The Year of Revival!
Published on 15 June 2020
I declare that this is going to be a year of REVIVAL!
Revival is the prophetic word that God has declared over Planetshakers Church for 2021 and I believe it to be an incredibly timely word that we must, in turn, boldly declare over our personal lives and over the nations of the world.
During this pandemic season, there have been moments when we wondered if we would ever be able to gather all together again as a family, to celebrate and encounter Jesus at our favourite annual conference—yet that's exactly what we did! Conferences held over the Easter weekend were incredible, proving yet again that when God decides to move, absolutely NOTHING can stand in His way! He is amazing and so faithful!
Right now in Australia, we can feel the season changing as the days get shorter and colder, and the trees prepare to sleep through the winter. However, the very OPPOSITE is true in the spiritual! ‘Dead’ and ‘dormant’ things are bursting back into life everywhere as God’s declaration of REVIVAL takes instant and dramatic effect in people’s lives. It is truly powerful to watch. Huge numbers of testimonies regarding God’s revival power at work in people’s lives, are flooding in daily from all over the world!
A Valley of Dry Bones
The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”
“O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”
So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”
What a great prophetic picture of revival described here in these verses!
Firstly, God ‘took hold’ of Ezekiel. It is so important to remain focussed on the One who can take hold of any situation in just one moment, and initiate the breakthrough in our lives!
We may have experienced, or still be experiencing, a battering and bruising from the storms that have raged around us as a result of the pandemic. More than ever before, it is vital to remember that there is One who can calm storms with just one word from His mouth. Lets not allow ourselves to be swept around by the waves— defeated, hopeless and fearful— but instead, run into God’s Presence and allow Him to revive us and every area in our lives that feels dormant or dead. God is mightier and more powerful than any circumstance we may face, and He is fully able to bring the breakthrough when we approach Him with faith!
Here are 5 things that I believe God wants to do in your life in this ‘Year of Revival’:
1. Draw you back to Himself
Let me challenge you to return to your First Love if you have wandered away—even just a little.
Can you remember the passion and hunger that you felt when you first came into relationship with Jesus Christ? Remember the ‘purity’ and ‘child-like faith’ you had to believe that God was able to do EXACTLY what He said He would in His Word. Do you remember living by the simple motto— “If God said it, it must be true and I will believe it”?
The reality is that it is not God who changes or pulls away from us throughout the journey, but we who allow ourselves to be drawn off course or tied up with the issues we face in life.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
If you have been feeling overwhelmed by fear and intimidation during this season, it’s time to rise up courageously, chase after God once again and take hold of everything He has laid on your heart to do and to receive. Take intentional measures to grow deeper in your relationship with Him. Remind your weary soul that He is more than willing AND able to help you overcome the works of the enemy in your life and to lead you in great victory once again. What He has done before, He can do again, when you surrender yourself back into his hands.
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
2. Revive what seems dead in your life
Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord!
If you need a breakthrough in your situation, it is time to rise up in faith, open your mouth and declare the prophetic word—REVIVAL— over dead areas in your life. What an apt picture of this difficult season we are all enduring, where some things have not only slowly died, but now seem completely dry and impossible to revive in the natural: relationships, dreams, finances, health—just to name a few possibilities.
God likens our lives to a valley of dead bones where hope seems all but lost. What once was a great and unstoppable army, has been replaced by piles of dry bones which testify to a brutally-effective enemy attack.
It was in this quiet graveyard of fallen dreams that God challenged Ezekiel to look at the desolation and remember who was standing beside him. He commanded that Ezekiel find his voice and prophesy God’s life-filled Word over them, and even as the words were still leaving his lips, the bones began to shake and the miracle of reviving dead soldiers began. Little by little, as Ezekiel came into agreement with God’s Word, by faith, lifeless parts came alive and found their rightful position —finally rising as a restored, living army!
Will you partner with God in faith and choose to speak His Word over your circumstances, no matter how hopeless things may seem?
I wonder what miracles are waiting to be released if only we would believe God at His Word and dare to speak it out!
3. Restore what has been lost or stolen in your life
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten..
God has promised to restore everything that has been stolen from you, including your deepest hopes and dreams, finance, relationships, health and intimate fellowship with the family of God. This has been a season marked by isolation and disbanding of church gatherings, but this was never God’s purpose for us— the Church family.
From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
We need one another. We were created to come together and work together— united in vision and growing together in love. This is when we see the unstoppable advancement of the Kingdom of God in and through our lives!
4. Renew your thinking and vision
Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Most people get excited with new things—new seasons, new adventures, new clothes and new jobs. God wants to renew your thinking with a new VISION. The renewal process for your mind happens when you bask in His Presence. Daily encounters with God will stir excitement and anticipation to step into the life of purpose that God has for you.
5. Empower you to represent Him on Earth
Jesus told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
As Jesus was about to die on the cross, He spoke the above words to those that were closest to Him—His disciples. As He never wasted His words, we can assume that these words were powerfully significant in that moment, inspiring those around Him to play their part in shining their light in the world and demonstrating the Father’s heart.These words remain just as powerful and relevant to us today!
Rise Up. “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. “Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will be opened and your heart will thrill with joy, for merchants from around the world will come to you. They will bring you the wealth of many lands.
It's time to ARISE!
Our heart as a church is to see God’s promised revival break out in our nation and the nations of the world—even as we fight natural and spiritual battles, and experience both highs and lows during this season. As we rise up, we will begin to shine God’s light in an atmosphere darkened by the works of the enemy.
In places of intimidation, we will shine His light of courage. Where there is fear, we will break open chains with our faith! In place of brokenness, let’s bring God’s healing. And to the hopeless, let’s release God’s hope because Christ lives in you and He is the hope of glory!
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Advancing the Kingdom of God is something we must do together. I can only do so much on my own but with our joined passion and united vision, imagine the things we can do to make history!
Now is the time to press in even further and see God demonstrate His glory like never before! Let us see the Year of Revival break out all across the Earth!
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