i.e. - living personal revival at
home, that eventually spreads to congregational revival, and finally
community revival - and all this being the NORMAL WALK for each
This is the most basic expression of the quality of life that Jesus
died on the cross and rose again to give each believer. (John 10:10)
This type of life is not for a select few generations of "super-spiritual"
believers. We have been robbed of "transformational Christianity" by
good intentioned "preachers" who have over-encumbered our
generation by subtly making "revival" into a yoke that no one is
spiritual enough to carry.
Even one of the Church's greatest "revivalists" was unwittingly part of
this encumbering process. Charles Finney went into so much detail
about the principles of revival that preachers thought they could just
use his "blueprint" to continue to reproduce them. The results were
much less powerful than anything Finney himself lived. Charles Finney
was a radical and lived what he knew God was calling him to do.
However, to his credit, Finney tried to prevent this type of shallow
ministry. At the center of Finney's revival theology was the certainty
that God would always give His children everything they needed for
life, godliness, and the reproduction of the kingdom. (2 Peter 1:3) He
made many powerful statements in his teaching on revival that
showed how NORMAL he viewed walking in the TRANSFORMATIONAL
LIFE OF THE SPIRIT - something God ordained His people to constantly live.
As Finney said:
"There has long been an idea prevalent in the Church that extending
Christianity through revival has something very peculiar in it, not at
all related to the ordinary principles of life... No doctrine is more
dangerous than this to the prosperity of the Church, and nothing
more absurd... If all the basic necessities of life are obtained with
great certainty by the use of the simplest means, should it not also
be true of the kingdom of God... When the appointed means have
been rightly used, spiritual blessings have been obtained with
greater uniformity than earthly ones." ['Revival Lectures, ch 1].
Essentially, Finney is saying that Revival wasn't to be a rare
occurrence. To watch the masses impacted through the Gospel, and
the Church in love with God and on fire was the NORMAL CHRISTIAN
One of the reasons we don't experience revival is because we have
elevated it to a "super-difficult" status and by nature we are tempted
to get indifferent about things where the "outcome is always in doubt"
and consequently we live a SUBNORMAL life of faith, intercession
We need to stop compartmentalizing the Church's experience. God
is calling us to integrate into all Christian theology the expectation
that the FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT is to be part of
| 2004/7/7 16:45||Profile|
Southern Ontario, Canada
| Re: Living the NORMAL REVIVED Christian Life|
The current standard of "normal" for the vast majority of professing Christians is so far below the high way of holiness we've been called to in Christ. I think, too, that in the United States in particular--I'm not picking on the States, I'm just speaking from experience--the culture of "Churchianity" is prevalent that most people in most churches honestly don't know what real Christianity looks like. So many of them think that as long as they're at church on Sunday, send their kids to youth group, and so long as they don't let their kids "smoke, drink, chew or go with the girls who do", they've got it made and that God is okay with that. So few of them ever actually pick up their Bibles to see what is there beyond the Pastor's sermon, and "prayer" meetings at most churches are often a bunch of old ladies, the chairman of the deacons or the associate pastor giving a little devotional, and then praying for the physically sick. Or, the mid week meeting is highly attended because it's a good show--but rarely does any soul wrenching, heaven rending, fervent effectual prayer take place at the "prayer" meeting. The culture of the church at large in the U.S. is all about this outward,
social, "american dream", we go to church every Sunday 'cause it's what we do thing, and it is really unbelievable. Even all the commercialization of so-called "Christian" products is really deceptive. Maybe if people spent a little less time reading their "Christian" Romance Novels and more time reading the greatest love story ever known to man, we'd have some semblance of churches being just that--Churches!
I know that when I came back home after travelling for 3 years in a Revival focused ministry, I did a lot of falling, a lot of comprimising, and a lot of searching--and I came up with the idea for a while that it is too hard to live a truly revived life outside of an environment like the ministry I was with. Well, I was duped, folks. I've done a lot of repenting in the past few years. The "revived" life is truly possible because Christ calls is to it. No one said the Christian life would be easy--but modern evangelism says it is--and most of the "church" in N.A. has bought into easy believism hook line and sinker. The really scary thing is that instead of giving up and saying "this is too hard" much of the church has given in and simply allowed the world's standards to become their standards, and such a majority of professing believers has done this that a lot of people hardly realize that this is what has happened. The standards have been lowered so far across the board, that holiness, purity, sacrifice, and living daily for Jesus by taking up one's cross and following Him are totally foreign concepts. Most people think, well, that's okay for John MacArthur and those guys, but they're preachers. Nobody can actually live the way they talk about! I know that for most of you I'm not saying anything you don't know already. I hope this hasn't come out sounding like an angry assault. I'm not angry, I'm just truly burdened for the Church, and ashamed that my own standards are so often so far below my Lord's. I'm sick of today's "normal". I long for the day when God's normal is the church's normal. Revive us again, oh Lord! Here's a poem I wrote a few years back about revival. It is in an uncommon metre, so I hope you can pick up on the rhythm.
Let It Begin With Me
February 26, 2000
What is the price,
What is the cost I must pay,
For revival to see?
Whatever the price
Whatever the cost
Lord let it begin with me.
A humble heart
A broken life;
Lord, this You do require.
My self to nail on
My heart refined by fire.
To tremble with a holy fear
With boldness to Your throne come near;
Whatever the price,
Whatever the cost
Lord, let is begin with me.
Thy church in this a desperate hour,
Has lost Your presence and Your power;
Lord for Your Names sake,
This I plead---
Have mercy on us now!
Please tear us
From our worldly roots;
And help us, Lord, to see.
Please break us to our very core
And drive us to our knees.
If not now and if not here,
When will Your glory fall?
We need You, Lord;
Please hear my cry,
God, hear me for I call.
Please wrench us from
Our wretched, miserable,
Poor, blind, naked, state.
Purify Thy bride, O Lord,
Whatever it will take.
Dear Lord if no-one else will come,
Alone with You Ill stand;
Forsaking everything for You
To follow Your command.
O Change our hearts,
Please do Your work
In us this very day;
That once again
Your church might burn,
With holy hearts aflame.
My plea to You alone is this ---
Revive us once again,
That Your people might rejoice in You
And never turn again.
Whatever the price,
Whatever the cost;
I ask on bended knee,
I will pay the price,
Whatever the cost,
Lord let it begin with me.
If my people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways;
Then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14
| 2004/7/12 13:09||Profile|
Isle of Lewis, UK
| Re: Living the NORMAL REVIVED Christian Life|
(Pretty new to this forum business, accidentally posted a new thread rather than a reply, so here's my two shillings again)
I agree with the general theme of the previous posts. Why do we consider a revived life extra-ordinary? Sure it is extra ordinary in comparison to most Chriatians' lives, but why???
Lack of faith maybe?
Are we so ready to declare God's power, with our words, but so slow to believe it will happen in our lives!!!!?
If God, generally, works in peoples' lives in response to the faith that is there, it's no surprise we're so dead, we just don't believe it!!!
We seem to be happy to believe for salvation, but for little else. That is not seeking after the kingdom of God, that is seeking after our own comfort and security.
Maybe the lack of faith, isn't so much about our actual lack, but our unwillingness to be moved out of the comfortable inability we so willingly acknowledge, to the uncomfortable activity of faith that must needs take up it's cross and die to self.
| 2004/7/23 8:22||Profile|