This is a question which I would have liked to have asked at the Q & A session at the Victoria Conference, but my email didn't get through in time.Revival is usually acknowledged as a sovereign act of God, but within that there are often men operating under the anointing of the Spirit. What is man's role in revival relating to ministry gifts and callings?The Welsh and Hebrides revivals had relatively young leaders who were key instruments of God during that time. Evan Roberts and Duncan Campbell were specifically said to have "led" the meetings. Charles Finney was a Revivalist and revival seemed to almost follow his ministry. On the other hand, Frank Bartleman uplifts the work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and clearly emphasizes a lack of human authority arguing that the Holy Spirit led the meetings and any number of people preached and ministered. His perspective states that revival was hindered when someone tried to lead. Similarly the Asbury Revival and the Sialkot revival had a group of leaders when it came to prayer, but the revival meetings themselves seemed led by the Spirit and the body versus one key leader.Is there a commonality in these experiences? Or principles for how God uses men in these circumstances? I'm honestly looking for insights.
Revival is usually acknowledged as a sovereign act of God, but within that there are often men operating under the anointing of the Spirit. What is man's role in revival relating to ministry gifts and callings?
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Thank you for the thoughtful response. Against the Wind is a phenomenal book. I'm planning to reread it, as I find myself facing many of the pressures talked about in that book. Being a part of organized ministry can quickly distract from prayer and true spiritual effectiveness. And I say that with anguish in my own heart.I'm hungry for the Holy Spirit and have a growing desperation for the transforming presence of God to come. At the same time I feel like I'm battling more distractions than I ever have. Many of these things are "good" but not the best that God has.My original question probably relates more to what occurs when revival comes. How does the Spirit move men to operate in revival? Prayer and fasting both seem key. A survey of revival history might reveal that spiritual gifts and callings have become more prevalent in revival as we approach the return of Christ. The one that comes to mind as fairly recent though perhaps controversial would be Brownsville where a number of men seemed to be operating in distinct ministry callings within the context of continuing revival.
I also want to say a greater thanks to you Brother Greg. Your responses are always wise and warm. You demonstrate a great love for the body of Christ through your life and ministry, and you have without a doubt sown seeds of revival in my life and throughout the world. You have invested your heart into us as brothers and sisters and when you stand in glory you will receive a reward for the fruit of our lives. My prayer is that God would answer your prayers and that you would see the outpouring that is on your heart.
Hey FlameThe increased "awareness" that comes with revival, or we might say the "nearness" or operation of the Holy Spirit that comes with revival seems to call forth or bring to the surface these gifts and callings, since the Holy Spirit put them there, He knows how to awaken them in us.Prov 18;6 A man's gift makes room for him. This is probably true in both the natural and spiritual realms. We are surrounded by opportunities to exercise spiritual gifts daily, we just need to be sensitive. It seems to me that some of the "leaders" of revivals were not men who really wanted the spotlight, but never the less to say there are no "men" leaders doesn't jive with the Word. Some of them, out of humility, tried to hide so to speak, for fear of getting to much attention. It must be very challenging. Remember, being led by the Spirit doesn't mean there are no men leading with His guidance.I too am hungry bro. May we see more of Him.Ruf.
Wonderful posts on this thread.I would like to mention a few things as related to the question originally asked: What is man's role in revival relating to ministry gifts and callings? What I am going to mention is NOT addressing man's role preceding revival, nor man's role OUT OF revival. It focuses on IN REVIVAL. I hope this is clearly said.Like and with others here, I have sought God on this. So far, the short of it is Phi. 3:12. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I FOLLOW after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Focus your attention on the word APPREHEND.Let me explain what I mean. Recall reports in revival the Holy stillness often expressed by those WHO WERE IN LEADERSHIP seeking God for biblical revival, the Work of His Holy Spirit. You have read of their concern to discern and stay out of God's way, and that at times testimony not preaching convicts and delivers what is on God's heart. To go where He goes, say what He says (remember what Jesus said and did?). Leadership changes. We follow after (or we do not).Part of the Holy Stillness is related to a great increase in the fear of God as the magnitude of His Sovereign Power is in evidence. Just like for Isaiah, the reality is arresting (words of course fail here). With that reality (revelation of reality), faith skyrockets and obedience quickens its pace. Consider for a moment the role of faith.Now here is the point I am aiming at: real knowledge of God (Phil. 3:10 to know Him) becomes apprehension (actual laying hold of). Paul says it perfectly in Phi. 3:12. In revival Christ/God lays hold of us. Same in salvation: we know He has done this. And there is a THAT FOR WHICH we are laid hold of. The calling you ask about lies right there in the will of God. I know everyone here sees that Paul followed (Phi. 3:4-11) our Lord (Phi. 2: 5-13), humbled perhaps as much as a man can be. And of course Phil. 3:10 precedes 3:12. I am sure you have read how the direction of whole lives are changed (set right) including ministry and callings.So, What is man's role in revival relating to ministry gifts and callings? I should add, when faith (a gift) skyrockets, and we lay hold of that for which we were apprehended by Jesus Christ, (what to say?) He supplies every good needful thing. In a sense there is nothing for man to do but follow and apprehend, (pressing forward? Respond with amen to God?).This is the picture I get, what I have witnessed. Never mind my words here. They are just the best I can do at the moment. MEDITATE ON Phi. 3:12