Sometime in the early to mid-1980s, I realized the Charismatic Movement, which included the Jesus People Movement, was over. Not that people were not still being saved and impacted by Holy Spirit, but the scope and magnitude were no longer sufficient to call it a revival. There has not been a national revival in America since that time. (The Charismatic Movement was also international.) This outpouring did not have as great a societal impact in America as the First and Second Great Awakenings in that it did not change the overall culture. Nevertheless, many consider it a true revival. I certainly do.
Even as it waned, I knew in my spirit another great revival was planned for America and the world. Holy Spirit impressed this on my heart very strongly and confirmed it in many ways. In my youthful naivety, however, I assumed it would take place soon. In 2000, Holy Spirit completed His mantling of me for my role in this process and spoke to me of the coming awakening. Again, I assumed this would begin immediately. But I was not aware of the scope of God‘s plan - certainly not in the 80s, and not even in 2000 - to take the church through another incredibly significant season of restoration, including but not limited to: radically new understandings and levels of worship; the prayer movement; the restoration of prophets and prophetic ministry; the restoration of apostles and apostolic ministry; and the revelation of the church as Christ’s Ekklesia (government and discipling body) on earth. Holy Spirit has been very busy these last 35 years!
These restorations in the church will prove to be the greatest game changers in history. With all of Christ’s 5 anointings now operating in the body of Christ - that is what the 5 ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11 represent - we can reveal Him fully on the earth. (See also Ephesians 4:13.) Learning to represent Christ through prayer is changing the world. Understanding our authority as His Ekklesia is monumental. And no words can adequately describe the worldwide impact of the worship movement over the last 30-40 years. These restorations HAD to occur, and their importance and impact can not be overstated. The greatest revival in the history of the world is now possible.
I say all of this to encourage you that we, the church, have not simply been in a meaningless stall or holding pattern for the last few decades. And we are certainly not in a stalemate with the powers of darkness. Christ, the builder of the church (Matthew 16:18-19), knows exactly what He is doing. His Chief Representative/Partner on earth, Holy Spirit, also knows what He is doing. We can rest assured they have things on track. The wait will have been worth it.
A couple of our Kingdom's predecessors, Joshua and Caleb, through no fault of their own, also had to wait 40 years for their promised inheritance. We must remember that when God is working in, with, and through millions of people, it takes longer for Him to accomplish His purposes. Hearts must change, understanding must increase, and paradigms must be transformed. He knows this and is patient; we must be, as well.
I want to conclude the post today by reminding you of a significant dream given a few years back to our friend, Julie Meyer. Julie is an internationally known worship leader, teacher, and seasoned intercessor. As the dream began, she saw 7 ambulances lined up, each with lights flashing. Growing very concerned, she looked into the back of one of the ambulances and saw a non-responsive person on a gurney. Next to the patient was an attendant, working feverishly to revive him.
In the dream, Julie immediately knew the attendant was an angel. He looked at her and said, “I can’t find a heartbeat.” She went from one ambulance to the next, finding the same scenario—patients on gurneys with angels attending them, trying to restart their hearts. Suddenly, one of the angels looked directly at Julie and confided, “It’s the intercessors.”
Like myself and many of you, a number of intercessors have prayed for years for revival, but revival hasn’t yet materialized, and some of them have experienced what Proverbs 13:12 refers to as “hope deferred.” And as this verse warns, hope deferred has made their hearts sick. Traveling across America, I can attest to the truthfulness of the dream.
As Julie’s dream continued, suddenly, one of the angels shouted, “I found a heartbeat, but it’s very faint!”
The other angels grew excited and inquired, “What did you do?”
The first angel’s response was surprising. “Tell the old stories. When I started telling her stories of what God did in the past, her heart began to beat.”
With that, these heavenly attendants began speaking to the intercessors about the First Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, and other Holy Spirit outpourings—right up through the healing revivals and tent meetings of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. As they did so, the hearts of all the intercessors started to beat again. At this point in the dream, an angel looked at Julie and insisted, “Tell the old stories of what God has done in the past.”
This was powerful to me. The angelic messenger then added instructions that stirred my heart even more: “Tell the intercessors to put themselves in the storyline because the old stories are also their stories.” What a profound and intriguing thought.
Who among us really thinks this way? But we should. God has one overarching plan for humankind; we’re all part of the same unfolding drama. Our generation’s role in history is simply another act of yesterday’s play; our battles are conflicts in one ongoing war. Every revival in history is but a sequel to Holy Spirit’s ongoing series of outpourings, and every soul saved enters the same spiritual family. Our stories, though many, are one.
Put yourself in the storyline, because the old stories are actually your stories!
Remind yourself of some past revivals, miracles, and outpourings of Holy Spirit. Do a search of the Welsh revival, Cane Ridge, Azuza Street, or others. Re-read the book of Acts. As you do, remind yourself that all of them are YOUR revivals. Put yourself in the storyline. If you do, hope deferred will lift, weariness will be replaced with refreshing, and your heart will come alive.
Pray with me:
Thank You, Father, for bringing us into Your family and plan. You have made us more than servants, You’ve made us Your family and friends. As such, we have become co-laborers with You, working to see Your redemptive power manifested throughout the earth. You have expanded our understanding of this significantly over the past 40 years.
We believe You are now launching an entirely new phase of Your Kingdom activities on earth. Jesus said it was Your good pleasure to give us the Kingdom (Luke 12:32), so we ask for this. We also command for You and for Christ the release of Kingdom rule into the earth, just as He instructed us to do: “Your Kingdom, come! Your will, be done!”
We join our faith and prayers together for a strengthening of the intercessors, NOW! We break off weariness and confusion. We release joy, strength, and refreshing. We say that our hearts are strong, beating vibrantly and effectively. We place ourselves in the Kingdom storyline, reminding ourselves that every revival in history was our revival, and every soul saved is now our family member. We stir ourselves up, just as Paul told Timothy to do. We will not be passive, complacent, or apathetic, we will burn for You.
We decree that the great work of restoration accomplished by Holy Spirit over the past 40 years will now bear its fruit.
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