Yesterday I got a chance to catch up on what’s been happening in the Christian world as of late. Apparently a whole lot can happen in the span of a few weeks, and as I read accounts of what was to be the most glorious revival of the past century, one that was to sweep the world and change men’s perception of God, my heart grew heavy, and I grew increasingly grieved.
To those of you who wrote me encouraging and admonishing me to go get soaked, catch the fire, absorb the anointing and dozens of other platitudes, well now you know why I did not go. No apologies needed. I understand.
The thing about revival is that when it is man centered, its inevitable end is obvious. Sooner or later all that is built upon sand, upon the character, charisma, or quirkiness of a man fizzles and dies out because there was no Sovereign substance to be had.
The reason I am grieved in my heart is not because sin was exposed, but because once again the faith of many was bruised, and in the end it is the sheep that end up suffering, shipwrecked and uncertain of where to turn. I know that some of you will roll your eyes and think to yourselves, ‘if they believed it, then they deserve everything that’s coming to them, all the hollowness, emptiness, disillusionment and hopelessness’, but lest we judge too harshly, remember that you were once a babe in Christ yourself. For those with no spiritual foundation, for those with no practical knowledge of the truth of God’s Word, it is easy to get caught up, and swept away. Again, the need for truth in this hour of great deception is obvious to all.
One would think we would have learned our lesson by now, and we would turn to God rather than seek out the anointing of men, but some souls just refuse to accept the simplicity of having a true and unshakable relationship with God. There has to be something that entertains, something that shocks the system, and something that is tangible and visible to the naked eye. Well, dear friend, true revival begins and manifests in the inward heart of a man. True revival begins not with a bang, a bam, a cacophony of noise and uncontrollable shaking, but with repentance and broken heartedness, with humility and meekness. True revival is not a means of entertainment, or a vehicle by which we exalt an individual, but the experience of realizing our own impotence, sinfulness, and depraved state, and surrendering ourselves to the grace and love of Christ Jesus.
Men with titles such as ‘Apostle’ and ‘Prophet’ are now scrambling to see what went wrong, how it was that such a movement was derailed in such an explosive and shameful fashion. If we look in the Word, the answer is obvious, even to one such as myself, who bears no title other than a servant of Christ.
When the messenger rather than the message is the center of attention, when man rather than Christ is lauded and lifted up, it is no longer a question of if something will go horribly awry, it is simply a question of when.
I have always been a firm believer that the messenger should remain faceless. When one recalls a meeting or a sermon, it should not be in the context or recalling the man’s appearance, or his face, but the message itself. When you can’t seem to recall what the messenger looked like, but remember every word of the sermon, when the message burns in your heart long after the face was forgotten, then the servant of God has done his duty, and presented Christ and Christ alone.
Unfortunately this will not be the last such ‘revival’ and soon enough I will start receiving correspondence once more encouraging me to go, and feel and experience something out of the ordinary. As I stated in a post some time ago, Christ is sufficient, and I desire nothing more than to be in His presence every morning and every evening, having fellowship and intimacy with Him.
Lest we return to the simplicity of the Gospel, lest we embrace the love of Christ, and desire nothing more than His presence in our lives, the faith of many more souls will be shaken, bruised, and otherwise brought low, because they will continue to go from one place to another, from one event to the next, seeking to find what can only be found in repentance and righteousness.
There are no shortcuts dear friends, no magic impartations, no means by which one can bypass the cross, by which one can do away with a time of seasoning and maturity. God established an order for a reason, and that reason is becoming ever more obvious with each passing day.
As Philpot so aptly put it, ‘Man’s religion is to build up the creature. God’s religion is to throw the creature down in the dust of self-abasement, and to glorify Christ.’
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.