MODERATOR: This is a very good article. And I totally agree - "Revival" is truly the "NORMAL" Christian Life! ******************************************************** From: "Don and Net Lamb" <don-net-lamb@...> Living the NORMAL "REVIVED" Christian Life -by Don Lamb (June 28, 2004). In this critical hour the Western church needs to get PAST the "Theology of Revival" and the "OUTPOURING of the Spirit" as something separate and totally distinct from NORMAL Christian life. Christians need to live the everyday (yet extraordinary) life of being the NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH. God is leading us NOT TO ALLOW them to become an event or happening that occurs as a "subculture" within the Church once every fifty years for a few special Christians. But God is leading us to expect that the fullness of Christ will be poured out and actively present in the everyday life of all Christ-centered believers and fellowships. This is clearly the subtle difficulty with our current theology of "revival" and "transformation." It sets up many mind-sets and notions that are simply unnatural to the New Testament Christian experience. For example, look at the Church throughout history. She gets broken, desperate, and very serious about her urgent need of revival - the Spirit graciously comes along - she recognizes that His power is something that she cannot minister without - she wisely partners with the Spirit and leadership calls for extended times of intercession and proclamation of the radical truths of the kingdom to the lost around her - the work explodes - but then she fantasizes that she shouldn't have revival for too long a period because the rapid growth of the Church will wear her out and the emotional excitement will drain her - then the work dissipates and because so much focus was on this one aspect of the kingdom there are reactions and accusations and let-downs. I believe in these last days that God is going to take away the "weariness" of our approach as it relates to the TRANSFORMATIONAL EXPERIENCE of the church. We have got caught up into over-defining and explaining everything and consequently have missed the power of simple REVIVED CHRISTIANITY. Somewhere along the way the theology of "revival" has always been one step removed from all the other "normative teachings" of the Church. Revival has been relegated to the domain of the "ambiguous" - something we never know how to get a handle on and receive from God. Therefore, revival tarries and we have to continue to keep spiritual awakening "out there" in the futuristic realm "when it will some day come." As a result, TRANSFORMATIONAL REALITY, through deep revival, never becomes PRACTICALLY INTERTWINED with all the other aspects of everyday Christian living. i.e. - living personal revival at home, that eventually spreads to congregational revival, and finally community revival - and all this being the NORMAL WALK for each believer. This is the most basic expression of the quality of life that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to give each believer. (John 10:10) This type of life is not for a select few generations of "super-spiritual" believers. We have been robbed of "transformational Christianity" by good intentioned "preachers" who have over-encumbered our generation by subtly making "revival" into a yoke that no one is spiritual enough to carry. Even one of the Church's greatest "revivalists" was unwittingly part of this encumbering process. Charles Finney went into so much detail about the principles of revival that preachers thought they could just use his "blueprint" to continue to reproduce them. The results were much less powerful than anything Finney himself lived. Charles Finney was a radical and lived what he knew God was calling him to do. However, to his credit, Finney tried to prevent this type of shallow ministry. At the center of Finney's revival theology was the certainty that God would always give His children everything they needed for life, godliness, and the reproduction of the kingdom. (2 Peter 1:3) He made many powerful statements in his teaching on revival that showed how NORMAL he viewed walking in the TRANSFORMATIONAL LIFE OF THE SPIRIT - something God ordained His people to constantly live. As Finney said: "There has long been an idea prevalent in the Church that extending Christianity through revival has something very peculiar in it, not at all related to the ordinary principles of life... No doctrine is more dangerous than this to the prosperity of the Church, and nothing more absurd... If all the basic necessities of life are obtained with great certainty by the use of the simplest means, should it not also be true of the kingdom of God... When the appointed means have been rightly used, spiritual blessings have been obtained with greater uniformity than earthly ones." ['Revival Lectures, ch 1]. Essentially, Finney is saying that Revival wasn't to be a rare occurrence. To watch the masses impacted through the Gospel, and the Church in love with God and on fire was the NORMAL CHRISTIAN LIFE. One of the reasons we don't experience revival is because we have elevated it to a "super-difficult" status and by nature we are tempted to get indifferent about things where the "outcome is always in doubt" and consequently we live a SUBNORMAL life of faith, intercession and outreach. We need to stop compartmentalizing the Church's experience. God is calling us to integrate into all Christian theology the expectation that the FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT is to be part of EVERYDAY life.