|Are we, \'His Body\' ready for revival in this land?
This is a question that has captured my thoughts for quite a while now - and probably a few others who join in on this site. We desire to see it happen; we yearn to see people drawn into His presence; we long for this land to be healed; but are we ready - truly ready for revival to come to this land?
As I was walking on a nature reserve on the edges of Stafford a couple of weeks ago I was in thought and communing with God as I enjoyed the relative peace of his creation (I say the \'relative peace\' because part of the reserve is overshadowed by the M6).
Anyway, as I was walking I looked to the West and saw these dark thunder clouds moving in my direction and therefore moved quickly to a bird hide that was nearby. As I watched from this \'cover\' I observed these clouds coming closer and the sky becoming darker and darker. And then the Lord started to speak to me about \'revival and how it will affect the atmosphere of the land\'. I love it when He uses His creation to communicate His amazing truths.
As He shared with me, He reminded me of the words of prophecy at the church I attend in the last month - and they concerned \'the coming of rain\' and the \'dam walls holding back His Spirit being broken to pour out His living water on the land\'. And then He challenged me with the question - where do the dark clouds come from?
Sometimes we give the glib answer that the dark clouds on our land come from the enemy - from Satan. But He then took me to the Scriptures. What about the cloud that filled the Temple? What about the cloud that accompanied the Israelites as they wandered through the desert? What about the cloud in the mighty visions experienced by Daniel and other prophets, where they saw Him riding on the clouds - and they couldn\'t do anything else but feel \'undone\' by His presence? What about the cloud that surrounded Christ on the cross? (realise that it was as the cloud lifted that Jesus cried out, \"My God, My God. Why have you forsaken me?\" - not when He was in the cloud.)
There is a \'cloud\' that will approach our land prior to revival that will be of His Presence and it will be a fearful time for those who don\'t know Him. That is why you hear of people \'running into Churches where the Presence of God is - because they are wanting to get right with Him before it\'s too late. It was the cloud of His Presence that caused the armies to kill themselves when Gideon and the 300 blew the trumpets; it was His presence that caused the people of Jericho to run and panic.
In that cloud - all pretence will go, because we will be exposed to the reality of who we are, and if we don\'t realise the strength and power of His Grace we will be unable to cope with Him being there.
As I watched the cloud and the power of the rain that followed He spoke about the Church in relation to His cloud. If we, His Church aren\'t ready to pour out His Grace and Peace into the lives of those who are in desparation at His presence, we will see countless numbers responding as did those in the Old Testament. If we don\'t know His peace and His grace in such a way that our lives are \'captivated with joy by His Presence\' than how can we point others to a place of such amazing release and freedom.
When I visit many churches I don\'t see that overflowing of gratitude for what He\'s done - and often it\'s because in our religious identity we don\'t \'glow\' with thankfulness because maybe we\'ve never understood just how wonderful He is. We might know it in our mind - but has it reached our hearts? We are called to \'Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, strength and mind\', but this will only truly happen when we truly begin to understand how much He loves us. We love in proportion to our understanding of how much He loves us!
It often dismays me when I see more people bound up in fears about their lives within the Church than in the communities they live - but we are called to shine out as beacons of hope to wherever we find ourselves. What have we done, particularly in our leadership that we\'ve caused such pain and uncertainty to remain in their lives? Jesus came to bring His freedom, but have we allowed His ministry to affect others - or indeed our own lives?
So, our Father reminded me that revival will tarry out of love for the world. He doesn\'t want to see masses of people finding themselves even more hopeless than they already are - He desires to see them set free.
But first - He is seeking to re-awaken His Church to know the extent of His love for us. Only then will the World be ready for His awesome revival presence.
After I left the bird hide (thinking that the rain had finished), I was halfway back to the car when all of a sudden the rain fell with torrential force. I was blinded by the rain in my eyes and had I not known the route back I could have easily wandered down a \'blind track\'. Eventually I arrived back at the car - soaked through (No, I didn\'t have my coat with me - that was hanging up on a hook in the back of the car!)
When His revival presence comes - we need to know that we can put our hands into His; we can walk with the assurance that it will be a challenge to His church in a different way that it will be a challenge to the world, and that we can with assurance trust Him with every moment of our lives. Because we too will feel blind as we cope with a new experience, but we will be \'soaked in His Presence\'.
Only when we begin to truly flow in the knowledge of His Love in all things will we His Church be ready for His revival.
In answer to the question, \"Are we ready for His revival in this land?\", my honest answer would have to be \"No\", but I know that a day is coming when we will be. Praise the lord! His Spirit is bringing a fresh awakening that will herald His coming Presence in revival.
\"Father, help us to begin to know the extent of your love for us, so that we too will be able to love as you love; to serve as you serve; and for the joy that is set before us walk in your steps. Amen\"