As I reflected with Martha on the great coffee search the Lord began to “open my eyes” to how often we are moved and directed by what we expect to see and miss what is really there. The directions were clear and everything was where they said it would be, but we missed it because we had in our minds on what each item looked like. When we were rested and actually looked through the cupboard we discovered what had been described to us in the directions.
As we look around us at culture, the evening news and even world events, it is easy to see with our eyes the beginning of the birth pangs described in Matthew 24. We want to see revival. ” If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14 -KJV
That being said, what will revival look like? Certainly every restoration in biblical and modern history comes through prayer, honest repentance and obedience to what the Lord says. It seems Israel always had to be brought low and have to cry out for deliverance. But each time was a little different.
The Reformation and the first and second great awakenings all began with prayer and a move of the Holy Spirit, but they were facilitated differently. The Azusa Street Revival, the post WWII missionary movement, the Jesus movement and the Charismatic revival all brought millions into the kingdom yet the fire died out. The nature of man seems to be what starts in the spirit ends in the flesh. Men begin to substitute the structures set up to maintain the move or a particular focus of scripture and try to define how God works.
Like us in the coffee caper we have an idea in our minds of what revival is supposed to look like and what it will take to bring it about. The Lord has put in all of us an expectancy of a radical move of God and soon. Unfortunately the greatest resistance of a new move of the Lord often times come from those who experienced the last one.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 15:4 says “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”-KJV
As I pray, the Lord reminds me of the people of Israel who are about to posses the land of their inheritance. I look at the process the Lord brought them through. One of the main things that stands out comes from Joshua 3: 3,4: “And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” (emphasis mine)
Where the Body of Christ is going in the coming revival will be different. We have never been this way or seen this before. We can’t discover what it will look like based on our history, concepts of what we have in our mind, or how the Lord has moved before.
We have to keep our eyes on the ark. The ark contained the covenant word of the Lord, the rod of his authority, and the manna symbolic of his faithful provision for the journey. It was also the place where he dwelt among his people. Jesus is now our ark–we have to be in his presence, his word, and move with his direction trusting in his faithful authority.
Let us pray for revival in us personally and corporately so that we will not miss the coming move of the Lord.