The Lord has been talking to me about my desire and my prayer for this generation and the next for the last few weeks. I have said the last several years that I am a person about revival; I want to pastor a people of revival. The Lord began to speak to me and say, you are not a person of revival; you are a person of discipleship.
To be clear, I love revival, it is necessary at times, and it is biblical. What the Lord showed me though was, revival without discipleship will not produce lasting fruit. Revival has the root of revive. Revive means “to restore to life or consciousness, to give new strength or energy to, and to restore interest in or popularity.”
Revival is necessary, but if we are constantly needing to be brought back to life or given new strength every week, or need our interest restored in the things of God, we are missing it somewhere; we need to go from revival to discipleship.
We can all hit dry times, miss some days of bible reading and things like that, but that is not fixed through revival; it is resolved through discipleship. To be a disciple means that we are followers of Jesus, one who follows His Word and lives how he lived. When we become a people of the Word, when we study the life of Jesus, when we study the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, we learn what we are to live as we discover who we are in Christ and we discover the path to victory laid out in Scripture.
There are always needs and times of refreshing, but trying to live from a place of revival instead of daily following Jesus is to miss the beauty of the Christian life. Revival is wonderful, but it achieves its purpose when it leads to discipleship, a daily time of prayer, worship, reading, and a deep study of the Word. Reading Scripture is great; we are changed when we study it and allow its truth to take deep root in our hearts and spirits.
Ephesians 4:21-24 NASB “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Romans 12:2 AMPC “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
I love the moves of God. I love incredible worship services. Let passionate worship cause you to pursue the person of Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation, the Word reveals Jesus because it is not a book; it’s a person.
John 1:1-5 NLT “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
If you have been a person of passionate worship, don’t lose your worship; ask Holy Spirit to add to worship and unending hunger for the Word of God. If you are sincere in prayer, begin praying passages of Scripture. If you long for signs, wonders, and miracles, remember the foundation of those things is the Word of God. I am a very passionate person; I love the passion my generation walks in. I am quick to follow where I see God moving. But, I’ve also learned I have to be careful. The river of God is made up of many streams, and just because God is moving in unique ways in one stream does not mean I am supposed to be over there. Unity in the body of Christ does not mean we all do everything. True unity is me operating in my call and gifting so and celebrating the guy next to me doing something completely different.
The disciples came to Jesus one day and said that a group of people was baptizing, but they didn’t walk with them. Jesus’s response was to let them baptize; if they aren’t against us, they are with us.
Regardless of what stream you are in. Whatever your passion and call are, make the Word the foundation of your life and what you do. Then, when revival happens, praise God and flow in it but move into discipleship at the right time.
Many discussions and books have been written about why particular revivals died, stopped, or gradually dissipated over time. I believe the answer, in a nutshell, is that those revivals became about the revival and not about discipleship. Many revivals have, in turn, led schools of revival when we need schools of discipleship instead. The Apostles didn’t spread the fire of Pentecost; they spread the gospel and made disciples. Love the move of the Spirit and remember the Spirit was given to us to help make disciples.
Today’s ask for a new desire for the Word of God and to hear the Word taught, ask for a hunger. Spend time in places like Psalm 119 and Proverbs three and four. Develop desire by reading the portions of Scripture that talk about its power and promise.
I do pray that you are revived today if you need it, and I pray that restoration will lead you to the Word so that you can be sustained and begin to grow. Become a healthy believer with a steady diet of the Word.