REFLECTIONS #130: RETREAT OR REVIVAL?



“A revived church is the only hope for a dying world.” –Andrew Murray


If you’ve taken a look at the world, including our own nation, lately, you see we are in a dire time. Goodness, kindness, respect for God, respect for authority at all levels, gentleness, self-control, and morality are all on the ropes. A spirit of darkness has enveloped the world, including our own nation. God is not only not accepted or respected, He is openly rejected and mocked, as are His followers. There are many in the world today who are quite literally shaking their fists at the face of God. The world is dying to everything good. Living in a world without good in it is a foretaste of hell.


It would be easy to give in to despair and fear, which is exactly what satan is trying to drive us into. There’s no denying: things look dark. There are no longer safe places, safe countries to go to, in the world. The United States of America has set itself on a course of destruction and tyranny by the embrace of socialism and Marxism. It is no longer a place to flee to for safety, for freedom, for opportunity.


ARISE, SHINE!


At least, that’s what satan wants us to believe! He wants us to lay down our swords. He wants us to stop praying. He wants us to stop believing in GOD. It’s a story that has played out over and over in the world since Adam and Eve. Satan thinks he has succeeded in destroying mankind with so much evil that he is irredeemable, and therefore, he, satan, wins and God loses. But every time, in the Kairos moment, God intervenes, and satan’s defeat is once again demonstrated! Even in those moments that are the darkest, while satan is saying, “I’ve won! I’ve won!” God is saying, “Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” Luke 21:28.


“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you” Isaiah 60:1-2).


The last thing satan wants is for us to look up, because when we look up, satan sees a boot coming down on his head!



RESURRECTION: THIS IS THE HOUR OF THE CHURCH


The Church was birthed in the darkest time of history. The very Son of God had been crucified by the Romans at the insistence of the Jewish religious leaders and the mob who were so easily led by them. Dazed, demoralized, confused, and hopeless, those who had faithfully followed Jesus slunk back to their homes. None of it made sense. What were they supposed to do now? They had staked everything on their belief in Jesus as the coming Messiah. Now he was dead, and they all might soon be dead, too.


Then Jesus interrupted satan’s victory party by rising from the dead and giving him a thrashing, publicly and triumphantly!


When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross” (Col. 2:15 TPT AMP).


Jesus appeared to five hundred of His disciples, gave them their commissions, and told them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power. Of the five hundred, only one hundred and twenty waited in the upper room, praying and fasting and looking for the promise. With those faithful 120, the Holy Spirit ignited the ekklesia, the Church, and turned the world upside down!


God has never needed a majority to win! As the Bible clearly demonstrates, He loves to cause His people to triumph in the face of impossible odds! Why? Because it’s not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit! (See Zechariah 4:6). A Holy Ghost-filled Church that began with only 120 men and women, brought very bright light into a very dark, sin-sick, hurting world! That is still the commission of the Church today. As faithful followers of Jesus Christ, that is still our commission today!


“Sunday morning Christianity is the greatest hindrance to true revival.” –Vance Havner


What is Sunday morning Christianity? I believe it is what most of us grew up in and have experienced. Sunday morning Christians go to church on Sunday mornings, and that checks their box for “duty fulfilled.” They speak the Christian language at Church, and often, before they can even get their car out of the church parking lot, their Christian language is replaced by that of the world, if not by that of satan. Their Christianity is laid on a shelf until the next Sunday. Sunday morning Christianity is the greatest hindrance to revival, because its practitioners don’t know they need to be revived! They point out their check in the box of Sunday morning church attendance, and maybe even, the box labeled “Tithe;” but Jesus calls them the lukewarm, whom he will vomit out of his mouth, because they do not know that they are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—.” (See Rev. 3:14-18.)


A Sunday morning Church and a Sunday morning Christian do not produce salt and light in the world, as evidenced by the current darkness and corruption in the world today. Sunday morning Christianity is what makes revival necessary!


A GREAT TEST IS COMING FOR THE AMERICAN CHURCH


Whatever happens in the next several days or few weeks, there will continue to be intense spiritual warfare, division and turmoil in our nation for a season. The question is how the American Church will respond. Will we seek God, repent for our Sunday morning Christianity, and consecrate ourselves to Him completely, which will bring revival? Or will we retreat behind the safety of our “don’t make waves, keep a low-profile, Sunday morning Christianity?”

There cannot and will not be a revival in the Church of America until there is revival in the hearts of individual Christians. And though God loves every person individually and desires that all be saved and all love Him with a hot burning love, He will move with those who consecrate themselves to Him. There is a true Church and there is a “mixed-multitude” Church. And the “mixed” part has nothing to do with race, color, ethnicity, political party, economic status, or gender; it has everything to do with which God is being believed and worshipped: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or the false gods of the world. Just as the children of Israel had within their group idol worshippers from Egypt, the Church has idol worshippers mixed in with the true believers. God knows which is which, and He will continue to shake the Church and separate the worshippers of false gods from those who worship Him alone.


There will be a great falling away in the Church. The idol worshippers and the lukewarm will leave, because God’s pastors, preachers, and prophets are going to speak His word with increased boldness, and many will be offended, even as they were offended by Jesus and the apostles. But some will have their hearts and consciences pricked by the Word of the Lord, and they will repent. And then there will be a great revival in the Church. The fear of and reverence for the LORD will be restored. The concept of consecration to the LORD and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ will once again be alive in the Church. The Church will have no king but KING JESUS! Man’s planning, striving, and programs will be replaced by the leadership and presence of the Holy Spirit. And the Church will not be confined to the four walls of the Church or the home. Christians will become known again as followers of Christ wherever they go, because it will be evident they have been with Him.


This is all good news! It is great news! Will it come without pain and sacrifice? No. There will be pain and there must be sacrifice. We are called to offer ourselves as a “living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1 NIV).


The fact that sacrifice is a scary word to Christians is a sign of just how lukewarm we have become. When we understand and know how wonderful and kind and powerful and loving our GOD is, there is nothing we will refuse to sacrifice to Him, because like Abraham, we will have faith that GOD has a plan that will make His promise come true.



RETREAT OR REVIVAL?


The Church stands at a crossroad. But make no mistake. The Church will be triumphant. The true Church will choose revival and faithfulness to GOD, whatever the cost. Those who choose retreat, were never part of the true Church OR they are still under delusion and confusion and God will continue to work to set them free. God doesn’t need a massive Church to be victorious, although that would bless Him and gladden His heart, because He loves each and every individual and desires that they become part of His family and His Church. He invites many, but He doesn’t wait for the many to show up before moving. God set His plan in motion with only 120 Holy Ghost-filled believers committed to Him, and through them, He changed the world!


Dare to be bold! Dare to have faith! Dare to be brave! Dare to let God use you to bring His Kingdom to the earth! Begin the revival in the Church by asking God to revive you and let the fire spread!


Praise God for a glorious Church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish—a triumphant Church that brings glory and honor to the LORD God Almighty, Ruler of all the earth!


Love, Hugs, and Blessings,

Syandra

His will, His way, whatever the cost!




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