But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it ” (Jer. 20:9 NASB)
It was a normal Sunday morning worship service and I began to realize that my mind was wondering and I was thinking of many things concerning my life, my calling, and the people in my home town, home church, hurts, misunderstandings, then began the prayers of help in attempt to prove my faithfulness to man, and blah, blah, blah.. As all of these thoughts were rambling through my mind as my mouth sang the lyrics of the worship song: “all honor, all power, all glory are yours oh Lord”. Then suddenly I began to look around me and see the other people moving their mouths as though “lip sinking” the words of the worship song as well. I no longer heard singing, but other people’s rambling thoughts of un-forgiveness, judgments, pain, apathy, distrust, broken faith, gripes, and complaints as they were seemingly singing songs of worship unto the Lord. The sound of these thoughts got louder and louder and the sound of the worship song seemed to disappear. I realized I was hearing what God hears as we apathetically go through the motions of our church services! It was the sound of many, many, voices in disunity not the voice the worshiping heart unto the Lord! Mouths were moving but the singing was empty.
I began to feel my heart ache and my stomach turn and the burning began! I began to repent from my own apathy and to declare to the Lord with everything in me “ALL GLORY! ALL HONOR! ALL POWER! IS YOURS OH LORD!! NOT OURS!” I said in my heart “forgive us Lord for our selfish thoughts! Dear God… this is the problem with our westernized church culture we are so used to coming in and out of a church service like it is just part of our weekly routine! We can come in and go out without ever having truly entered into worship at all!” Then Holy Spirit spoke these words:
Isa 29:1 …“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught…”
OH GOD Forgive us! Then the fire began to burn and I began to feel the broken heart of the Father. This was the “lukewarmness” spoke of in the book of Revelation right here all around us! This “lukewarmness” that He says “I will spew out of My mouth” Rev.3:16 . Even in the most seemingly spiritual churches in the “Bible-Belt” many just come in and go out and they check “church” off of their list of things to do and we go on home unchanged! Many praise not, worship not, just endure the service, and then go stuff bellies at the local Sunday buffet! The fire of God’s desire for revival began to consume me as He seemed to download His desire to revive the dead and awaken those who have gone to sleep in apathy! We use the word revival these days to refer to a week of church services, but in the past the term meant something much more than a planned event! It meant reformation, radical revelation, Holy Spirit manifestations, and caused dramatic change that got people like John Wesley kicked out of churches! Revival forced them to preach and worship under tents worship and prayer went on day and night until God moved them to another location. They revivalist became what we know of as the circuit riders. These men and women were used by God to reform Christianity and they made traditionalist upset! Authentic revival is messy!
We are in desperate need of this real, authentic, and I add LASTING revival! We are likely the most disconnected generation ever to walk upon the earth! We are shells of human bodies! Or as Jesus said it “white washed tombs with dead man’s bones inside!” We come in looking great but totally dead to the true Christ -life”. Most are hoping God does not speak to them personally for if He did one may truly have to die to something their carnal flesh enjoys. We are no different in this aspect than the Israelites of Exodus 19 who in the wilderness said to Moses that they did not want to talk personally to God “least we die”, but that he should talk to God for them and relay the message. They wanted Moses to be pure enough and talk with God but they did not want that responsibility to be clean personally. All most people want is to just to hear the “word” from the set man of God! We dare not approach God for ourselves least we die–to our sin—for we know that this is what is required when we hear Him personally!
This fire in my bones got hotter and hotter as the worship went on! I was awakened to the depth of God’s Holiness and our selfishness as a people of God! We don’t even know what it is the experience His glory in the way that He died for us to experience Him these last days. We just think we do because we have approached the throne from time to time.
The Israelites experienced provision and supernatural acts of God– the cloud by day, the fire by night and the manna from heaven but Moses experienced God’s glory! Moses went from afraid of approaching the Mountain of God to not caring if he died in God’s presence–He cried out “show me your glory”(Exod. 33:18). Do we really want the authentic “revival” that ushers in the return of Messiah? Do we really want to see His “glory cover the earth as the waters cover the sea?” If so we must be willing to die to our flesh and be resurrected into HIS holiness!
As I heard the rambling and even sinful thoughts around me I said to the Lord “Dear God, we are the Israelites that built the golden calf to worship as Moses was atop the mountain (see Exod.32:19)!” We are comfortable worshiping an image made by our hands and calling it devotion to God! We wan to be in control of how long we worship and how we worship. We do not have to be united or pure! We even control the cost of this image of worship! We are willing to sacrifice and fund our “worship” if we can form it in the way that suits us! We can form it in a way that fits into the world’s system and we can worship it without being required to change! Authentic revival is one that is being birthed in the Spirit of Holiness to bring us to a place that we love what He Loves and hate what He hates–no matter the cost! To a place that we are willing to die if that is what it takes to see His face!
This message to us sounds a lot like this; the baptism of water has come, but there is a greater baptism, one that is inwardly purifying “the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire!”
Matt. 3:11 (NASB) “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
The past movement taught us how to look good and look the part and we are ok with that– we are ok with being washed outwardly! But as John the Baptist declared there is one who HAS come that desires MORE than just a baptism in water (outward washing)! He, Jesus, came to baptize us in the Holy Spirit and with fire! The inward purifying fire! This fire is one of passion that will make us more afraid of being out of God’s presence that being in it! This fire that will make physical us sick bout being “lukewarm” Christians! I will not only change the way we look and sound but it will sear us to the point that it changes our very DNA!
This Holy Spirit fire creates a craving to be ONE with Him as Jesus prayed in John 17:21! This is how the cry of the desperate longing of the Bride is born in the Church. She wants to feel what HE feels, see what He sees, go where He goes and say what He says–And she would rather die than be separated from HIM (see Song of Solomon chapter 5).
My eyes were opened that Sunday morning and it began with me personally! Here’s the thing friends this is where the cleansing begins! It begins in me! It begins in you personally! I had to get the plank out of my own eye that morning! Then I saw or should I say heard! But I gotta tell ya something: this is what relationship with God is all about! “Worship in Spirit and in Truth”, daily, this the avenue of oneness with Him that we were created for (Jn. 2:24). That overwhelming experience during worship on that Sunday morning was both terrifying and beautiful at the same time. It was a message from the Lord of His jealous desire calling us to turn back to Him and see Him as “you did at first… your First Love”(Rev.2:4 ). He wants us to realize our humanity, to realize His Holiness, and then to realize His jealous pursuit for us! We can’t draw closer to him as long as we do not know we are distant! Revival is here and it is a revival of inner cleansing and a rapid heating up of the lukewarm faith with the fresh fire of Holy Spirit! This third Great Awakening is a birthing of a generation of true holy lovers of Jesus who would rather die than be separated from Him by their sin!