gratitude & hoopla: Revival Begins in the Heart

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

3.2.06

Revival Begins in the Heart

In 2004 Dutch Sheets and Chuck Pierce stopped in Maine on their 50 state tour. I'm told that at each stop they prophesied on behalf of the state they were in. Now, my attitude is, receive a word spoken in the name of the Lord with thanksgiving, but mull it over, pray about it, and above all be careful of spiritual group-think (can you say "purpose-driven"?).

Well, Sheets and Pierce apparently prophesied that my state of Maine, which is the eastern-most in the USA, would be the place where the next great revival begins. The whole thing hinged on various Bible passages that spoke of the glory of the Lord returning to Jerusalem from the east or through the "eastern gate." And since Maine is the "eastern gate" of the United States, well, there you have it. Revival for the U.S. will begin right here in good old off-the-beaten-path Maine.

Now, some people who went to the Sheets/Pierce conference, and others who just heard about it, were very "worked up" about this prophecy, accepted it as a foregone conclusion, and have been eagerly expecting the revival-train to pull into the station ever since.

Fine. Who are they hurting? And in any case, revival is a mysterious thing (maybe someday when I read Leonard Ravenhill's Why Revival Tarries I will understand better). But as for me, I don't see any reason to think it will begin in Maine. I don't see the relevance of the " eastern gate" passages at all (and I also think there is a danger here of confusing the United States with the coming kingdom of God, and also of confusing "revival" with the return of Christ). So call me skeptical on this one. I'll just watch and pray if you don't mind.

But I thought of all this when I read a recent post of Rusty Peterman's over at Believer Blog. Rusty says:
The movement Jesus started exploded on the scene with people who longed to know more about Jesus; people hungry for the life Jesus introduced; people thirsty for the living water of the Spirit; people who loved one another.
The Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s interests me a good deal. Marian, a commenter over at Eight Strings, who remembers those heady days well, has this to say:
". . . what God calls us to do is to seek first His Kingdom. We can begin by praying and fasting, and, putting into action the words and works of Jesus on a daily basis in all of our own lives. We can learn to hear the Father’s voice and do what we hear the Father saying now. (Jesus only did what He saw and heard the Father say and do). We don’t have to wait for a cataclysmic outpouring like the 70’s.
Yup. You don't need a prophet to tell you to seek first the kingdom. But many of those kids in SoCal back in 1970 did seek it and find it, and, as Marian says, many still are seeking and finding. It begins, as Rusty says, with each one of us: "Nothing short of walking with Jesus every day--seeing how he loved God and other people--can open our eyes and ears and hearts to the Spirit at work within us."

I can go for that.

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