May 15, 2012

The Price of Revival

I'm done running only as fast as the fastest person I can see. I'm setting my sights on the impossibilities that are wrapped inside of such real revival and I'm doing whatever it takes to get there. We call ourselves the remnant, the revivalists, but we are yet to pay the price of one.

Our price won't look like the price our forefathers paid. This isn't a replay, it's a new move. They did their part. Our forefathers restored the prophetic voice to the church. They brought prophetic singing and dance to our culture. They instilled holiness and security of salvation. They released the faith to see signs, miracles, and wonders. They showed us the disciplines necessary for a revival lifestyle. They paved the road to where we are now. And although we've only scratched the surface, we don't have to pay the price for those things anymore because their "ceiling has become our floor," as Bethel puts it. So what's our price? And what are we paying for exactly? What does revival look like for this generation? If we really are the generation to bring in the King of Kings then would not this revival be FAR greater than what's already been seen? I honor the men and women of the past and believe there are some things we need to recover (hunger, expectancy, prayer, fasting, etc.) before we plow forward, but there's a new price for this new breed! This is where most people give up. They get so close to the edge of the edge, but they never jump off. All I can hear though is, "we're going off the deep end, we're going off the deep end, we're going off the deep end." I have a feeling people will begin to look at our lives and really think we did go off the deep end!

There is a price for revival. There can be no corporate revival without personal revival and there can be no personal revival without corporate revival. Both are necessary and both have a price. I cannot deem what is an appropriate wage for your personal price other than it must bear the fruit of sacrifice, but I do believe there are some points of the corporate price that are identifiable. First off, when I speak of "price" I simply mean the sum offered for obtaining revival. Although every price depicts a cost, not all are entirely costly. Oh yes, revival is costly, but what I mean is that some of the components necessary to bringing revival are less about your actions and more about posture and attitudes of heart. 

The first of these attitudes is piety. Defined as "reverence, fear of God, or devoutness," it is the first step into the deeper levels of glory that God wants to guide us into. This is something our forefathers had found and needs to be re-introduced to the body of Christ, for the fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom. His angels encamp around those who fear Him. His eyes are on those who fear Him. It is the fear of God that keeps us from flattering ourselves. It's the fear of God that keeps us from sin for it is directly linked to obedience. The fear of God keeps you above reproach. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him and they are blessed. He delights in those that fear Him. To fear the Lord is to hate evil and He alone is to be feared!! And the fear of God is something you have to learn: Deuteronomy 31:12. And that's just a handful of scriptures! If we want to see revival we need piety.

"In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One who is able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety." Hebrews 5:7

When you're hungry for revival, those prayers and supplications come out with loud crying and tears. He alone can save this generation from death. He alone can save. And we will be heard if we revere the Lord and fear Him. Yes, He is a God of joy and laughter, but He is also holy. He is separate and lofty. You don't play games with the Presence. You don't just partake in His gifts and goodness without caring to use them to advance His name. You don't toss His name around like a magic word to grant your wishes. He is God. Properly identifying that He alone is on the throne and that He alone should be feared (not man nor self nor any other God) will be our first step in aligning ourselves to advance into revival glory.

[Further Reading: Proverbs 9:10, Psalms 34:7-11, Psalms 33:18-19, Psalms 76:7-8, Psalm 145:19-20, Proverbs 8:13, Psalm 147:11, Psalm 128:1-4]

May 13, 2012

Revival or We Die

I remember, just a few years back, when revival was such a buzzword. It laced every conversation, service, and meeting in which I took part. It was heard everywhere as people began to get sick of normal church and hungry for the real thing. It was so much more than a vision statement then; it was our desperate plea. Now, it seems to be little more than a casual sprinkling on top of our ministry missions. But that one word, revival, was what rooted me here in Cleveland. I could see it. I could feel it churning in me. It was at the forefront of my mind and in the highlights of all my prayers. It was my sole purpose. But somehow, amidst life and ministry details, it slipped into a lower priority. Don't get me wrong, revival hasn't strayed far from my mind, but far enough for God to have to get my attention again. 

The cry for revival has shot back into me like a bullet. It began with hearing the cries of forefathers who believed for something greater to come than they had seen in their day. Generals, both living and dead, who were so enraptured with revival that it had become their one pulsing cry. Above all else, this is why they lived. It was this cry of the forefathers that broke me, and I've been broken ever since. I've found my daily life interrupted as I double-over or fall to my knees in desperation for "the more." Every thing has shone with new purpose and passion. What once seemed a lofty task seems surmountable in the face of this newfound glory. This hunger surpasses any hunger I have ever had before. I feel that I'm scrambling in this moment to even find words to even remotely describe it to you. The only words that come close are desperation and hunger. Over and over those words sift through my soul. I'm hungry, but I need to be more hungry. I'm desperate, but I'm even more desperate to be more desperate.

He's ready to come! Oh, that you would feel His urgency! It's as if I'm staring at a huge tsunami wave as the fear of God wells up in my chest. But it's not the wave I revere, but what is coming behind that wave. My bones ache with anticipation. My spirit longs. I am set on seeing it come in my day. To see Branham's prophecy come to pass in my hour. It must come. It has to come. I can't live unless I see it come! I will push, press, and tear forward with every ounce of me. And if I don't see it, my life will have been well-spent as the seed of me dies for the generation I pioneer it for. I'm so hungry. I'm so desperate.

God, give me souls! God, give me souls! God, give me all of Cleveland! Lord! May it come! May I be ready! Make it more alive in me! My vision is obscured by the harvest. It's all I can see. It's all I want. I can't live outside of revival anymore! I have become revival, and I have no way of dousing out this fire that blazes in me. Oh, Lord of the Harvest, give me souls. Show me the price to pay and I will pay it.