As you read this – we will be well into our routine of ministering three times a day in Ukraine. The day begins early with preparation – looking over the teachings of the day – because once we are in the flow of the day’s activities there is no time to prepare or review. It is straight ministry through to the time you fall back into bed at the end of the day.
“A revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat… Revival occurs when you go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted.” Charles G. Finney
I like Charles Finney and his down-to-earth approach to the Christian faith and the whole realm of revival. There is so much out there on the internet and in print that is simply not true when it comes to a renewal, a revival, an awakening or other times when the Holy Spirit moves mightily and begins to touch people’s lives in dramatic ways – especially salvation and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Revival – any move of God for that matter – is birthed in prayer even though it is a sovereign move of God. Prayer is hard work when it’s approached biblically and not merely a “blag and grab” session claiming verses at random that suit your own selfish and fleshly desires.
Paul comments on the prayer life and prayer ministry of Epaphras (Colossians 4:12-13a) “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. I can assure you that he has agonized for you …”
God’s Word version puts it this way … “Epaphras…always prays intensely for you … he works hard for you…”
Once the move of God is birthed – if it is a true move of God and not more hype – then people will be convicted of their sins and cry out to God. They will need others to come along side them to pray with them. Those that truly repent with godly sorrow and are converted and born again will then need to be discipled, brought to maturity, equipped, mentored, and released into both their ministry and the work of the Church – to evangelize the lost or “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This too can make one tired – contented that the will of God is being done but tired none-the-less.
Of course, most moves of the Holy Spirit are opposed both by the world, the flesh and the devil – not to mention other believers. In fact, often it is those who were involved in the previous revival or renewal who will persecute and oppose the current move because the “flow of the Spirit” is so different from what they have experienced and thus they believe it is not a valid move. This too can be very tiring – especially for those in leadership.
Then when the move of the Spirit wanes and eventually stops – more work! There will be a season of dealing with the disappointment of those who have been involved as well as much time spent explaining why things have come to an end and what they are to do now that they have. Again, you will go to bed tired and wake up tired. If not physically – then emotionally and maybe even spiritually.
There is a serious price to pay to see a fresh move of God come upon the Church and your church. The price is paid upfront and on your knees. The price is paid as the Spirit begins to move. The price is paid after the move has ceased for whatever reason. I believe that one of the main reasons we don’t see a move of God very often and, when we do, it fades quickly is that we are not willing to put the hard work in that is required to welcome, birth, sustain and maintain it. Maybe we are simply too comfortable and too wrapped up in what will be, one day, fairly insignifigant and inconsequential concerns when seen in the light of eternity and lost souls in Hell. Maybe we are just too comfortable with the status quo (Latin for “the mess we are in”).
As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I am being purposely neglegent about a lot of things – just not getting involved, totally ignoring them, or delegating them to others. I want to focus more on seeking more of God and praying for the revival we hear so much about in the many prophetic words spoken over North America.