When Revival Comes!
By Gbile Akanni
“Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass”. Isaiah 32:15-20
As we hear people everywhere talking of Revival, it has become crucial to find out what is really to be expected when Revival comes. If a man does not know a currency very well, he may get a fake and hold unto it rejoicing, not knowing that what he has is fake. You could go for a meeting and think the spirit really moved because you were extremely happy. But we all know that happiness is not a measure of what we are doing. If happiness was the definite effect of what we are doing. All we need is just to make some few brothers who know how to laugh and how to make others laugh, lead us to do a laughing service unto the lord.
I trust that the Holy Ghost will speak deeply into your spirit so that your expectation will be correct, so when we talk about Revival, you might know what we are looking for. When you go to a meeting and they say the Spirit is moving, you will know the parameters – biblical parameters of the Spirit so that you might settle down for the real and not for the fake or physical.
Our taste for spiritual reality has been affected because of what we were told was the original. Your prayer life can never be higher than your expectations. Remember people like Caleb who asked for an entire mountain? Yet because we never were discipled under such men, we cannot pray like them. What about men that their lives affected cities and changed situations of such cities? Hear a man like John Knox praying and saying: “Give me Scotland or I die!”
For us, there is so much faith in our generation for that which is ephemeral; faith for that which is not going to be consequential to the Kingdom. It is to deal with such abnormalities that we are going to be looking at the parameters of Revival. What are the indications that point to us that what we are experiencing is truly what should happen if Revival has come? May the Lord open our eyes to understand and not be carried away with what is not of importance to our Kingdom journey.
A Standard Against Wickedness
In a genuine Revival, the release of the power of the Holy Spirit comes to raise a standard against any flood. It is only anointing that can resist and put up a tough fight against the flood of wickedness. Men could organise hired assassins to remove their rival in business and politics etc. Young men, teenagers and youths are lifting up weapons to snuff out lives of innocent men and women. Cases of kidnappings for ritual killings abound. But all these notwithstanding, there is an anointing that comes during Revival that sets a boundary for all wicked acts.
When the spirit came on John, something happened to all the region of Idumea. Genuine outpouring, even on one man, holds cities to ransom and subdues men. Such anointing brought government on their knees, they bowed. Even Herod, who was the governor of the place, the Bible says, could not be at liberty to do what he wanted to do because John the Baptist was there.
Herod was very wicked. But when the anointing came on John the Baptist, he trembled whenever John preached, more so, that John went to him and said, it was not right for him to take his brother’s wife. Nobody in his cabinet had told him, not even the judiciary in the land could call him to order. But when anointing came on John the Baptist, he could challenge unrighteousness in the name of the Almighty God. Herodias could not do anything not because there were guards around John the Baptist but because he was under anointing. He was under the anointing that controlled human beings. We are looking for anointing that will control kings and governors, not by lobbying. Herod did not know what to do with John the Baptist: he feared John. The only thing he could do to stop that anointing, was to behead John. But when that happened, it only became a steppingstone for another to wake up.
While John was having an anointing to minister, Jesus seemed to be silent. As soon as he heard that John was put into prison, He rose up. Yet the baptism of John which everyone was running after turned out to be that of “ordinary water”. Jesus came with fire. For him the heavens were opened. He had power as a man to cast out demons, not because he spent night vigils doing that but because anointing was on him. When anointing comes on a man expect something out of that life.
Souls Are Saved
Another parameter of Revival is soul winning. The strongest yoke that is the mother of all yokes is the yoke of sin. When anointing comes, it breaks the yoke of sin.
“but ye shall receive power, after that he Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth”. Acts 1:8
In the time of Jesus when the disciples were to take over, He said to them “Tarry until ye be endued with power from on high. Until the spirit be poured upon you”, because He knew that there would not be much preaching… until the Holy Spirit comes. When the spirit came at Pentecost, note the utterance that came. Peter preached extemporarily: i.e. preaching that you did not predetermine. Without anointing it is a porous message because it will be dropping here and there all over the place. But you see, under the anointing, extemporised preaching, is not unorganized. Peter’s message was the most organized of messages that I ever read. This man went from Genesis to Revelation. It was not a planned meeting, so he was preaching to over 3,000 people, without a loudspeaker yet with rapt attention these people listened to a fisherman. Anointing has nothing to do with education. When it comes, men will listen to you.
Thus, my prayer is it should just come. When Peter spoke and came to a point that people cried out, asking what they should do; he simply told them to repent. There was no argument, the people simply filed out. Read Acts of the apostles 2;14-41 That kind of anointing has not died. God is still interested in helping us and helping His church with an anointing that gets the job done.
Revival Brings Refreshing
“Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest”. Isaiah 32:15
When there is no rain, men must survive. They survive by digging wells. They survive by irrigation but there is no irrigation a farmer clings to when it is beginning to pour from heaven. Several men have become “pray for me” Christians. People do not know the truth that sets men free. It is true that we have sustained ourselves with containers and irrigation but there is no man that wants to die carrying containers of water about.
Isaiah tells us that the first indication of the outpouring of the Spirit is that a wilderness will be turned into a fruitful field. If the anointing comes on your life, you will become a fruitful field; you will no longer live in dryness. If you have experienced dryness before, you know what I am talking about. Dryness comes with dehydration, with a constant effort to get water which is never available.
Dryness causes things which are supposed to be flexible to crack. When a man is going through spiritual dryness, he struggles to get something done and yet even those things that get done, crack.
There are certain times of the year in some parts of the country that you have to struggle to get an orange. And when you get that orange, you will squeeze without getting juice. At such times whatever amount of water you drink helps you. But you know when the Spirit bursts forth on you the first thing we would notice about you is that your wilderness is turned to a fruitful field. When that begins to happen, then you should know that God is beginning to help you as a person. But if you claim that the spirit is moving, but you are dry, your heart is cracking and you are constantly quarrelling with your wife, what kind of spirit is that?
Revival Comes with Correction, Instruction, And Righteousness
“Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness and righteousness remain in the fruitful field”. Isaiah 32:16
This is another indication of a Revival. The word ‘judgement’ here is not the judgement that leads to being condemned to hell because you did wrong. No, it means instruction. This is instruction that has to do with the teaching of the Word of God. There would be enough teaching of the Word of God. Now we are concentrated in few places but when the heavens are opened over us and the Spirit of God is poured forth, the Bible says judgement should dwell in the wilderness. You will go into the villages, and you will see people handling the Bible in the local languages with deep revelation. That’s what revival would do.
I found that every Revival must produce righteousness if it is not fake. Genuine Revival must bring about righteousness. What drove man out of the Garden of Eden was Sin. Thus, the quarrel God has with man is over the issue of Sin. It is for this purpose that we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. And to reconcile two people that are quarrelling you need to remove what has separated them. As such I cannot see one as a minister of reconciliation if one is not dealing with the matter of sin and righteousness. No man gets angry and threatens to stone a preacher if all he is told is about God’s attention to bless and prosper him. So, when they stoned Stephen, it was because he touched on the matter of unrighteousness.
Peace And Stability of Souls
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace”. Isaiah 32:17
“Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace? Then learn to know Him better and better”. 2Peter 1:1-3 (Living Bible)
Revival will bring righteousness and righteousness will bring peace. Some of the pastoral ministry that we do is because we would not preach what we should preach. For example, a woman comes to wake you to come and settle the quarrel between her and her husband and from 10pm till 2am, you are discussing with them and you call that pastoral ministry rather I call that maintenance ministry.
You are simply dealing with cases; you are not dealing with causes. There is a cause why a woman may think that she can pack her things and go out. It is because she has not been taught that God hates divorce according to Malachi 2:16. If one knows that God hates divorce, such a one cannot carry her bag out of the husband’s house. She will know that if she does that, she cannot pray and think God will hear her.
Revival Comes With Persecution
Heavens will open and we should know what we are expecting. We are expecting righteousness.
There are times that righteousness is not palatable. One of the evidence of Revival is the gnashing of teeth. It is not always that a message will make people smile. When Stephen was preaching, he preached in such a way that the people gnashed their teeth. They then rushed at him and killed him.
They could not bear his words to them because the truth was not palatable. When a message begins to draw punches from people you have never offended, you should not be afraid. This type of reaction should be expected. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That is why I tell you that this thing could bring us to persecution or even more.
Revival Brings Hard Work
Revival will make it impossible for some of us to sit down because there will be need for hard work. Our work will be preaching and raising disciples. There will be hard work in ministering to men. We will do it as though we are putting a leaven and thoroughly mixing the dough. Before you know it, the whole place will be affected. Preach the Word in season and out of season. If the government will need Christian teachers, will you be available? When national government is looking for programmes of righteousness, will you be available? Revival comes with hard work. It comes with sleepless nights.
“How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters, who let out freely the ox and the donkey”. Isaiah 32:20.
Those of you that have concern for Revival I conclude by asking you to note the verse above. It is what you want to reap that you must sow. It is what a man sows that he will reap. If we are going to reap multiplication of men like ourselves then we must sow ourselves. I cannot expect us to get Christians who are straightforward if we do not sow our lives. You cannot get congregations where righteousness reigns if people that are righteous will not sow themselves in order for righteousness to be reproduced. For a grain to be sown it must be buried; we must likewise bury our lives. Revival demands it. Are you ready to sow your life for this Revival to continue? Arise and let us labour together.