Recently there has been much talk about revival, especially through social media….some for it and some not (mostly being through misconceptions of the word "revival" or from bad "revival" experiences). Here’s the deal, revival is not an event, a meeting or a hyped up word to reflect an emotional encounter, and it is certainly not a brand/movement that one person/ministry has ownership of over another. Revival is the renewal of our hearts turning towards our first love, individually coming fully alive to who and who’s we are……and this has many facets, expressions and comes in many forms. Yes, I can see how the word revival to some, and in some cases can and has been a dirty word, but the truth is, it’s simply a word we use to describe what we believe the Father is doing in us, others and the regions. Revival is never intended to be a means to an end within itself (if that makes sense), but the catalyst for reformation and transformation.
One thing I have learned on this journey of faith, is that there are many streams, but only one river. What I mean by this, is that no one movement, church or ministry has the whole package (though at times we like to think we do). We all have strengths and emphasises, and believe it or not, we also have blind spots. As Bill Johnson would say “Jesus is perfect theology”…..not the church/ministry we attend or affiliate.
We accept that the world is made up of many different cultures, races and expressions….but we tend to pigeonhole the kingdom to a certain style and interpretation that we often think is the only right way. What if we recognised our differences as a "positive" and began to embrace our differing strengths, championing and honouring one another, even when our “pet theologies” don’t see eye to eye (obviously there are core foundations that must align i.e. Christ is the son of God, who died, rose again and only through him is salvation obtained, etc.).
Personally I’m not particularly into banner waving and shofars, but I can see the beauty in it when they are released by someone who loves this expression of worship unto the Father, so how dare I speak against it, be cynical or pass judgement. Whilst I’m talking about myself, I will let you know a little secret….. I don’t align to a particular brand of Christianity i.e. “Pentecostal”, “Charismatic”, “Evangelical”, “Conservative”, etc. to me these are manmade names to describe the camps we sit in, they build invisible walls between the body and stereotype us (you don’t have to agree with me on this…..or take offence). At the end of the day, if I was asked to describe my “Christian alignment” I would simply say “I’m a son of the king, a citizen of heaven and an ambassador of Christ (with an apostolic call to equip and build the saints)”, I want the whole kingdom, and to embrace every expression and facet it carries (including sound doctrine).
I also know that my outward enthusiasm can at times cause offence to those who do not express themselves in this same way. But I also know my “spiritual ADHD” encourages others and releases a culture of freedom and expectation (to which the Father receives great pleasure from). Which expression is right?...both are (it’s a heart matter). I love the corporate gatherings and the intimate 2-3, both energise me (as He is in our midst in both settings). If you’re ok with someone going crazy and being full of passion at a sporting event, but not ok with it when we gather as the Church, and you want to label this as hype ,than that’s not ok. Personally I don’t have a favourite sports team, TV show or hobby, my life is Christ’s, he’s my interest and my outlet for passion (though there is nothing wrong with having a hobby or pursuing a dream in these areas…..it may just be the destiny He has for you to make him famous). I would rather be a wild horse that needs some bridling (not too much….need to keep that raw edge), than a dead horse that needs flogging.
I’ve waffled on long enough now…….I’ll finish with this:
“let’s be intentional about preserving the unity of the spirit, embrace our diversities, reserve judgement, champion/prefer one other (even in disagreement), cover each other’s backs (the only part of the amour not mentioned in proptecting), and allow the strengths of others to shield our blind spots”.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
PS. This article is not in reaction to anything or aimed at anyone in particular……but rather something that has been brewing in my heart.