REVIVAL MANIFESTATIONS (see revival)
We're often accused of being led by emotion or feelings. As many as are children of God are led by the Spirit of God, and His Spirit does produce feelings and emotions. Any one without emotions to and from God are out of balance in their theology because:
Related articles: "Experiences in the Spirit of the Lord") | "Slain in the Spirit in the Bible" | "Tongues: Questions & Answers" | "Yes! Holy Laughter" | Martin Luther, Wesley, Moody & more--all Pentecostals--truly! Come see!
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 22:22:23 -0700
Subject: [NEW-WINE] Re: Three Things (& Tommy Tenney)
On Tue, 26 Jan 1999, Vernon, Ted wrote:
> 1. HUNGER [SNIP]
> What I understand by "hungering for revival" is looking for the
> work or move of God more than for God Himself.
At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch, I have to recommend Tommy
Tenney's new book, "The God Chasers", as an excellent answer to this
question. I believe you can get it online via his website (www.hde.org)
and I have a link to it on my www.renewed.net site as well.
What you are talking about here is really more a question of semantics:
How do you define revival? If you define revival as "the stuff", then
yes-- saying that you 'hunger for revival' would be different than saying
that you 'hunger for God'. But, if you define revival as God coming to
your city, not just to visit but to stay, to LIVE there, and as a direct
consequence of that forever changing the city... Well, you get the
Are there people who are hungry for the wrong things for the wrong reason?
You better believe it. But that doesn't mean that we stop wanting the
right things! And this leads very nicely into your second point...
> 2. MANIFESTATIONS
> What appears to be an emphasis on manifestations troubles me in much the
> same way as under "Hunger" above. So much time and energy is spent giving
> accounts of the manifestations exhibited or sought at various meetings and
> churches, or by individuals. Doesn't that take our eyes off the Giver and
> place them on the gift?
We don't yell at kids for enjoying the gifts we give them. We wouldn't
imagine going over to someone's home on Christmas morning and chastising
their children for enjoying their presents too much. My parents loved
giving my brother & I presents when we were growing up. They loved it so
much that they even made reels and reels and reels of 8mm movies of us
opening up and playing our new toys... and they still watch those same
home movies (and embarrass us now-grown children!) at every opportunity.
They loved to see us happy, discovering new things, and I doubt very much
that they would have looked kindly on someone saying "Now now, children, I
think you're having too much fun with these 'things' and you better stop."
Those childhood memories are precious to both myself and my parents.
So why do we think we're doing God a favor when we yell at God's kids for
enjoying the gifts He so gladly gives them? Why do we think we're
honoring God by refusing to enjoy what He has given to us for our
There comes a time in every child's life when things change. We still
enjoy receiving gifts, but it isn't the same as when we were younger.
This doesn't happen because mom and dad say "OK, this year you're not
allowed to be as enthusiastic about your gifts as you were last year."
It's just a part of growing up.
Our attitudes shift, and instead of treasuring the giver more because
of the GIFT, we treasure the gift more because of the GIVER.
Something similar should happen in our spiritual lives as we grow and
mature. That growth will happen over time as we spend time in the Word,
fellowshipping with other believers, being discipled, etc. That growth
will not happen by making those who are still young in their faith feel
guilty for enjoying God & His gifts. In fact, that will impede growth.
Are there people in our churches and congregations today who are there for
the wrong reasons? People who are seeking an experience or the "warm
fuzzies" or whatever instead of God? You better believe it! But does
that negate what God is doing? Of course not!
Folks, there are very, very sick people coming to our church services
and revival meetings. People who have "addictive personalities" and are
drawn to emotional experiences. People who, if they weren't in our
meetings, would be in the "new age" or on drugs/alcohol or feeding some
sexual addiction. People who, if we fail to educate and disciple them,
probably will eventually turn (or return, as the case may be) to these
kinds of behaviors. Our critics sometimes like to point this out to say
that our churches and congregations are just a bunch of emotional "12 step
rejects". But these are the very people Jesus would be hanging out with
today if he were walking the streets of our cities.
No matter how well a given church or speaker "handles" the issue of
manifestations, no matter how many times people are told "please don't
focus on the manifestations, focus on God", people are still going to
inevitably notice the manifestations. No matter how many times the
speaker says "it doesn't matter if you laugh or weep, fall or shake or
stand still or sit or kneel or whatever", there are still going to be
people who feel like they missed something because they didn't laugh or
weep or fall or shake...
Why? Partly because that's what happens often when we're exposed to
something that is new to us and that we don't really understand, its just
human nature. Partly because there's bound to be at least a little
immaturity and a touch of disfunction in the mix of where folks are when
they come to a meeting. We will never be able to stop folks from focusing
on the manifestations, just like Jesus wasn't able to get them to stop
focusing on the miracles. All we can do is model maturity in our own
lives and provide the means (classes, fellowship, discipleship, etc) to
help these folks grow.
- the thing that does matter-- is Who Jesus Christ is, and what His sacrifice did for us.
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Related articles: "Experiences in the Spirit of the Lord" | "Slain in the Spirit in the Bible" | "Tongues: Questions & Answers" | Yes! Holy Laughter | Martin Luther, Wesley, Moody & more--all Pentecostals. It's true! Come see!
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