Today’s move of God is for tomorrow’s church, too
John Adams once said that “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.”
What a time to live in when you constantly hear about Stage 4 cancer getting healed, missing limbs growing back, marriages being restored, deaf ears opening up, blind eyes now seeing, cancellation of debt, children’s hearts turning back to their parents.
The church has a unique and tremendous opportunity to see the kingdom of God continue to touch our world in our time and to see it increase in the next generation. It’s important that we live our lives in such a way that will set up a generation we will never see for success.
Our perspective on how God moves is important as it can determine our ability to steward the kingdom momentum that is happening in our day. As we study history of revival and the different moves of God, it is important that we don’t come to any conclusion outside of what God had in mind.
Kingdom and revival are themes that are echoing through the hearts of believers all around the world. It is so encouraging, as this didn’t seem to be the case even 20 years ago. What we are seeing across the landscape of churches and cities around this globe is unique. For some, revival has been a lifelong pursuit and others just happened to stumble upon it. Either way, it is the heart of God to see His kingdom established on earth through His sons and daughters.
One of the things you will notice in revival history is that most revivals lasted a handful of years. And because of this, we tend to make the mistake of creating theology, doctrine and a philosophy that assume God only likes to move in short spans of time. What this can create in us is an unhealthy understanding of the way God moves, which causes us to steward the move of God in a way that is rooted in fear.
In September 1997, my wife and I got married. What a wonderful day that was. But what if we got married with a mindset that marriages are only to last two to four years? How we lived day-to-day would probably look like one of two things. First, we would work extremely hard and strive to the extreme to see if we could make this marriage last beyond two to four years. We would live in fear of it ending and every little thing that we did would be done with the thought, “This could end our marriage.”
Secondly, if we expected that our marriage would only last two to four years, we would potentially approach our relationship as “I am going to get as much out of it as I can because it is going to end.” We would then lead a very self-centered life and become experts at making sure we got what we needed and what we should have. This welcomes the spirit of entitlement. Either of these unhealthy approaches can sometimes be our common reaction to a move of God.
One of the great promises that we can read about in Scripture is that when God starts or creates something, He designs it to continue. Sometimes because of our inaccurate perspective on revival, we don’t steward it from that place of understanding but from a place of fear. Have you noticed that in Gen. 1:3, God said, “Let there be light,” and that light is still working? It is the heart of God to see something He starts continue from generation to generation.
Our deep desire is to see this move of God continue from generation to generation. As you lead people in your ministry and life, begin to make decisions that are not just for today, but ones that will create a foundation for the next generation to build on. Let’s begin to co-labor with God and explore the realms of the kingdom that future generations will get to live in daily.
Along with his wife, Candace, Eric Johnson serves as the senior leader at Bethel Church in Redding, Calif. A sixth-generation minister, Eric is the author of Momentum: What God Starts Never Ends. Eric and Candace, who have two daughters, have a passion to see transformation take place in the lives of people, cities and nations around the world.