We are all waiting, watching and praying for another Great Awakening to turn things around in this country. But, are we willing to pay the price? Have we considered what it’s going to cost us personally and as a Church?
Salvation comes freely and God’s grace is unmerited. However, preparing a place for a Holy God to come and take up residence long-term is something else. The Visitations of past decades have been powerful preludes of what is to come, but the Church needs to consider the price-tag to the pervasive and transforming spiritual revival that we are longing for.
“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?” (Isaiah 66:1)
God is looking for a place to land. We have been on this pursuit in our own community and have found the journey longer than anticipated. Yet, if we truly want the full manifestation of His Presence to come to our churches and cities, for His Spirit to revive and redeem the people and for His righteousness to rule the land, we must prepare this place of His Presence – and it’s going to cost us.
1] Our Offenses – Unity in the Church is not just about denominational networking. It’s about extending forgiveness to those who have hurt us – especially fellow believers. There are many who have left the Church out of offense. It’s time to forgive and get plugged in again. The Lord has been calling back his “Run-away Brides”. Those who have been hurt or overlooked in times past are being drawn back to the family of God to get re-attached, for the Body can’t function without all the parts. Facing past issues will not always be easy. This will require humbling ourselves and embracing one another’s faults and weaknesses in the journey.
This is going to cost us our pride and the need to be right.
2] Walking in Commitment, not Convenience– We have to stay together and walk together no matter what. This applies at all levels: commitment to our spouse, commitment to our families and yes, commitment to the Body of Christ. This means that we determine to contribute our God-given role whenever it’s needed – not just when it’s convenient. We must choose to be faithful and consistent members of the Body of Christ, making it a priority rather than just another option.
This is going to cost us our over-loaded schedules.
3] Breaking Unholy Alliances – Ungodly soul-ties and generational curses can slowly drain us of the life of God until we revoke the legal ground of the enemy and receive God’s intended blessings. Vows or oaths we have made to any group or individual that is not true to the Word of God will rob us of our spiritual inheritance and choke off our blessings and intimacy with Jesus. Our pursuit of holiness is not a religious ritual but a requirement to come before the presence of a Holy God (Deuteronomy 14:2).
This will, more than likely, cost us some relationships.
4] Healthy Spiritual Leadership – Though this is a team effort which will require all the gifts, our culture desperately needs healthy spiritual fathers and spiritual mothers who can demonstrate that it’s possible to live holy and happy at the same time. Servant leadership was God’s idea and it’s what Jesus exemplified as he raised up spiritual sons to go further than what He did. His greatest authority (and joy) came when He laid down His life and gave it away for others. God will get all the glory when the world sees such leaders who serve rather than seek to be served.
This will cost leaders any self-promoting reputation.
5] Persistence – Sustained prayer and intercession require perseverance over the long haul. When we don’t see immediate results, we get frustrated and either stop praying or try another prayer. Many times God is simply inviting us to dig deeper in order to get to the roots of our issues. To Him, the process is just as important as the destination. The character, maturity and spiritual insight that is gained through persistent prayer, study and reflection brings us closer to His heart and ways. Jesus was always the hardest on his disciples as he challenged them in their thinking and perspectives. He wasn’t as concerned with giving them the answers as He was with getting to their hearts.
This will cost us our need for quick fixes.
6] Preparing a House of His Presence – The Lord is looking for a place like home. For heaven to come to earth, we must prepare that place for Him to come. This is not just allegory but actual. Cities, congregations and ministries that have already experienced a measure of His manifest presence testify to the power of preparing such a place. This should actually be normal for the Church – the starting place for lasting transformation! Are we willing to host heaven and prepare a place for Him to not only visit, but stay? Are we willing to prepare the sanctuary and our schedules to make room for Him to come as we wait in His presence? Are we willing to become like the five virgins who took the time to fill their lamps with oil, readying themselves for the Bridegroom?
This will cost us our time.
God IS coming with another awakening of His love and power, but this time it will be something much bigger than just revival. It will be total transformation. He’s coming to stay, after all, and that means we need to get our Houses ready to sustain His presence. We are not just preparing to bring in the lost, save a city or deliver a nation. We are preparing to live with a Holy God whose presence is overwhelming, life-changing and supernatural. He can’t entrust His Presence to orphans or slaves. He is looking for sons and daughters who know who they are and are ready to carry His heart for sake of the Kingdom.
In our own community, we’ve determined that this journey will cost us, but we believe the outcome is going to be well worth the price.