Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bring on the Wooden Spoon

It's humid today in Pennsylvania, downright soupy. In fact, the air's so thick, if God was minded to, he could drop a big wooden spoon out of the heavenlies and give everything a good stir. Maybe that's just what we need--a heavenly stirring! A whirling breeze exchanging the stale for the fresh, the energy of air on the move, roiling up the grace of new savors throughout the pot. As much as a change in the weather of wind and air would be nice, a change in the weather of Spirit would be even nicer.

Am I longing for revival? Perhaps, but there are some drawbacks that make me pause. Revivals have occurred frequently throughout the age of the church, so much so, that we can look at their characteristics and make some observations. There are some negatives!


Revivals fade. Generally speaking, they last for for about 3-6 years, and then, in about the same amount of time, whatever impact they've made on society has vanished, like the Titanic on the northern Atlantic. It might have been a big deal while it was afloat, but there wasn't even an oil slick marking it's passing shortly thereafter.

Revivals spoil the taste of their participants. Like candy does before a meal, revival makes everything else, even of substance, seem tasteless. The intensity and excitement of the revival experience hooks the desire of the participant like heroin does the addict. Afterwards ennui sets in, and the one revived becomes bored with, even critical of, the taste of life in the interregnum between revivals.

Revivals infect people with a self-centered spirituality. Participants become like kids in an amusement park. They bounce from one thing to the next looking for a bigger thrill. Experiences are compared on the basis of the thrill delivered. Preachers transform into carnival barkers, cheerleading about the rush to be felt at their meetings. Some turn into reverse-engineers trying to replicate and improve the thrill gotten at another venue. Spirituality riding on a roller coaster!

Revival displaces Jesus as the object of one's affections. Idolatry pure and simple: some of the "revived" relish revival more than they do friendship with Jesus! Their eyes on not fixed on the author and perfecter, but on the next possibility of revival.


Then, I look up from this soup, flicking my hands in frustration, spattering the world around me with goo, and realize just how badly we need a stirring. Our biggest thrill should be knowing the King of Glory personally, as a friend, rather than the gifts he lavishes on us, but we're thrilled with little if anything at all. Something's gotta change!

We could use some renewing:
1) a new start of obedience;
2)
a fresh dedication to sharpening one another;
3)
a new sensitivity to the Holy Spirit;
4)
a new enthusiasm for knowing Christ personally;
5)
a new hunger for making Him known to others.


All things being equal, I guess my hope is, after all, that God would bring out the big wooden spoon and stir up a revival.

34 comments:

  1. I think we would have to agree the positives of revival far outweigh the negatives of revival. It was the Charismatic movement of the 60's--revival in some places--that changed my life forever. I got saved. :)

    Revival in Charles Finney's day built hundreds of churches. Reprobate men, it was reported, stayed saved and useful in the kingdom for the rest of their lives. Revival does bring responsibility...ask anyone in Pensacola or Smithton. What do we want?! Sometimes, I think we're a selfish, spoiled lot.

    I have a little book, Visions of Heaven by H.A. Baker. Young orphanage boys found themselves desiring prayer over play. The result was revival...it does come with a price.

    The "big wooden spoon"...my first thought was, "What my wife pulled out of the drawer when our daughters were misbehaving." God's love is sometimes that way, even in revival. He has a unique way of bringing judgment, grace and forgiveness when he pours out all that gooey stuff from heaven. I wrote a book once and heard from up out of my spirit, "Call it, A Great Assault From Heaven." Maybe it's the big wooden spoon assault. :)/:(

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  2. Warning. my comment may be a little off base, but I just couldn't help myself.

    Yes indeed, bring on the wooden spoon. One to be used on the backside instead of in the soup. The church today needs some moderation, some discipline, and a lot of old fashioned prayer. Then she just might be able to discern the Truth, the Light, and the Way a bit better. She might better understand that revival is not a series of meetings or season of excitement. It is a resurrection of the power of God that she has allowed to become dormant.

    Guess I better stop before I get on a soapbox and ask for an "amen- somebody". :-)

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  3. AmeriKan,
    The best and most enduring fruit of revival are those who were saved during the outpouring, and who stay saved throughout their lifetimes, and who led others to Christ along the way. Revivals seem to produce clusters of them, kind of like a grape vine. There's post somewhere in that metaphor!

    On another note, I know a lady who had six kids. I asked her, when I had only four, how she kept them all in line. Her answer: the big wooden spoon. My wife and I thought her family was such a fine example, we decided to follow suit. The first time I whacked one of our angels with dirty faces, the handle snapped in two! Since God makes posteriors with the same quality material he always has, I take it that they don't make spoons like they used to!

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  4. While we're on revival...that is an interesting word...slw, maybe you know where that word really came from. Let's remember, the core substance of revival...God started sometime, somewhere, from the cry of an earnest soul. Maybe we could say the first N.T. church revival was in the upper room.

    Just as the disciples needed a little (more like a lot) spiritual adjusting, so do we, today. I know there are many reasons for revival but thank God He brings it to wake us from our stupor and move us to a new level. If it weren't for revival, I'm afraid, as a church, we might be back in the dark ages or worse, all characteristics of a N.T. church would have ceased.

    One wooden spoon...no, ten thousand strong, sturdy ones...that won't break when the pressure is applied...to the church!

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  5. I've been mulling over for some time whether there should be a difference between revival and harvest? I fear that we've become religious about revival.

    To be revived is to be brought back to fullness of life. There's no doubt that the church needs that. But the author of life is Jesus. Nothing less. Nothing more. His revival should cause us to labour with renewed passion in the harvest field, but surely it is not the excitement of the harvest itself that revives us?

    Harvest is a season. When it is over it is time to prepare the ground again, to pull up / burn the stubble, and to plough, and then to sow, and then to water, and to wait, and only when the time is right to then reap another harvest. When we despise the season that we're in then we dishonour the author of the seasons - no wonder we need truly reviving.

    Why can't we change our expectation? To live in a permanently revived state, abiding in the love of Jesus. Embrace every season with the same love for the Lord of the harvest and with the same willingness to labour. My suspicion is that we'll then see the cycle of the seasons getting shorter and shorter. We'll be permanently revived and we'll no longer associate the revived state with a specific season.

    Or am I just a hopeless optimist?

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  6. Revival.

    Not just a breath of fresh air but life restoring breath. That brings one back from the edge of forever.

    It amazes me how many people can be in need of resucitation and not even be aware of it.

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  7. I know there are others but Charles Finney just comes quickly to mind. He was probably the closest to a true revivalist. His ministry was IN the church (a dead one)...in that day mainly Presbyterian...though there were other denominations he went to. Every believer should be familiar with his life and writings. Just in Finney's ministry, alone, you will see harvest in revival. Harvest came in the middle of revival. New churches had to be built just to handle all the new converts. I don't believe you can have revival without harvest. Not only are the dead, backslidden believers revived but the masses also get saved.

    Remember the man in Pensacola who was cruising the streets ready to kill someone with his gun and "strangely" he drove up to Brownsville A/G and went in and got saved. He had never been in that church before in his life.

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  8. AmeriKan,
    I would agree that the first NT pattern for revival would be the upper room. 120 seeking for their lives to be filled with the Spirit followed by a rush of new souls into the kingdom. Revivals have started with fewer, but the pattern is relatively consistent.

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  9. Mark,
    From what I know of the heart of the Father, harvest may well be the aspect of revival that motivates God to bring it in the first place. "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost" (Luke 19:10).

    Could it be, if we were not so often in need of revival, we would not need to go through seasons of preparation? Did not Jesus say, "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35). Maybe the optimistic viewpoint is the one we all should have.

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  10. One sided,
    You are right. Little children need a little breath on their boo-boos to make them feel better. Men and women need a mighty rushing (and living) wind to make them live better.

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  11. Well, then. Since God is alive, and the Holy Spirit in us is alive. the only thing that has died is our awarness of this. what happens is a distraction from the truth...that is all it takes, a little bit of busy distraction and the enemy has taken us from our rest and relationship in God. so instead of calling it a revival...we could call it a reconnection to the river of life. let us reconnect to the river of life! like having a watermellon vine planted on our grave! let the juice run through! :-) go for it, thunder!

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  12. AmeriKan,
    I'm actually ambivalent toward Charles Finney. It's not that he didn't have a truly remarkable experience of awakening personally, nor that he wasn't used powerfully by God to bring awakening to America, it's that just about every technique used to make false converts today is directly attributable to Finney's innovations then. When the fruit is suspect, the tree invariably is too.

    That, of course, says nothing as to the point you made-- harvest is intrinsic to renewal. I left the following comment for Mark H at his site (where he posted the comment he made above as an blog entry).

    Mark,
    Thanks for the comment over at my place. I too struggle with the difference between harvest and revival. It seems to me, revival should be, at most, the alarm clock (i.e. a short burst of noise) that wakens us to the field white for harvest (a lengthy period of gathering).

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  13. Interesting thought about permanent harvest. I believe that Jesus chose His words with precision and harvests are seasonal. So the question is, is this present age the season, or are there natural rhythms or cycles within this present age?

    Maybe the answer is ... yes! ... i.e. both!

    It seems to me that the problem we have is that we assume the change of seasons is more to do with us than with the needs of the crop! We assume the time between harvests is for us to get our act together. But the agricultural society that Jesus spoke to about harvest would have recognised the need to burn the stubble, dig the fields, rotate the crops, sow, fertilise, water, scare off pests etc. if they were to reap a harvest later. They would also know which season they were in and that they had to do the required work for that season with the same commitment as at harvest if they were to see a harvest at all.

    To be quite frank, it seems to me that most of us are lazy creatures who if we're in spring right now can't even see in our minds eye as far as harvest. Then when the barn is empty and we get hungry we cry out to God for it drop out of the sky. It's interesting that Jesus' first instruction to His followers was to put their hands to the plough, not to the scythe.

    And one last thought. Our God sows out of season and He reaps out of season. So in all this talk of seasons we should always be sowing and reaping at every opportunity.

    Was that a bit ranty for me? If so then maybe it's just coz I'm still processing!

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  14. Nancy,
    Wonderful insight! Reconnection, or maybe recalibration?.

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  15. slw, As you may have guessed, revival is one of my favorite subjects. The difference between Charles Finney and today's preachers(?)....a vast difference. Charles Finney stayed from weeks to months in one place that produced a lifetime of results before going to the next city. He had a persistence and determination that most modern day preachers do not have. The other key element of his ministry was prayer. Finney and his assistant, Father Nash, spent weeks of intense prayer prior to going into a town or city. Today's preacher prays an hour and thinks that is a lot. Also, Finney's preaching style was like none other. The conviction was so great that people either would be struck mute, go out in the spirit for hours or wail uncontrollably. Sometimes it was a busybody in the church, a prominent professor or city official in the community and even the backslidden pastor and his wife. I would have to check the sources but in Roberts Liardon's research he quoted individuals saying that Charles Finney saw the largest number (greater than 80%)of conversions who stayed true to the faith since the time of the apostle Paul. I have heard others unrelated to R. Lairdon say that as well. We have many copycats today who got poor results because they did not pay the same price as Finney and his associates.

    I saw this same thing in the Word of Faith circles. Little Kenneth Hagins running around trying to produce the same results. There is a price to be paid...it is "line upon line, precept upon precept."

    I would not take the word of someone else or their methods...read Charles Finney extensively for yourself. Then and only then do I think you will come away with a greater appreciation of his ministry. I, also, found the same with Kenneth Hagin...many critics who had never really read his writings at length...only taking bits and pieces and what others had said about him and then drawn the wrong conclusion about his life and ministry.

    Mark H, I grew up on a real Kansas wheat farm (4th generation). If you take the literal agricultural use of the word, harvest, you have harvest in every season. In the spring, we harvested hay. In the summer we harvested wheat. In the fall we harvested milo and soybeans. And in the winter we harvested cattle...that was when all our baby calves were born. From my perspective, there is harvest in every season. Maybe that is why the "fields are white" in every season. The prep time to harvest of souls is ongoing, 24/7. In John 4:35, Jesus admonishes his disciples that they don't have four months to get ready for the harvest...the harvest is, now.

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  16. Mark H, another point...the difference with revival is that it produces a "bumper crop."

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  17. AmeriKan,
    The last time our area experienced anything akin to revival was when Finney was here. I do appreciate the gift he had, and the things he was used to accomplish. I was first exposed to his writings when I was but a whelp in the Kingdom, through the Last Days Newsletter Keith Green published so many years ago. Finney's fire and dedication have always been impressive to me, I just wish he wouldn't have spent so much effort attempting to reduce the work of the Spirit to a humanly reproducible technique. I suppose I should wade through more of his writings, but it is hard getting past his statement that revival was "a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means." Is it possible to embrace the gift of the Spirit in a man without accepting his own analysis of it? I think in this instance I have to, for time has not, in my mind, shown that analysis was correct. His results certainly have not been replicated, no matter how hard his followers have tried to implement his findings.

    As a student of revival, which side of the argument do you come down on: sovereign work of God or the results of methods properly applied?

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  18. slw, ["a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means"] I assume this is an accurate, direct quote of Finney's. First, you have to understand the time in which that was written...early 1800s and that Finney was a lawyer. (Maybe that is why I like pcsmythe so much:-) Finney's writings are not an easy read but well worth the digging into. The, "right use of the constituted means," could in his mind be prayer, as he was a great advocate of it and/or the delivery of the pulpiteer. His style was extemporaneous while his peers read their sermons. He has whole books...collections of sermons on the subject of revival. I'm not sure on this one phrase what Finney's intent was but it doesn't seem to be representative of what I believe he believes on the subject of revival. I am very familiar with Keith Green's Wisetracks...in fact, I am looking at two right now, Breaking Up The Fallow Ground and The Back-Slider In Heart. Finney's results and the manifestations of the the Holy Spirit in his meetings hardly seem like what one could say "were reproduceable" by man's efforts. Maybe in light of his methods to bring about the results he saw but that, again, goes back to his individual gifting and anointing and obedience.

    Your last question is a very good one and an exciting one to answer...from my viewpoint. Now, depends on what methods you are talking about. It has been said that nothing happens but that prayer went before it. The longer I live, the more I believe that statement. Jesus came into the earth on the wings of prayer...Simeon's and Anna's (Luke 2). The Holy Ghost came to the earth on the wings of prayer in the upper room. William Seymour and Evan Roberts in their own words and writings prayed hours a day for their ultimate goal...revival. In Pensacola, there were women of the church who had walked the streets of Pensacola for two years praying for a move of God before the revival broke out. Would any of the above transpired without prayer...I'm not so sure they would have. I believe prayer in faith is the one thing that moves the heart of God more than anything else. Without going into a long drawn out affair here...I have been awakened in the night with a dream from the Lord and then instructed to pray for a situation on the other side of the earth in India that I knew absolutely nothing about. The next day I see it all over the TV on TBN. Two months later I meet a preacher from India I had never met before in my life. I felt prompted to tell him about the dream. He said, "Let me tell you what would have happened had you not prayed."

    When I was much younger(20s) in my Christian walk, I was an ignorant novice. I thought anything and everything that took place was God's sovereign will. It wasn't until the middle to late 70s and I heard Kenneth Hagin for the first time and began to read his teachings that I understood that faith has a lot to do with what happens. To put it into a nutshell, God's sovereignty is only as good as the person who will take His Word and believe what it says. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." God may know we need revival but he will look for a person to move on in prayer ["stand in the gap" Ez. 22:29] to bring revival. So, the first revival...they prayed until it came...120 of them.

    The bottom line is that in God's sovereignty, he will always work with man to accomplish His work in the earth. To the man who says, everything is sovereign, then why bother praying. Prayer is the vehicle God uses to accomplish His will in the earth.

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  19. AmeriKan,
    Thanks for the response to my question, well answered too, I might add! I couldn't agree with you more.

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  20. Inspiring to hear about your farm AmeriKan. Thank you.

    I think one thing we have to remember when we look at revivals gone past, inspiring as we all agree them to be, is that our God likes to do a new thing so that we stay revived and we don't become religious/formulaic ;-)

    In my own part of the world, the Highlands of Scotland, the past revival that everybody looks to with nostalgia is the Hebridean Revival.

    But many of us are starting to respond to God doing a new thing. He is telling many of us to GO rather than to hold crusades. And He is raising up revivalists who do not do the work of the evangelist on behalf of the Body, but who EQUIP the Body to do the work in the harvest fields with the powerful anointing of the Spirit.

    We are feeling our way one step at a time and we do not claim to have all the answers. But there is a definite sense to which we are being revived and we are anticipating a big harvest.

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  21. slw, et al., Thankyou for allowing me to "blow and go" on your site. May I indulge...just one more time? :-)

    Captivating as revival is, I don't think it is so much the nostalgia and excitement of revival but rather that everything about human existence seemingly comes to a halt. I suspect the upper room was a heart stopper! The aura around revival is that there is an intense focus on His presence and the awesomeness of what it brings to and produces in our lives. Revivals like Azusa, the Welsh revival, the Second Great Awakening (C. Finney, et al.), Brownsville, Smithton...are the closest we can get to heaven on earth. Some may say, "It's not reality...it's not the real world we live in. You have to come down out of it sometime." I have read of men and women like Lake, Maria Woodworth-Etter, Smith Wigglesworth, K. Kuhlman & others who appeared to be able to live in this "heaven on earth" seeing healings, miracles and salvations regularly in their lives. I'm not saying they had it easy...some experienced great adversity but learned to walk above it. More than twenty years after I was initially saved (age 16), I had an experience of "heaven on earth" that lasted for three years. It was a 24 hour, 7 days a week "assault from heaven" on my life. Normal activities of daily living were difficult to maintain and my family did not know what to think. I saw more spiritual activity and results in my life in those three years than all the other 39 years of my Christian life combined.

    Yes, you readers are right. We can stay connected to the river of life...His name is Jesus. He gave us the best example in His earthly life of how we can stay close to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...every day, without being weird or flaky.

    I am thankful for my "wooden spoon" experience. I wouldn't mind having another. :-)

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  22. While there are some people who simply want to wallow in the great experiences of revival - and the temptation is always to build a tabernacle to revival - I think that pastors are equally to blame for NOT PASTORING THEIR FLOCKS IN AND THROUGH REVIVAL.

    Sorry to yell, there, but I've seen this now in the 70s and 90s revivals - in both revivals, many pastors acted like there was nothing to learn from previous revivals, in terms of teaching their people how to recognize and work with the Spirit's quieter and deeper motions during revival.

    Of course, revival is either/both confusing/threatening to pastors, and the experience of pastoring a congregation in revival is as much a test of the pastor as their congregation. Many pastors don't have first-hand experience of problems/challenges of revival, but I think they find it difficult to reach out for help in pastoring revival (rather than just scheduling yet another revival ministry to show up).

    Lloyd-Jones, in Joy Unspeakable, reminds us that the Holy Spirit comes in power first to affirm/seal us in adoption, and second to empower us to do experience-based work of ministry. I think that's the order it happens, too - the 90s revival started as renewal, in which the Father's Heart was imparted to many faithful yet burned-out believers and leaders. Many of these (myself included) need some deep revelation and healing, centered around the revelation of God's deep love, acceptance, forgiveness of us, and assurance that our rel. w/him is truly based on love and grace, not works.

    Only after that foundation (which was one of Jesus' primary tasks: to introduce us to the Father, and send the Spirit to assure us that we're not orphans) was firmly (re)established, did the renewal turn into revival.

    I submit as evidence the related ministries of Heidi and Rolland Baker (irismin.org), and Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA (ibethel.org). After deep experiences with God's love and acceptance, both ministries are moving forward - not drying up after 3-6 years, but moving forward into continuing signs and wonders that accompany the presentation of the gospel to the lost. They are trying to make their "ceiling" the "floor" for the next generation - so that the next generation does not have to start all over again, but will truly experience the Elijah/John the Baptist ministry of the hearts of the fathers turning to the sons, and vice versa.

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  23. Don,
    Welcome to the Sound.
    I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comment. It would be an unbounded blessing if the church could see revival with a longer term viewpoint, that it presages a work to embark upon rather than an experience to be enshrined in the trophy case. When God brings out the wooden spoon to stir us up, it's because he's planning a meal of grace to serve the world, not that he wants the sauce to experience the joy of swirling. Although history leaves me suspect that the church in revival does not perceive that very well (or very often), I still find myself longing for that stirring. I'm not advocating a "it's better to have be stirred and then stiffen than never to have been stirred at all," mentality, but I think without that stirring there's no hope. We die in indifference. My hope is that in the next stirring, we will get it right.

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  24. I look forward to the next stirring, but the challenge then will be: will those who experienced the '90s revival embrace the new one, or reject it the way John Wimber and others versed in signs 'n' wonders did? Those who experience one revival tend to judge later ones by their own experiences, and focus on flaws instead of on changed hearts produced by experiences of the manifest presence of God.

    The challenge is to judge not by external manifestations, but by fruit - this is what Jonathan Edwards stressed in the 1730s - 40s, and it's still wisdom today. And, by cultivating now an awareness of the Shepherd's voice in our own hearts, so we will hear his witness when we encounter true revival the next time.

    BTW, the Visions of Heaven book amerikan referred to was written by the grandfather of Rolland Baker, now ministering with his wife Heidi in Mozambique (irismin.org). They are experiencing an open heaven there, with regular healings and deliverances manifested through the gospel and simple expressions of love to abandoned children and others hungry for a real God. See their YouTube video s by searching there for "irisministries".

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  25. slw & Don....The last two comments were very good, right on and, yet, add another side of revival that cannot be ignored. Spiritual as he was, William Seymour struggled with the Azusa revival...in the leading and direction of it. In his situation there were plenty of flakes and "witchcraft", as is noted in their journals. Seymour called for Charles Parham's help (advice and guidance). But, apparently, Parham did not respond immediately to Seymour's plea and when Parham finally did go to California to his aid, Seymour did not receive Parham's correction and heartfelt concern. It did not take long before things began to fizzle out and the flesh took over.

    On the flip side of this, I have personally observed the Smithton revival in Missouri, which subsequently moved the entire church to Kansas City. Can you imagine 2/3 of a congregation digging up their roots and moving, family, jobs, lock, stock and barrell two hours away to K.C.?! But that is what they did. Though they do not hold the daily services like they use to in the peak of the revival, there is still a spirit of revival in their midst. Steve Gray,the senior pastor, has been masterful in teaching these people, many who were saved in the revival, the Word of God in a very diligent way. I will repeat, "If you just get the Holy Ghost, you will blow up; if you just get the Word, you will dry up and if you get both, you will grow up." I believe this is an original quote from the late Gordan Lindsay from Christ For The Nations but it is so true.

    Steve Gray has taught the Word to these people in order to "keep their feet on the ground", so to speak and keep them in the middle of the road, not off in the ditch of la-la land. The success and continuation of the revival spirit is so critical to the direction and oversight of the church leadership.

    Revival is truely a mission to the the whole world and it isn't, "all about us." I believe if a man/woman remains humble and teachable by the Holy Spirit, He will and can lead them into "all truth," regardless if he/she has a mentor. It would be nice to have the Bakers, the Parhams and the Grays close but unfortunately that is not always the case.

    I am reminded of Evan Roberts and the Welsh revival. Roberts was so young, though a very spiritual youngster, but under the pressure succombed to a nervous breakdown. The remainder of his life was spent, as some would say, in seclusion and isolation...never fully recovering.

    How can we not learn from our predecessors. Scripture tells us that the lives of the patriarchs was as "an e(s)ample," to us, the future generations of the inheritance.

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  26. Don & Amerikan,
    Great thoughts. If there are folk thinking this way (you guys CAN'T be alone in this), and they are open to and yearning for the stirring of God, how long can it be before we see the wooden spoon?

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  27. I think the spoon gets stirring when God sees hearts that are newly or continually broken before him, regarding the need for personal and corporate holiness before God, and the strong desire for him to "rend the heavens and come down." This leads to our filling up the heavenly bowls with heartfelt prayer, accompanied by fasting, brokenness and humble obedience.

    On a corporate level, heartfelt teaching, preaching and worship by revival-yearning leaders is vital to bringing revival to congregations. It was very instructive for me to learn that, before the fire fell in Toronto and Brownsville, their leaders had been desperate for months, seeking God for a fresh touch of fire and joy.

    Randy Clark and Tommy Tenney had been desperate, as well, and God first touched them before using them to light fresh fires all over the nation. I remember that Steve Gray was at the same point of utter desperation, with his wife and congregation praying for him to be touched with God.

    My point, ultimately, is that revival starts with each one of us, but especially with leaders who have spiritual authority and responsibility to lead and shepherd others into/through revival. We need broken, desperate leaders who have had it with church-growth and purpose-driven programs, and will no longer be satisfied with anything less than GOD HIMSELF.

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  28. Don,
    "We need broken, desperate leaders who have had it with church-growth and purpose-driven programs, and will no longer be satisfied with anything less than GOD HIMSELF."

    Amen, brother!

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  29. Don, "utter desperation" and "desperate leaders" are the key. Matt. 5:6 says those that hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. Everything in the spirit realm begins with spiritual hunger. I don't believe we can get very far with God without spiritual hunger and it must be continual...to take us from "one level of glory to the next." It was spiritual hunger that caused the disciples to drop their nets and follow Jesus. It was a lack of spiritual hunger that caused seventy some to leave Jesus. Spiritual hunger will supercede anyother draw on our lives. It is vital for survival...to the believer.

    This is actually a two in one post, so here is the other part.
    Don...I missed your last post before I posted, so this is a follow up post to your post. ;)
    Your comment shows one of the more glaring negatives of revival...refusing to endorse susequent moves of God, ie., the Pentecostals did not endorse the Charismatic movement of the 60s; the Charismatics did not endorse the Word of Faith movement of the 70s and 80s; the Word of Faith did not jump on the Toronto laughing revival, either.

    You can pretty well tell what revival/movement a person was saved in by the songs, worship style and ministry they lean to. People tend to get stuck in the initial blessing of their lives and project the attitude that there is nothing more to gain or learn, refusing to grow from their original point of spiritual reference.

    I remember when I was first saved in the 60s. I had a problem with new worship songs coming on the scene. I wanted to hold on to the blessing of the old songs and not progess to the new that God was pouring out. It took me a few years--maybe many--to realize that God is the same.ButHe is ever changing to challenge us to grow and not become stagnant, continuing to reach for more of Him which is endless. Not that the old should be done away with for He takes the new and builds on and adds to the old. God often must bring a new revival/movement because we are stuck in a rut with the old and refuse to grow further. Sadly, some die there. Consequently, we have entire organizations based on a revival or movement and they have ceased hungering.

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  30. Thanks for your replies, gents.

    amerikan, I agree with your remarks about being stuck in ruts. There are entire denominations that were birthed in revival, and now steadfastly refuse revival because it doesn't look like *their* revival - or, they themselves have never experienced revival, and would likely even have rejected their own founders (e.g., John Wesley).

    (Randy Clark has published an *unedited* account of the Shantung Revival that occurred among Baptist missionaries to China, so Baptists can see that God visited their own people with a signs 'n' wonders revival in the 20th century!)

    This is why I mentioned the need to cultivate a really personal, intimate relationship with God in the secret place, so we remain able to hear his voice and able to accept that he may be pouring a new wine that requires a new wineskin.

    I pray I will live to see yet another major revival, and have grace not to reject it!

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  31. Let me see...the big wooden spoon, desperate, stirring, spiritual hunger, river of life, the secret place, connected, spiritual assault, prayer, seasons, harvest, much humility, repentance, correction, error, and a big dose of forgiveness because of Jesus' shed blood...perhaps, heaven will come to earth...before we get there.

    slw, thankyou for allowing us this inspiring forum!

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  32. slw
    sorry it took me so long to get here..

    All I can say is AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!

    One thing I think that is holding back revival is the pressure to make it happen like it did back when...which God is obviously not going to do; He's got too much in His arsenal...

    I also see an element of pride in some churches I go to; esp. smaller churches (which is where the majority of our ministry takes place) they want to be THE church Charisma writes about in their next issue....

    Just give me Jesus!

    Thanks slw for a great post!

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  33. Bill Johnson on the Kingdom of God and Seasons of the Spirit

    "His Kingdom only knows increase and acceleration. It is the hunger of God's people that helps accelerate the process of development and growth and actually speeds up time. It is my conviction that God is trying to get rid of our excuse concerning "seasons". Many have lived in spiritual winter for most of their lives and called it 'God's dealings'. The metaphor of the seaons have become an excuse for moodiness, unbelief, depression, inactivity and the like. It must end.

    There is a message for us in the cursed fig tree. Jesus cursed it for not bearing fruit out of season. It died immediately. Was He unreasonable? Did He lose His temper? Or was He showing us something about His expectations for our lives that we'd just as soon ignore? He has the right to expect the fruit of the impossible from those He has created for the impossible".

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  34. SMD,
    Welcome to the Sound. As much as I have found Bill Johnson an interesting figure, I have to admit the Lakeland affair has shaken my confidence in his judgment and discernment. I realize guilt by association is a slippery slope, but then again is unbridled acceptance of everything and everyone that comes down the pike.

    I don't think the first two sentences in what you quoted are backed up scripturally or historically, and seems to me are directly at odds with the biblical theme of the remnant. It certainly is motivating, and God knows we need that, but I don't see that it represents scriptural truth.

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Any comment in ill taste or not germane to the post may be deleted without warning. I am under no obligation to give anyone an opportunity to call me names or impugn my motives or integrity. If you can't play nice, go somewhere else and play.