There are a number of events going on in diverse places that have caused concern to some. However lest any of us should get carried away, it is important to be clear in our minds, what precisely we are looking for in revival. We have waited this long for reality and it is not apt that just at the brink of Divine mercy, any should derail. Temptations will always be there, just as John the Baptist faced a period of confusion, asking of Jesus, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matt 11:2-11).
Also, the LORD Jesus did warn us to beware that prophesying, casting out devils or doing ‘many wonderful works’ do not equate to being in Christ (Matt 7:22-23). Indeed the LORD pointed out it is a wicked and adulterous generation that seeks signs (Matt 12:38-42).
When we come to the place of prayer and supplication, what should be our cry? We need clarity as to what we are looking for. In order to look further into this topical issue, we listened to a message preached by Brother Gbile Akanni, a couple of weeks earlier in Glasgow. Below are some notes taken:
John 1:38 “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?”
John 1:39 “He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour”.
- Every time men seek to abide with Him, He will never cast them away. “Come and see…” If it is Him, who is the desire of our heart, He will receive us and reveal Himself.
John 1:40 “One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother”.
John 1:41 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ”.
- Finding Jesus is the basis of every revival. It is encounter with His Presence that is the key to any genuine visitation from God.
John 1:42 “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone”.
John 1:43 “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me”.
John 1:44 “Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter”.
John 1:45 “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph”.
- “We have found Him” – this is the only testimony in every true revival. The key to every visitation is to encounter Him.
- It is always the revelation of Jesus that causes a move of God. That was the experience of the Samaritan woman of John 4. When Christ revealed Himself, “I that speak unto thee am he”, something sparked in that woman. It is this fresh revelation of Jesus in our hearts that can bring fresh fire. Not some new doctrine or activities or programmes. It is HE we need. Immediately this woman got this revelation, the next thing is that she dropped her pot and ran to town to tell others “Come and see Him”…This woman did not go to a theological college. Her only qualification was that she had seen Jesus.
John 1:46 “And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see”.
· This statement came out of a man seeking reality. The introduction that Phillip made of Christ raised more questions than answers, for no Scriptural prophecy said the Messiah will be son of a Mr. Joseph.
· In Ex 33:2 Moses refused God’s offer of an angel, even if the angel was to go before Israel and miraculously drive all their enemies before them, as God promised. Moses insisted on the Presence of God Himself going with them, being the only condition for moving from that spot. An angel will not do. It takes a man who has a taste for reality, a taste for the Divine to take such a stand.
· We are not looking for miracles for miracles sake, nor are we looking for angels or crowd or noise.
· Could the Lord reduce our prayers to one point – To see Jesus afresh, to experience the fullness of His Presence afresh!
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
- Hopefully none of us praying for revival is doing so with a secret agenda to share His glory, to be made prominent etc.
John 1:48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
John 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
- Nathaniel met Jesus and testified of His generation
John 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
- But Jesus knew that Nathaniel’s experience of Himself was yet inadequate. Yes, Nathaniel was deeply impressed meeting Jesus personally, but it would appear that what clinched it for him was the word of knowledge Jesus gave to him.
John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
- What is the greater thing that Nathaniel would see? Open heavens here, has nothing to do with monetary blessing or goods pouring down from windows of heaven – it is to do with revelation of Living Christ.
- It will not be just miracles, not only words of knowledge – those are good but can not carry a man or woman of God very far. It must be a revelation of His Divine Person, which, we seek.
Luke 9: 27 –36 What should be the theme of our prayer?
Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
- Revelation of the Kingdom of God is an awakening to behold the Glory of Christ.
John 2:1-11 What should we then do?
- Invite Christ into your life and ministry and if He is yet to appear to you in His Glory, without Him do not a thing.
- Introduce only Christ to men, not yourself. Let Him be your only message.
- Let us avoid human arrangements and let’s be honest about our situation. Let us confess, “we have no wine”. Let us stop sitting on two-legged stool straining our own legs to complete the tripod. It is too energy sapping.
- Whatsoever He says to you, DO IT
- What became mighty revivals in the past started with simple obedience of faith, to little and often ‘insignificant’ instructions.