Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Life of Revival

If you remember my last post, Christine Caine was recently in town. Emily and I were able to visit Elevation Church last Sunday to hear her as she brought the word of God. It was a great message! She began by saying, "You know you are in the midst of revival when you see things you haven't seen before and you hear things you haven't heard before." This last year, I have seen God at work in ways that I've never seen before...and it made me realize that revival doesn't have to be a televised event or some huge gathering that makes history...revival came 2000 years ago. The Holy Spirit lives in us now and wherever we go, revival will flow out of you because God is in you. We are to live in a state of constant revival.
Deuteronomy 6:20-23 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.
The Lord was saying this to Moses to remind the people why they were brought out of Egypt. God did many miracles to rescue us but too often we forget. God was saying this in the middle of the desert because they forgot. We have to remember that we were brought out of slavery, even when we are in the desert. There will always be obstacles in our life and there will be times when it seems we are stuck in the wilderness...but it is then that we have to remember that God rescued us.
Deuteronomy 1:8 'See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.'
Note the phrase 'go in and take possession'...more specifically 'go in'. To me, that doesn't sound like 'wait out the wilderness'. If we want to partake in the promises God has set over our lives, we can't wait around...we have to get up and go possess them. No matter how great the wilderness, you can make it look like the promise land if you grab ahold of the promises spoken over your life. If we don't go and possess, then we will never reach all that God has for us.
Joshua 5:1-5 As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel. At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the sons of Israel a second time.” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. And this is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the men of war, had died in the wilderness on the way after they had come out of Egypt. Though all the people who came out had been circumcised, yet all the people who were born on the way in the wilderness after they had come out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
Yeah...you're probably wondering where I'm going with this scripture....I know...hang with me just a minute here. Remember a few days ago when I posted Behind the Sword I talked about how in order to get back into communion with God, you had to go through the sword and everything that looked like Adam would have to be cut away? Well...this is kind of the same thing...there has to be a cutting away to come into God's promises. It doesn't just happen...someone has to pay a price. For us to be in communion with God, Jesus had to pay the price...for us to come into God's promises, we have to lay our flesh down. You will never get to the promised land on the payment of past generations or the price that someone else paid. You won't reach all that God has for you if you refuse to lay your sin down.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
In order to get to the next level that we are called to as Christians (living above the standards of the world), you have to cut away your sin and the things that weigh you down.
 
It could be an area of your life that you have yet to hand to God, a burden, a worry, a sin issue, or something as simple as the people you surround yourself with.
 
Be careful whom you allow to speak into your life. Don't allow the culture to set the trajectory of your life. Silence the voices that are not speaking truth.
 
Don't limit your capacity for what God can do through you. I know this sounds like a "duh" thing, but how many times have you looked at another Christian and said something like "I'll never do 'that'" or "I'll never be like 'them'"? When we say that, or even think it, we are limiting our capacity and limiting God. When God wants to expand you, he will increase you...the more he increases you, the more he pours into you. Don't limit God...don't put a limit on the promises he has spoken over your life. Revival is spelled W.O.R.K. Don't get lazy.
 
Your anchor could be sin. If I have a poison bottle and I switch the label to soda does it make it any less poisonous? No! Don't rip the poison label off of sin. The milder you make the label, the more potent the poison. It's sin. End of story. Don't excuse it or shove it under the rug, cut it away because it's holding you back from the promised land. God wants you to let go and to step into his promises.
 
Another anchor in your life could be unforgiveness.
Colossians 3:13b If one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
Worse than being wronged or abused is carrying your abusers with you every day. Release forgiveness into your life and God will open up your future to you.

Alright...moving on:
Joshua 5:10 While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho.
This is important...the Passover is symbolic of Jesus...the blood of the Lamb. Before the people of Israel 'went in' to possess Jericho (before they marched around the walls) they stopped to remember Jesus. Possession is about Jesus. It's not about the lights or bricks or looks or numbers or anything that might seem important to the world...it's about Jesus. Don't settle and don't stop in the wilderness...too many Christians stop in the wilderness because it has lights and looks pretty...but stopping at salvation isn't the goal! Go in and possess! Grab ahold of Jesus, remember him!
Joshua 5:11-12 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
This is also important...after 40 years of manna coming from Heaven, it stopped. After 40 years of doing it 1 certain way, God stopped doing it that way...he didn't stop providing...he just changed direction. If God never changed how he showed up in our lives, we wouldn't need faith or prayer. The Israelites didn't need to worry about food because they believed it would always come the same way...but then God changed direction.

Churches die because they don't understand that the manna ceased. Don't harp on something God did 45 years ago through a certain song or moment and stay there trying to suck revival out of it. God is always moving! Think about it...if God moved in one church while they were singing 'Shout to the Lord'...and that church was singing 'Shout to the Lord' every Sunday for 45 years, trying to recreate how God moved...they wouldn't be shouting to the Lord, it'd be routine and they would be bored to the Lord. The U2 song 'Stuck In a Moment' says: "you've got stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it"...don't get stuck in a moment...keep pressing forward. Move on from both the bad moments in your life and the good moments in your life because you'll end up camping out and missing what God has for you.

It isn't always the world that is holding you back...sometimes it's what is inside of you. You are one person in the midst of an army of believers. God is preparing you for what he has already prepared for your future. The blood of Jesus doesn't give you amnesia...don't allow the enemy more time in your life by hanging on to your past. Don't refuse to be healed. Don't try to remain a victim.

Jesus called you out of darkness to take you into the promise land! God delivered the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt in order to take them into the promise land...but they still had to go in and possess it! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Don't confuse deliverance and freedom...freedom requires change. Don't just pray for manna, use the gifts that God has given you to WORK. God has already provided everything you need...don't stop in the wilderness...go get it!
Joshua 6:1-2 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.
Hear the word "NONE". No one went in or came out. There are sometimes a lot of Jerichos in our life. It is at that moment when you are staring at the walls of Jericho that say there is no way in that you have to look beyond the natural into the supernatural...look beyond the wilderness into the promised land...see God's promises in the midst of your trial. Don't just stop at the wall. God has already given you what is beyond the wall. See what God sees. Move beyond the wall. Don't just settle...start marching! When you see with God's eyes you can see beyond cancer, beyond ink on paper...you can see God's healing and restoration and promise!
Joshua 6:10 But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.”
Sometimes God sets us on a path that seems unusual. God gave Joshua a battle plan that was definitely not something ordinary. Stop though...we aren't the police...we aren't the regulators of what God can and can't do...don't say impossible. In the words of Christine Caine "Thus sayeth the Lordeth: 'Shuteth Upeth'" If you can't say what God says, then don't speak. One negative word against God's plan can keep a generation from the promise land. When you think God is moving in an unusual way, don't speak against it or say it's impossible...see it as an opportunity to 'do' the unusual...and be excited that God is moving in a new way in your life. Declare and decree what God says and you will have all that he has promised over you.

Don't wait around for a huge church movement...revival begins and lives in you. Cut away the things that are holding you back, get to work, remember Jesus, don't get stuck in a moment, and speak what God speaks...revival will follow and flow out of everything you do. Live a life of revival.

No comments: