[anzac] REVIVAL - our "NORMAL" condition!

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 14:44:07 -0500
MODERATOR:  This is a very good article. And I totally agree - 
"Revival" is truly the "NORMAL" Christian Life!
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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.