| Re: |
John: I think you are seeing what I was trying to say. A little clarification. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of pentecost and He has never been retracted. God's desire to see people come to Him and to see His people's hearts on fire for Him never varies or wanes. If that be the case, then we are the limiting factor, not God. So to cry out to Him to send another great awakening, to me, is not scriptural. To cry out for Him to do a work in me so that I can be a usable conduit through which the power of His Holy Spirit can flow to minister, to cry out that I might be on fire, to repent where I need to and run to Him is what needs to happen. This is not because He somehow sees the gesture and when it is sufficient pours out, but rather because His Holy Spirit can now flow through me more freely.
I do think that there are times when God does move in a special way on a place or a people, but the same principle applies, and you made the point in the last sentence of your post. Will we be ready to carry it, to tend it????
In pursuit of Him
| 2010/4/15 7:06||Profile|
| Re: |
twayneb you are spot on. It has to be an emphasis on an individual basis more than a corporate thing. Each one of us is responsible to live in a revived state or condition. We must each ask ourselves, "Is there anything that is hindering me from living in that state in fullness?""Are there any distractions or weights or sins I need to repent of and forsake?" I remember vaguely a quote from D.L. Moody, something like, "The world has yet to see what God will do through a man who gives himself completely to Him."
| 2010/4/15 11:13||Profile|
| Re: |
The Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of pentecost and He has never been retracted. God's desire to see people come to Him and to see His people's hearts on fire for Him never varies or wanes. If that be the case, then we are the limiting factor, not God. So to cry out to Him to send another great awakening, to me, is not scriptural. To cry out for Him to do a work in me so that I can be a usable conduit through which the power of His Holy Spirit can flow to minister, to cry out that I might be on fire, to repent where I need to and run to Him is what needs to happen. This is not because He somehow sees the gesture and when it is sufficient pours out, but rather because His Holy Spirit can now flow through me more freely.
Exactly! But then the question remains, what are the things which His people are doing which are impeding the flow of His Holy Spirit, what sins are His people walking in? Obviously, there is much which must be corrected and restored so instead of a great awankening or revival shouldn't they be praying for correction and restoration and be willing to recieve it?
| 2010/4/15 13:48|
| Re: |
There are many who are trying to somehow get revival through working any of many formulas, as though God somehow responds to the correct formula and it is up to us to somehow discover that formula. To some the formula is hour after hour of "intercession" where they beg God to rend the heavens and come down. To others it is lengthy lists of sins and hour after hour of repentance on their face before God in tears. To others it is marathon services where they meet five or six nights a week until the late hours of the night. To others.....you get the picture.
Obviously there are many things that can hinder the moving of the Holy Spirit individually as well as corporately. Sins are obviously one of them. Wrong knowledge is another. This can be wrong doctrine or wrong understanding of the right doctrine. Both are damaging to our faith and our ability to receive as we base faith on what we know and understand about what God said. Prayerlessness is another. Preoccupation with the cares of this life are another. Adherence to man's systems at the expense of God's leading is another...and the list could go on and on.
I think it much more simple than that. "Revival" or "awakening" or whatever term you wish to use is simply the power of the Holy Spirit being manifested through the children of God. It might have been Duncan Campbell who said, "revival is the going of God among His people." The Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of pentecost. God dwells in His people through the person of the Holy Spirit. John 14 tells us that through the power of the Holy Spirit we can do the things that Jesus did and greater. See a few people healed and raised from the dead and you will have people flocking to see what is going on. It is all about a life surrendered to God, filled with the Spirit, and in constant communion with Him.
So I don't think we need to "do" anything to "bring" revival. We need to be in constant pursuit of Him. We need to have lives that are all about relationship with God through Jesus Christ and empowered by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. As my passionate pursuit is Him, I will be brought to a place of revival personally and prepared for revival corporately. As I pursue Him, He will deal with sin in my life by bringing it to my attention and prompting me to repent. I don't need to agonize over it. It is His kindness to do so, and I need to agree with Him, receive His forgiveness, and turn from it. It is as simple as that. As I pursue Him, He will reveal truth to me through His Word. I need to value that over all of man's denominational doctrines regardless of how deeply or passionately I have held onto them in the past. As I pursue Him, He will prompt me to spend time in His presence. I need to do that. As I pursue Him, He will reveal to me where material or carnal pursuit is hijacking my attentions and energies and He will prompt me to lay them aside. I need to be obedient.
All of these things are ways that God works out of us the stuff that is a hinderance, and into us the things that He desires for us. All of this works together to bring us to a place of personal awakening and readiness to be used of His Holy Spirit.
Revival is not an event that we cause to come, it is a lifestyle of passionate pursuit of God.
Believe me, as we do this, God will begin to use us in powerful ways that we could never have imagined before, and our own lives and those of people around us will be transformed. And when there is a move of His Spirit in a community, we will be prepared to flow with it and see great things happen.
Hope that helps
| 2010/4/15 15:33||Profile|
| Re: |
I appreciate your thoughtful response. Here's something which I have to confess puzzles me. When I look at the life of George Muller, I see personal revival throughout the course of his life. This is both because Muller's life was one which was sold out to God, and also because it bore many of the characteristics seen in the lives of the apostles. For example, Muller's prayers were constantly answered on a daily basis. When I said there was something that puzzles me, it's this. I know of a wonderful Christian lady, whose life is consecrated to God, just as Muller's was, and yet she confesses that she is not seeing ongoing answers to prayers, in many of the things she is praying for. This lady literally 'prays without ceasing' and also evidences the cross filled life, in her life.
So herein lies the source of my puzzlement (LOL). If God is always willing to pour out His Spirit, as He was at the beginning, and we remain the impediment to God working in a similar fashion today, then why is this lady not experiencing personal revival in the same way that Muller did ? Or should we think of personal revival as necessarily including apostolic 'power' and 'results' ? This is another thing I wonder about. It's often been said that a desire for 'power' in ministry is a wrong thing. It's a misguided desire. Instead, our desire should be for God Himself, and not for power. This was Simon the sorcerer's undoing. But is it always necessarily wrong to seek for God's power, if we seek it, not as an end to itself, but more for how it will benefit other people ?
When I look at the praying of the people who banded to pray together before the Hebrides Revival, I see them seeking God as their chief possession. But in their prayers, they are dissatisfied until they see the fire of the Holy Spirit fall, which they know will lead to many people being transformed in a powerful and lasting way. The prayer that John (the local blacksmith) prayed just before the Hebrides Revival began, seems to represent a way of 'seeking God's power' which is a proper one, and which God evidently honored :
"Oh God, You made a promise to pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground, and, Lord, it's not happening." He paused again and then continued: "Lord, I don't know how the others here stand in Your presence; I don't know how the ministers stand, but, Lord, if I know anything about my own heart I stand before Thee as an empty vessel, thirsting for Thee and for a manifestation of Thy power." He halted again and after a moment of tense silence cried: "Oh God, Your honor is at stake, and I now challenge You to fulfil your covenant engagement and do what you have promised to do." Many who were present witnessed that at that moment the house shook. Dishes rattled in the sideboard, as wave after wave of Divine power swept through the building. A minister standing beside Duncan turned and said: "Mr. Campbell, an earth tremor!" But Duncan's mind, however, was in the fourth chapter of Acts, where the early Christians were gathered in prayer and, we read: "When they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
As you can see, I am grappling with how everything fits together. Thankfully God knows, and His plans for us are for good, and to give us a future and a hope. I appreciate the good discussion taking place, on this topic :)
| 2010/4/15 16:57||Profile|
| Re: |
John: I confess that I also have unanswered questions. But it is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. When a piece fits you know it and it brings you one step closer to seeing the whole picture. I guess in this analogy the whole picture will be in eternity. Until then we put pieces in place one by one and see in part.
With that caveat I will attempt a response. I never use another person's experience as a way of determining how God works. In fact, I try not to use my own. I have determined that the word of God is true whether I can experience it or not. I want to make sure I say this right, because I am in no way impugning this dear woman by the statements that follow. This woman, though she loves God, may not be praying in faith, she may be filled with doubt and unbelief, she may be.... I hope that does not offend. I say it only to make the point that what lies in myself is known only to me, and I can tell you of many times that my prayer was hindered because of me. I loved God with my whole heart, and earnestly besought Him, but was filled with unbelief just as the disciples who tried to cast out the demon and were unsuccessful.
Apostolic power is, I am assuming, in reference to the acts of the apostles. Dunimas power, miracle working power. It comes through being baptized in the Holy Spirit and doing what we do through the Spirit. This power does not come solely through prayer and a holy lifestyle. In fact, the source of much revelation of the Word, the source of a lifestyle of holiness, and the source of the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, and the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit all have the same source, that being the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit and a revelation of how to walk in the Spirit. Actually Paul taught us to covet earnestly to be used in the gifts of the Spirit in ministry. It is through this power that we are effective. 1 Cor. chapter 2 is a great thesis on this. Paul points out that the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is the source of effective ministry, and that through this indwelling presence we can have the very mind of Christ.
Brother, I have grappled, grapple, and will grapple to some extent with all these things I am sure. But there are a few things I have come to understand and am seeing the fruit of it.
Lets continue to pursue Him and allow Him to work through us.
| 2010/4/15 18:06||Profile|
| Re: Hart to Heart|
This thread has been watched from inception, usually in the Spirit, but always prayerfully.
Many good points are made, and it is hard to see how anything done Godward could be wrong, however, the state of the church-(that term is loosely applied)- in both continents of the Americas, for the most part, is heading in the wrong direction.
Even as Judgement begins in the house of God, so the state of the nations indicates little of any revival consistent with prayers here.
Pockets of revival, even on a state or country wide scale is not the outpouring, i dare say, that any of what we who are praying for desire.
Talk with many believers here and abroad is indicative of that statement.
Personally, revival is looked at as "on a heart by heart basis" , eventually creating a cumulative effect. The scriptures state this plainly in the fact of "one shall put a thousand to flight, and two ten-thousand."
( It has been thought that this is the reason for the effectiveness of conferences, crusades, churches, etc...)
In regards to the idea of idolatry being the source of keynote speakers in conferences, it is possible, however this often is not usually the case, especially in settings where there is revelation towards repentance, prayer, and seeking God's face. (If an event/proceedings remain unannounced, there are very few who are spiritual enough to discern that God wants them to be at that a certain place at a certain time.)
This lack of discernment is what actually indicates idolatry.
(this has been a source of God's leadings for me to study of late. You might possibly note it's influence in the threads responded to by Phanetheus. Though all the ducks are not in a row yet,freely given is what God has revealed clearly.)
3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
Stumblingblock is just another way of saying idol, and idolatry is the process by which this occurs.
This is the source of all iniquity, ie., disobeying God's teaching of the Law.
The process by which this comes about is called wickedness, which comes basically from three Hebrew root words, explained as follows:
1)>(The blinding of the eyes)
Rationalization-considering what you think greater than God's will and ways... LEAD TO
2)>(the deafening of the ears)
Imagining-(according to those rationalizations)-develops feelings that cause us to think, creating intentions...LEADING TO
3)>(a hardening heart, eventually engrossed in fat)
Speaking and Doing (according to what is rationalized and imagined),
Gen. 6:5,6,7--in these verses we see the process where man abandons God, and judgement falls.
Brother Paul spoke plainly of this in the first chapter of Romans. (please note that even as wickedness is a three step process, so is judgement. Romans chapter one indicates the end result of this 3 step process in three statements that "God gave them up/over to" but all under Gods's wrath, mentioned at the onset of this fall into 'reprobation': Rom. 1:18,24,27,28:
vv.18-24 are step 1)
vv.25-27 are step 2)
vv.28-2:1 speak of step 3.) as a (being) set (in/) of a way established.
Step 1.) & 2.) comprise coveteousness
Step 3.) is the outworking of the e(motionally)-vil(e) (to God and the godly).
These things happen first with the individual.
They then permeate the individuals sphere of influence.
They then travel and cover the land in which they live.
This is why any peole, city, nation is judged and eventually obliterated.
For him who has eyes to see, read into this:
The Lord told me to go talk to a brother here, whom He has put on my heart to pray in regards towards for quite some time-9 months. At the time the praying was instructed, i was asking the Lord "why, this guys more solid than me."
The Spirit told me "do not let words fool you."
So both things have been done, as instructed.
In conversation, he talked about sin, and was trying to confess to me about it all...
(...long before he started blabbering tearfully, Lord had already shown me his sin , the root of the problem, and the solution.) My Brother was reminded that stealing a paperclip is as much of an abomination to God as even the most vile practice. Sin is sin, and that is between Jesus and him. I told him as well, "i am not your Priest!..much less, High Priest."
I talked with him about the work God wanted to do through him, and he told me he knew.
Then he again began weeping and an arm was put over his shoulder, and he was comforted with these words" _______, you are no worse than any other human on the face of this earth. We all stand condemned before God, and only your relationship with Jesus can straighten that out.
He then started in,"if you only knew the..."
He was cut short per instruction with these words,
"You have not murdered anybody, but, you are destroying yourself, You ask God how can you do what he has called you to with that one certain sin in your life. Listen, sin is sin, and as long as we are in the flesh, sin is a law in our members. It's in your nature, Do you realize that by focusing on your sin, you are not even pointing out your own problem? You are committing idolatry by focusing on and praying to God about your sin. Brother, you must fix your sight on the author and finisher of our faith, specifically, when he cried out, "it is finished". You will not walk in the power of His Spirit until you do."
He said he knew; but, he never thought about the idolatry of it all. I told Him that God loves him so much and yet he is turning his attention to the evil that he does, still forgetting the source of the nature to do this, as well as the solution to the problem.
I told him i loved him, and that he could call me or come over any time. Any time he needs anything, it's his.
I walked away.
He was too shook up to say anything more at that point.
I asked the Lord if there was anything else, and was told to go.
i said, " DONE!" and walked home.
Since then, this brother and i will spend much time in bible study and prayer together. WE learn alot in cohesive entertainment of what God says. we continue to see great things God does from whenever we bow down worshipping Jesus together and prayer to our Heavenly Father.
It should not be said there is so much idolatry in any conference, church meeting, etc. as there is in our own hearts intentions and attitudes of "what's in it for me",
"my sin", "that message did not speak to me" etc.
The passage quoted only in a previous post must not have been looked into completely, nor ramifications considered:
21 Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance.
22 For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
The questions could be asked:
Has whatever Christian meeting attended become a sorry substitue for daily communion with God?
A relationship is growing perpetual conversation-(in the widest sense of the word)-between to parties.
Are you doing all the praying and not listening to Him?
Are you in the scriptures yet not looking to Him for the answers?
Have you hardened your heart from hearing and seeing because you rationalize, "oh, i know what that means"?
38 Then Peter Spoke to them, "Repent and be immersed in the purpose, work, and authority of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall recieve the (charity) gift of the Holy Spirit.
(transliterate from gk./ see english literation Acts 2:38
Nobody has any room to be critical of anybody's obedience to God in ministry.
Get a grip: Let go, and let God...
Words can be dirt cheap.
Fight like a man of faith:
Do something about the problems you see:
get on your knees and pray.
Don't critique unless God has revealed to you the true picture for the purpose of correcting the problem.
?Focusing on flaws and glorifying what's wrong?
Fault finding is just another form of idolatry.
Do you not know that by our own words we are justified or condemned. In the same way a person criticizes any God ordained ministry, the same way we shall be critiqued by God over our own service.
What is the work of God for each of us?
Jn. 6:27, 28, 29
Fasting and praying are not the answer (in themselves),
to the problem:
seeking God's face,
relating with Jesus,
on His terms,
I Tim. 1:5,6
Edited: for literary ideosyncracies
| 2010/4/15 20:12|
| Re: |
One thing I wanted to add to what I wrote earlier concerning a dear Christian lady. Had not meant in any way to demean this lady. Through her, I have seen God work in some amazing ways ! For example, one time she prayed for my dad. She asked that God would 'heal his emotions'. That very night he returned home with tears in his eyes, and said that while he was driving home from work he began to cry, for no apparent reason. I think he may have said that this was the first time he had ever cried in his life- which I think can be a valuable thing for us at times. This was God at work in a powerful way.
Thanks for your encouragement and admonishments, dear saints !
I am much in need of God's help at this time, due to a health condition I have which brings constant pain, and some sleepless nights. God has a purpose in our trials though (as 1 Peter puts it- the trial of our faith is more precious than gold that perishes)
(Don't mean to detract from the topic of this thread because it's a valuable one- yet felt compelled to add the above)
Love in Christ to all,
| 2010/4/16 1:04||Profile|
| Re: |
The admonition was given to me first, and not near as tenderly worded as written here. Yet, this straight forthright manner of rebuke was requested of God long ago. (Since answered, it has always brought me straight to Him: on my face. It has prevented countless woes of chastisement other believers recieve. I also know that i know that He is always here with me, because in my flesh, i become a blundering idiot.)
[ my dad's comments to another about me, that was revealed second hand, seems to summarize 'my' way:
"He's smart as a whip,
but dumb as a post.
Polity is not his best suit.
Pray for Him
that he only speaks
as the Lord leads."
After writing on the WoF thread, i recieved the "spanking".
It was all about my fleshly attitude, manifested in calling it W.O.O.F.(tm), rather than Word of Faith.
All in all, the emphasis of God's message to me was that whatever type of movement or meeting in Christendom, there are always things wrong with them, that even the most spiritual do not even see into.
God uses us not because of what we do.
God uses us in spite of what we do.
It is when our heart is lifted up in thinking this is the "only" way, yet it is not in accord with His Word, things go awry.
In alignment with A.W. Tozer's statement that there need be reformation before revival:
If we do not come to purity of faith
in God's Word ALONE,
disgarding the rationalizations
and resulting traditions of man,
the presence and work of God
in peoples lives
remains limited to what has been
experienced, seen, and recorded
in the past.
If we are to be a glorious church
without spot or wrinkle,
lay aside our own thoughts and ways
and lift up
our great God
and King over all,
glorifying Him in His Greatest Glory:
Jesus the Messiah.
12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an asss colt.
16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.
19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.
20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:
38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?
39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,
40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.
41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
I Tim. 1:5
| 2010/4/16 8:29|