Redefining Revival: What The Next Generation Longs To See
Revival is not just a buzzword. It’s not just a series of scheduled meetings, where we get excited and we jump up and down. It’s not a conference. Revival is a lifestyle. God is coming to redefine “normal” as we know it. He wants to give us a new normal. Revival makes you hungrier than your history.
In Sessions 9 and 3a of the Voice of the Prophets event held in April, Sean Smith, founder and president of Sean Smith Ministries, takes us on a journey of why he thinks we desperately need to see revival in a fresh way in today’s time. The enemy is trying to water down revival so we as the body of Christ get mixed signals when we talk about it.
Statistics show we are most hungry for revival when we first get saved. But, the Lord never intended for our first year with Him to be our peak time in Him.
Let’s take a look at 1 Peter 2:9-10 which reads: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (emphasis ours)
Notice the word “special” in the first verse. There’s something about us understanding that we are special that catalyzes prophetic proclamations and a manifestation of God’s power in our lives. When we talk about a revival (or a prophetic) culture, we are talking about a collective identity. But, the collective identity is not reinforced unless we know our individual identity.
We need to understand we are specially designated or specifically assigned, and God has put His hand on us. Furthermore, we have spiritual nobility coursing through our veins and that we carry the DNA of the One Who has “I got up out of the tomb on the third day” on His resumé. In other words, there is nothing that is impossible when we truly know our identity in Christ.
We have to remember the spiritual principle of hungering and thirsting. As Sean points out, every great move of God, every great visitation from heaven, and every personal encounter with the Spirit is based on hungering and thirsting. What is the currency of heaven? The goes on to share that scripture tells us “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). In conclusion, what God requires for transaction from heaven is hunger and thirst. But, we do not have to get hungry and thirsty in order for a move of God to come. A move of God has already begun because we are hungry and thirsty. In other words, spiritual hunger is the first sign that God is truly moving in our midst.
Are you a revivalist? A revivalist is a person whose heart burns to see geography turned over to Jesus. They are a person whose heart literally lives and thrives in the fact that the Name of Jesus be made famous on the lips of a generation. They are a person who wants to see Jesus get His full reward.
“I keep feeling God challenge me for a massive spiritual upheaval against a backdrop that doesn’t look like it’s favorable to the very thing we’re believing for.” - Sean Smith
Has cynicism crept into the body? It is not just Millennials and Generation Z’s who have been disappointed and lost faith in - or become cynical about - church and other institutions. Cynicism has also crept into the body of Christ. It is subtle but over time, we kind of lessen the things that we are believing God for. We shift off of believing God will do what He says in His Word that He is going to do and our belief becomes “socially acceptable wins”. For example, we think in our minds and say aloud phrases such as:
“It’d be great IF…
I could just get through the week.
I could just feel good.
I could feel a little bit productive.
We could get a little church growth.”
But in fact, we need to be convinced that what God has “behind Door #3” is far greater than anything we could imagine! It’s simple. Our “yes” it what qualifies us for what God is going to do.
There’s something about calling on the Name of Jesus that can immediately change our circumstances. No matter how much the devil seems to be in control, when we call on the Name of Jesus, the devil’s power is broken. We can pause and ask ourselves, what is it God’s going to do in my life that the devil is already trying to stop? and use the answer to that question as an indication of what we need to agree with God for.
In 2 Kings 6:24-31 and 7:1-2, people are starving. This is a type of warfare still happening today. The enemy will try to strangle the Spirit’s flow in and out of our lives… try to keep the Spirit’s ministry flow from “hitting the streets”... and try to lay siege around churches and believers. But, we have to bust out of the enemy’s proverbial walls because there’s a whole lot more God wants to do with our lives!
Cynicism is the opposite of a childlike spirit. In this hour the enemy trying to get people to focus on their woundedness, their anxiety, their disappointments, their disenchantments, or this person letting them down, or this church letting them down. The enemy is using so much of that wrong focal point to battle what he calls “revival hope”—because revival hope leads to revival hunger, and God answers hunger. Yet, Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). So, in order to redefine revival, we need to become like little children again.
Prophesy what you want to see. In those verses from 2 Kings perhaps the most phenomenal thing the prophet declares in the midst of dire circumstances to a nation that has fallen away from God, is… “About this time tomorrow, good food is going to be cheap!” What the prophet prophesies is going to break open into abundance over what they were struggling with at the moment. If we apply this prophetic practice (or evangelism) to the body of Christ and the church, it is as if the prophet were prophesying, “Breakthrough to revival is coming! There’s going to be an outpouring of the floodgates of heaven!”
In closing, we realize that maybe not all of what is being shared on this topic of “redefining revival” may completely make sense at the moment. We would like to suggest taking some time to reflect on what was just read in our blog. Pray about it. Possibly even journal some. We would also like to suggest watching and listening to the entirety of both of Sean’s messages from the VOP 2019 Sessions 9 and 3a at Global On Demand. There is a section in Session 9 specifically in which Sean talks about what it means to be a “chameleon Christian”. He proposes that it is time for the body of Christ to begin openly identifying with our love for Jesus and changing what is in our surroundings, rather than trying to “blend in” and being affected by what is going on in the culture around us.
Our heart for every person reading this is that you would become more acquainted with the reality of Who King Jesus is as well as His rule and reign throughout the earth, but also the reality of Who King Jesus is in you as well as His rule and reign through you. Amen?
Action Point: In Session 9, Sean asserts that everything you have done in your life to this point has simply been “scratching the surface” and getting you ready for what God is about to do through you. There are realities available to you that you are not yet walking in. Think about what areas you might be feeling frustrated and start to see it as your friend. Use those areas where you are feeling frustrated to prophesy in agreement with God’s Word what you want to see and how God is calling you upward.
P.S. The Kingdom of God is at hand, and you are empowered to advance it! Kingdom Foundations is a conference for modern-day revivalists who want to become part of the unfolding story of the Kingdom’s advance. With Sean will be: Randy Clark, Bill Johnson and Christa Smith, Tim Jones, Justin Allen, and Charity Cook. It’s time to step into His great story. Let’s jump in together.