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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Revival Part IV

What is it about true revival that draws men and women to a church or event? Many people will hold meetings, have great music and popular speakers and they call it revival, but is that how you have true revival? Is it the musical gifts or the great speaking that draws people to God? No, to find the answer we need to look at the first revival meeting, the Day of Pentecost.

Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. He also said “not many days hence you will be baptized in the Holy Ghost” and later “you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me……” The very first revival was all about the Holy Spirit. These are the things we know that were going to happen: They were to receive Power and they would become Witnesses.

When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, actually there were about 120 people in the room not just the disciples, there were visible sign in the room (tongues of fire) and outside as they stumbled into the street people heard them speaking in tongues and accused them of being drunk. A lot of attention has been paid to the speaking tongues portion of the outpouring but little notice has been given to the latter, being drunk. The disciple appeared drunk to those bystanders who had no clue as to what was happening. Why did they appear drunk and what is the meaning of it.

I have been to a number of churches where revival was taking place. There was a Pentecost type outpouring of the Holy Spirit taking place in every one of them. In each church the emphasis was not on the gifts of the Holy Spirit but the person of the Holy Spirit. People were experiencing God in the person of the Holy Spirit. This was common in the Welsh Revival (see my blogs “Revival part II &III”) and all others that I am aware of. What was also common to every meeting I have been in is seeing people appearing high or drunk on the Holy Spirit just like the outpouring in Acts chapter 2. What did the disciples experience to appear drunk? What caused people in all these other churches I’ve visited to appear drunk also? It was the overwhelming Joy of the Holy Spirit pouring in and flowing out of each person who received at these Pentecost type meetings. There is a supernatural Joy and peace that can fill each believer. A joy that is better than wine, better than any drug. A joy that will excite people to go out into the streets, the cities and the entire world to tell them about the love of God and the sacrifice of His son Jesus.

Romans 14:17,
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

My first visit to a charismatic church was in 1976 after I had been a Christian for about six months. I was curious to see what was going on and took a friend with me. When the alter call was given to come forward to receive the Holy Spirit I stayed in my place, waiting to see what would happen. My prayer was “lord if this real I want it” but I did nothing. I took no action. I didn’t want to do anything embarrassing. My friend came back to his seat speaking in tongues. I was, well, normal I thought. We drove a short ways and stopped to grab a bite to eat. When I got out I realized I wasn’t normal. I was high. I felt energized, I had a buzz and my spirit was excited. I didn’t realize it but I did receive something that night and I was changed forever. My spiritual life had energy. It had fire. I had received an outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Joy, right where I was standing.

Does the Joy continue? About twenty years later a group of us went on a ministry trip to Toronto to help with the revival services there. About fifteen of us went to a pie and doughnut shop after one of the services. It was an exciting service where we prayed for several thousand people that night. We were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. On the way to the shop we were happy, laughing, excited and energized. In the pie shop we could not control ourselves. We were loud, boisterous, everything was funny, every story was exciting, and we were wired. It was hard to control ourselves. We were filled with so much Joy of the Holy Spirit that the pie shop manager asked us to leave because she thought we were all drunk or stoned. Even being asked to leave was so funny we were cracking up at the thought of it.

I have seen people who were so intoxicated on the Joy of the Holy Spirit they were unable to drive. There were even times when I was almost to dizzy to walk. The Joy of the Holy Spirit is intoxicating. It is life changing. When I think about it I do not have all the right words to describe the experience. I have heard it called being drunk in the Spirit but that is not a good description. Experiencing the Joy of the Holy Spirit is more like transcending human knowledge and elevated by the Spirit to a spiritual place that cannot normally be attained and where our bodies cannot comprehend or function in.

Joy, this is the power that brings revival, people experiencing Godly Supernatural Joy. This is the Joy that 3000 people saw on the Day of Pentecost and it converted their hearts to accept Christ. The joy power that continued and people were added to the church daily, with people having all things in common and sharing all their goods. Continuous revival is living in the Joy of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of that joy that will makes people excited to share the gospel with neighbors, friends and people on the street. It is the supernatural joy that makes people want to serve, be disciple and to disciple others. Pentecost isn’t all about getting spiritual gifts and feeling special because of it. Pentecost is all about experiencing the person of the Holy Spirit and receiving the joy that transcends the human life. A joy that is greater than you are, a joy that keeps you in touch with God.

Do you want to keep God in the little box you have built for Him? Don’t get too excited, don’t show too much energy and don’t get embarrassed by getting out and actually doing something for God. Just keep a low profile and don’t stir up the water. Remember, you’re not here to change the world, just get to heaven.

Or do you want revival? Do you want revival in you, your church, your city, state and country? Do you want all that God has and be all that you can be? Are you willing to let go and let God do whatever He wants, even if you might appear silly or drunk or whatever God put in his Spirit to do through you? Are you willing to let God out of that box and let Him take control? Are you willing to be filled with so much joy and energy that you can’t help yourself, you are compelled to go out and be a witness and tell of the glory and joy of the Lord. There is an old saying “let go and let God”. Let go of your life and let God fill you with His. Two or three people like that and there will be a revival.


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