Watch Ten Threats to Revival Part 3–A Belief in Fate
TEN THREATS TO REVIVAL PART 3 – A BELIEF IN FATE
The second threat to revival is a belief in fate. Do you presume that an outpouring is coming simply because there has been prophecy about it or because hunger is increasing in a region? That is not enough.
The call is to be consumed with Jesus and his passion to see a revived church. Every day our predominant focus must be fire on the Earth. Anything less puts revival at risk.
It’s time. Judgment is coming. Crisis is continual in our nation. It’s time to take action and launch revival.
Sunday night at Revival Church Julia Palermo shared for about ten minutes on the call to revival, and I followed with a sharp and challenging message of extreme action.
Listen here: http://media.johnburton.net/4929319
We started the service by watching a heavily anointed video from the Brownsville Revival. You can see it here… it’s one of my all time favorites: http://youtu.be/4aix9SlcLrE
This is the next teaching in the series Ten Threats to Revival.
Here’s my personal notes so you can follow along!
1. If we refuse to live without revival, we will shock everybody we know with our zeal and fervent, strategic work.
2. We must break the go to work on Monday, go to church on Sunday pattern. It’s not enough!
2. Let me start by saying this: If Noah had not picked up a saw and a hammer and labored for upwards of 100 years, we would not be here.
1. Genesis 6:13-14 (ESV) 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.
2. Genesis 6:22 (ESV) 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.
1. Jesus is coming soon!
2. Matthew 24:36-44 (ESV) 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,
39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
3. It’s time to get to work!!!! Crisis is coming! Jesus is coming!
3. First, we have to understand what the goal is.
1. The goal is not to live a better life.
2. The goal is not to have increased happiness.
3. The goal is not to convince God to love us.
4. The goal is not to convince ourselves that God does love us.
1. Do we not know this? The Bible is clear!
2. Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1. We have to simply know that and get to work!
2. Don’t let your feelings drive you!
1. If you don’t feel loved, you feelings are lying to you!
2. Take your emotions captive! Demand they respond to truth!
5. So, what is our goal? Full blown Revival!
1. Just look at what’s happening in the world! Earthquakes, a freak storm… the world is growing darker… the witchcraft highest holy day this year is the same day as the presidential election. Our goal is revival! We must work!
6. None of us in the room has the goal to simply attend church, worship and grow personally.
1. It is unto something! There is MUCH more! Loads more! The hours of our day are to be stuffed full of revival focused activities.
1. I mean, read revival books, study the Word, pray with fire, write revival articles, stir yourself up, get the word out, gather people together, lead the charge!!! You!!!! Plant a Revival Tribe!!!!!! Go!!!! Jesus is coming again and time is running out!
2. This is why it’s shocking to me when the church of Detroit says they are hungry for revival, but they don’t respond to the corporate gatherings, to the prophetic calls to pray.
1. What kind of work am I talking about?
1. Be in the church every time the doors are open.
2. Be at prayer at 5pm.
3. Refuse to ever be casual, refuse to lose your fiery edge!!!
4. Go to the critical regional revival events.
5. Give financially, fund churches, finance the prayer movement.
6. Be at every corporate prayer event. (The Awakening Conference, Nathan Morris, etc.)
7. Step aggressively into your calling, into your ministry.
8. Pray like a freak moment by moment! Have dreams and visions! Pray in the Spirit!
9. Live by faith… I mean, crazy wild faith.
3. Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV) 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
4. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.
5. Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
6. Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV) 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
4. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God.~ Charles Finney, Lectuires on Revivals of Religion
1. Revival requires obedience.
2. “Today's church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” Leonard Ravenhill
1. Something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot
1. A predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control
2. An event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future
7. Many people tend to believe that they have little effect on whether revival breaks out or not.
1. They may say things like, “Nothing will stop God if he wants to pour out in a region,” or “If God wants to bring revival, he will.”
2. The chance for revival if we live life as usual must be under 5%.
3. If we respond, it’s 100%.
4. We are apostolic people… Jesus left, his work is done… we can’t gaze into heaven waiting for Jesus to return!
5. Now we are ‘sent ones’… people with a mandate to aggressively impact the world.
6. You cannot sit in this church and avoid the inconvenient challenge to get the work done.
2. A belief in fate minimizes the radical importance of our disciplined participation.
1. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV) 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
3. Additionally, the many prophecies that have been revealing God’s plans for an outpouring in Detroit are conditional.
1. In order to see them come to pass, we must involve ourselves in the process.
2. As Mike Bickle says, “Prophecy isn’t a guarantee, it’s an invitation.”
1. The Great Commission!
2. We must do the work!
3. There is a fervent, holy striving that must return to the church.
4. Luke 13:23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
1. If being saved is hard and requires striving, we have to know that our part in revival will require even more.
3. Matt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1. From cover to cover in scripture, man had to do it!
2. We are commissioned and empowered by God to do it!
1. Noah had to build the boat.
2. Moses had to confront Pharaoh.
3. Paul had to start churches.
4. Peter had to preach.
5. Jesus had to die! And, we do too.
1. We have to pray, serve, feed the hungry, win the lost, do the work.
2. If you are called to translate the Bible like Brian Simmons, you can't just sit back on the couch and wait for the biblical knowledge to overtake you!
3. You study!
What will it take for revival to land? What is standing in the way?
There are over 19,000 cities in America—and none of them are experiencing the biblically normal culture that revival would bring. Something is tragically wrong! Extreme, shocking and potentially offensive reformation is necessary.
To better help you take the pulse of your own life and your own city, I am suggesting some threats to revival. As we eliminate the threats, we’ll be steps closer to an outpouring. Some of what I’m sharing is from my book 20 Elements of Revival and some is from what I’m currently witnessing in my city of Detroit, Michigan.
First, consider this quote by Evan Roberts, the hero of the Welsh Revival, as he shares the simple formula for revival:
“Congregate the people who are willing to make a total surrender. Pray and wait. Believe God's promises. Hold daily meetings.”
You’ll notice Evan’s formula for revival is addressed throughout the following points:
TEN THREATS TO REVIVAL
The local church—Yes, I know that’s a provocative statement, and I must state very clearly that I love the church and I love pastors—and honor their amazing devotion. However, the alarm must be sounded. If a regional call to action is muted by the over-saturated, over-protected local church calendar, the necessary strength to both initiate and then support revival on a regional level won’t be there. Additionally, if we allow jealousy, insecurity, offense or other tactics of the enemy to keep us and the people in our churches away from the regionally emphasized mission, revival will most certainly not arrive, and the grace to run our local churches won’t be there. It’s a lose-lose situation. It’s time that we as leaders intentionally monitor closely where the fire is burning in a region—and then cancel our lesser activities so we can lead the people there. We must see the mobile, regional, 24/7 church emerge.
A belief in fate—Many people tend to believe that they have little effect on whether revival breaks out or not. They may say things like, “Nothing will stop God if he wants to pour out in a region,” or “If God wants to bring revival, he will.” A belief in fate minimizes the radical importance of our participation. Additionally, the many prophecies that have been revealing God’s plans for an outpouring in Detroit are conditional. In order to see them come to pass, we must involve ourselves in the process. As Mike Bickle says, “Prophecy isn’t a guarantee, it’s an invitation.”
Taking a “wait and see” approach—Related to the above point, many are sitting back waiting to see if this current outpouring in Detroit is in fact a move of God. The problem? God’s moving is largely dependent on you and me! We have been instructed to tend to the fire, and in our unwitting arrogance we have reassigned that job back to God! We believe God is to do our job of keeping the fire burning when he explicitly requires us to do it. If we don’t build the fire, the fire will go out—even though God’s prophesied plans are to bring the fires of reformation to Detroit.
The scattering movement—We are in the end-times, and it’s clear in scripture that we must gather together even more during this historic season. Satan’s plans to overthrow God were well on track as the greatest movement of unity in history was advancing. That unity gave strength to the building of a tower that would reach the heavens. God realized the threat and initiated ‘operation scattering’. The language was confused and they scattered all over the Earth. Now, Satan is using God’s own strategy against the most powerful governmental system on the planet—the Church. Instead of gathering in unity that would be strong enough to overthrow Satan’s kingdom, we are being scattered. We are not together. This is why stadiums will be critical in this next season. We must have the city church literally together, in the same place, consistently. Read more about the scattering movement in my article You are Not the Church. Remember, a key element of revival, which is emphasized by Evan Roberts, is daily meetings. Yes, it will be normal for people to be in church, together, under apostolic leadership most every day of the week.
A seeker-sensitive movement—I’ve often told the people in my church that I will never tone down the activity of the Holy Spirit out of respect of those less hungry. We need burning churches that result in people falling to their faces and crying “Holy!” when they walk through the door. It’s arrogance to presume that our human strategies are more potent than the supernatural capabilities of the Holy Spirit. When people are in desperate need they don’t look for Clark Kent, they are don’t want someone who looks just like them to come to their rescue. They need to experience the superpowers of the Burning Holy Spirit.
A lack of intercession—Evan Roberts declared that revival hinges on our obedience to pray and wait. The call in Detroit is for 1000 intercessors to gather together in the same place every Friday night as we release fire and cover this great mission. If we don’t respond, we probably don’t want the consuming fire of revival to come. We won’t be prepared for such a fearful burning.
Fear of loss—A key reason pastors don’t advance their churches into the experiential realm of encounter with God is that the risk of losing people, money and their reputation is high. It’s clear that a instituting a marginalized church culture is a much less risky option to develop a growing church in America. However, it’s also clear that such a culture is void of power and miracles. The world isn’t looking for another man-made system to join. In fact, the world does a much better job of building humanistic kingdoms than the church does. We’ll only see revival when we have the guts to call people into the wilderness of extreme encounter where the Fire and the Cloud leads them into a supercharged adventure. Pastors, let’s be willing to lose people, lose our salaries, lose our reputations, to allow our local churches to close if necessary—for the sake of the advance of the regional, city church! Such a disposition will result in a greater grace on both the local and regional levels.
Unbelief—Evan Roberts reveals one of the elements of revival is simply to believe God’s promises. It’s stunning how little the church believes in the supernatural. Healing, freedom, power and abundant life are tragically rare. Its no wonder that people are avoiding the church today. We are a people who are living on the wrong side of the Ascension. In Acts 1, the disciples were waiting for Jesus to snap his fingers and work more wonders. They wanted him to establish his Kingdom. But Jesus gave them clear instructions that would shock them to their core. They weren’t to wait and hope for something to happen (hope deferred makes the heart sick)—they were to do it themselves! They transitioned from disciples on one side of the Ascension to apostles on the other. Now, they, as ‘sent ones’, were to believe and act. They were to be the answer to people’s impossible situations. They waited for the necessary power to change the world, and when they received the Holy Spirit, they went everywhere in fiery belief healing, delivering and preaching the Kingdom.
Seeking an enhanced life—People generally want God to make their current lives better. They want an enhancement, an upgrade. However, the demands of revival include the willingness to embrace a fire that won’t warm your flesh—it will consume your flesh. Evan Roberts called for people to gather—but not all people—only those who were willing to make a total surrender. Revival doesn’t enhance lives, it crushes them. If we attempt to advance with a semi-surrendered people, the fire simply will not fall.
A lack of immediate response—This is one reason why church schedules must be flexible. It’s also a reason why daily meetings are critical. When prophetic instruction is received, the entire region must know about it right away, and the people must respond. In Joshua 3, the instructions were clear, and everybody responded in unison. There’s no way to fulfill this mighty mission if we are only together one day a week (actually 2 hours a week!). There’s way too much work to be done! As an example, Mike Bickle recently called an urgent meeting. Most of the departments at IHOP in Kansas City were immediately closed and the people all gathered together to receive an urgent prophetic message. In Detroit, we must promote extreme alertness and flexibility so we can respond moment by moment to the demands of regional revival. If we are mostly focused on our local, personal ventures, we’ll stay disconnected from the greater, regional mission. The response won’t be what is necessary and revival will most likely never come.
FIRST—Check out a NEW podcast about three ‘spirits’ we need to be paying attention to regarding heresy in the church and prophecy:
- A Jonah spirit
- A false-Berean spirit
- The Spirit of Revelation
Listen here: http://www.cinchcast.com/praytherevolution/68620
Tonight AND tomorrow I’ll be training out of my book Six Enemies of Fulfilled Destiny at the Teen Intensive at the International House of Prayer East Detroit.
Their address is: 19136 10 MIle Rd, Eastpointe, MI 48021.
I’ll teach the first half tonight, and the rest tomorrow evening. It starts at 7pm both nights.
Here are the six enemies we’ll be dealing with:
- Common Sense
- Felt Needs
- Human Desire
- Generic Dreams
- A Belief in Fate
- Reliance on Man
Here’s a sample from the chapter of the book on Reliance on Man:
As New Testament believers, it seems as if we should live our lives by a different code and in a different dimension. The rules are different here. If this is the case, why do we so quickly look for practical and logical solutions to life's problems and goals? Even in the church planting world, the most common discussions on how to be successful revolve around structures, theories, success stories and effective programs. Of course, such discussion can be educational and helpful, though I'm concerned at the overwhelming lack of balance. Where are the discussions on faith? Are people still discussing the power of prayer? Throughout the bible, as has been stated, story after story, principle after principle, truth after truth perpetuates the idea of stepping out into the impossible. Peter did it on the water. Moses did it at the Red Sea. Gideon did it with the Mideonites. David did it with Goliath. The stories are seemingly endless. If this is the case, why do we so often choose to err on the side of safety? On the side of practicality? On the side of logic? The bible clearly directs us to lean NOT on our own understanding.
I don't know how many times I've made a step of faith and people have either murmured or stated directly something like, "That doesn't make sense". Or, "You need to do what has been successful in the past". Or, "Where did you come up with that crazy idea?" Or very often, "You really should gain a consensus, wait it out, don't rush to a decision". Now, in certain instances some of those suggestions would certainly be valid. As has been stated, there is a very important place for Godly wisdom. However, the closer we get to God, the clearer his voice becomes, and the more urgent a decisive response becomes, the more confident we can be in making some radical decisions. In this situation, as we are clearly hearing God's voice, it becomes critical that we err on the side of faith rather than safety. Too many times, human logic has caused one to ignore a directive from Heaven.
An age old question we can ask ourselves is, "What do I have to lose?" If the answer has to do with the loss of respect, loss of friends, loss of safety, loss of comfort, etc., then the answer should be easy. Simply listen to God, capture his heart, and leap in faith! Really, this is an obedience issue. If we choose to err on the side of safety, or the side of maintaining a reputation, then we very possibly may be disobeying God. To be a New Testament believer, as we will see in a later chapter, requires us to live a miraculous life just to be obedient! A New Testament life is an impossible life. So, it only makes ‘sense' to expect most of our key decisions in life will require faith to be successful. We should expect faith to be required. To avoid situations that require faith truly may require disobedience! The bible makes it very clear that, when confronted with a difficult decision, or any decision for that matter, that we are to make a step of faith as opposed to one guided by sight. What we see is not as real as what we cannot see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Matthew 8:26 (NKJV) 8:26 But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
I can hear the arguments now, "Well, you should only make such a faith step that defies age old wisdom if you know that you know that you know that God has told you something. Otherwise, you should side with wisdom."I agree! This is an interesting point. It may seem as if I'm supporting a haphazard lifestyle. I am not in anyway. Foolishness is not an option. If we are not hearing God clearly, then we must gain some solid wisdom from some pillars of the church. Of course, the Word of God is always the final authority. But, the argument that is being made is really not against the seeking counsel. What is most often heard is a subtle chuckle and smirk when the idea of hearing God is raised. Most people don't truly believe that God speaks clearly and continually to those who are listening! Since they have learned to make their own way, and since they don't subscribe to the idea that God is in constant communication with his people, they believe those who make radical steps of crazy faith to be foolish.
Mark 5:35-36 (NKJV) 5:35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue's house who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?" 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do not be afraid; only believe."
The unbelievers in the crowd (note they called Jesus ‘Teacher', they were ‘in the church crowd') were highlighting the obvious- the girl was dead. They were saying, "Give us a break! It's a done deal. She is gone." However, faith prevailed. Jesus instructed the man to take a faith step- to fear not and to believe. This step resulted in a miracle. Whatever you do, don't let fear of man stop you from being confident in your relationship with Jesus! The Holy Spirit is active and God is speaking. He will give impossible and radical directives to those who are willing to listen and obey. If we desire to be average Christians, we can err on the side of logic and safety. But, those who wish to venture into a different dimension, into a place of miracles and risk and big dreams then, every day, listen to God, hear his dreams and err continually on the side of faith.
Fear of Man
An entire book could be written on this topic, and, in fact, many have been. Let’s approach this from the perspective of a dreamer. To have a dream is deeply personal, unique and specialized for the person who has received it. A dreamer, or a visionary, who is spending countless hours in the presence of God and who is burning in their spirits to see their vision fulfilled has an important job to do- advance!
They are with God constantly and have heard his voice. The goal is clear. The stirring is endless. However, the process very well may not be clear, or at least it may not be easily communicable. Any visionary who has ever done anything worth writing home (or a book!) about has had to advance, to a large degree, alone. Why is this? The more impossible the dream, the more radical the approach must be. The more radical the approach is, the more it is scrutinized.
Few people ever understand what goes on inside prophetic people who see with spiritual eyes. Therefore, especially if they are in close relationship with the visionary, and ESPECIALLY if they are under the influence of their leadership, their lack of comfort in the process can easily result in a visible lack of support.
They certainly see point A. They see where you are, your weaknesses, your limits and your general situation in life. They may even be able to see point B. The goal may be a great one. There may be agreement on the value of it. It may even generate some excitement. The problem lies on that seemingly never ending dotted line between point A and point B. People who haven’t directly received the vision will, out of frustration or even pride, attempt to offer their two cents on how to fulfill the mission. To them it seems obvious. Maybe they have done it that way in the past. The problem is that they haven’t been given the dream. It’s not theirs.
To further muddy the waters, the visionary may truly not understand the process either. It’s at this point that living a Spirit-led life becomes as critical as life and death itself. The visionary may be receiving a steady stream of ideas, concerns, opinions and pressure from well meaning, and sometimes not so well meaning, people. This type of situation seemingly highlights brightly the weakness and apparent lack of the visionary. The visionary doesn’t know how to proceed and the critic has any number of ‘great ideas’ to offer.
At this point the person who has been entrusted with the precious and sensitive dreams of God must be absolutely free from the fear of man. Fear of scrutiny, of weaknesses being exposed, of murmuring, of not knowing how to defend your position- it all must be broken in our lives.
There are many times in my life where I will receive counsel from well meaning people, and I know in my spirit that I am not to proceed in that direction. Of course, there are times where I seek out counsel from people that the Lord directs me to. There are experts out there who have both practical and spiritual insight that is important to grasp. However, whether I am seeking counsel or whether it’s simply offered to me, I must hear the voice of God myself. Confirmation in my spirit is non-negotiable.