Friday, April 04, 2008

Lighting The Fires Of Revival

LIGHTING THE FIRES OF REVIVAL

(Healthy Habits by Luis Palau, June 2001)

 

The apostle Paul’s desire to win the world to Jesus Christ always

challenges me. Despite the stonings, beatings, and other

hardships he endured, he sought to fan the fires of revival still

brighter.

 

Paul used strategic thinking to carry out his ministry as an

ambassador of Christ. His missionary journeys were carefully

planned to saturate major cities and provinces with the Gospel of

Jesus Christ. He never considered it carnal or beneath his

dignity to make such plans.

 

Even though Paul had a definite strategy to win his generation to

Christ, he wasn’t bound to it. He remained sensitive to the

Spirit’s leading. You remember how the Spirit compelled him to go

to Macedonia, for instance, even though he had other plans (Acts

16).

 

This is an exciting concept to me. On the one hand, God intends

for us to use logical, strategic planning in fulfilling the Great

Commission. On the other hand, if we are sensitive to the

prompting of the Spirit, God can redirect our plans when

necessary. One doesn’t cancel out the need for the other.

 

Like Paul, we need to think strategically if the whole world is

to hear the voice of God. We must work and pray not only for the

salvation of specific individuals, but also for the masses in

large cities and nations. What would it take for them to hear and

believe God’s voice?

 

After studying the lives of Paul and other great evangelists in

church history, I am convinced that God is using evangelistic

festivals to touch millions of lives and bring hundreds of

thousands into His kingdom. I am equally convinced that God uses

other methods as well.

 

To say one form of evangelism in God’s eyes is superior to

another form is a serious theological flaw heralded by some

critics. Paul said, “I have become all things to all men so that

by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)

Witnessing to a friend is no better or worse than preaching to a

multitude. God does the work, no matter what method we use. It is

through the power of the Holy Spirit and by God’s grace that

people are saved.

 

The Scriptures repeatedly testify that God moves both individuals

and multitudes of individuals, often after the church experiences

a fresh touch of God’s hand. Church history confirms this, too.

But why do we always have to read about past revivals? Why can’t

we live revival in our own flesh and blood?

 

As Evan Roberts, the “silent evangelist” of the great Welsh

revival, reminded each audience to whom he spoke, God will pour

out the fires of revival only when four things happen:

 * public confession of Jesus Christ as Savior,

 * confession of every known sin,

 * the forsaking of every doubtful activity, and

 * prompt, complete obedience to the Spirit.

 

If these four things take place in lives throughout this land,

the flames of revival could spread around the world. But what must

happen before revival starts -- with you?

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