Life.Church is celebrating that more than 2,000 baptisms that took place on their campuses last weekend. Here’s the story from CBN:
Sunday’s service at the Oklahoma megachurch began with praise and worship as more than 80,000 attendees watched people make a public declaration for Jesus Christ. From the young to the old, many took that step of faith at a large facility pool used by the church, while others got baptized at satellite campuses. Some even got baptized in their bathtubs,
Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church ….remarked, “The power of God is moving.”
“We’re not praying for revival. We’re in the middle of one. I thank God for what he’s doing,” the pastor said. “God is doing a big thing.”
Is Churchianity getting in the way of revival? I believe that it is.
We all have pre-conceived ideas about how God can move among us and bring revival. For most Christians it is confined to the 4 walls of a church building or maybe a special tent or conference. Even when we go to the streets we take our Christian culture, language, and music with us.
But what if God really wanted to do something different in our midst? Well we have a myriad of ‘heresy hunters’ to take care of and discount that potential turn of events. Fact is, every Revival has been different and every one of them made the church uncomfortable.
After all, we might want revival but most American Evangelicals expect it to come during a 20 minute sermon surrounded by 3 hymns and a couple of prayers with an offering in the middle. Plus it better be over in exactly on the hour cause the next service starts when the big hand strikes 12.
Of course I am being ridiculous but mix in your own form of worship and church structure or denominational traditions and see where God is really allowed to move. I believe this is why God is continuing to shake up the church and even allowed it to be bullied and shut down during COVID. And in the aftermath, over 20-30% of the members have never come back. Actually, we are at the point where the church in America needs revival to survive.
What if he wants to move downtown on main street or in the neighborhoods, or maybe at your work or business? What would that look like and how would the church respond?
So God starts a revival in a Methodist university and a prayer service lasts for more than two weeks. Who would have guessed or expected that? Eventually they ‘had’ to go back to the regular college business of teaching classes. But it proves that if it can happen there it can happen anywhere and even near you. This is just the beginning.
Worship leader Sean Feucht continues to spread revival across America through his ‘Let Us Worship’ events. This time thousands were touched in Alabama. From CBN News:
“Feucht brought his “Let Us Worship” event to Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday where God’s Spirit poured out over thousands of worshippers at Veterans Park.
“Thousands gathered from over 10 states to fill Veterans Park with a NEW SOUND! There is an AWAKENING in America!!! God showed up! Salvations, healing and freedom!”
One of the few encouraging news reports during the pandemic were the worship events that Sean Feucht brought to cities all across America. Many of those events were held in the same places where violence and destruction had taken place. Now is the time for healing, revival, and a new awakening. Let’s pray it in.
A couple of weeks ago two Christian friends of mine, and on the same day another, sent me a link to a YouTube video of a pastor sharing about a dream he had that showed America basically being destroyed starting in November. My friends wanted my input and opinion.
After watching it I was really concerned and asked the Lord—is that dream really true?
He responded immediately saying:
That’s the Devil’s plan. I have different plans for America.
I immediately started praying for God’s plan and for the devil to be defeated once more. You choose-Let’s pray in what we want–Let’s unite in prayer for America.
President Trump’s proclamation is well worth reading this year.
Americans have always found power and unity through prayer. In 1988, the Congress, by Public Law 100-307, called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.” Today, on this National Day of Prayer, we once again come together to give thanks to Almighty God for the bountiful blessings He has bestowed on our great Nation and to ask for His unfailing counsel. We also acknowledge our dependence on God’s love to guide our families, communities, and our country away from harm and toward abundance and peace.
Our Nation acknowledges that religious liberty is a natural right, given to us by our Creator, not a courtesy that government extends to us. The First Amendment recognizes the freedom of religion and safeguards this right against government infringement. The United States’ steadfast commitment to upholding religious freedom has ensured that people of different faiths can pray together and live in peace as fellow American citizens. We have no tolerance for those who disrupt this peace, and we condemn all hate and violence, particularly in our places of worship.
Throughout our Nation’s history, Americans have consistently turned to God for guidance at pivotal moments. In 1775, the Continental Congress first declared a day of prayer, asking American patriots throughout the colonies to pray in earnest for divine help in forming our Republic. Seventy-five years ago this June, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the Nation in prayer as courageous Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He prayed: “Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor . . . Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.” Today, we also pray for strength for our Nation and our Armed Forces as we face new challenges at home and abroad.
Our Nation’s honored tradition of prayer has sustained us and strengthened our trust that God will continue to watch over and accompany us through the best of times and the darkest hours. May we as Americans never forget the power of prayer and the greatness of our Creator. On this National Day of Prayer, let each of us, according to our own faiths, call upon God for His guidance and express our gratitude for the love and grace He bestows on us and our country.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2019, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to pray, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, in thanksgiving for the freedoms and blessings we have received, and for God’s guidance and continued protection as we meet the challenges before us.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.
This sounds like a Halloween story but it really isn’t.
An event to curse Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on October 20 was sold out. From Charisma News:
Justice Brett Kavanaugh officially joined the Supreme Court this week amid high political tensions. A throng of real-life witches are fighting back by hosting a spell-casting ritual against Kavanaugh in New York. …
More than 10,000 people have “liked” the “Ritual to Hex Brett Kavanaugh” page, while some 900 others say they plan on attending. …
Response: A good wake up call to remember to pray for our government officials, especially Justice Kavanaugh at this time. Also remember to pray for his family which was sorely affected by the controversy surrounding his confirmation.
This sounds like some kind of Halloween publicity stunt and in some ways it is but these folks are serious occult followers and some of the money raised by the event is going to go to Planned Parenthood.
This does indicate how much our culture has changed in the last decade or so. A few years ago folks would have been privately doing this and the numbers would have been small and they would have not admitted to anything like this in public. Now the occult is a growing religious phenomena in America and far more open.
A good reminder that we really do battle against demonic principalities and powers that seem to be gaining authority in this generation like never before. It is time for Christians to be on our knees praying for revival and a new awakening ‘while it is yet day’ in America.
Yesterday we celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today I submit that the entire American church needs to be resurrected.
Some church leaders are looking for a new awakening and others are calling for a new reformation—that too. But the American Church that was so popular a ‘Palm’ generation ago is now being assailed in this culture and some are demanding its submission and ‘crucifixion’ while others are saying that it is already over for the church as we to knew it.
Meanwhile, many mainline church leaders are caving in and turning in the ‘unpopular’ parts of their Bibles to maintain ‘cultural relevance’ and respectability. Other conservative Christian voices are claiming that this culture is only going to get worse and the only thing left for the church is to be ‘raptured.’
I believe that ‘a New Day’ is about to dawn upon the America church. Some will call it revival, others a new reformation, but the new move of God will resurrect the American Church and it will rise up and fulfill its calling and destiny while there is yet day.
I posted the following last year at the beginning of the new Biblical (Jewish) year. I believe that it is still poignant and for today:
(Posted on September 30, 2017)
It is a new day and a new Biblical year and we are still looking forward to revival. But sometimes there is stuff that must come first or may come along with it that we would rather avoid. But the word ‘Revival’ only brings to our minds the ‘good stuff’ and all of the ‘not so good’ that came along with former moves of God is usually forgotten or disregarded.
500 years ago on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther tacked 95 theses to a door in Wittenberg, Germany. Luther wanted to bring revival and reform to the church but schism came instead and a few years later he was excommunicated and then the wars followed for several hundred years. But the church was reformed and change came to all of the church regardless. One wonders if he would have proceeded differently if he had known all the stuff that was going to follow.
One thing for sure, the Reformation was a Move of God. More than anything else the most important result was access to the Bible and real knowledge of the written Word of God- the Logos. Before 1517 The Word was only available to the Priests, Monks, and scholars and very little of it was allowed to ever trickle on down to the regular folks. Not only that but ‘worship’ services were in Latin which only the educated could understand.
Coming out of the Reformation, services started being conducted in the vernacular and an exposition and teaching of the Scriptures became an important part of worship. Later the Bible was translated into the languages of the people and with the invention of the printing press it became available for regular folks. The church was changed by the Logos of God.
Most of us in Charismatic and Pentecostal churches look back on Azusa Street in 1906 as the beginning of another Move of God that changed the church. This time it was the Rhema Word of God that was restored along with all of the Spiritual gifts. A good historical case can be made that the ‘gifts’ never really departed entirely from the church but few regular folks in the church had the opportunity to experience them.
Now we are at a new crossroad where a significant part of the church is questioning whether the Bible is still even relevant and whether certain plain teachings in the Word should be disregarded or ignored. Ironically it is the old ‘Reformation’ mainline churches that are in the midst of rejecting their own foundations which were rooted in ’solo scriptura.’
The point is, major change and a new move of God including some kind of new ‘reformation’ is ahead for the church and we can expect that the revival we are hoping for may be far different than our romanticized expectations. Fact is, the church is always ‘looking forward’ to the past revivals and is never fully prepared to receive the new one.
To demonstrate what I am talking about let’s take a look at Acts. Before all of the good stuff in Acts 2 we find in chapter 1 that all the church devoted themselves to prayer. Since Pentecost came 50 days after the Passover they could have been praying solid for at least a month or so. Not only that, but for only this one time in history the entire church and everyone in it was actually prepared to receive a move from God.
Now for the scary part that may be relevant for us now or in the very least for the church some time in the future. We all like the ‘good stuff’ in Peter’s quote of Joel 2:
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,and your young men shall see visions,and your old men shall dream dreams;
18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. …
21 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Here’s the part of Acts 2 / Joel 2 we would rather ignore. The verses between 18 and 21 (19 & 20):
19 And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
In light of all of the major disasters lately, these verses might be far more relevant to a coming revival than we want to admit. Also, a falling away and major persecution might well come along with it.
It is time for the church to pray. It is always time for us to pray but especially now.
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire. –Heb. 12:26-29
While I was reading the 12th chapter of Hebrews this morning the 26-29 verses leaped off the page and the Following word came to me:
This is the revival you have been praying for.
As I read the verses again some of the implications and dangers for the church in midst of revival and afterwards began to come to mind. It may not be as rosy and cozy as most of us expect. For sure the church will be changed in ways we do not see now. We have been praying for the Kingdom to come down in our midst and have not fully comprehended how that will change the church as we know it.
The church and the leaders will be refined by God’s own fire and that which can be shaken will. It will be glorious but also painful. The church that remains will stand up and more accurately represent the Kingdom of God on earth, fulfill its calling, and finally become the worthy Body and Bride of Christ.
Unfortunately part of the church as we know it will not endure. Look for whole denominations and movements to go into apostasy afterwards. We can already see it happening as some of the mainline churches are turning their backs upon the Word of God. Look for some to turn their backs upon the Word himself and deny his divinity for the sake of world peace.
Revival will come to every church and signs and wonders will follow and many will be saved but the response of the leaders and the aftermath will not be the same.
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. –Mark 6: 5-6
I am really tired of living in Nazareth where only a few folks are healed, as wonderful as that is.
I have friends who have gone on mission trips to India, Africa, and South America, and have come back with incredible testimonies of how God healed everyone they prayed for. Opening blind eyes, healing the deaf, and seeing all kinds of miracles including folks who could not even stand on their own two feet running laps. Some have even seen the dead raised. Then when they come back home to America it is just like it was before- they see a few folks healed once in a while and are glad for it.
At the beginning of the year it was impressed upon me that faith and belief were THE issues that the American and Western church needed to deal with this year. First of all the scripture that came to me on New Years Eve was Mark 9:24–
I believe; help my unbelief.
I have been praying that one everyday since.
Then reading on in Mark, I came across the passage in 11:22-24 where Jesus talks about having a strong enough faith and belief to move a mountain. I never really considered literally or physically moving mountains as something I might want to do. Maybe figuratively.
However, once when I was on a long hike with my family years ago and realized when we got to the top of one mountain peak that the lake we were going to was on the other side of another mountain. I would have like to have moved a mountain if I could. Then on another vacation I went fishing with a friend on the east side of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite. We hiked down a mountain side to a pristine lake and had a wonderful day catching fish. Then we literally thought we were going to die going back up that mountain with 10 big fish and all of our equipment including an ice chest and chairs. Moving a mountain would have come in handy that day. However, it never occurred to me to pray it away and I still do not believe that it would have been justified under those circumstances. When would one actually need to move a mountain into the sea? Something I have always wondered. I guess when God tells you to.
Nevertheless, while reading this passage in Mark, I received a strong word to read it in the Greek. I was in my comfy chair but the Lord knows me well and it came in a way that I could not ignore. It was the first three words of Jesus that changed it all and gave me a different perspective. Maybe I have heard someone preach on verse 22 in the past but it was rhema for me that day and ever since:
Ekete pistin Theou (a transliteration-my site will not print out the actual Greek)
All of the English translations (12) that I have in my library have it as- “Have faith in God.” So that is obviously the best translation. But there is a couple of things in the Greek which give it a fuller meaning. First of all, ‘ekete’ calls for continuing action- not just ‘have’ but continue to have. ‘Faith’ (pistin) is the subject but God (Theou) is not only the object of it but is the possessor (genitive or possessive in the Greek). It is God’s faith.
So how do you get the kind of faith that can move mountains? My conclusion is that we can only get it from God- we have to ask him for it and we have to completely believe that God’s wants us to do it in the first place and has given us the power to accomplish the task.
We have faith but Holy Spirit help our faith.
If we want to leave behind the environment of Nazareth where we only see a few wonderful healings then we need to see an exponential increase in our faith and belief. We have to seek it and ask for it.
It is time for the American and Western church to live in a Kingdom environment where signs and wonders, and the miracles and healings of Jesus are demonstrated in our midst. They need to be commonplace and not just fortuitous exceptions but a part of the norm. Then church will become relevant once more and offer a viable and attractive alternative world view in the midst of an unbelieving secular culture.
We are praying for America today at the crossroads of US 50 and US 65 in mid-America, Sedalia MO:
Father, send your Spirit across this nation from the west to the east and let your light shine from the north to the south. Let revival and a new awakening shake America once more. In Jesus name, Amen.
I am challenging everyone of you to designate a major crossroads in your city and to remember to pray for America and revival every time you pass through it. Our real hope for change is in Jesus regardless of the election results in November.