A Picture Is Worth More Than A Thousand Words

Sometimes God shows us pictures in our heart of what is possible so we will press in and believe Him for more..  Once you see a God picture, it changes everything and you can’t go back to normal. Abraham is a great example of that.  God showed him that his descendants would be more numerous than the sands on the seashore and all Abraham could do was believe.  Once he saw the picture, he couldn’t go back to being a rich old man with no kids.  The picture got on the inside of him and compelled him to believe and act.  This is the effect of God pictures.  They are worth more than a thousand words. They are prophetic invitations to pursue Him for more.

A few years ago, I began to study revival history.  There were things in history that got on the inside of me and changed what I thought to be possible.  It’s changed my definition of normal Christianity.  What I’m about to write for the rest of this blog may be too intense for you.  It’s ok if you stop reading.  God’s not mad at you and neither am I.  I just have to share these things because they burn on the inside of me and I believe this is something we are called to walk in collectively as a body of believers.  

One of my favorite revivals in history was the Hebrides Revival that took place in Scotland from 1949-1953.  The testimonies from this revival are powerful.  They include people feeling such a presence of God over the island that unbelievers were immediately convicted of sin and either gave their lives to Jesus on the spot or immediately went to church and met someone who led them to salvation.  

People who experienced the revival said it was like Isaiah. 64:1 that says, “God tear open the heavens and come down.”  What would it be like to live in a city that God’s presence was so clearly recognized?  It would almost be like heaven on earth. The reason I’m writing this article is I believe that is not only possible, but is what is supposed to happen in Greensboro.  

You may be saying, “Brian, you are crazy.  And what scripture are you basing that off of?”  Glad you asked.  The scripture I’m basing it off of is Matthew 6:9-10:

In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

This is what Jesus taught His disciples to pray.  He either meant it or He didn’t.  I believe He meant it which is why we need to pray.  This is how the Hebrides Revival began.  It didn’t begin with preaching, a great outreach, or a crusade.  It began when two elderly women began to pray every Tuesday and Friday night from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.  They eventually asked their pastor to invite others and the Lord put it on 7 men’s hearts to join them.  This was the seven men said when they agreed to join them:

We pledge not to give rest nor peace to the Almighty until He makes our Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Revival didn’t spring forth immediately,  These people prayed for months, but the breakthrough began one night when a young man began to pray, “God, are my hands clean?  Is my heart pure?”  After this happened he fell into a trance and those around him were gripped with the conviction of God.  This conviction soon gripped all of the Hebrides and revival broke out!  A few days later over 700 people spontaneously gathered at the church at 11:00 at night simply to encounter God.  The meeting hadn’t been called from the pulpit; it had been called by the Holy Spirit and people just gathered.  The people of the community began to meet regularly to worship and pray in the evenings.  Dance halls and saloons sat empty because everyone came to worship God.  Crime diminished and a joy hit the Hebrides like people had never experienced before.  The revival in the Hebrides eventually broke out in other nearby islands! This is a small picture of heaven on earth! 

It’s amazing to hear what God did in the Hebrides, but I want to draw your attention to one significant detail.  Revival didn’t break out for the community until it first broke out in the heart one young man who had been going through religious motions of Christian activity for months.  Finally after months, he got authentic with God and began to hunger and everything changed.

I can’t help but wonder if the reason we haven’t seen national revival in the last few years even with all of the prayer is because many of us haven’t been as transparent with God as that young man.  We want revival in the community, but do we want it for us?  Do we want to be so overwhelmed by God that He drives out all of our sin, idolatry, and misplaced priorities?  Or do we just want to see all the gays get right with God and the politicians be changed so we can have less perversion in culture and godlier laws.  Even if that was to happen, and we aren’t transformed, we would then be inoculated from the revival that God wants to bring where there is nothing separating us from Him and we truly experience heaven on earth.  

I know the above paragraph is challenging so I want you to hear my heart.  My heart is for you and me to experience all of God’s goodness.  Sometimes I have to be like Jesus and turn over the moneychangers tables in our lives so we’ll embrace everything God is trying to get to us.  God wants to transform our community, but more importantly He wants to transform you and me!  He wants all of and He wants nothing separating us from Him.  That’s what revival is all about!

We have been offered an open heaven where we have unhindered connection with God.  While we always have that in the spirit, God wants us to experience in our mind, will, emotions, and our flesh and blood body!  He wants it for us and as we are transformed, we will transform the world around us and see a move of God even greater than the Hebrides Revival.

God doesn’t just show us pictures of revival like this just to entertain us or remind us of what He has done in times past.  These pictures are invitations that are supposed to compel us to enter in.   I’m praying this picture compels you.  It compels me when I discover what is available for me, my family, our church, and our entire community!  When I see pictures like the Hebrides Revival I can’t go back to normal Christianity.  How boring!  I must enter in deeper if it costs me everything.  This is what we were born for!  And it’s possible! We just have to enter in!

If you want to learn more, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.

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