Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Motivated By Perception

God has really stirred my heart recently about the need for revival. There is a need for revival, beginning with the church. When there is revival in the church, there will be revival in the land.

Why is there a need for revival? You can simply listen to the news, look around you, and even consider some of the very stuff (yes, stuff) you may be struggling with, and perceive the desperate need for revival!

While many seem to believe the need for revival is caused by the growing presence of sin, I disagree. The "need" for revival is caused by the absence of the presence of God. When Holy Spirit is given the place He deserves in our lives, and in our gatherings, His very presence dispels the darkness in and among us. Light always overpowers the darkness. On the other hand, when sin is given a place in and among us, it takes everything (and more) that we give it. "...And do not give the devil an opportunity." (Ephesians 4:27) When sin is present, it is because it has been given ground to stand and grow on. Sin is a barrier that causes a void between believers and the manifest presence of God.

When sin is present, and the presence of God absent, what once was passionate service to God becomes no more than lifeless works. The form of Godliness may be present, but the true power of God is absent, because Holy Spirit's presence is absent. The answer - become most adamant about giving Holy Spirit His place among us and in us; His presence.

The first step in praying for revival is to perceive the need for revival. How could we pray seriously for revival if we do not perceive the need for it? Again, all the signs that we desperately need revival are everywhere. But the greatest perception (of the need) must come for ourselves! Do we see the need for revival in and among ourselves as individuals?
Jesus addressed the church at Ephesus and commended them for several things. But then He stated that He had one thing against them. "...you have left your first love. Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent, and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place - unless you repent." (Revelation 2:4 - 5) This message was to the church, but please remember, we are individually members of the church, the body of Christ. Jesus told us to "repent" two different times in the passage.
To repent is to return to the place we were before. First we consider how far away we have come from that place. Repentance is a turning away from those things we know are displeasing to God; things we have continued to give place to in our lives. This is a 180 degree turn from going the direction of sin, (which us takes us farther away from God, even in certain areas of our lives), and going straight back to Jesus.
Revival cannot happen without repentance! Repentance is not simply asking for forgiveness. That's where it begins, but then, all of the above must be applied for it to be true repentance.
I actually believe true revival begins when a person makes a commitment to repent. Because true repentance is a commitment to God to change our ways. When we do our part, and hold fast to our commitment, God will do His part. These are no longer dead works, because they are in obedience to God's Spirit, inspired by the perception of our need for revival in our hearts. As we pray, change our ways, (repent), and earnestly seek His face God will begin to pour out His Spirit and heal our land!
What we are about to see in our time is a massive outpouring of the Spirit of God. This will happen because enough Christians are beginning to perceive the need for it. Rather than being passive about it, thinking somehow, things will automatically get better, many believers are personally repenting of any and everything they already know is sin in there lives. And they are motivated, by the perception, to  pray and seek God's mighty face. My question to you is, are you being motivated by the perception?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


You've probably heard the story of David and Goliath, and how David killed Goliath with his slingshot and one, single stone. But this event from the Bible is much more than a kid's Bible story. There was a series of events leading up to this supernatural feat that recently spoke to my heart - loudly and clearly.
We find this event in the book of 1 Samuel, Chapter 17.  Israel's army had drawn up to the battle line against the army of the Philistines. Israel was on one mountain while the Philistines were on another mountain, opposite Israel. There was a valley in between.

The Philistine war champion, Goliath, who happened to be over 9 feet tall had issued a challenge to Israel. He would fight a champion from Israel to the death. If Israel's champion won the fight, the Philistines would serve Israel forever. However if Goliath won, Israel would serve the Philistines forever!
David, a teenager who tended his father's sheep, had already been chosen by God, and anointed by the prophet Samuel. He would stay out in the field a few days at a time, and then return home for a few days. One particular day Jesse (David's father) told David to take some supplies to his 3 brothers who were in the Israeli army. David arrived at the camp of Israel to find the entire army intimidated and fearful from the taunting of Goliath. Goliath was arrogant, boastful, and threatening. He was a well-armed military war machine, trained up from a very young age. And let's not forget...He was a really big dude. For 40 days and nights he had taunted the armies of Israel, causing them to become paralyzed with fear and dismay. 1 Samuel 17:23 says that David heard the words of Goliath. David's only response was anger, not fear. He wasn't intimidated, he got mad!
Back in 1 Samuel 13:14 it says, "The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart..." This was David. David was in constant pursuit of the heart of God because his heart was to follow after God. So when He heard this arrogant, boastful, boisterous Giant, taunting the armies that belonged to His God, it just riled him up! "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" Listen to this. Goliath had been reproaching the army (same as the people) of God, and David was the only one who recognized it. And again, he was the only one who was not intimidated, but rather got mad about it; so mad that he had to stop the nonsense!
Let me ask you. Do you ever become intimidated over the loud, boisterous, boastful nature of the world we live in? Do you look at the sin allowed in places where it shouldn't be and think, "It's too much! It's too powerful! What can I do?" Are you afraid to stand up for Jesus, and declare His truth in a world that literally hates Him more than ever? Are you afraid you might rock the boat, and perhaps make someone not like you as much if you speak out or live according to His standards?
Please don't feel judged. Because I too have felt the same way for the past few years. However, recently I saw that what is happening in the world is not because sin is just growing stronger. It is because many of God's people (the army of the living God) are being intimidated by the boastful, boisterous, arrogant voice of sin. Many of God's people are living in fear today because they lack the courageous heart of God. Simply stated, their heart is not after God. The armies of the living God are being reproached by the taunting of sin, terrorism, and immorality in our world today. Know what I say? Enough! Who is our DEFEATED foe, that He should taunt the armies of the living God? Enough!
Instead of being intimidated, fearful, and dismayed, I've become angry. I've been praying for revival! Revival must begin with God's people! The need for revival is not due to the presence of sin. It is due to the absence of the presence of God. In these last, perilous days, God is stirring the hearts of His people. Prayer is going up. Hearts are changing. God's people are beginning to see what is really happening. People are saying, "Enough!" And like David, they are trusting in the God their heart pursues with fiery passion.
Mark my word, we will see impact and influence return to His church; because many of His people are beginning to be stirred to seek after Him. Many of His people are beginning to see that in these last days, God's power will be stronger than ever. God is supernatural, and does supernatural feats. His vessels through which these supernatural feats are expressed are His people, His church. This is how the world is impacted for the Kingdom of God.
Finally, are you intimidated or angry? Are you fearful, or annoyed over the arrogance of sin? Are you dismayed over the boastful and boisterous voice of sin, or have you simply had enough?

The Cost Of Following Jesus (Part 2)