The following quotes about revival are from posts written earlier this year, the first two before Lakeland started in April, and the third post presents my initial feelings about the Florida Outpouring.
Excerpts from A Prophetic Word for 2008 (Jan. 2008 )
Revival as I hear it depicted takes the responsibility off us to be salt and light…We really have to stop this nonsense talk about taking the world for Christ when most of us don’t even know our own next door neighbours. (Andrew Hamilton)
The revival to come does not demand obedience now. We can feel all warm and fuzzy about the wonderful word and clap at what God will do while conveniently forgetting that where ever people are simply obeying Jesus they are seeing the Kingdom multiply now…Revival is not about platforms and performances. It is about relationships, sacrifice and obedience. (Steve Hill)
The deeper we went in our quest for the things of the Spirit, the further removed we became from knowing and relating to those who do not yet know Jesus. We cannot stay bunkered in our walls praying for revival. How can we accept that mentality when Jesus’ example and command is to go? To continue to pray for revival without immersing our lives among the lost is ridiculous.
(from my article Why Charismissional?)
Excerpts from Temple Tantrum (Feb. 2008 )
The problem of “selling” religious experiences is this. How do you get the folks who came to your last conference to come to your next? What new experience do you offer to them? The problem about selling stuff is that you always have to have something new to sell!
The prophets and the apostles are to be the foundation of the church. They are to be first in pioneering new areas for the Kingdom of God. They are to be the first in suffering, first in sacrifice, first in obedience. These are not platform ministries. These are plowing the field ministries.” (Steve Hill)
I’d like to suggest that real ‘apostles’ don’t need to trumpet their status or try to get people to agree to be ‘under’ their authority. They just serve and people recognize their authority based on character and not on their need to have people ’submit’ to them. But if you want another potentially provocative statement, try this:
“Real apostolic people might actually be held in contempt by those whose mindset is caught in an authority-based understanding and agenda.” (robbymac)
Rather than true apostolic function of a person sent to build and plant, serving and equipping churches as they develop, false apostolic ministry comes into existing church groups and attempts to pull them under an umbrella of authority. It is not a grassroots expansion of the kingdom through the growth and spread of the gospel, but rather a pyramid-type structuring of control and financial support building the ministries of certain individuals. (grace)
Excerpt from Healing Revival (May 2008 )
While the atmosphere of revival often builds faith, it also creates the notion that one must go to a special location to receive from God. Once there, people will do almost anything to be touched by the guest minister. It is in this fertile soil of desperation that sincere people are ripe for being taken advantage of, for being abused, and for being led into false teaching.
The charismatic, prophetic, and renewal movements are heavily influenced with false teaching from various other movements – Latter Rain, Dominionism, Kingdom Now, Restorationism, and the New Apostolic Reformation. While you might not be exposed to these teachings at special meetings, one should be aware that this is the background of the ministers who are involved.
In the meantime, I wonder what revival would look like apart from the package of church revival culture – special speakers, special meetings, special offerings.