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The answer to this question is not as apparent as we may initially think.
I believe we are in a season in the United States where God wants to release another spiritual awakening in this nation. It is time to partner with Jesus and experience the power of an end time revival!
In order to answer the above question for ourselves, we must clearly define the term "revival." For some it means a special series of meetings with lots of preaching, singing and frenzied spiritual activity. The problem with such a definition is that those events are human-centered. True revival must always be God-centered.
One of the greatest revivalists in America's history, Charles Finney, defined revival as God being the primary focus.
God is one pent-up revival. The experience of revival is nothing less (or more) than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down into the dust before God with deep humility, and experiencing a kind of re-conversion.
What would a revival move of God look like in 21st-century America?
We would see God showing up and showing Himself as the King of Glory. We would see Him ready to engulf our nation with the overwhelming power of His Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God would invade our government and turn the social media culture upside down from protestors and violence to humility and prayer. Conviction would produce openhearted repentance of our national rebellion and self-centeredness. Supernatural deliverance would be commonplace, as would abundance of blessing and audacious miracles.
God-centered revival would awaken the church of Jesus Christ as His precious bride. His radical love for His beloved bride is what moves His heart with holy action, pouring out revival for her adoring attention and worship. Christ wants His bride to be ready for His return!
Our identity as His bride becomes clear to us again as His word takes preeminence in our midst. Following this awakening, evangelism and outreach become a priority in our lives. A mission in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is again elevated to the mission of the church.
Our hearts sing that Jesus must be made famous. His name must be known and His glory revealed.
Our desires for a fresh and mighty move of God to sweep across our great nation must be fueled by the primary focus of revival to be for the reputation of God's name, not our own.
I believe the potential of such genuine revival starts with the awakening of our hearts to this statement in John 12:21, "Sir, we want to see Jesus". This statement made to Phillip by a group of Greeks who have come to worship during the Jewish Festival, gives us a foundational key to unlocking the lasting impact of a large scale cultural God-shift.
Jesus responds: "Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit" (John 12:24).
Jesus' response reveals the importance of our attitude, our action and our activation. As leaders hungry for spiritual awakening, these are the steps necessary to usher in the next great revival:
- Attitude: "Unless a grain of wheat falls"
The attitude of humility is the foundation of all righteousness in the kingdom of God. There is no real revelation or illumination of the "One High and lifted up" without lasting humility.
During the Azusa Street Outpouring, it was Seymour with a crate over his head who helped to bring in that great revival- During the Welsh Revival, it was Evans weeping face-first in a back room after every service for Christ alone to be glorified.
James nailed it when he said: "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10).
Christ's humility and corresponding exaltation was illustrated for Peter through His suffering on the cross. Jesus reminds us just a few verses after the Greek's request in John 12:32, "And if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself."
- Action: "into the ground"
If we want to be elevated for all to see, our ministries and our reputations must be crucified.
Jesus must bring us low to the place of no account before He can use us powerfully. The ground is where we release the action of trust. It is there that what we believe and whom we really trust is revealed.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6).
- Activation: "and dies"
The activation of revival implies life and vitality, but it is always predicated by death and pruning.
In its incipient stages of germination, revival is actually a killer. The kingdom of God is not, "less of me and more of Him." It is "none of me and all of Him". Until the death of our outward sensual understanding and perception is accomplished, God's supernatural capacity for awakening planted on the inside of us lies dormant like a seed.
Though it seems counterintuitive, the fallen, dying seed in the ground seemingly wasted and there it began to produce a revival of life.
We must die to ourselves and live a life dedicated to living for Christ.
We humbly ask for God to visit us with His glory once again.
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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