Don’t Try To Second Guess God
By Jerry Jones
Revival. A powerful word. The dictionary defines it as the process of bringing something back to life or into a new consciousness. To some, the word refers to a series of special church services featuring a visiting evangelist. But there’s more to revival than that. I fear that the problem in Pentecostal circles is that we have lost tough with what revival truly means. We need to redefine our purpose, as well as remolding our vision, of revival to fit the conditions of our times. There is a dire need to take another look at this vital subject and ask ourselves, “What exactly is revival and what does it mean to us?”
We may find that this is a difficult question. Sometimes, revival is not easy to define. Why? Because revival in one place might not exactly resemble revival somewhere else. Of course, we all agree that the prime characteristic of revival is people being saved. Nor is there any debating the fact that prayer is a key ingredient for producing revival. Furthermore, there is no question that evangelism is a prerequisite for revival.
But do we have other preconceived ideas that may be hindering a true Apostolic move of God? I often recall the Scripture in Acts the twelfth chapter where the people were praying for Simon Peter’s release from prison. Evidently, they had a preconceived idea of what was going to happen. Perhaps they thought his release would come by an earthquake or some dramativ change of heart by Herod. But when it happened in a quiet and simple way, with Peter simply showing up on the door step, they were too busy seeking God to realize that God had answered. They were totally taken by surprise because God did not work according to their preconceived ideas.
We, too, can sometimes have such preconceived notions. For instance, in most areas, one-hundred people receiving the Holy Ghost would be considered an avalanche of souls. However, in another area, an avalanche could be nine or ten souls. We cannot underestimate the value of the ten just because it’s not a hundred.
God is sovereign. We must understand this. And we must recognize that He works in His own way, and works with what is available. Whatever the context, we must recognize the hand of God wherever and however it appears and give Him glory and praise.
Look around you. Revival is among us! But we recognize it? Do you know it’s possible for revival to come to your church without you even knowing it? You could be so busy looking for the hundred souls that you forget the miracle of the ten. But God, in the meantime, is longing for us to recognize His divine hand at work. It is imperative that we stay sensitive to the move of God, so that, whatever choice He makes, and whatever avenue He selects, we will be ready to respond.
This is not to say we should be satisfied with little. On the contrary, we should always strive for more and better. We must be careful to avoid complacency. But while we strive for more, let us not neglect the souls that God has given us or forget to be thankful for what He has already done. Do everything you can for those ten and behave as though you have one-hundred. Never forget that those ten represent God’s revival for your city and are the focus of your ministry.
I think our Pentecostal pioneers had a clear understanding of their purpose. They knew what a united effort of Apostolic believers could eventually accomplish. They did not waste precious time wishing for things that were not, or bemoaning the way God chose to work. Instead, they worked with what God gave them. And they were always careful to be grateful for souls He provided.
So, in conclusion, let me again say that I fear that we do not fully appreciate the revival spirit that is within our fellowship (by this, I don’t mean just the UPCI organization, but rather the total fellowship of Apostolic believers). Perhaps the true challenge of the 90’s is to understand the importance and the power of uniting together in an even greater way for end-time revival. If we can but do this, we will then achieve our true potential for igniting the fires of revival world wide.