THE RAW SPIRIT OF REVIVAL
Fresh Fire Ministries
Fresh Fire Ministries
Holy Ghost come today! Come in power, that there would be an increase, Holy Spirit, an increase of Your anointing. That we would feel You like a mighty wind---rushing, blowing, falling in a new way, a fresh way. I pray for a fresh fire, God. I pray for that fire and that revival spirit to come! Let the raw revival spirit that can stir a whole generation grip our hearts so that we become burning, shining lamps of revival!
God I pray that you raise up the "John the Baptists," that you raise up the fiery witnesses, that you raise up the fiery preachers today! I'm asking that you raise up the "apostolic Elijah ministry" -- that you raise up the power encounters; that you raise up the radical worshippers and a fierce, abandoned generation that's love sick and all they want is Jesus.
God make them to be a witness of the truth, bold and strong. It's an encounter with your Spirit; it's the power of God, and it's the anointing that's going to do it today Lord! Let the fire fall. Let the Spirit of revival come! Thank you Lord. Amen!
REVISITING FIRST LOVE
"God, I'm as hungry for you today as I was at any other time in my life!"
O that God would stir our hearts with passion; that we would encounter Him with such abandon that we could all say: "God, I'm as hungry for you today as I was at any other time in my life!" Yes! I want to be challenged and provoked too. I'm preaching to myself today!
Listen! Passion (for God) climbs to new heights when you're absolutely desperate for Him. The psalmist speaks into this in Psalm 42---"As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" (vv. 1, 2).
Panting! Thirsting! But thirsting for what? The answer is here---"When shall I come and appear before God?" Literally what he is saying is, "When will I have a visitation of God appearing to me?" It's not about us appearing before people. It's about us appearing before God.
The psalmist goes on to say:
"O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me" (vv. 6, 7).
"All your waves and billows have gone over me." It's not just one wave. It's wave after wave of God's glory and anointing! There is a momentum here.
Now before I speak more about this next week---this momentum that comes in prayer, that comes in the glory and in the anointing---we need to bear something in mind. Here's what God breathed on me quite recently. He said, "Todd, take a look at Revelation 2:4, 5a"---"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works."
Wow. "You have left your first love." We can all think of those days when we were hungrier and more radical for God, devouring our Bible every day. Maybe for you it was in those first few months that you were a Christian. But now, because of some hard trials, valleys, and disappointments, you realize that you're still walking with God, still reading the Bible and going to church, but there's something missing. It's like there's only a hint of the smell of what was once there. For some of you, it's such a faint memory.
Jesus Christ is challenging us, so let's be honest. We need to fall in love with Jesus again---revisit first love. And I know we're faced with our own carnality and by how unspiritual we are sometimes. In my own life, as spiritual as I've been at times I could be hungrier and more on fire. So then, what is the key to awakening first love? The answer is found in the scripture we just read---"remember therefore from where you have fallen."
REMEMBERING AND HUNGERING
There's something about when we begin to remember and we begin to allow the Holy Spirit to move in the imagination, taking us back to the greatest times of God's power coming in our lives. It's important to remember those times when we were really hungry. The problem is, sometimes we just accept being lukewarm as normal, and our attitude is: "I've grown up in the church and I'm a Christian. I don't need to be all that zealous anymore." But Jesus said to "remember therefore from where you have fallen" and then He goes on to say, "repent and do the first works." (More, later in this teaching, about being lukewarm.)
When God speaks to me about the fire, the hunger, the anointing, the glory, and revival, He says to remember. Yet, sometimes I'm like, "Remember what God?" Then He says to remember the first six months I was saved---"But do you remember those days?" "God, do I ever," I say. "I long for those days!" Friends, at that time in my life I would wait in His presence for 12 hours.
So now, when God says to repent and do the first works, I always remember how I would go after His presence. I always remember how I'd wait for another wave. I always remember how I learned to move in the anointing. I always remember how I'd say, "Come Holy Spirit." I always remember how I'd wait and how I would soak. I always remember the fire and the ravenous hunger and the passion. Because when I remember, it stirs up my passion and hunger for God! It brings me back to my first love, Jesus!
JESUS STEPPED IN
I remember one of the first times that God appeared to me. I was so hungry. I was new in the ministry. I moved in the gifts of the Spirit, really excited about that, and I just wanted to prophesy over anything that moved. At one series of meetings I told the people that on the last night everyone would receive a prophetic word. So on the last night the crowd doubled and I ministered until about four in the morning.
It was a great meeting but after it was over I found that I wasn't completely satisfied. I told the Lord, "You know what I really want God? Your presence." Simultaneously there was something in my heart that was challenged and I heard the Lord say, "Hey, Todd. I know you're tired, but can you spend another hour in prayer? Will you love Me when the meeting is over?" And so I thought: You know what, Lord. I want to go home and just love on You because that's the only reason this (ministry) all happens.
So in the car on my way to where I was staying, I said, "God, I'd love to see the Northern Lights." Then within just five minutes of being in my car, boom, the Northern Lights! I thought: That's my Father delighting in me as a son because I just love Him so much. I love Him more than the gift (the anointing).
You see, even though I had the joy of giving everybody a prophetic word, I just wanted to get to my place and worship the Lord. (It's easy to pray before a meeting because you want to be anointed but it's your attitude when the meeting is over that reveals your true character. So much of what I do is because I have a meeting. My challenge is to do what I do because I love Jesus.)
Hallelujah, the presence of God is all around me and somebody has just stepped into my room!
So when I got to my place, I thought: God I am going to honor You and I am waiting on You. As I was lying in my bed, I was thinking, God, You are beautiful, You are awesome. I love you! Forget all about the gifts and the power, I'm just back here at four in the morning now and I'm loving You.
Then, in the middle of my worship, all of a sudden I heard my door creak. I looked over at the doorway and it was as if somebody had opened the door, stepped into the room and shut the door behind them. But I couldn't see anybody. Scared, my heart pounding, I was lying on my bed thinking: Hallelujah, the presence of God is all around me and somebody has just stepped into my room! It was so real.
As I stared in the darkness, a living rainbow started moving in the room and right away the only thing I could think of was that it was the "coat of many colors" (Gen. 37:3 KJV). It was moving towards me, and out of the colors stepped Jesus. True story! The Lord walked up to my bed, and as He got closer the room smelled with the perfume of the fragrance of the anointing of the King. Have you ever been so close to somebody you could smell their scent? Heaven has an aroma.
Next, He sat down on my bed! It creaked, literally; I saw the impression on my bed (because the Lord was sitting there). His fragrance---vanilla and cinnamon---it was intoxicating, and my body just vibrated, and I thought: I am appearing before God.
REMEMBERING, IGNITES PASSION
Today, by remembering this encounter with Jesus, my passion for Him is ignited once again! You see, that's the cry here in Psalms 42---I am panting, my soul is longing, I'm thirsting for God, for the living God and here is what I'm hungry for: When shall I come and appear before God? When will God appear to me? I need an encounter. I need a visitation. I need an experience.
The psalmist goes on to say: "My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?' When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me . . ." (vv. 3, 4). Look. There's a whole world out there, a mocking world, that's saying today, "Where is your God?" Maybe it comes through some of your mocking friends, family, relationships, or circumstances---"Where is your God?"
Maybe it isn't even people, family, or those you're in relationship with that are saying it, but your own soul is saying, "Yeah, where is God? I grew up in all this church stuff, but where is God? I don't even see love amongst His people." Sometimes even our own soul begins to question---"Where is God? I feel like I am a million miles away. The heavens are brass and when I pray, there is no answer. So why even pray?" And then before we know it, we're not even talking to God and we get lukewarm.
There are times when Christians get so hopeless and disappointed; so discouraged. I know this is happening among young people and they are saying, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Where is the God that we read about in the Bible? Where is the power, where is the reality, where is the presence? I'm in the valley, man. I'm battling."
Listen. If there is lukewarmness, you have to take responsibility for it. Hey. It's not always the church's fault. You've got to stir yourself up to take hold of God and go to the well yourself and go to the river of God yourself. You need to say, "I don't just want to go to where the blessing is, I want to be the blessing. I don't just want to go to the revival, I want to carry the revival. I want to be what starts the revival!!
"Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?" (v. 5a). Here is a big key that will help you overcome all that junk---"Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance" (v. 5b). In other words be determined to walk into that field of praise, as hard as it is. Just open up your mouth and praise Him; He is worthy, regardless of how you feel. You've got to be at a place where you stop and say, "Soul, what are you doing, and why are you so complacent? I've got to remember from where I have fallen. I've got to get back that love and that passion and that fire; I've got to get it back! I've got to get rocked again! I've got to repent and do the first works! Something's wrong here. I'm not going to stay here anymore murmuring and going around this mountain. I am going to do something about it!"
The psalmist says in verse 6 and 7: "O my God, my soul is cast down within in me." He goes on to say [paraphrase]: "I'm going to remember you. I am going to remember those visitations. I am going to remember those times in worship. I am going to remember the prophetic promises. I am going to remember the prophetic visions and dreams. I am going to remember when I was on fire. I am going to remember because deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls; all your waves and your billows have gone over me."
Waves! We're waiting for another wave. It's worth repeating---it's not just one wave. It's wave after wave of God's glory and anointing! I want you to think about that.
As you prepare your heart for part two, start remembering what God has done for you. Ask the Holy Spirit if there are any areas where you need to repent and then deal with those issues. For some, you're coming to realize that you've left your first love. Don't get into condemnation. Jesus is inviting you to return to Him---"Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works" (Rev. 2:5a).
Also, just to whet your appetite, in Part 2 I'm going to share a secret that has the potential to transform your ability to maintain intimacy with the Lord so that you can abide in the momentum of His glory and anointing.