Posture of a revivalist

The Posture of a Revivalist

Published on 15 February 2022

Neil Smith

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Over the course of the history of Christianity, the term revival has been used to label sudden, supernatural moves of God that have changed the course of a nation or even the world.

One of the very first recorded revivals took place on the Day of Pentecost when there was a sudden, life-changing outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the lives of ordinary people who had gathered together by faith to receive a gift that Jesus had promised them. Each one experienced supernatural empowerment and immediately began to turn the known world upside down!
Epic moves of God like this have been taking place all over the world, ever since, and have been entrusted into the hands of those who have the heart of a revivalist.

In early 2021, Planetshakers Church received a prophetic declaration over it for the year that lay ahead: This was to be a year of REVIVAL. At the very same time, we found ourselves in the thick of a global pandemic which brought about mass and extended lockdowns of all gatherings in our city, making God’s promise of revival seem absolutely impossible in the natural.

As a result of lengthy isolation and growing loneliness— arising from the inability to meet with other Christians for fellowship, worship and encouragement— many were left to struggle alone with negative thinking, hopeless thoughts and unclear vision for the future. If we are honest with ourselves, there were moments when every one of us entertained thoughts that this may just be the one year that God would be unable to fulfil His promise. Fortunately, He was busy working on our behalf to ensure that ALL THINGS would work together for our good and that His Word would NEVER return void!

At no stage was God’s promise over Planetshakers ever in doubt, regardless of how dark the season became at various times throughout the journey. Now, as we begin to emerge from a season we could never have imagined, it is time to re-acquaint ourselves with God’s promises over our lives— which have not changed in the wake of adverse circumstances— and prepare ourselves for what is headed our way!

As incredible as the promise of revival is, looking back over history, it will no doubt be accompanied by a great deal of work and the need for a huge team of labourers who are fit and ready to steward a bumper harvest. The question is whether or not there are enough faith-filled Believers, positioned and ready to accept this great responsibility and privilege.

Looking back at the example set by the very first Believers as they waited patiently and expectantly for God’s promise to be fulfilled (in the upper room) we can learn so much about preparing ourselves for our moment as participants in the next great revival in history. There is a certain posture that they modelled as they waited on God, that we too can and should adopt as we in turn, wait for Him to move powerfully in our generation.They positioned themselves to receive the power of the Holy Spirit to steward the fresh move of of God that was about to break out, and as a result, were ready when their ‘for such a time as this’ moment arrived!

Ask yourself these questions: Do I have the posture of a revivalist? Am I ready to embrace and participate in this coming, promised revival?

Being oppressed, locked down and forced to isolate for long periods of time can cause us to forget that God is ALWAYS in control and busy working a master plan for His glory and the emancipation of His children. If we could only peek behind the scenes into the spiritual realm, we would understand that just because we can’t see God moving, does not at all mean that He is not! The unseen world is alive with the sounds of battle, as angels and demons fight for a victory that has already been determined.

Ecclesiastes reminds us that we may never understand the works of God, yet He expects us to believe, by faith, that He is leading us onwards towards the better days ahead:

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days, you will find it again. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

The truth is, our freedom (in every area of life) has already been secured and all that we must do is to take hold of it by faith and learn to walk in it. The key is that we must be prepared for God to move in our own lives and to use us to impact the lives of many others as His master plan is revealed.

Being ready for what is next in God, begins by intentionally assuming the posture of a revivalist. So how exactly do we do that? So glad you asked!

1. A Lifestyle of Generosity

It is often preached that we were not created to be reservoirs (containing and storing the goodness, provision and power of God for ourselves) but instead, rivers that allow God’s goodness and provision to flow through our lives and into the lives of others. Being good stewards of God’s provision is the starting point for adopting the posture of a revivalist.

Generosity of giving—whatever the resource we have to share— is far more than a natural act. When our giving is accompanied by faith, God is pleased and activates a supernatural chain reaction in the unseen and seen worlds. More provision is released into our life and the lives of others, through us, as we practice a lifestyle of generosity. On the other hand, holding onto what we have been blessed with and being reluctant to share it with others, is a sign that there is fear in operation and God cannot bless our fear-based decisions (consider the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30). At best, we may have enough for ourselves, but we will never experience the kind of overflow that comes in and through our lives when we hold on loosely to the blessings of God and give freely to others.

Jesus models the ‘river’ principle in Luke 8:45-46. As He was walking through heavily crowded streets, a woman with a desperate health issue touched the edge of His cloak and was instantly healed. Despite being constantly touched by many as He navigated the crowd, Jesus felt a transaction occur when that particular touch was accompanied by FAITH. Immediately, He released the power within Him, into the life of a desperate woman in need of a supernatural miracle.

"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you. But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

We too are called to be conduits of the power and provision of God as we go about our lives amongst desperate people in need of a supernatural breakthrough. But it won’t happen unless we DECIDE to release what we have and not hold onto it for ourselves. The truth is that God has empowered us to activate His Kingdom in the lives of others and never to simply improve our own lives.

We assume the posture of a revivalist by committing to living our lives in an open-handed, generous way that releases the Kingdom of Heaven wherever we go.

2. A Surrendered Heart

Every great revivalist has been marked in history by their willingness to whole-heartedly surrender to the will of God—dying to themselves daily and seeking to obey His every command.

The dictionary definition of the term surrender means ‘to stop resisting an enemy or opponent and submitting to their authority’.

As children of God, we must learn from the outset to surrender to His will for our lives knowing that He always has our best interest and the best interests of others in mind in all of His plans. The problem is that we like to be in control. Our flesh nature does not want to surrender control because we are afraid of where others may lead us.

Once again, God cannot bless our fear and requires us to TRUST Him. When we do, we quickly discover that His plans always exceed our greatest hopes and desires and that He can be fully trusted to protect us from harm and lack. We were created to be amazing, brilliant, adaptable and creative beings, yet at the same time, always fully dependent on our Creator. The minute we begin to trust in our own strength, riches, intelligence or any other ‘gift’ that we have been given by God, we position ourselves to fall short of what we could be if we leaned instead on Jesus and the wisdom, empowerment and help of His Holy Spirit.

The pandemic has tested us all in this. There have been times when no amount of human reasoning, planning and intervention has been able to bring about a breakthrough in the difficult and at times, devastating, circumstances that have been thrust upon us. We have been reminded of the frailty and powerlessness of our humanity, and our desperate need for God to move in our helplessness. Perhaps this is one of the best outcomes of this whole experience; being reminded that we are created beings in need of a Saviour!

Throughout this particular season, God has proven that He will never leave us or forsake us and has provided all of the wisdom and instruction we need in the promises found in His Word. The question is, are we consuming His Word as we should be? Are we actively seeking out the solutions we need or have we left the Book gathering dust on a shelf while we continue to suffer at the hand of our own apathy?

Maybe you are unable to see any signs of hope, let alone revival, in your life right now. If that’s the case, it’s time to take a step of faith! Take out your Bible and seek out God’s instructions and promises for you. Begin to pray and assume the posture of a revivalist in preparation for that which He has promised you but you cannot yet see. This is the kind of simple faith that attracts God’s attention and causes Him to move! It won’t be long until you see a ‘cloud the size of a man’s hand’ (see 1 Kings 18:44) and know that your breakthrough is near!


3. Positioned to be Used

Finally, assuming the posture of a revivalist requires us to intentionally position ourselves to receive from God and be used by God when the moment arrives.

Imagine yourself playing in a game of basketball. The best players know when to pass the ball and where to position themselves to receive the ball and take the goal at just the right moment in the game. Positioning yourself under the basket while you wait to receive the ball can be a vulnerable and nervous time as you are not in control of the game. The pain is in waiting and hoping that someone will pass to you and that you will make the goal successfully.

Imagine now that God has got the ball. He is in absolute control of the situation and is drawing the enemy away. He has a secret ‘setplay’ in mind and intends to pass to you when the moment is right. The question is, will you be in the right position to receive the ball when that moment comes or will you be out of position or distracted by other things?

This is a season where God is clearly asking us to wait for Him to make His move, standing in our right position— patiently, expectantly and with great faith and anticipation. This means waiting on Him in prayer and seeking out His setplay in the pages of His Word. We must refuse to give in to our need to take control or make things happen prematurely because this is a game we want to win! God has not forgotten you, nor has He missed the moment to win the game. His timing is always perfect, He always delivers on His promises and He ALWAYS wins! He loves to see us take the goal and includes us in the game when He doesn’t have to. What a privilege to partner with God to overcome the enemy!

So while you are waiting, assume the posture of a revivalist, confident in God’s promises and positioned ready for action. Don’t be distracted or intimidated by what is happening around you, but instead, ready yourself to see the glory of God revealed as He makes His move. Remind yourself daily,
“I am alert, I am ready, I know my God is coming through!” The waiting period is never wasted. God is busy making a way where there seems to be no way.

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

When you wait patiently on God, standing firm, prepared and ready, and when you allow Him to dictate the game’s timing and setplay, you will not be left abandoned and disappointed. He is a good Father and will never leave you alone on the court.

In conclusion, preparing for life as a revivalist begins by living our lives with a generous open hand, surrendering wholeheartedly to God, remaining expectant and ready despite our circumstances, rejecting all fear and doubt, feeding on the wisdom and instruction of God’s Word daily, waiting patiently and expectantly for the timing of God and positioning ourselves to play the game when God begins to move.

Let us stir our faith to once again believe what His Word says;

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

God is making a way and positioning you to achieve your divine purpose.
Let’s declare the Word of God and His promises over our lives continuously to keep our hearts and spirits full of hope and expectancy for the fruitful season to come.

God is looking for the revivalists who will steward His next great work on the Earth.

Will you be one?

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