Five years ago the words “Healing” and “Revival” was rarely accepted with an applaud. I can remember telling someone that there was a definite physical healing in a church. The response was very skeptic and almost – “does that happen to-day?” Deep down I think people are really hoping that the church does the massive mandate of: “go, heal the sick….”, because that seems to be the only hope for the desperate. Revival is synonymous with “Awakening”. South Africa is in a very interesting place spiritually at the moment.
Below is hopefully some direction, insights, and ammunition for individuals and church leaders.
A burning heart will find for itself a flaming tongue. Your mouth is the most powerful weapon you have – what is it saying?
What are the indications of a revival?
- When a nation is severely oppressed, and there seems to be no answers.
- When lawlessness, bribery and corruption abound.
- When the value of life is cheap and irrelevant.
- All genuine revivals are simply God coming with great grace to his Church.
What are the igniting signs of awakening?
- When the church (all denominations and expressions of Christianity) falls on its knees and prays.
- When people cry out to a living God, it marks an era in the influence of the church.
- It is triggered by a man who leads all to The Man – Jesus. (E. Roberts; W. Seymour; D. Cambell)
- It is not about a personality, or lead by that personality; but about Christ being the center of all persons – again.
- Primarily – the Agency is man; Instrument is the Word of God & The Holy Spirit.
- The revival that springs from a heart, which is directed and intensified by the pure preaching of the pure word of God, and in which, and through which, prayer, mighty prayer, prevails, will be a revival that will stay in its coming.
What does the church continue to do?
- A powerful consecration to God. (One of the primary signs is back-sliders come running back to church).
- There are the fresh baptisms—especially in the Holy Spirit.
- The nature of the preaching is of the first importance; the preacher has to up his intensity.
- The word of God in its purity and strength must be given. The sword must be unsheathed, and cut with both edges. The Word/Truth is given to its Holy application more than ever.
- Worship (Jesus, blood, cross, victory centered) is with all one has, to the victory of Christ over sin, sickness and death.
- The Spirit of God is the quickening energy that is to be let loose, and never contained.
- The church should transition from a hospital of invalids to a camp of soldiers.
- The church dormant becomes the church militant.
- The church instead of being run as usual, will be out of standard control. As Vance Havner siad: “Sunday morning Christianity is the greatest hindrance to revival”. John Blanchard: “It cannot be planned it is a divine interruption”.
Revival in the Isle of Lewis, Hebrides 1948-1952; was sustained by some of these factors:
- Communion: done regularly with fearful focus and application. Not as a thing done because of doing the thing.
- Family Altar: most homes conducted family prayers every day: Bible was read, Psalm was sung, prayer was given by all the family.
- Word of God: All bowed to the authority of the word in all its wholeness.
- Church attendance: Whole communities attended church and if you did not you were almost considered ungodly and would be outside the spirit of community. What the minister said had huge impact and influence.
- Sundays: Everyone attended – it was almost a community crime not to attend.
- Singing: As a direct testimony from Mrs. Mary Morrison at No 2 Shader, near Steinacleit Cairn, on the Lewis Isle. As I sat in her lounge she said this: “We could hear the singing across the moors from 30 miles away as they sang to our Lord in a cottage, waves and waves of songs came to our ears”. There was no amplifier, the cottage walls were of stone, over 350cm’s thick. “Yes it must have been angels” The truth is you sing with all you have….the word of God.
- Prayer: Elders and deacons were called upon to lead the meeting. Anyone was free to pray. It was fully attended – as another ‘service’.
- Children: they were taught biblical doctrine, and examined on it.
- 5 points were made clear to all:
- The depravity of man & the consequence of sin;
- The reality of heaven and hell,
- God’s forgiveness & power of the Holy Spirit,
- Joy of victory over sin, sickness and death.
- The second Coming.
- If we are to obtain a revival we must go directly to the Holy Ghost for it, and not resort to the machinery of the professional revival-maker.
- The revival element belongs to the individual, as well as to the church.
- You can keep yourself in revival as long as you remain anonymous.
- You know you will remain in revival if you remain a novis….because once you think you get to know what you are doing, chances are you have drawn the line to your own growth.
- The Holy Ghost must come into the living heart through living truth, and so bring nutriment and stimulant to the pining spirit, for so only can it be revived.