Thursday, September 16, 2021

Revival Prophecies (1)

Soon after I became a follower of Jesus nearly forty years ago, I heard Christian leaders declaring that God would send a massive revival to New Zealand. This message of hope has continued to be proclaimed right up to the present day. Visiting speakers who flew into New Zealand would speak of seeing visions of angels, or bright lights, or something similar. They often declared that New Zealand has a special place in God’s eyes and that revival is just around the corner.

I have always believed in these promises, as they made sense in terms of my experience. I had been living as an atheist when God reached out and grabbed me with the gospel and prompted me to chose to follow Jesus. A year later when I was spiritually hungry, the Holy Spirit overwhelmed me and gave me a heavenly language to enlighten my prayer and praise. I have seen people healed and broken lives restored by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I do not consider myself special, so I have always assumed that if God could do these things for me, he could do them for other people just as easily. Consequently, I have always expected that God would visit us soon and bring revival to our nation. I have trusted the promises of revival given by the prophetic people and recommended them to others.

For the last forty years, this has been axiomatic for me. Humans are invigorated by hope, so we naturally cling to promises of hope. The hope of revival inspired much of what I did for God.

No Longer
After forty years, I still trust God as much as ever, but I am no longer convinced that the prophecies of revival will be fulfilled. I see no signs that revival is getting closer; in fact, it seems to be further away than ever (I will explain why in a future post).

Instead of just assuming that revival is coming soon, I am pondering why these promises have not been fulfilled, especially if they reflect the heart of God. I am certain that God is not the problem. I still believe that he is capable of sending revival if he chooses, but it has not come. If he is not the problem, it must be us. I assume that God’s people are the problem, not God.

I have now arrived at the conclusion that most of the promises/prophecies about a move of God were a true reflection of his heart, but he has been unable to achieve his purposes because his church was unwilling to do what needed to be done.

To contain a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit on their nation, the church would have to make significant changes to the way that it operates. But the church and its leaders have not been willing to make those changes, so the hoped-for move of God has not come.

I see no end to his chokepoint. God knows what needs to be done to bring revival to the nation, but he can’t get his church to do what needs to be done first. I have very little hope that the situation will change soon, so the promised revival is probably further away than ever.

One role of the Old Testament prophets was to explain why promised blessings did not arrive as expected. When things went wrong in Israel, people wanted to know why, and the prophets were expected to provide the answers.

I am not very attentive to prophecies that restate the same promises of revival that have been repeated over and over again for the last fifty years. After all this time waiting, I am looking for prophecies that can explain why they have not been fulfilled.

I believe that repeated prophecies of revival are distracting God's people from hearing what he is really saying to them.

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