The longer you are an active participant in the Kingdom of God, the more your citizenship allows you to see. To be a Christian is far deeper than asking Jesus into your life, being water baptized, joining a church, behaving morally and learning theology. While all of these things are good, they also can serve as potential fig leaves behind which we hide our lack of love for God, our desire for Him, and our pursuit of deeper intimacy with Him. Even sadder, there are people, churches, schools, and ministries that will applaud you for your fig leaf, even seeking to assist you to enlarge it, all the while turning a blind eye to a lack of power and depth of love for Jesus who rescued you.
We are in a season where the Lord has begun a revival that is going to continue to grow. My observation is that this revival is not yet a torrent. It feels much more like a trickle…but even a trickle has movement. We are beginning to see some things that are consistent with historical revivals that have occurred in the last 125 years. Chiefly among those things are a deep hunger for God’s presence and a willing humility being expressed through Kingdom leaders. Those things do not come through the flesh. Hunger and humility are precursors to presence and power. Revival is beginning and will visibly increase. Unless…
We revert back to lesser loyalties as we become aware that, when God moves, the former things are always shaken.
Revival is always initiated by God. Let’s go ahead and acknowledge that God has to begin everything that has value in the Kingdom. You and I did not initiate our own salvation – that was grace. You and I did not create our hunger for spiritual growth – that was (and still is) God giving us His own desires in our hearts. Any spiritual gifts you have come to you as a result of God choosing those gifts and releasing them. That is not to say that you should not desire more gifting from Him but, when you receive an increase of gifting, that will also be by His grace. Now, having submitted that God is the point of origin of every valuable component of the Kingdom, I will state just as emphatically that we, the redeemed, must wisely, humbly and intentionally steward what He initiates if we expect it to grow. If we fail to appropriately steward what He begins, it eventually fades and fails. Fire either spreads or dies in accordance of what is put in front of the flame.
When the Church loses her focus off her Bridegroom, we become preoccupied with all manner of lesser loves. Usually, when God begins to move, there are those among us who become frightened. God does not tiptoe in revivals. He moves decisively, with typically heavy steps. He thunders and gains our attention. He reduces all those things we have erected to provide us security, comfort and protection. You may not agree with that, but it is true. I am not saying that we are left without security, without comfort or without protection. No, God removes the things we have relied upon to provide these things so that we may look exclusively to Him for those things. All throughout Scripture, God crushes comfort zones without apology. He calls people away unto Himself. He knows how to employ fire, wind, and smoke to get His people realigned with Him. Some of those people obeyed and were blessed. Others longed for what-once-was and turned back. One reluctant rubbernecker looked back at what God was removing, and she became a pillar of salt. This type of thing still occurs today. The direction of your focus determines the place of your arrival. God is rattling things in this present day. He is changing things. He is not sewing a pretty patch on a used garment. He is creating a new robe to wrap around His bride. The degree to which we get to experience this initiated offer from Him will be determined, in part, by where we determine to allow our daily focus to rest.
“To whom then will you compare Me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and seewho created these…” – Isaiah 40:25-26
We need to master at least two things in this season. Firstly, we must lift up our own spiritual eyes on high. We cannot be caught scanning the surface of things. There is a greater depth that we must grasp, therefore we must elevate our expectations. Yes, we must look up to see deeply. We need to prepare our hearts to witness now some things we have not seen previously. We need to humble ourselves and acknowledge that this is not a new and improved season that is arriving. We are entering into a new and unprecedented season from God. It is not that He has not done similar things before. It is unprecedented in the sense of it not having ever happened in any of our lifetimes. Again, it is currently more of a trickle than a torrent.
But do you not see the trickle?
Those with their eyes lifted up also sense that the trickle is growing, moving, and spreading in multiple directions. We have lifted up our eyes and seen it. Now, the second thing we must master in these immediate days is a militant commitment to refuse to be distracted. When the enemy cannot blind us, he works diligently to distract us, to unnerve us, to get us obsessing over the fine print when God is still seeking to impart an understanding of the headline that He is writing. Both God and the enemy work in the fine art of agitation. God agitates us to create in us a dissatisfaction with the status quo, so that our holiest hungers will arise. The enemy agitates us to cause fear. He wants us to tremble at the trickle of revival so that we run away, never getting to experience the torrent of revival that comes afterward. When the fear of what we do not yet understand grows larger than the security of what we previously understood, there arises the impulse to return to what was comfortable for us. Sadly, I have seen this hundreds of times in Christians that I have walked alongside. Fear shipwrecks more believers from experiencing God’s best more than any other factor. Scripture calls believers to “lift up their eyes” dozens of times. Paul told us to set our hearts on things above, where Jesus rules from His throne (Colossians 3:1). God’s Word regularly summons us to seek Him in higher realms. The higher we ascend God’s holy hill, the fewer people can go with us. Most of us in the Church prefer ever-enlarging fig leaves over standing naked and trembling before the Lord (Hebrews 4:13).
God wants you naked. God is calling you to release your favorite fig leaf. God is asking you to lift up your spiritual eyes and give Him long stares. He wants you quiet and still. He wants your head tilted upward, off of the agitating distractions that the enemy is sending you.
God wants to know if you feel the trickle surround your feet.
Can you feel His waters begin to move?
Do you sense the tickle of the trickle just beginning to touch your life?
Stand there a little longer. Do not run. Wait for Him. As you stand before Him naked, stilled and waiting, He is preparing to clothe you with the best garments you have ever received from Him.
He wants to wrap you up in His increasing presence and power. He wants to clothe you with Himself.