A Timely Message on Revival:
God is bringing revival all around the world. People often ask me where revival will start and how? And I answer them revival will begin everywhere that people will have a heart that will seek Him, a heart that will hunger and thirst for Him. In the early church, God used His people in extraordinary ways. He took Ordinary people and by them He turned the world upside down. The church of today has lost it's place in the economy of God. Now God is speaking CHANGE to the way things are. And His people will turn the world upside down again!
God's people often complain about the "world condition", but don't realize that the world is the way it is because of the church. Now before you look at me like I have 2 heads, please understand that this is what Jesus told His disciples before He was crucified for the sins of the world.
Matthew 5:14 says: "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid".
What that means is, the world can only walk in the light that the church is shining. Let's face it...the corporate church (worldwide as a whole) has for SO long been shining a light that is full of hypocrisy. The world looks at the church and doesn't see anything different than themselves. The church is full of divorce, people addicted to alcohol and drugs. And let's not forget the sexual "indiscretions" the church is guilty of. No wonder the world is SO screwed up! It's time that we take responsibility for "our actions" and turn this thing around!
SO, God is saying: It is time for the church to change. It is time for the church to come back to it's FIRST love. It is time for the church to Repent...it is time for REVIVAL to come.
You might ask...how does revival come? What can I do to bring revival into my life? The answer is really very simple. Man has made it complex. God gave the formula for revival in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
2Ch 7:14 "If my people, which are called by
my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from
their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and
will heal their land".
This verse will change the world.
What we do:
1. Humble ourselves.
3. Seek His face.
4. Turn from our wicked ways.
1. God will hear from heaven (when we pray).
2. Forgive OUR sin (we are to pray for the nation too)
3. Heal OUR land (us personally & our nation).
It all starts with humility. This word "Humble" in the Hebrew means "to depress". Like a "Ball-point pen", unless the button is "depressed", the pen is "useless". Even so, unless we "humble ourselves" before God, we are useless to Him. This truth, is a mind blower. When we truly humble ourselves, we will begin to pray. True Prayer is not what most people DO. Most people give God their "shopping or needs lists" and think that they are praying...(gimme, gimme!!)...but TRUE prayer is 2 way communication with God. Us talking to Him and then Him talking back to us. How many of us rush through our prayer time and really only give God "the list" and feel we have done our duty. The word "Prayer" in the Greek is the word "Intercourse". It denotes "Intimacy". God is looking for those that will love Him and come close. The types and shadows in the Bible are to help us understand. Jesus is called the Husband and the Church is called the Bride. A husband & wife are to be intimate. It is suppose to be "2 way communication", not one-sided.
As we begin to really PRAY, we can then
seek HIS face through our Worship. Why through worship? Because as we really
worship God, all of the distraction of life are blocked out and nothing stands
before us & Him. This is where the majority of all believers fail. The great
revivals that are springing up all over the world today are helping God's people
seek His "face". This is the key to getting closer to God: Seeking His face.
Unfortunately most people don't know how to do that. And many of those that DO
know how, don't really care, because in ignorance, they have their own agenda,
their own schedules, their own programs. The word
"ignorance" doesn't mean "lack of knowledge", but it actually means, knowing but
"choosing to ignore".
Abandoning ourselves in His presence is the key: Psalms 16:11 says: "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore".
When we get into His presence, we are filled with joy...Holy laughter will many times overtake the individual. There can be tears of joy one moment then laughter the next. I have been down on the floor overcome by laughter, while the person next to me is crying...and vice-versa. God's presence IS tangible...when He is allowed expression. People go to church all the time and may feel "peaceful", but this is NOT actually His presence. His presence is powerful. There can be other manifestations too. These things don't HAVE to happen, but many times will. Look at this:
2 Chron. 5:13-14: "It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God."
In the old testament Hebrew, the word "presence" is also translated "face". Presence = Face.
God told Moses in Ex. 33: 18-23:
Ex. 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory.
Ex. 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
Ex. 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Ex. 33:21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shall stand upon a rock:
Ex. 33:22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory pass by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
Ex. 33:23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shall see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
"No man can see His face and live". John 5:24 says: "Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." John 11:25-26 says: " Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Prior to the cross, man couldn't look upon
God's face and live. They would die physically. But now, after being washed in
the blood of Jesus, we can look upon God, like no one has done since the Garden
of Eden. We can enter into His presence (see His face). We won't die physically,
but we will die to our selfishness, pride, ego and everything else (sin) that would
separate us from Him. That is what we call being "refined", but more about that
Churches that are on-fire with revival, know how to seek His face. They know how to enter His presence. It is done by praise & worship. When we abandon ourselves into seeking His face, by praise & worship, something will happen. We will draw closer to God. We are shutting out the world...we are putting our differences behind us...we are closing ourselves off from our problems and any other thing in our human lives... and focusing totally and completely on Him.
God sent my wife & I to Texas to bring Revival to the Rio Grande Valley. When He asked us to move here, at first we felt like Abraham, not knowing where we were going. but after we moved here, we understood why He sent us here. The churches here basically NEVER take the time to seek His face. They rush through a "preset" time frame\schedule of a "few songs" and go on with "their program". It is all done "as unto the Lord", but God isn't even involved in the equation...He has no say in the matter...there is no opportunity for Him to express Himself...there is no abandonment into seeking Him... and do you know what happens? People leave the church building, pretty much the same as they came into the place...unchanged by God. oh yes, they might "feel" a little more peaceful for a few moments, they might feel like they have done their religious obligation for the week, or whatever, but God wasn't allowed to show up and do what He wanted to do. People go to church, come off of the streets, they come to church after having a bad week, a bad day...health problems, financial problems, family problems, etc. etc. and they just can't get into God's presence by singing "a few songs". It takes time...however much time is needed for them to breakthrough...whatever it takes, to do that.
We FOUND revival in our hearts by abandoning ourselves into worship and praise. We pastored for over 21 years in No. CA. The first 12 years of that time, we were pretty much like any other church that had the baptism of the Holy Spirit operating in the believers. We "believed right"...we believed in miracles, signs & wonders and God would move "occasionally". But it wasn't until after 1997 that we began to really cry out to God. We knew that there "had to be MORE to God then this". What happened changed our lives...we began to worship HIM. We began to take the time to SEEK His face, by praise & worship. We were finding our worship services going over an hour, an hour & a half, sometimes 2 hours, just spending the time in praise & worship. I'm talking about the actual time we spent "singing & worshipping God. And Not JUST "singing some songs"...I am talking about people really and truly pouring their hearts into this time and "loving on God". And God's glory began to fall upon us.
We began to see tangible evidences of His presence. A Glory cloud began to hover over our heads below the ceiling & hearts & bodies were healed. It wasn't the visible manifestations that were important, but what God was doing to everyone there. Lives were changed. His love would touch everyone. We KNEW that God loved us. He had personally visited us. When God's glory is manifested like that, the whole atmosphere changes. The air is thick like walking in a swimming pool...that is IF you could stand at all. Our Sunday services would last upwards of 3 hours. Our Weeknight services would start at 7pm and rarely were over until after 11 or 11:30pm, sometimes 12 Midnight. It was glorious...no one wanted to leave.
Part of those experiences came to us because
we also spent time worshiping God at home. There were many times, when I would
spend hours before God, late at night while everyone else was asleep...I would
put on worship music using stereo headphones in my living room and dance before
the Lord with all of my might (like King David) and I would have profound
intimate experiences with God. Yes, true worship is coming before the Lord with
all of our heart, mind soul & strength (that means we use our whole body). I
would spend this "special time with God" from 3-6am. This is the special time,
that God visits His people in special ways. When Jesus sent His disciples into
the ship and told them to cross over to the other side, He would go up to the
mountain and pray to His Father. He saw the disciples toiling on the lake:
Mat 14:22-27: "And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
According to Historians, this "forth watch" is 3-6am. This is the same time that God came visited Adam in the Garden of Eden, in the "cool of the day", before the sun was up. God would give me supernatural wisdom and direction during these times of seeking Him.
2 Cor. 3:16-18 says: "Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD."
When "it" shall turn to the Lord, is referring to our "hearts". When we truly turn our heart to the Lord, things will begin to happen. When we seek His face, we will be changed...we are changed into the same image as we are seeing...HIM..."God is love" & in Him, love has joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith & self control. We call that the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). We begin to walk in His character an His fruit. And His power rises up in us and we see Him do extraordinary things where ever we go. But this seeking His face DOES have a cost. Because doing so, it gets "hot"...tangibly hot. People would tell me...the room is SO HOT....but I would go over to the Thermostat and check the temperature and it said it was 78 degrees. But the "hot" is really within us...because He will refine us like silver while we are "getting closer" to Him. This is the process where "we turn from our wicked ways"...refining...and it is glorious, because in the "heat" of His presence, we will WANT to change. Over time, we will find ourselves "letting go" of the things He points out to us. We will want to please Him. We will want to be LIKE HIM.
Zechariah 13:9 says: "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
If you were to ask a Silversmith, how does he know when silver is "ready", he would tell you: "That's simple...when I look at the silver and can see my reflection." Even so, When God can see the reflection of His face in us, then we will shine forth His glory in all the earth and lives will be changed and God will be glorified through us. It is all about HIM and nothing to do with us...except for our "yielding unto Him" and seeking His face. ...then God will "heal our land". Here is how He will do that: 1 John 3:1-3:
1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.
Most will say that this "appearing" is talking about the "2nd coming of Jesus" (which technically, it is), but God's word is ALIVE (Heb. 4:12) and He can speak to us in many ways, using 1 scripture. This is what we call "Rhema"...when God's word "speaks to us". When we enter His presence, when we seek His face....HE DOES APPEAR. We see His face (remember, His face is actually His presence)...and we become like HIM, because we SEE HIM as HE IS. Our God is SO wonderful!!!
And when we are refined, we will shine as lights in a dark place and the world will be changed. We will then BE the light of the world that Jesus intended us to be! When we humble ourselves, pray, seek HIS face, and by doing so, turn from our wicked ways (by being refined by seeking his face). then will God hear from Heaven, forgive our sin (ours and our nation's sins) and heal our land...the light of God's love and truth and power will be shined unto the world through us and the world will be changed. 2 Cor. 4:3-4 says: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world (that's satan, our enemy) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them".
We are nothing...He is everything to us and we love Him so very much. We just want to share what He has shown us and done in us with everyone we can. This is what we have come to Texas to do. God is moving in awesome ways in No. CA, where we came from, so He has sent us to bring that SAME fire here in the Rio Grande Valley, where it is really needed.
Fuego! (Spanish for Fire!)