Lakeland – In America we often look around the world and see God doing great things everywhere but home. That’s why “revivals” in Toronto and Lakeland are exciting. God visits us and an outpouring of the miraculous refreshes the church like a cool drink of water on a hot day. People that go receive something they can bring home.
It’s a little bit like having a sense of needing to go somewhere but now having signs to guide us. Suddenly we find signs and wonders and our hearts are thrilled at rediscovering the tangible presence of God. At times our enthusiasm for signs can cause us to go from sign to sign. We can be prone to camp out around the signs; do conferences on how to have signs, build a concept of revival around the signs… and miss the fact that the signs are pointing somewhere. Here’s a shot at where they point.
Apostolic Healing – Lakeland is a great example of an apostolic ministry with evidence of signs and wonders.
The things that mark an apostle — signs, wonders and miracles — were done among you with great perseverance. 2 Cor 12:12 NIV
It’s not just a series of meetings filled with the presence of God. There’s a message on the “signs.” The function of apostles is to equip the saints and message is very simple; all the saints can heal the sick and preach the Gospel – the two go hand in hand. The goal isn’t to have more revival meetings (although we should have more). The real goal is to equip the saints so that every believer can heal the sick as part of his or her explanation of the gospel. Real revival isn’t really a series of big church meetings; revival spills outside the meetings and changes cities.
And these signs will accompany those who believe… Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:17-20 NIV
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12 NIV
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:4-8 NIV
Health – The second message clearly on the billboard in flashing lights is not just healing when you get sick; its divine health! The signs points to Jesus and what he’s really provided.
I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Ex 15:26 NIV
Financial blessing – We’re in an era where the church is focused on healing and a meeting-centric version of revival. The sign not only points to divine favor on our health. It also points to God’s favor on the finances of His people. The sign doesn’t just point to His blessing on 5-fold ministers and church growth; it really points to the saints and their ministry to bring about the kingdom… saints that are healthy, prosperous, and visionary.
He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. Ps 105:37 KJV
The LORD will keep you free from every disease. Deut 7:14-15 NIV
Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, 26 and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span. Ex 23:24-26 NIV
Real revival costs money and changes cities and nations. It can be led by fairly public ministries but never completed by them. That’s why many of our historic “moves” would be better called visitations than revivals. They stopped inside the church or large meetings. The saints have been partially equipped to heal but they have yet to be equipped to prosper and really give themselves to ministry. You can go to renewal centers and experience the life-changing presence of God and bring home a new anointing. If coming home means you’re back to paying the bills for the trip and spending 40 hours a week to stay out of debt, your enthusiasm is likely to wane.
What if we came home equipped for signs and wonders “and” had a vision for a level of prosperity that would release the real desires of our hearts. What if we found the wisdom to prosper in a way that effectively put “us” in full-time ministry. That’s when revival will take place and get beyond the church to touch our cities.
You see, the sign is pointing to a place where your cup runs over – in both signs and finances. That’s where Kings operate and you are invited by God to join the party. Salvation, health, and prosperity are all part of your redemptive favor through Christ Jesus… the tools you need to claim your real inheritance – the nations (Ps 2:8).
9 The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity — in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground — in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 KJV
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Cor 8:8-9 NIV
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits —
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. NIV