If you were at Northside on Wednesday evening, you witnessed something spectacular. There was a move of God in our midst that was unlike anything I have ever seen. During the hour or so of testimony that ensued after the service was technically over, we saw people of all ages, of all walks of life standing to bear witness to the grace of God in their lives. Just to be clear, it is a very GOOD thing when people will give public testimony of God’s goodness, even if the clock says otherwise.
Everyone in that room knew that they had been a part of something significant. There was an uncanny sense that the veil between heaven and earth grew very thin as students bared their souls, “confessing their sins to one another” (James 5:16).
To be quite honest, this was not the revival I was praying for. I was praying for people to be saved. I was praying for baptisms to be had. I was praying for people to join the church. What we got was something totally different. The evening was summed up well by a guest that was with us on Wednesday night. He is a retired preacher with many years of ministry under his belt. On the way out, he said, “In all my years, I’ve never seen anything like this before. The Holy Spirit was truly in this place.” I would concur.
God gently began to show me that revival is like a great treasure. A great treasure has value, not in its intrinsic worth, but in what can be done with it. If a treasure is discovered, but never employed, it is really no treasure at all. It is like a dollar bill that is never invested or spent. Revival is often treated simply as a protracted series of meetings. Growing up, I always pictured revival as an event, featuring a “fire-breathing” preacher and quartet music. But the truth is that revival is much more than that, and God’s expectations are that we take revival and deploy it’s worth to the world around us. That’s where the true value of revival begins, when we share it with others.
I will say that on Wednesday night, Facebook and Twitter came to life with people “tweeting” to the glory of God. However, revival must be more than a status update. Revival must interrupt our routine. It must follow us home, and to work, and back to church when the body gathers again.
If you were not here, you may have missed an amazing meeting, but you don’t have to miss out on revival. Revival is not something that happens once and is done. It’s kind of like kudzu, it overtakes everything that gets near it. So, why not let yourself be overtaken? Let the Spirit of God convict you of sin and respond with repentance. Realize your highest calling of making disciples of those around you and be a willing and useful vessel to the Lord.
More than anything, I am reminded that we can’t schedule God’s movement. I would’ve checked his calendar, but it didn’t show up on Google. I had no idea when we were dining on burritos at 5:30 pm, that we would still be at church three hours later, listening to broken hearts find healing and comfort in the Spirit and the love of our congregation. Nothing beyond the last song was planned. We were not in charge, God was. For those who were there, it might be a good idea to pile up some stones as a reminder of what God did on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
Jesus interrupted our routine. And for that I am forever grateful.
Revival is Here!