The Two Forces of Heaven, part 6 - Follow Through on Your Breakthrough
Change: Revival's Intended Purpose
The power of God is glorious, but it is also very disruptive, and that is by Divine design. Revival carries new values which inevitably challenge the old values of any relationship or organization it touches. People love the power and presence in a move of God, but often resent some of the changes it brings.
I have witnessed people pray for their spouse to get saved only to oppose them in their new found faith once they surrendered to Jesus. This is because they failed to anticipate that some of the changes would affect them. They wanted to limit the transformation in their spouse to the areas that irritated them. But Jesus is Lord, and when He changes our loved ones, it places new demands on us as well. He is a zealous conqueror, always looking to expand His Kingdom.
This dynamic is certainly not isolated to marriages. The same resistance will be faced by any church which experiences revival. The very saints who cry out for revival are often irritated by the changes it brings, ironically resisting the results of their own prayers.
The new always threatens the old. Previously held values are displaced by new ones; what was once deemed important is now pushed to the side. Old behavior once considered acceptable is no longer tolerated. This is how new culture is formed. It is also the only way lasting transformation is secured.
Personal revival must lead to corporate revival. Personal revival changes our character, what goes on within us. But corporate revival changes the culture, what goes on between us. What starts out as character in us must move to culture between us or it dies. Pushing through relational resistance is the final battlefield upon which true change is won.
The Need for Leaders to Stay the Course
Opposition to the new order brought about by an outpouring must be stubbornly yet lovingly resisted. It is only when the new becomes the norm that the gains become permanently established. Without this type of follow through, our breakthroughs become temporary and actually create disillusionment, eventually inoculating believers to the next move.
Resistance to change is inevitable. It is crucial that leaders anticipate this and withstand the pressure to go back. But this stubborn retention of the new must be done with deep affection for the people the leader is attempting to pull along. Many a revival has been destroyed by an angry leader who loses his love in pursuit of his vision.
Just as revival brings Heaven’s agenda, it also offers a baptism of boldness and love. In God’s mercy, He is willing to impart through revival the very qualities needed to secure its gains.
Let’s remember: His presence also brings His principles. To reject the latter is to forfeit the former. The establishment of these principles is the very thing God is after in revival. Every outpouring comes with a purpose and that purpose is change…sweeping change. Again, revival is disruptive, and that is God's intention. While we pray for revival, let's pray He graces us not to resist once it arrives.