Monday, February 3, 2014

Revival What It Is and What It Ain't

 A Facebook friend shared a link to a prominent Christian evangelist's appearance on the Sid Roth website. I didn't click on the link, but I did feel compelled to share my thoughts.

I went to see him one time in Florida back in the mid-90's. It was a HUGE sanctuary and packed full. I knew no one there...or at least wasn't able to locate the person who invited me until after the "show"...and it was a show.

I watched and waited for some mention of Jesus, or God or the Holy Spirit. I waited for some sense of the moving of the Holy Spirit. I watched as people were falling out of their seats spontaneously laughing...laughing hysterically... emotionally... and felt no quickening in my spirit.

In fact I felt grieved and disturbed. I watched as some big name preachers fell out on the platform and performed some kind of hilarious game. One stayed down as RHB began pumping the audience to give money. The audience laughed even more hysterically when right on cue the big-name preacher, sprawled out on the platform carpet, dug in his pocket and held up a couple of dollar bills (of undetermined denomination).

That was portrayed as even the Holy Spirit can move one to give. People fell out of their seats laughing. I was surrounded by hysteria, and yet I remained unmoved and wondering.

When I left that night, I had an hour's drive home in which to pray and question God about what I'd seen. My question was "am I totally out of touch with Your Spirit Lord that I cannot recognize when You are moving? What was happening there?" I was sincerely concerned and yet could sense no conviction of the Holy Spirit calling me to repentance.

However, God is good, and when we sincerely seek to understand, He will provide the answer.

It wasn't a week later and I was watching the evening news and one of the three alphabet news sources was doing a report on this "laughing phenomenon" and the title of the expose was "Divine or Demons?"

As soon as I saw the title, I KNEW the answer. I KNEW why I was so disturbed in my spirit. I understood immediately that God was showing me the answer to my question. I didn't have to watch the newscast to get their spin on it, I'd already received God's take on this move of the "spirit".

True revival does not break out with flash and sparkle, and if it does, guaranteed it will cease just as rapidly with a poof and shame.

True revival comes from repentance. From people down on their faces before God, weeping in repentance, crying out for mercy. It doesn't come with fillings turning to gold (only humans are impressed by gold, God is not) or by barking like a dog, slithering on the floor and hissing like a snake, jumping around like a kangaroo, or laughing uncontrollably.

The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and always subject to the will of the person. He doesn't take control of us and turn us into mindless subjects performing degrading and embarrassing acts. No. Satan does that. He loves to embarrass the cause of Christ. He loves to lift it up to ridicule.

As Believers it would behoove us to exercise a little more discernment in which ministries we support and follow. How many got caught up in the whole Todd Bentley sham? Sadly many sincere Christians flocked down to see him, looking for the experience rather than looking for God.

Right now across the country (saw several reports yesterday) revival is beginning to break out. People are sharing stories of the Holy Spirit moving in a mighty way in services yesterday. And there's a common theme. Repentance.

People falling on their faces before God, kneeling at the alter and weeping. That came first, as people humbled themselves and repented, not only for their own sins of pride and greed, and lust and lying, etc., but for the sins of the nation. Then and only then did the sweet waft of the Holy Spirit begin to move across the people, bringing deliverance, healing, and other evidences of His presence.

A move of the Holy Spirit is NOT about emotionalism, experience or excitement, it is about God. If the "move" doesn't draw one to repentance, if it excites the flesh and leaves the spirit unmoved (and it takes discernment to tell the difference sometimes), if it is about what God can do for you while you dwell on this earth and doesn't give you a burden for the lost...then you need to question whether that is a move of the Holy Spirit.

2Ch 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Act 2:37-38  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

In Acts 2 we see the very first revival break out with a move of the Holy Spirit as Peter tells his audience how to experience what the move of the Holy Spirit. His answer: "Repent..." Then if you continue to read the account, you will see that as people repented, over 3000 souls were saved that day. That is revival.

No comments: