A blog post @ insanitybytes22 with commentaries on revival motivated the creation of this Article. There it was rightly stated, “the hardest thing about building relationship is unlearning all the things you may have been told or taught”. In many years experienced as a Counselor, the constant ‘problem’ clients seek to remedy is the ‘unlearning’ of preconceived ideas about marriage, commitment, and love.
Too many expectations turn to disillusionment when the least little ‘crack’ in one’s foundation appears. As Jesus warned about building a house on the sand, life built upon any false belief system (no matter how slight) NEVER allows the fulfillment of desired anticipations – but merely regret. As with all interpersonal relationships, so also, our personal relationship with God is dependent upon TRUTH.
Lies and deceit infest people’s ability to fully trust, which causes suspicion rather than true love. The resulting lack of commitment is built upon an equally false foundation of resentment – which goes unidentified for years because many people focus on their ‘rights’ rather than their responsibilities.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Most people know that we are, but only when its ‘my brother’s’ turn to be godly – we accept merely that he’s MY keeper. Instead of do unto others, we tend to only treat others the way we perceive their treatment of us (which may or may not be valid). Then, as if THAT ideology isn’t bad enough, we relate to God with the same mindset. We wait for Him to prove Himself ‘worthy’ of our reciprocal love and commitment.
The worst false belief system is the one that is so self-centered that its focus is on what I do to prove myself worthy to God – a completely BACKWARDS approach to every relationship. Too many people fail to understand that godly marriage (and ANY right-relationship) is NEVER a 50/50 proposition – but always a 100% commitment by both parties.
Grace is ‘proof’ of God’s 100% commitment to us. It is also an enabling of our ability to reciprocate 100% to Him and every other good relationship we encounter. Conversely, deceit has many people quite unwittingly 100% committed to WRONG ideas and understandings about relationships – so much to ‘unlearn’, they don’t even know that they’re wrong, disregarding GRACE in the process.
“…because they did not receive the love of the truth… God will send them strong delusion…” – 2Thes. 2: 10,11.
But full and proper comprehension of TRUTH is not automatic, and certainly not obtainable through even the best of our own initiatives. In and of ourselves, we CANNOT know TRUTH.Scripture declares that TRUTH comes only through the revelation of God, provided by grace. TRUTH is a person – Jesus Christ – apart from Him, there is no truth.
“Jesus declared, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” – Jn. 14:6.
“…when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” – Jn. 16:13.
True revival is a rare occurrence, NOT because God ‘tarries’ (a common dogma among some) – as if ‘waiting’ upon the move of the Holy Spirit will usher in such an event. But unlike the ONE-TIME event where Christ’s disciples were assembled together in a certain upper room ‘waiting’ for the Holy Spirit’s FIRST appearing as promised by Jesus, revival since is to happen as a personal anointing of the SAME Holy Spirit as each individual responds to God’s intervention and invitation.
“Jesus said, ‘you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me“ – Ac.1:8.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” – Rev. 3:20.
Those whose perception of revival as only a visible manifestation of God’s pouring out His Spirit on large groups of people in a certain locale, miss the true purpose and experience of revival. True revival is NOT about a visible evidence of God’s anointing, but an inner CONFIRMATION of having passed from death to life, thereby ‘reviving’ that which was dormant.
Indeed, when such becomes a reality in an individual’s life, visible ‘good fruit’ will be manifest and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit through such persons. But ‘proof’ of true revival is NEVER for the unbelieving – but CONFIRMATION to a true believer.
In conclusion, the FIRST outpouring of the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the manifestation of ‘tongues of fire’ immediately followed by speaking in ‘tongues’. While a thorough study of the topic is highly recommended, it is NOT included in this Article. However, the association of ‘tongues’ with the “Baptism with the Holy Spirit” continues to this day as a considerable sign for UNBELIEVERS, who although they cannot comprehend it, might hopefully investigate it leading to his salvation.
“Tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all” – 1Cor. 14:22-24.