The message I heard on the podcast this morning, Experiencing Church Revival by Tony Evans, lit me up. Tony says that revival happens one changed heart at a time, but explains how it can spread through entire congregations and transform them into the churches that God wants them to be.
One changed heart can make a huge difference, and that was my “takeaway” from the movie “Overcomer”. One heart was changed and impacted many lives. The text of the podcast is found in Acts: “And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were ALL filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)
In the message (and I encourage you to listen to it for yourselves — it’s only 30 minutes) Tony reminds us that our churches aren’t on fire and doing the work God wants them to do because the people in the church aren’t on fire. Check this, I didn’t say the preacher, the deacons, the person in charge of the children’s ministry…it’s ALL the people. I am the church, you are the church — the church is the body of believers.
At salvation, we were given the Holy Spirit. If we aren’t experiencing revival in our churches, we must all accept the responsibility, because it is the collective flames by the Spirit (wind) that causes a blaze that makes a difference. Now go back and notice the next part: “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues”. They had not learned the other languages — the Holy Spirit gave them the supernatural ability to communicate with others in a language they could understand. Even if we’re talking the same language, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power, opportunity, and the ability to speak in a way that others understand. We just have to be willing and open our mouths prayerfully.
I was reminded of a passage the Lord took me to this weekend (and has so many times): “Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Col 3:16-17)
We are called to live out His Word daily, and to build one another up (1 Thess 5:11). Today the Lord highlighted this message in flashing neon. Our encouragement of one another isn’t to make one another feel better, or to be happier. We are to encourage one another to live daily with the Word of Christ richly dwelling within us so that the flame of the Holy Spirit will continue to be fanned, so that His Gospel will spread. Our lives as believers here on earth isn’t about our feelings or living well within this lifespan. We are here as Christ’s ambassadors to spread His Good News, and light the world on fire for His kingdom and for His glory.
Dear Lord, thank You for preparing my heart to hear this message, to take it into my heart. Now, Lord, hearing it is not enough. You don’t call me to be more educated in Your Word, You call me to act upon what You reveal. Lord, open my eyes to see the opportunities You place before me, and remind me that the work is not mine but the Holy Spirit’s. I am to be the willing vessel, open my mouth and allow the Holy Spirit’s words to flow as You want. Thank You for what You will do to fan the flame of all who take this message into their hearts today and act upon it. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.