The Present Revival

by | Articles

Ask the group the questions in black.

Words in italics are written to help give some guidance and ideas.

Read out loud the text in blue.

Have someone read out the Scripture passages.

Introduction

If God guaranteed you an answer to any question, what question would you ask?

Gather thoughts. Ask why? This is not the time to answer those questions, but just to get people thinking.

People are curious about many things, but when it comes down to it, two of the most basic questions of life are: Who am I and why am I here?

Can you answer those questions with total confidence?

Who am I?

The question “Who am I” is a question of identity. Your identity is simply who you think you are.

When you think about your life, what influences have shaped your identity (who you think you are)?

This could be parents, teachers, sports coaches, pastors, friends, the world etc.

Share something about who you think you are.

Let people share at whatever level they are willing. Simply listen.

We all begin creating our sense of identity from birth, mainly based on our interactions with other people. The things we believe about ourselves can be both positive and negative.

So for now, we know that the “who am I” question is about identity. Over the coming weeks, we are going to explore this more.

Why am I Here?

The second question “Why am I here?” deals with our sense of purpose.

Think about things that people have created and their purpose? What comes to mind?

Share ideas. Choose any examples such as toasters, cars, lightbulbs, roads, houses etc.

Can you think of anything that has no purpose at all?

There is nothing that has been created that has no purpose. Things like space junk may seem to have no purpose now, but they did once have a purpose.

We have been created, so what is our purpose?

Gather thoughts. Ask, “what makes you think that?”

Does something that is created have the ability to determine its own purpose?

Use an example from above to pose the question. Can a toaster decide to be a jug instead?

Design

We can only come to a true sense of identity and purpose when we first understand our design. Think about a lion.

What is a lion designed to do?

To hunt animals. No healthy lion defies its design to become a vegetarian! It never happens.

What gives a lion the ability to be a hunter?

Its whole body is designed to hunt from tooth to claw. The lion’s identity as a hunter comes from its design.

In the same way, our sense of identity and purpose is connected to our design.

Do we begin life with an understanding of our design?

No, newborn babies have no knowledge or understanding of purpose or design.

How do babies learn about their physical design?

Babies and infants learn their physical design by watching people around them. In fact, studies have shown that if an infant does not hear someone talking, they will not learn to talk. If they do not see a person walking, they will not learn to walk.

The same is true spiritually. When we first begin to follow Jesus and are born again, we are like spiritual infants, and we learn our design by looking at people who we consider “spiritual.”

In our spiritual infancy, how can we be sure that the people around us are or were actually living in their spiritual design?

We really can’t be sure. Babies do not have the capacity to question their design. Because they are so vulnerable, there is a great responsibility to protect babies and nurture them in truth.

What if we have not truly learned our design? Imagine that you discover an object you’ve never seen before and you don’t know what it is designed to do.

How could you find out?

You would ask the person who made it!

Read these Bible verses together:

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

Who is the Creator of the universe and of us?

God.

As our Creator, we owe our existence to God. We are not random products of chance. We have been wonderfully created by a God who has a clear design for our lives. And as our Creator, He alone holds the answers to those questions “who am I and why am I here?” The only way we can discover our design is to ask the One who designed us.

So, how does God reveal our design to us?

Gather thoughts.

Our Mirror

Look up the following passage in James.

James 1:22-24

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

What is the purpose of a mirror in the natural realm?

To see what you physically look like.

So, if you want to see a spiritual reflection of yourself, what is the spiritual mirror that you look into?

The word of God.

The Word is a spiritual mirror that shows us our natural face. The word “natural” used in this verse is the Greek word “genesis” meaning “source, origin or birth”. You could say that when we look into the mirror of the Word, we see our genesis face. We see our true identity and purpose as God originally designed it.

Summary

There are two questions we need to answer: Who am I? and Why am I here? These are questions of identity and purpose. Only our Creator has the right to determine who we are and why we are here, our design. So, over the coming studies, we are going to look into the mirror of the Word to find out how God answers these questions.

Questions for Further Discussion

Has there ever been a time in your life when you consciously asked yourself Who am I? or Why am I here?

Do you have any early memories of believing that God is Creator?

What do you think spiritual infants need most?

 

1 In the Beginning—Homework

Reflect

Read these verses from Psalm 139 and reflect on the questions below.

Psalm 139:13-14

For You formed my inmost being;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You,

for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

What do these verses reveal about the value of your life?

What does it mean for you to be a unique creation?

Is it important for you to know “who am I” and “why am I here?” Why or why not?

Do you spend time looking into the mirror of the Word? Is this a focus for you?

Pray

As you begin these studies, ask God to reveal your identity and your purpose/design in life to you in a fresh and deeper way. Share with Him your desires for your own spiritual growth.

In recent years, God has been giving different people a vision for revival that involves great numbers of people turning to follow Jesus. History has so many stories of how the Spirit of God has brought revival to different places that it is easy to see it happening again. But will this revival be like those of the past? What truly is revival?

The word revival means “to live again.” This means that God is moving to restore life to His people. This is not simply a feeling of energy or freedom; it is life as He designed.

1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.

The focus of revival is bringing people out of death and into life. What is death? It is the state of lovelessness, a realm of life dominated by selfishness and sin. And what is life?

 Deuteronomy 30:6, 19-20a (NASB, emphasis added)

“Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may liveI call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him [davaq, becoming one with Him]; for this is your life…”

 In these verses, Moses gives us some more detail about what it means to truly live. Here we find the three pillars of life: love, intimacy, and unity.[1]

Love: Our call is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. If we let God change our hearts with His power and love, we will live. Life is a state of selfless love.

Intimacy: All intimacy is built on communication. As we hear and obey the voice of God, our intimate knowledge of God increases, and we feel more alive.

Unity: The word davaq means to fuse together and make one. We were created to be one with Jesus. A life of wholehearted, selfless love is entirely impossible outside of our unity with Jesus. But when we let Him live through us, it is more than possible; it is easy. We are in Christ and He is in us. We are one with Him.

 By necessity, a true revival will include all three of these pillars. People will fall in love with God and devote their lives to following His voice and living in union with Him. The first outworking of such a revival will be that people start to meet together in small groups with a mandate of love. This love will lead them to selflessly invest in each other and to carry the good news of God’s love to the world.

During the Welsh Revival, Rees Howells spoke of losing so many new believers because “there were more children born than there were nurses to tend them.”[2] In contrast, the Wesleyan Revival was spread by people whose primary focus was calling people to repent and devote their lives to loving God. Their focus on the first command led the leaders to establish societies, which were built upon small groups they called classes. These classes were intimate meetings which made space for confession, testimony, discipleship and encouragement. This is where the first command was not only preached but lived out in relationship. The big public meetings were valuable to send out sparks, but the small group meetings were where the fire of revival was truly burning.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

 In this present revival, God is restoring the first command to first place. He is restoring the foundations of love, intimacy and unity in the body of Christ. He is raising up His body to become known in the world by their love for one another. However, while God is moving in true revival, the enemy is also moving with a counterfeit “revival.” In this passage, Moses warns that God will permit false prophets and dreamers to perform signs and wonders that will come true. They will say “come let us go after another god.” Like Aaron in the wilderness who claimed that a golden calf was the true God, these people will call people to follow a false representation of Jesus. This could be a Jesus who loves us so much that He would never discipline or correct us, but rather just continually wash away our sin as fast as we can practice it. This could be a Jesus who does not truly care about holiness, repentance or the circumcision of the heart. Or it could be a Father who lords over us as a hard employer, rewarding our obedience and punishing our disobedience. People are preaching many different distortions of God, and often with signs and wonders. Our call is to be discerning, and discernment begins not with our knowledge of Scripture but with our devotion to wholehearted love. We must test everything against the standard of love. Does the teaching express the love of God? Does it call us to a life of selfless love? Or does it appeal to our selfish desires? If we are not truly devoted to loving God with all our heart and soul, then we will find it difficult not to be deceived in the days ahead. We must decide: we will choose a life of selfless love?


This post is taken from the 16th chapter of And He Will. Get your free copy.


  

[1] We look in detail at each of these areas in the book, First Love.

[2] Rees Howells, Intercessor by Norman Grubb, Chapter 4.

Related Posts

River of Fire

River of Fire

This coming move of God is like a river of fire, consuming everything in its way. But what is this fire of God on earth? How can we become a part of this move?

An Army Arising

An Army Arising

Scripture calls us to fight the good fight of faith. We are one people, one army under one Commander and King. But how do we become warrirors in the army of God? How do we fight and overcome?

0 Comments

0 Comments

News & Updates

Join Our Newsletter