I’m reading in the Book of Acts as the Lord is stirring my heart to see a true revival in this season. I have had conversations with individuals who are liked minded and desire to see a move of God that will change lives and the lost will be convicted and come to repentance.
The early Church gives us the pattern of Christianity for the followers of Jesus. We may look back and draw the conclusion that life was different in the first century and therefore the practice of Christianity has changed and we need to change with it. I’m not in that camp. I believe the Bible gives us the pattern for the practice of Christianity. Here is a description of what day to day life was to the early believers:
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
Is this possible and realistic to believe we should be doing these simple and practical, although almost obsolete ancient activities at this present time? What should the prevailing behavior be for a Christian today? This is a multi-faced and challenging question. Is contemporary life too busy and complex to institute such historical ideology and theology?
What will it cost me to follow Jesus is the question I am asking myself. What must I be willing to give up for me to participate in a thriving and life giving Kingdom? Am I willing to break the barriers of ‘enlightened’ social norms to bridge the gap to see revival occur in my generation?
I will put forth a theological question that is on my heart. What does Jesus expect His followers to do? Are we to meet only once or twice a week at the most? How is the Kingdom of God to advance and move forward unless we are willing to chart new waters in a new frontier that challenges the current cultural norms of the Church?
I believe a revolution must take place to see revival. There is some advancement being made in some churches in terms of the number of participates on a Sunday morning. This is good; but is it better or the best God has in mind for His people? I believe there is more.
The Bible is the benchmark for Christianity, not the existing and popular consensus of the established majority. When we look at what God expected of His people, it was the opposite of the surrounding societal behavior. Could it be possible we must return to the roots of the New Testament Church to see revival? What measuring stick do we have other than the Bible and studying the revivalist movements of the past?
All are embedded in the principal of prayer, study of the word and spending time together taking part in Christ-centered conversations. They did not gather to play bingo and have a great party. These are all fun and in their proper place form community; however, activities such as these do not form the foundation upon which revival is built.
I have seen revival and understand what it is like and what happens when the Holy Spirit shows up on the landscape. It is no accident or ordinary event. It is a time when there is both judgment and joy. There is the call to pray and fellowship together all within the same day.
I have seen revivals where people gathered for two to three weeks with people setting aside time to worship for up to two hours and then leave the church building and go to a local restaurant and fellowship for over an hour or more prior to going home. These same people would show up the next night bringing visitors with them to heed the call to worship. I have been there. I have seen church buildings packed wall to wall with people standing to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ preached with authority.
I have also been involved where the church families met at different homes during the week specifically for the breaking of the bread of fellowship and worship. The events I am giving you are a description of Christian life that are not easy to undertake. A decision and a sacrifice must be made if we are going to fellowship as the early Church did.
I believe that the expansion of the Kingdom of God is going to require more than a Sunday morning time of worship and meeting one evening for Bible study. There is going to have to be dedicated times of meeting together to fellowship, read a few Scriptures, share testimonies and then move into serious prayer to God through the Holy Spirit. Prayer through fellowship is one principle for revival.
When we are serious and make a commitment to see revival, I believe we will see one – Christ-centered sharing of the Word and prayer through fellowship with one another and with a meal. The kids may have to miss a ball game or two and grandparents as well. The flip side is no revival and the kids go out into the world without a solid knowledge of who Jesus Christ is and unaware of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Are we willing to gather together to share a natural meal and a spiritual mean together? My wife and I are planning to open our home once we complete the remodeling of our home to such events. Will you do also?