Experience the Great Awakening
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Ephesians 4 provides important insight to the role of certain spiritual leaders.
11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ…. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (Eph. 4:11-13, 16, NIV).
According to verse 12, the five leaders listed in verse 11 are to prepare God’s people for works of service so the body of Christ may be built up. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not primarily these leaders’ responsibility to build up believers, the body of Christ. Instead, they prepare God’s people for works of service, which then enables the corporate body to be built up. Then, according to verse 16, the body of Christ grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Just to be clear, the “each part” that does the work is not limited to the spiritual leaders. The corporate body of all believers – the body of Christ, the church, the saints – is responsible for building up individual believers. That is, individual saints are to be motivated by love to do their part in building up other believers.
According to verse 13, how long does the body of Christ need to build itself up? Each part of the body must continue doing its work until we all reach unity in the faith; until we all reach unity in the knowledge of the Son of God; until we all become mature; until we all attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
What’s your contribution to this process? That’s based on the aptitudes, the spiritual gifts God gave you. Each of us is to use our God-given abilities to serve others in love and build them up. As each of us does our unique part, we build up the collective body of Christ. With that perspective, let’s turn our attention to the great awakening many of us are hearing about and some are even experiencing.
There have been numerous prophecies in recent years about a great, worldwide revival or awakening, in which we’ll experience the power and glory of God as never before in history. (See “Wake Up and Get Ready”)
At the same time, it’s not unusual to hear people reminisce about past revivals. Some even claim they wish they could go back decades to experience those revivals and their supernatural experiences – prophecies, miracles, healings and such. To some extent, that’s a healthy dissatisfaction because it represents a desire for more of the supernatural in our lives. But some of those comments actually are unhealthy because they hold church leadership responsible for the absence of the supernatural.
That suggests either a spiritual passivity or ignorance that each of us has a part in restoring supernatural experiences to our lives. Are we really expecting the pastoral staff and church leadership to do what’s necessary to bring a spiritual awakening to our community or nation? Previous revivals and awakenings didn’t happen because a few pastors prayed for them. Spiritual events happen because ordinary saints cry out to God and PUSH.
You probably know the acronym PUSH stands for “Pray Until Something Happens.” When we examine the principles of God’s kingdom, we discover that perseverance is critically important to all spiritual matters, including our spiritual development. I suggest we modify PUSH to stand for “Persevere Until Something Happens.” This applies to prayer, using our spiritual authority and just about every other spiritual activity we do.
If we want to experience the unprecedented presence and glory of God in our lives, our community and our nation, there are four things we need to do.
- Accept responsibility for our own spiritual development and don’t rely on someone else to do the work for us.
- Be filled with the Spirit; that is, make room in our life for the Holy Spirit, defer to what he wants and engage daily in spiritual disciplines, such as Bible reading, meditation, praying, and journaling.
- Make the awakening a personal priority and ask God to begin it in us. We can’t expect God to do in public what we’re unwilling to let him do in private.
- PUSH – Persevere Until Something Happens.
God gave us free will and spiritual authority in our domains (See “Authority – The Legality of Earthly Dominion”). He doesn’t impose his will on us or invade our domains. Instead, he honors our choices and our initiative. So, let’s use the free will and spiritual authority he gave us by declaring to ourselves and the entire spiritual realm that it’s our Father’s will to awaken us spiritually. Then invite Father to do whatever he wants in us personally to prepare us for the spiritual awakening he’s about to release.
We shouldn’t be passive and expect someone else to do the spiritual work for us. It’s time to grow up and accept personal responsibility for our spiritual condition. We must stop relying on others to spoon-feed us. This develops spiritual maturity, which in turn helps us fulfill our life purpose.
God is closing the door on our old ways he allowed in the past, but which are no longer acceptable. These include spiritual passivity and ungodly attitudes, perspectives and behaviors we embraced.
Evil dominates our culture because we have been biblically illiterate and spiritually passive. We can win the culture war by standing up for biblical principles and winning one soul for God’s kingdom at a time. That’s the strategy. The problems we face in the world are spiritual in origin, not political, cultural, racial or financial. We can use our spiritual senses to detect and identify the destructive spirits, then use our spiritual authority to stop them and authorize the awakening to begin in us.
I don’t think we believe what we say we believe. If we did, we’d be talking and acting very differently. Make your own spiritual awakening a priority and PUSH. I guarantee you’ll be delighted with the results.
To experience the great spiritual awakening, we must accept responsibility for our own spiritual development, defer to the Holy Spirit, make the awakening a personal priority, and PUSH.