Speaker: Jon Thompson
Scriptures: Matthew 16:13-15, 17:1-5; Exodus 24:15-17; Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10; Ezekiel 1:4; Luke 2:9; Acts 2
As we conclude our series on the Spiritual Gifts we come to this final discussion on Disciplines, Gifts and Revival.
Is there a distinction between renewal, revival and awakening? Well at C4 here is how we use these 3 words.
RENEWAL: is when God touches the heart of a single individual.
REVIVAL is when God touches a community of faith on mass.
AWAKENING is when the wider society is impacted thought mass conversion and life change.
Disciplines are open to all Christians, they are normative. Spiritual gifts are also expected, normative but are sovereignly assigned. But what about other experiences that don't fall into either category, what do we do with revival? And how is the different and how does that change our expectations?
Revivals always include mass conversions of people to Jesus, and a true awakening takes place. But a common mistake many make is to pair the outworking or unusual manifestations of the Spirit during revival with the gifts that are always present in the daily Christian life. No, the revival settings I’ve described above are not about gifts or disciplines. As we have learned, spiritual disciplines are for all to exercise at any season of life. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly assigned and are normative, day in and day out. But revival is not normal, is not always, and neither are the results. Much of the time during revival there is greater power and presence of God, which means the disciplines are used more and the power behind the gifts is stronger. But revival is started and ended only by God.
These seasons are given to send us out and to sustain us over a lifetime. Don’t pair one experience with the other. Some revivals last days, some last years.
Should we pray for, ask for, and expectantly wait for God to move in revival? Absolutely. But if He says, “No,” or “Not yet,” that does not affect the gifts He has given or the disciplines He has modelled.