True revival is on the way.
As a pastor, I've said it.
As a believer, I see it.
As a publisher, I read about it in issues of Charisma like this one and on our online outlets. Here, you'll find many fascinating stories of pockets, movements, even waves of revival breaking out in the United States and across the globe.
But where a movement of God exists, so also exists a force determined to stop it. We know that force as "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2b).
That's why the apostle Paul reminds us to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world" (Eph. 6:10-12a).
Sometimes, those spiritual forces take a surprising form. Pastor Jamie Morgan, longtime Assemblies of God minister who hosts the Firestarter podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network and also contributed to this issue (see "Get Your Second Wind," page 34), shared an experience on a recent Greenelines podcast in which she stood up to the enemy when he manifested in her church—in a way most of us would consider unexpected.
"We were crying out to God for a revival," Morgan says. "And all of a sudden, right smack dab in the middle of a prayer meeting, this older gentleman who had been attending our church for a little while, and whom I really respect and love, stood up in the middle of the prayer meeting and said, 'I hate to be a wet blanket, but there will not be revival.'"
Morgan then faced a challenging moment. The man made a public statement, so as a leader, she had to bring public correction.
"Sir, you're out of order," she told him. "There will be revival. Yes."
What Morgan said next should inform our prayers and our personal preparation. She explained to the gathered church, "What you saw was someone operating with a religious spirit."
A religious spirit, Morgan says, is the No. 1 enemy of revival and will attempt to shut down revival when it comes. In her church's case, the spirit was at work to stop the movement of God even as the people cried out for it.
The Pharisees serve as a New Testament example of people operating in a religious spirit. But, as Dr. R.T. Kendall writes in his new book, You Might Be a Pharisee If ..., "we must first examine ourselves." Morgan says, "We have to say, 'Lord, examine my heart. Do I have any Pharisee in me? Is there anything in me that would try to stop revival when it comes?" she reminds us. "Is there anything in me that impedes the moving of the Holy Spirit?
"I think it's so important that pastors stand against the spirit of religion in their local church," Morgan says. "But also, we must individually ask the Lord, 'Do I have any of that in me?'"
Morgan and others believe we must prepare for the coming revival in the same way believers did ahead of the revivals of old: by crying out in personal repentance. Many cry out for a revival in the church without the testimony of a personal revival.
"We're in a season of the Lord, I believe, of sifting and cleansing and purifying," Morgan says. "This is the season of repentance. It's the season where God is preparing His people. He's preparing His bride for revival, but also His soon return."
I stand with this godly pastor in contending for revival. And I agree with her word to the church: "It's time to get your spiritual house in order. Submit and surrender to God's cleansing and sifting and purifying. Place your heart on the altar of threshing so He can prepare you for all the wonderful things He's going to do."
Let us come alongside this pastor and the many others calling for true revival. Let us stand against the spirit of religion. Let us cancel the enemy's schemes to stop God's reviving work.
In the words of the classic hymn, "Lord, send a revival. And let it begin in me!"
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Sign up for his free "5 Things I Learned Last Week" and "Greenelines" newsletters, and download his Greenelines and At Work With God podcasts at greenelines.com.
This article was excerpted from the June-July issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Download his Greenelines podcast at cpnshows.com
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