We ask for revival, but are we really ready?
Recent news stories in Atlanta reported that the city's health facilities were direly unprepared to meet the needs of any kind of crisis. Already at capacity levels, emergency rooms would be unable to handle a huge influx from any natural disaster or terrorist threat. Although this was an eye-opener for anyone hearing the news, my mind raced to a parallel thought: Are we as Christian leaders ready for massive revival?
Upon returning from the Lakeland Outpouring in Florida, a pastor I know had a telling dream about revival. In it, phones began ringing nonstop. She had several to choose from, so she answered the first. It was a fellow pastor: "We have 200 people too many to fit in our church. Can you accommodate them?" Before she could reply, another line rang: "We have 1,000 at our door nightly that we can't fit in. Do you know a church in our area of town where we can send them?" Yet another caller asked if there were any leaders in her church that could come and help with their surplus. The scenario continued.
When this pastor awoke, she was thrilled. ImagineÐso many people getting saved, healed and delivered that pastors were joyfully working together to "give away" people to other churches who could help meet the need. She found her heart pulsing at the thought that rather than being jealous about "who stole my sheep?" ministers were joining together to provide places of refuge and growth for the revival.
I believe she's right on track with the Lord's heart. A famous quote reads, "Much could be done for the kingdom of God if no one cared who got the credit." The thought of a massive sweep of the Holy Spirit ushering thousands or perhaps millions into the kingdom rightly brings us back to the roots of our Christian faith:
"Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:44-47).
The early church grew because it wasn't about personal ownership or building "my ministry." The people knew their source was God, and the wonder and awe over what was happening far outweighed any human being taking the credit.
I believe God is telling us to be ready for a similar outpouring. In Revelation, He addresses a church by its city, not as First Baptist or Downtown Community. God sees every church in the city as one. No matter what style of worship or preaching, regardless of race or tongue, we are all citizens of the same kingdom working together toward the same end.
When the glory of God's presence sweeps into a city or a situation, the barriers come down and we don't have a problem sharing. All the unity luncheons of the ages cannot accomplish what happens together in one hour of His glory.
Get ready; it's coming soon. We need to believe for the glory and revival, and to ready our people. As surely as we see the birth pangs, this baby is on its way. May it be that we can say as did the early church, "There was great joy in that city" (Acts 8:8). And may it be your city!
Che Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif. He leads an apostolic network in 35 nations and has written numerous books, including Fire Evangelism and Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. One of his greatest joys is simply joining the Father in what He is doing today.