(2 Chronicles 29-31, John 18: 1-23)
Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars.., until they had destroyed them all. Then all the people of Israel returned to their cities, every man to his possession. (2 Chronicles 31:1)
Years ago I heard the Lord say, “Fill the bowls, and I will pour them out.” Stadiums will be filled with day and night prayer. Sick people will recover. Dead people will be raised. News reporters will come, only to discover that no one man or woman is in charge. The person of the Holy Spirit is orchestrating the event, and the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
The point of the gathering isn’t just the gathering. It’s the outpouring AFTER the event, as everyone returns to their home and workplace. Ordinary men and women stretch out their hands, only to see God working in majesty through them. This is Stadium Christianity. It doesn’t end in a stadium; rather it has its beginning there.
This kind of outpouring is nothing new, and it is entirely scriptural. Revival is not about the one-man show, although one man (or woman, for that matter) will be the catalyst. Revival is about a generation waking up from a great slumber. Revival is about coming back to real life. There is something better than virtual reality. Your real life is hidden in Christ! Let’s believe together for another outpouring in our day.
(2 Chronicles 23-25, John 16: 16-33)
9 And proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. 10 And all the princes and all the people rejoiced and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until they had finished. (2 Chronicles 24: 9, 10)
It’s not often that we think about revival and how it relates to our finances, but every aspect of our lives is touched and bends as we turn our hearts back to God, including our wallets! The Old Testament is chalk full of stories of Israel’s wanderings, her falling away and her tales of restoration. And if we are honest with ourselves, our own lives parallel this cycle of returning and then returning again.
We are fickle. We burn hot, and then we run cold. We run with all our hearts, and then we lie limp. We are always coming back to our first love…if we are in the faith. Returning to our first love is revival, whether we are speaking about our own lives or the conscience of a nation.
When Israel ran hot after God, they rejoiced in pouring out their finances toward the things of God. They longed to be part of corporate worship in every way, including rebuilding the practical aspects of the Temple that had been lost. Want to know whether you are red-hot for God? Check your giving. Sometimes our bank statement is a better indicator of our heart than how loudly we sing.
(2 Chronicles 17-19, John 15)
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15: 7,8)
All of the promises of Jesus are invitations into the heart of the Father, into the adventure of a lifetime, into insurmountable joy and ultimate fulfillment. The promises of Jesus lead us into life, and life more abundantly. As we learn how to abide within the loving instructions of our Father, we are asked to bring our desires to the Lord. He loves us, He hears us, and He will answer us!
What a glorious partnership. Heaven and earth are intersecting in us. Jesus tells us this asking and answering bring glory to our Heavenly Father. This asking and answering is the very definition of fruitfulness. Fruitfulness is not about what we do for God; it is about what He does through us, in us and for us.
Before sin entered the world, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful. Where sin had cut us off from relationship, and thus fruitfulness, Jesus, the Great Reconciler, came to re-establish what had been lost relationally, and restore us into the command of fruitfulness.
Abide in God. Then bless Him by asking for what you need and desire. He loves and longs to answer us. This is relationship, and it brings Him glory.
(2 Chronicles 13-18, John 14)
And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around. (2 Chronicles 15:15)
It’s probably the most sought-after thing in the world. More self-help books and counseling sessions are devoted to this one thing than maybe any other topic. In the United States, even our Declaration of Independence proclaims our right to pursue it. What is it? Happiness.
Nothing against Thomas Jefferson, but I don’t know if the pursuit of happiness is a worthwhile pursuit. Happiness is fleeting. Happiness is fickle. It bends with changing circumstances. No, there is something better than happiness. Something that rests on the internal state of our heart before God and not the externals of life. And that something is joy!
So how do we experience joy? That’s easy. The key is wholeheartedness. When we worship the Lord with all of our hearts, which is precisely what we are created to do, the result is overflowing joy. Joy cannot be gotten at through direct pursuit; instead, it is the byproduct of our full devotion. As we love Him with all of our hearts, He pours out HIS joy into our hearts. Hallelujah! Give your whole heart to God and don’t hold back. He is good, and mercy endures forever.
(2 Chronicles 10-12, John 13:18-38)
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (John 13:20)
Where are the sent ones? For sure we have lots of Christian activity, but where are the ones sent from the throne room of heaven? Where are the ones sent out by the commission of Jesus?
According to Jesus, the harvest is ready. The holdup to awakening, the delay in national renewal, has nothing to do with darkness. It is not the scheme of the enemy that holds back revival. No! It is quite simply, and terribly, the lack of laborers. We pray for revival, we contend for breakthrough, we push back darkness, all with very little result.
Programs will never produce power. It is the command of Jesus that breaks the yoke! Do you desire to see the Kingdom of heaven manifest in the earth? Then go to the throne room. Meet with Jesus. Listen to Him. Consecrate your life to his plans and purposes in the earth. Only Jesus can send you! This is the Good News.
(2 Chronicles 7-9, John 13:1-17)
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5)
Humility is not an act. It is not sackcloth or ashes. True humility is about knowing who we are in God. From the place of a rooted identity, we can go low. We can get down into the dust because the dust cannot soil us.
Jesus takes on servanthood because He knows who He is and where He is going. His identity is set. He is established before God, and thus in His own heart before God. He can strip down to the lowliest of servants, and yet, somehow He is not diminished. No! Jesus raises the servant to royal status. The servant is King, and the King of Kings is a servant.
Many times we fear going low. We are worried that we will be lessened by serving. Nothing could be further from the truth. God loves us. His very Kingdom has been entrusted to us. His message of reconciliation has been assigned to us. From the security of this established place in the heart of God, go low.