Fleeting Revivals – The Church has historically seen remarkable revivals that brought about new experiences and new doctrine that have brought us into a closer relationship with the God of scripture. I was saved in the charismatic renewal in the early 70’s and visited Toronto during the outpouring of the 90’s. Both were wonderful experiences that lasted several years before dissipating. The unmistakable presence of God and the activity of the Holy Spirit touching lives are historically and experientially undeniable. They obviously leave you wanting more.
So why do they evaporate? – One of the reasons for “disappearing revival” is that we see them as a sovereign move of visitation by God instead of the creation of a habitation for God by his people. Our tradition for revival is that it should happen in the church for Christians. It certainly does touch the church but there is a limit to confining the expression to church services. For example the outpouring in Toronto resulted in special services nearly every night of the week for about 5 years. People from all over the world flew to experience what God was doing. However, there was no real concept that it should be taken to the city of Toronto. A great deal of activity was undertaken to find the same expression in other church meetings. I know we saw it in our own congregation (and it was wonderful). However we really didn’t even try to get it into the marketplace. Our concept was that the marketplace should come to the church and experience it.
Reformation – God’s real goal is to extend His Kingdom throughout the earth. He’s releasing a dynamic in the Body of Christ that is powerful enough to make it happen. The secret weapon is God’s people. History has never seen Christians that have joined the desires of their heart with the will of God in a package that looks like “abundant life” to the rest of the world. Let’s contrast the last reformation (compliments of Martin Luther) with what is happening now.
1. The Bible was given to the masses (instead of Mass in Latin)
Luther and the Protestant Reformers read the Bible and understood that personal salvation was by grace. Jesus was known as Savior and Lord and men were understood to be his servants (Rom 3:23). Repentance, justification by faith, and a personal relationship with God was the primary emphasis.
The Kingly Reformation of today is headquartered in John 10:10. We understand that Jesus is also the King of Kings and we are more than conquerors seated at his right hand. “Life” and “abundant life” are now added to the foundation of justification by faith.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 KJV
2. A Theological Shift
Reformations are undergirded by a new revelation, or emphasis, in scripture. The Reformers emphasized the solution of the cross for personal sin… the death and burial of Christ as atonement for our sin.
The Kingly reformation of today adds an emphasis on the resurrection of Christ. Jesus is seen as the giver of life. Instead of seeing him way up in heaven, we see ourselves with him, conversing with Him, co-laboring with Him to expand the Kingdom. In addition to knowing personal salvation, we also know the savior personally and co-labor with Him from the status of “friend.”
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:15
3. The Priesthood of the Believer
The Protestant Reformers gave us the revelation that individuals personally have direct access to God and that the priestly ministry was not a singular conduit for Biblical salvation.
The Kingly Reformation of today gives us the revelation that individuals personally have access to “ministry” and that it is not the sole function of the priesthood. God is “ordaining” Kings for ministry in the marketplace. It is the jailbreak that will allow the release of the saints equipped for the “work of ministry.” We can fulfill the great commission to make disciples of all nations – with “all” of the saints.
So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7
But the word of God continued to increase and spread. Acts 12:24
In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. Acts 19:20
Sustaining Revival in the Marketplace – Your personal adventure connects your dream, vocation, and the will of God is part of a much bigger plan that God is implementing to sustain revival. Here are a few of the ingredients.
#1 Grassroots – We still have great evangelists, large churches and influential organizations to reach the world. However, the “new look” is the awakening of individuals that are expressing their Kingly quotient for making a difference. Kings are discovering their dreams can be carried out. The marketplace move is being fueled by the saints themselves. The internet is facilitating global networks of peer relationships that are rapidly replacing the traditional hierarchy in government and business. God Himself is the going to be the head of the church.
Note: Although it is a secular book that merely cites Christianity as one example The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom is must reading on this aspect of our future.
#2 The Marketplace – The second distinctive shows up in the marketplace. We’re going beyond crusades and church planting to teach disciples how to be entrepreneurial and how to change the economies of nations. Freedom, property rights, and national prosperity are the outgrowth of a people that know the Lord and a nation with a spiritual foundation.
Note: God Is At Work by Ken Eldred provides the clearest case for the integration of commerce and missions; past, present, and future.
#3 Our Cities – The recent emphasis on united prayer, city-wide rallies, spiritual mapping, and pastoral cooperation were the beginning of a move to reach our cities. The claims of success have been overstated; it stopped short of really getting out of our churches and into our cities. Until now the foundation of these efforts has been to precipitate a sovereign move of God. It hasn’t worked to completion because Christians have stopped short of getting involved in the community; in businesses, public office, schools, unions, etc. We have not yet embraced the goal of redeeming the culture in our cities. Our vision has been too small.
#4 Leverage to Bless the Nations – Can any one man or organization make a difference? The logical answer is no. However, what we are really doing is leveraged by the activity of the Holy Spirit and a host of unseen angels. When we embrace the vision to bless the nations and really change the world and put our hand to the task a powerful dynamic begins. The Father works with us and our labors, our wealth, and our influence are multiplied a thousand times. God is calling a people out of mediocrity to embrace a vision for the nations; to fill the whole earth with His glory. He’s already decided not to do it by Himself; nor will he do it through a single man or a selected few. He’s waiting for His bride to put on her Kingly royalty and assume her authority on earth.
And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Acts 17:6 KJV
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.