A Word of encouragement and reality.
What will you do when . . . ?
A few years ago, actually about 25 years or so, The Holy Spirit was asking me some pretty straight questions.
He brought it all back to me this morning, as we reviewed the present move today — especially in the light of what’s been happening in the last year or so in California, and other places under Mario Murillo, Kent Christmas, and a few other faithful and brave pastors.
It’s also beginning to break out in smaller, less well known places, where faithful Prayer Teams have dedicated two years or more to fervent Prayer for Revival.
A while back, The Holy Spirit asked me a series of, “What will you do when . . . . .?” questions which become very relevant again today.
“Seriously, what will you do when these things start to happen in your Church? You may start by rejoicing and lapping it all up! BUT . . .
What will you do when lots of new people come in — not just once, but every week — for about a year or even longer?”
We’ve already seen Churches saying, “Stop — no more!” because they can’t cope after just four weeks.
When they grieve The Spirit like this, He simply withdraws, and the move He started, dies.
“So, what will you do when An Outpouring brings many people through your doors on a regular, sustained basis?”
Let’s take this a step at a time.
“What will you do if, say, 3 people a week, consistently, start coming to your Church? You’d probably cope okay wouldn’t you?
But 3 people a week, although lovely, isn’t exactly my idea of Revival — is it yours?
How about we raise that to when 6 or 7 people a week, every week for a while, start coming?
Hmmm — you’d start to struggle maybe?”
So, let’s raise the bar again!
“What will you do if and when there are 20, or more, new Salvations per week in your Church?”
Things get messy. Newborn Christians bring baggage, mess, and problems with them. They may bring tattoos, addictions, joblessness, even homelessness with them.
They will certainly bring problems that don’t normally come to Church — they will not behave as Church people behave.
“How will you treat them?”
I’ve even heard it asked, by a Church Elder,
“Do we really want people like that in our Church?”
“So — how will you welcome them, teach them, and yes — disciple them?
Have you got the basic infrastructure to build upon quickly so as to cope?”
We’re beginning to see what revival may be like.
The Holy Spirit prompted me with more questions:
“What will you do when your plans and schedules are wrecked?”
I’ve asked this before and gotten some funny looks and responses which showed that we’ve not considered that our precious, ordered world could be any different — could it?
“What will you do when healing happens spontaneously?”
This is not new as it’s happened many times before now. So how will you minister to these?”
Suddenly your Altar will be crowded with expectant, hopeful folk — I know you’ve seen healing lines, but in your Church, every service?
Do you have those who can handle this?
“What will you do when Deliverance becomes every day practice, when demons flee the unsaved even as they are receiving salvation — or even afterwards?
Have you seen it? Has it never happened in your Church?
It will, I assure you. What will you do?
What will you do when someone gets raised from the dead? Again, it’s happened before. How will you handle it?
What will you do when services extend beyond normal hours — when folk arriving for the next service trip over those still here from the previous one? When meetings go on until dawn? Or longer?
What will you do when people leave, because they don’t like the changes?”
The LORD is asking you, and your Church, these questions.
“How well prepared are you?
Don’t you think you need to decide now — Revival, do you really want it in your church?
Will you receive it or will you quash it?
Will you meet it full on, rejoicing, or will you run from it, hide, or maybe decline it altogether?”
It’s not too late, but it is high time to consider the reality of revival.
It’s happened before — in 1904 in Wales, 1949 in the Hebridean Islands, in 1985 in Argentina, in the 1990’s in Toronto and Pensacola, in other places and at other times too.
What happened? People weren’t ready, they were unprepared, they were almost overwhelmed (but not quite).
Because God is ready for your unreadiness!
He isn’t caught on the hop by anything we do or don’t do. He is ready — and He helps us cope with it so long as we don’t refuse it, or crush it, or stop it, or ‘control’ it!
God will send Revival as His sovereign gift to His church. This doesn’t mean we can just stand back and wait — we have to do our part too.
We have to repent and cry out for revival, for The Holy Spirit to move upon us.
There are Churches who have done just this for some time now, and I’m expecting Revival any day now — indeed, signs are that it’s already started.
The Holy Spirit will send His Holy Fire to His Holy Church.
Let me close by encouraging you with the brief story of Smithton. The Smithton Revival was a Pentecostal Christian revival meeting that occurred in the small town of Smithton, Missouri, from March 1996 to April 2000.
Starting with a congregation of about 180 people, Smithton Community Church, hosted steady crowds for four years resulting in over 250,000 visitors.
If it can happen there in Smithton, a town of under 1000 people, then Holy Spirit can bring it again in your town.
I can’t wait — can you?
~ Chris G. Bennett
Chris Bennett came to salvation in 1962 but didn’t begin ministry until 2007 — a late-comer! Now mandated by The LORD to prophesy and open old wells of revival in the U.K., but especially in Wales. He has also operated Healing Rooms, and worked with deliverance teams, all with his wife, Linda. Happily now doing whatever The LORD asks of them! Founder, with wife Linda, of their ministry The Upper Room Encounter.