Revival is a serious threat to the prevailing church structure as it will put at risk every comfort zone we know.
It’s important to understand that it’s a religious spirit that is the force behind anything that might resist a costly revival.
Religion is: man’s attempt to use God to get what he wants
Jesus threatened the church of the day—so the church killed him. They got what they wanted.
Today, it’s normal for many to attempt to use God or to use the church to get what they want. They want life to be comfortable and convenient. They want the church experience to be a certain way. They might shop around until they find the spiritual experience that meets their desires and demands. If people aren’t careful, they can unwittingly embrace a spirit of religion while minimizing the cost, the cross and the mandate to surrender all for the sake of Kingdom advance.
As revival approaches, here are some of the issues we will have to wrestle through:
- All traditions are at risk: Traditions have the power to void the Word of God (Mat 15)! It’s no wonder God is so intent on resolving this issue. The coming reformation will impact many traditions that have become signatures of church as we know it. It’s imperative that we don’t resist the change that will affect the days and times we gather together, the style of worship we’ve become familiar with, programs, etc. The coming church will look nothing like the church we know today. Kim Clement said recently, “The church as we know it is being abolished.”
- Pastors will have to face the risk of losing people, money and their reputations: The pressure for church growth, and the temptation to compete with other pastors and churches for the best ministry, is pretty extreme. Additionally, drastic change to the familiar church experience will be a serious threat to pastor’s salaries and retirements. The fear of loss will hit many. If people who are unwilling to buy into such a drastic change and such a zealous experience decide to leave the church, their money leaves with them. Further, if people leave the church, accusations of pastoral failure will start to fly. Reputations will be lost. The question is, is a move of God more important than security and position?
- Local church missions will have to adjust: When revival lands, it will probably land in a single location. That location most likely won’t be our specific church. This means that local church leaders will have to have open hands and and be quick to release the people in their church to participate at a high level in the revival. The pastors will need to lead the people out as they join forces with the greater city church. When I went to the outpouring in Lakeland, Florida I was saddened that no church marquee gave any indication that they were cancelling some services so they could participate in the revival. Not one. I wonder if the threat of that revival caused them to lock everybody down and keep them far from that tent where the fire of God chose to manifest.
- Investment will increase radically: The time, money and focus required to steward a revival is off the charts. Cares of life must finally be dealt with and preparations to spend day after day and dollar after dollar must be made. Lesser priorities will have to take a back seat to the coming ‘all hands on deck’ season.
- Acts 2:46 (NKJV) 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple…
- We will have to release control: The Holy Spirit is going to manifest in such bizarre and extreme measure that those who are nervous about such environments will be tempted to shut it down.
- Acts 2:12-13 (NKJV) 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?" 13 Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine."
- Most people don’t like change, and that is a problem: Leaders tend to shy away from alienating the people they are leading, but a crisis is coming. The change that’s coming to the church will cause most to vehemently resist. Will we as leaders respond to God or man? Peter, interested in man ahead of God, unwittingly renounced the great change and cost of the cross, and Jesus gave him one of the strongest rebukes in scripture. Peter was embracing religion, the desire to use God and eliminate the cross. This religious disposition is a serious risk to revival.
- Mark 8:31-33 (ESV) 31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
- Sharp yet love filled prophetic messages must be preached: In Acts 2 direct and prophetic teaching was a direct result of the outpouring. The days of sloppy grace and tickled ears must come to an end.
- Acts 2:36-37 (NKJV) 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"
The systems that we have developed are about to be destroyed as God paves the way for the coming church. The revival that’s nearly hear will be both great and terrible. It won’t be a series of nice meetings, but rather it will break a lot so that the love and abundant life of Jesus can be felt in much fuller measure.
FIRST- you can listen to a message I preached yesterday to some engineers at General Motors here in Detroit. Head on over to www.praytherevolution.com/media and the teaching is on the player on the left.
Last night I had the privilege of connecting with Bishop Larry Jackson last night as he addressed leaders in the city of Detroit. This man is right on, and he carries a clear strategy for transformation in Detroit.
He will be ministering at the International House of Prayer East Detroit THIS FRIDAY at 7pm. This is an exciting and important event for anybody who is interested in legitimate, reportable revival in Detroit.
Bishop Larry Jackson is the founding pastor of Bethel Outreach International Church in Charlotte, NC. Bishop Jackson is a nationally known Promise Keepers speaker and has also ministered across the nation and internationally as a keynote speaker.
Bishop Jackson had a pivotal role in establishing Unified 2000, a ministry designed to break down the denominational and racial barriers that divide the body of Christ.
Bishop Jackson is the author of several books including Guilt Free Living, practical instruction on how to be free from the spirit of lust in every area of life.
Bishop Jackson and his wife, Joanndra, currently reside in Charlotte, NC, with their daughters.
- TONIGHT: Soaking prayer at Revival Church. There is a whirlwind in my inner man right now as God is calling us to greater depths of intimacy and revelation. Prayer is the foundation of Revival Church. Join us in the Asbury Room at Revival Church TONIGHT (and every Wednesday night) at 7pm.
- UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: On October 24th, 2009 Rev. Dr. Alistair Petrie will be hosting a one day City Transformation Summit. This event is free, but its impact on your life will be invaluable. Alistair will share testimonies of transformations that he has witnessed with his own eyes, and will give practical teaching on how we can prepare for and welcome transformation in our own cities, and nation. Please set the afternoon of October 24th aside and plan to come. The Summit begins at 1:00pm and will likely conclude by 4:00pm. The event will be held at Revival Nation Church: 218 North Christina St., Sarnia, Ontario.
- UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: Worship Explosion with Shana Wilson, Julie Meyer and Ray Hughes along with Barbara Yoder and Shekinah Christian Church. October 31st at 6pm. 4600 Scio Church Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
- UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: Kim Clement will be ministering at Ignited Ministries in Taylor, Michigan November 6-8. If you are connected with us at Revival Church, I’d recommend attending this event Friday and Saturday and then bring the fire to our Sunday evening event.
- UPCOMING CITY STRATEGY EVENT: RICK JOYNER will be returning this Fall November 20-21st, 2009. He will be sharing and releasing a nationwide strategy to take back our nation in the seven mountains or cultural gateways – Family, Church, Education, Government, Business, Media/Communications, and Arts/Entertainment! OTHER GUEST SPEAKERS: Gordon Pennington is scheduled and will be addressing the subject of the influence and power of technology and media in this age of digital communications. It will be explained what the followers of Jesus Christ can do to be more effective in spreading the Gospel!