I’ve been thinking lately about revivals that fizzle out. And it’s not just revivals. For two thousand years, God has worked among us to raise all of us to the level of working discipleship that will bring Heaven to earth. And, at least to my mind, there’s a reason folks call these periods of active discipleship a “revival.” For two thousands years, we–His Body–have been napping like Rip Van Winkle!
But our God is a patient God. In every generation He sends the Holy Spirit out–again–to light a fire under us, and in every generation someone responds. From the first Pentecost, some folks have caught the fire and done the work of discipling–leading folks to Jesus, healing their wounds, restoring their lives, delivering them from oppression, and teaching them to forgive, then training them to be disciples themselves. But at some point, the first generation turns over the work of discipling to the next one. And, at that point, things start fizzling out.
I have a theory about that. I think they’re supposed to fizzle. Revivals usually start with one person–a saint, a healer, an evangelist, or a preacher. But the fire of a revival is meant to wake the entire Body up! We’re all called to be working disciples–healing, delivering, restoring, and reconciling, and then to train new disciples to do the work. So in every generation, the Holy Spirit sets fire to one willing disciple, and that disciple works for a time under a “discipleship for dummies” anointing, showing the rest of us what the Father wants us all to do and be.
The Lord must be getting really tired of trying to wake us all up, because now He’s sending us anyone who applies for the job, no matter how flawed. So what does the Body do, when the Messenger, in this case Todd Bentley, falters and slips–we trash the revivalist and the entire revival as fraudulent and evil. Since when does any house work against itself? (Well, except us!)
I’m thinking maybe the Father, if He has hair, is pulling it out right now . . .