No More Revival!
God has no intention to revive that which he intends to kill. Revival is the conversion of waste places to places that are suitable for habitation. To revive means to revitalize, to rehabilitate, to improve. And revival is not the high purpose of God for the present day apostate church. He means to kill it.
Instead of revival, God is calling for reformation. Reformation means to reform, to remake, to deliver, to reconstruct. God is about the business of making a new wine skin of his church. While it will yield a new kind of assembly, it is also about changing the hearts of his people. He must kill the old for the new to come.
Mike Woelk, a Foursquare pastor from Cape Girardeau, MO recently remarked, "To have a new wine skin, the old goat must die." Would somebody please bring a living flame from the altar of God to torch the dead thing that defiles us all? Loving a dead thing is a form of spiritual necrophilia.
Revival proceeds Reformation. There was a prophecy about a godly king made many years before he was born who would bring revival to Israel. 1 Kings 13:2, "Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, 'O altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men's bones shall be burned on you.''"
So what did King Josiah do? 2 Chronicles 34:33, "Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD God of their fathers." He fulfilled this prophecy and removed that which defiled and, as long as he reigned, the people followed God.
Further, he worked to restore the temple of God, and brought the lost Book of the Law, the Bible, back to the people. He restored their old time religion. He reestablished active faith to government and to the lives of his subjects. He restored the Passover and threw such a wonderful national party that the Bible records they had not seen the like of since the time of Samuel. So what's wrong with that?
Josiah became king when he was merely eight years old, and he reigned thirty-one years. He was only 39 when he died. And why is 39 significant? Because 39 is woefully one short of 40.
The number forty is almost always associated with God's mighty acts. The downpour of Noah's flood lasted for 40 days. Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights; Moses led Israel for 40 years in the desert. There are numerous instances of 40 throughout scripture and almost all relate to salvation. 40 signifies the time when God gets personally involved in the affairs of men.
Josiah's life is a beautiful testimony to genuine revival. Yet when he died, the people went right back to their carnal, idolatrous ways. Soon after they were taken into captivity, returning to their former status as slaves of a pagan king. Revival dies. Is the history of the Christian church any different? Monuments to dead revivals dot our landscapes. Clearly, revival is not enough.
Why not revival? Even the prophets lamented at Josiah's passing! 2 Chronicles 35:25, "Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments." Why? Revival is good! It brings blessing, it brings healing, cleansing, and a return to a place of covenant blessing. But it does not create a habitation for the dwelling place of God. Revival falls short of reformation.
No more revival! God save us from being revived only to die prematurely at 39. We must press the heavens in prayer until 40 comes, until God Himself is enthroned in the hearts of his people. Beloved, we are to be his resting place! While the land needs to be cleansed of idols, they still stand tall in our hearts. We need Reformation, a new thing birthed of the Spirit, a new work, a new wine skin at the expense of killing the old familiar goat of revival.
Isaiah 43:19, "Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
Bryan Hupperts © 2002
PO Box 270256
St. Louis, MO 63127 USA
Legal Stuff: Copyright © 2002 Bryan Hupperts. Permission to distribute this material via email, or individual copies, is automatically granted on the condition it will be used for non-commercial purposes and will not be sold. Plagiarists, be gone! To reproduce "SheepTrax" transcripts in any other format, including Internet websites, written permission is needed from Bryan Hupperts. Thanks for understanding.