When God pours out His glory, He has a plan in mind.
God’s tangible, manifest presence comes not only for us to soak up and enjoy for ourselves. It is released for an even larger purpose.
For those who are hungry and thirsty for more of God, one of the key components to receiving more glory is to build the Church.
REVIVAL, growth FOR THE CHURCH
As the early Church experienced Pentecost in Acts 2, they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teachings, breaking of bread, fellowship and prayer. They continued building the Church in the midst of an incredible Revival.
The earliest Christians met from house to house. We know they were able to go from glory to glory because Acts 4:31 says they were filled with the Holy Spirit again, after their initial filling just two chapters earlier.
At the same time, they were able to grow in size.
The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:47
Why did they receive another infilling of the Holy Spirit and grow in number? They were building the Church in the midst of Revival.
LESSONS IN REVIVAL
If pastored correctly, Revival builds the Church.
But this is not easily done. In fact, when mishandled the fire from a Revival can extinguish with little or no lasting impact.
In 1994, when the Holy Spirit fell on Toronto, I saw two different streams of people who received from that Revival and brought it back to their churches.
- On one end, there were those who did not understand the purpose of the Revival; they brought back an excitement that did not last. Actually, some churches that were major Revival centers then no longer exist today.
- On the other end, there were churches that received an impartation of Revival, held protracted meetings and continued to grow at the same time. These churches are thriving today.
“Build the Church”
In 1995, before John Arnott and I left the Vineyard church movement, John Wimber called us to give us advice concerning the Revival we were then experiencing.
One thing he said stood out powerfully to me—he implored us: “Build the Church.”
He advised us to keep structures in place to maintain small groups, and to hold Sunday school. This was simple but easy to overlook amid all the excitement.
We followed his advice because we knew John himself was successful in growing the Vineyard denomination while hosting an earlier Revival in the 1980s.
In the gospels Jesus emphasized the building of the Church when He said,
I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18
Whenever He manifests His glory by pouring out His Spirit, God is giving us the greatest blessing as He builds His Church all across the earth.
One of the most amazing things about Revival is God’s faithfulness to continue to ring waves of Revival all throughout the world. Revival is His desire, even more than ours, and He is able to do it again. Learning the history of Revival inspires me for what we are in the midst of now and what is to come.
This exclusive issue, “Revival Magazine”, created and edited by the HRock Church Creative Team is a rich and beautiful magazine, documenting international moves of God all over the world throughout the generations. I am one of the contributors as well as dear friends and fellow revivalists, Heidi Baker, Todd White, Bill Johnson, Lou Engle, and others. God is building a fresh wave, and we are in the midst of it.