Have you ever considered what would happen if God stepped into our world? I mean in a very literal way. Maybe while we are at work and suddenly there is an uproar because a lover of Jesus just prayed for a person blind from their birth and their eyes opened! Maybe at the supermarket someone close to Jesus started preaching by the produce department, a crowd gathered around and people thru tears and repentance started falling to their knees and giving their lives to Christ! Maybe at the scene of a terrible car accident wherein a man and his family all died but a follower of Jesus, full of faith prayed for them and they all came back to life! How would we respond if God very literally stepped into our world?
What if you met a man at the Department of Motor vehicles who seemed to know a lot about you but you had never met this person before in your life. What if he started to tell you mysteries about your life, things that no one on earth could possibly know, maybe even your own wife!? What if he started to proclaim some of the mysteries of God’s kingdom and then, as if a ghost, suddenly disappear!? What if a man looking almost like a beggar steps into the back door of your church and comes right up to the pulpit in the middle of the pastors sermon and gently and humbly asks if he could say something… what if the pastor refused and without thought asks the stranger to either sit down or to leave the church… what if the man insists that he has a message to give the church from God… and again, after the pastor refusing the glory of God shines upon the man as he leaves and you realize God had just walked into the building just before the stranger disappears.
There are so many stories, real life stories I have to tell from my own life about God stepping into our world. We can call these, Holy Disruptions or Suddenly Moments.
The fact of the matter is that God did step into our world, in the corruptible flesh of a man, born of a virgin woman, by the power of the Holy Spirit, therefore He is the Son of God. God’s own Son came to us, He quite literally stepped into our world. How did they receive Him? Have you read the stories? If God came into our world in 2023, in America, into our lives, our town halls, our hospitals, our supermarkets, our churches, our street corners and malls, How would we receive Him?
God just showed up to a small town in Kentucky, at a rather nondescript university called, Asbury. He disrupted everything. Class schedules, small town politics, the traffic, the peaceful life of main street, their one grocery store and few small motels were all suddenly turned upside down! When God shows up everything changes. Everything.
And many of us have been praying for this! Many of us have been praying, fasting, preaching, hoping and believing that God would show up and change our nation and save us! But what are we really praying for, in truth? We are praying for a tremendous disruption to invade our world and change everything. All of Christianity changed after the Welsh Revival, then came Azusa Street and everything changed again, for the whole world, missionaries went world-wide with this message of God’s Spirit alive! The tent revivals started and things all changed again in America and the world. Billy Graham’s televised crusades and the Jesus People movement changed everything again. But then there seemed to be a lull.
Benny Hinn and many of the tele-evangelists and miracle workers showed up on the scene but the revival seemed to slow down quite a bit. Church attendance started to peak and then slowly started sliding downhill. The next twenty years plus we had to witness pastor after pastor and church after church fall apart for sexual immorality and various issues of greed and immorality. The past twenty years have been especially hard on us Christians. It’s been challenging navigating Christianity in America this 21st Century, watching a generation rise and fall. But many of us have not stopped believing in the goodness of God and His faithfulness, for every generation.
Jesus came into the world at the appointed time. And at large the world did not receive Him. At the height of His ministry, when He entered the city of Jerusalem, riding on a colt, only a band of rabble, a few thousand maybe at best, were there to receive Him as king. They cried out and worshipped Him, “Hosanna, Hosanna in the heightest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” But only a day or so later the crowd shouted to Pilot, “Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!” How few actually received Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us, standing before us, loving us day by day, living in our midst? So few actually received Him.
Revival is all about God Himself showing up in our world. The miracles that God has done thru me, I never took credit for them, ever. I was always fully aware that this was in fact God’s doing. Did He use me as a vessel? At best. But God has spoken thru donkey’s and used prostitutes and sinners to perform His will, how much really does He need any of us in order for Him to show up on the scene, like at Asbury…. God showed up on that college campus after a young man started repenting at a humble chapel service, crying out “God to save me!” The hearts cry of that young man started a several week event that has now spread to college campuses around the nation.
Revival is all about being inconvenienced. We have these lives, and schedules, and agenda’s, plans and goals, we have these desires and bills, and mortgages, and marriages and children… but then in the midst of all of this, sometimes quite suddenly, God shows up. And when God shows up, how will we respond?
Jesus came to His disciples quite suddenly, practically out of nowhere and said, “Come and follow me.” James and John, Peter and Andrew were all fisherman and literally in the middle of the days work… but they chose the better thing, they left everything behind and went and followed Jesus. Our Holy Bible would look quite differently had they responded otherwise. We read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because those men responded to God when He showed up in their lives – but how differently would the story have gone if no one responded to God, standing before them?
But now look to eternity. As hard as it is, try and picture the kingdom of God as we first enter it – will we enter with boldness and confidence because of how we loved Him or will we, even as Christians, enter heads hung low, wondering why we are even there because of how average a Christian-life we lived? We will all stand before Him one day. What will we say? “Sorry Lord, it just wasn’t convenient…” or “It was all yours, Lord, everything. I’m glad I gave it all to you…”
They ended the meetings, I understand, at Asbury. Maybe it was the Lord shifting things? Maybe it was God showing them that He has a better plan…? But I fear otherwise. I fear that Jesus was still there and wanting to do more for His people but the rulers had had enough of Jesus and asked Him to move on. I hope I’m wrong. We may never know for certain this side of eternity. But, “Lord, if you show up on my property, if you show up in my town or my school, or my business, or my church – I commit to you now in writing before all these people, I will not ask you to leave. Period. If you bless me with your presence in such a way, please stay as long as you like. I will make room for you. I will allow you to bless your people however you would like.”
“Father, look at the hearts of those who love you. Do not look at merely the hearts of our ruling elite but look at the hearts of the people… they want you Jesus… they are saying in their hearts, “Hosanna, Hosanna in the heightest, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” And they are laying down beautiful offerings of worship and praise at your feet. Come for your people. We will receive you.”
“If our hearts are not ready, prepare our hearts…”
“We are broken and afraid, incomplete and imperfect but we want you Lord…”
“Come Lord Jesus, Come…”
“We won’t turn you away…”
I was preaching the end of last year and I said, “2023 will be a year of preparation.” I encouraged everyone to prepare their hearts for what the Lord is about to do. Get ready. I encourage every one of you who wants God to prepare yourselves. God is about to show up in our nation in a mighty mighty way, and spread throughout the nations! It’s an exciting time to be alive.
The Best is Yet to Come!
Much love friends,