In Part 4 we reach the final step to revival. If you have missed the other three parts of Seven Steps to Revival: Step 1 Holy Dissatisfaction, Step 2 Holy Desperation, Step 3 Holy Separation, Step 4 Holy Consecration, Step 5 Holy Revelation, and Step 6 Holy Overwhelmed, you can find them in the archives on our website.
In 1990 I was invited to go on my first over-seas mission trip to Honduras. Prior to that trip I had been a discussion leader for Bible Study Fellowship but I had done no witnessing or prayed with anyone to receive Jesus in their heart. The thought of doing so terrified me.
When the call came inviting me to go, something leapt inside of me. I discussed it with my husband, and accepted the invitation. I did not know Spanish but a Spanish teacher in our church began offering classes at the same time I committed to the trip. In that 6-week period I was able to learn a few words and the basics of pronunciation. I received a Spanish/English New Testament with the Psalms from the Gideon Society. It would enable me to find a scripture in English so that I could read it to others in Spanish.
On that trip I gave my testimony for the first time which was translated into Spanish. I also received the courage to read a Bible tract to individuals and lead them to the Lord. My most challenging and exciting opportunity came when several of us were able to go inside a Honduran prison and witness to approximately 100 inmates who had committed major crimes including murder. Several of us gave a testimony and a pastor preached a message of grace to the men. I witnessed God touch these men, ignite them with His Holy Fire and fill them with His Holy Spirit. It was amazing. I was not only able to see the Gospel taking place before my eyes, I was privileged to participate and possibly make a difference in someone’s life. It was as if I had stepped into the book of Acts and was watching and participating as Paul addressed the crowds. It made the Bible valid; the Word and the power of God came to life as I saw true Christianity in action.
That trip opened my eyes toward the nations. I realized how blessed we are in America and I was educated about the conditions many people around the world face every day. It was humbling, but it also fueled the desire to reach out and help others less fortunate than myself.
My world view, my understanding of the Bible, and the Great Commission to which we are all called transformed my life. I could no longer be satisfied by focusing on what I wanted to do, living in a small world that revolved around me. I had to get involved beyond myself and touch other’s lives for Jesus. That trip gave me a “mini” revival!
Holy Dissatisfaction Step 1 causes us to contend for the faith by recognizing the discrepancies between Bible testimony and the actual life of the individual believer. It motivates us to be dissatisfied with “neutral” Christianity which produces no fruit for the Kingdom. Holy Desperation Step 2 motivates us further to steadfastly pursue the things of God, while weeding out the heaviness of the world’s influence.
Holy Separation Step 3 exposes those bad influences in our lives and gives us the grace to remove them, making more room for seeking the Lord and studying His Word and His Ways. Holy Consecration Step 4 opens our heart, cleanses it from the erosion of sin, and gives God a clean slate to work with.
The next two steps are the result of the Lord’s response to those who humble themselves before Him. By doing so, they express their desire to know Him more, to dwell daily in His presence, and to be positioned to build His Kingdom by influencing those around them wherever He may send them. Holy Revelation Step 5 opens our spiritual eyes to see the Lord in a way we have never personally experienced Him. Holy Overwhelmed Step 6 infuses us with His nature and His power which will enable us to represent Him in the earth.
Holy Transformation: Step 7
The word transform in Webster’s Dictionary means to change the form of, to change, as the natural disposition of, to be changed in form.
The Bible is filled with testimonies of people who loved the Lord and served Him all their lives. They were able to be strong, through the power of God, against those who are evil by doing mighty exploits by the power of God because of their obedience to His will. The Lord used simple human beings and worked miracles, signs and wonders through them to show the world Who He is, how powerful He is, and how great His love is for all people.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the people that know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32.
In Step 6, Holy Overwhelmed, I included the example of Isaiah and his encounter with the Lord. It begins in Isaiah 6:1-13. Isaiah had the revelation of the Lord on His throne in heaven. He was completely overwhelmed by the revelation of the Lord to the degree that he repented for himself and the Israelite people. In that process, Isaiah’s encounter with the Lord transformed his life.
Knowing that the revelation impacted Isaiah, the Lord asked Isaiah a question, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? ” Isaiah’s eager response to the Lord was, “Here am I; send me.” Once Isaiah knew Who the Lord was/is, he was willing to participate in building His Kingdom in the earth. He could no longer be a bystander, it was now imperative for him to be a participant in what God was doing.
The Lord made him a prophet to the nation of Israel. He gave him instructions to warn the people of the consequences of their sin, and encourage them with promises of His protection and blessing when they repented and obeyed His Word.
It was the same for the Apostle Paul (Saul); once the Lord overwhelmed him on the road to Damascus, Saul became Paul and he, too asked a question of the Lord. “Then he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me [harassing, troubling, and molesting Me]? And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance]. Trembling and astonished he asked, Lord, what do You desire me to do? The Lord said to him, But arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (See Acts 9:1-31)
Once the Christians, who were well aware of Saul’s persecution of the saints, saw and heard Paul give his testimony, they were amazed at his transformation. He stood before the Jews he had served by persecuting the Christians, and preached Jesus as their Messiah fearlessly and boldly. The Apostle Paul wrote the majority of the New Testament giving the groundwork of understanding the Christian faith and how to apply it in our daily lives.
Knowing the Lord transforms our lives. His presence changes us from fearful to fearless, from sinful to righteous, from self-centered to God-centered, and from self-pity to compassion for all who are hurting and bound. Our eyes become open to the realms of God, our ears more clearly hear the voice of God, and our mouth declares the will of God. Rather than being passionate about worldly things, we become impassioned with the vision of God to bring His Kingdom down to earth. Rather than waiting for and expecting someone else to accomplish God’s will, we become believers who understand that He desires us to partner with Him to bring His will into the earthly realm.
Our plans become insignificant to His. Our small mindset of our “little corner of the world” is changed to His Holy agenda for building the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Possibilities become probabilities when nothing is impossible with God.
Holy Transformation causes us to become activated to do the work of the Lord. As the Lord instills in us His dreams and visions for His people, we become a vital component in their coming to pass. Revival is a life-long experience because we will never fully know all the depths and breadths of God, but we can dwell in His presence being sustained by wave after wave of His Glory as He continually changes and empowers us for greater things. “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude] so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you}.” Romans 12:2.
America is no longer a predominantly Christian nation. Many who call themselves Christians are trees with no fruit, no power and no Godly witness. The only hope we have is in God, but He can do nothing unless we become willing to be a part of the solution. “If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Revival is a gift of God’s grace. There will be revival in our land and the world when the people of God turn from their worldly activities and seek Him in all humility and repentance, not just for our own sins but for the sins of our nation. When I compare myself with the world I appear righteous, but when I compare myself to the Lord Jesus, I can do nothing but fall on my face in repentance.
We have all been asleep on our watch and it is time to wake up and get going, but we must first be revived by the Spirit of God before He can activate us into His high calling. When Moses confronted the burning bush in the wilderness, all his excuses melted in the Glory of God’s presence. He was transformed to do a task to set the Israelites free from bondage.
Today, our generation is still included in the Lord’s mandate: “All authority (all power and rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you , and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).”
God is building His Kingdom in the earth today. The question is, will we rise up and take our place with His body of believers? Will we allow Him to revive us and our faith, increase our perspective to include the world, and allow Him to transform us to be His instruments in His glorious plan? Will we, like Isaiah, be willing to say, “Here am I Lord, send me”?