For some it may be difficult to conceive a revival in a Pentecostal Church. The Pentecostal Church in America was formed out of revival. The terms Pentecostal and revival may seem synonymous. But, in fact, they are not, though at an earlier time they were similar. What has been lost in many Pentecostal Churches is the concept of repentance. Repentance brought revival in the first place and repentance is required to sustain an authentic church. Yet repentance has been overtaken by a fixation on signs and wonders.
The author is “pentecostal.” He has witnessed many signs and wonders. In truth, many of them came from God. But some did not. But if and when they do come from God they do not authenticate true revival. Repentance and transformation are the hallmarks of revival. If this premise can be excepted and if calling into question some “signs” does not cause offense, then what follows might be helpful.
Let me begin by saying that the Pentecostal Church is not without liturgy (or a way or method of conducting a worship service). The method is not necessarily a bad thing, particularly if it seems to work. The danger with any method, however, is that it could become the object of worship rather than the form of worship.
For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Galatians 6:15
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. John 4:21-23
The form is not as important as the substance it contains.
We have received prophecy about the coming revival. (If you believe the revival is already here you are partially right as we shall see.) What God has told us is not expect a revival like any other in the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. Luke 5:13
Before we look at the shape of the new let us reexamine the form of the current Pentecostal worship service. It consists of a beginning and rather lengthy time of loud praise or what is meant to be praise. A pep rally is what it seems to be. Is it designed to cheer God? Or is it to get the crowd stirred up to a certain level of emotion?
Only God can determine if it is true worship because such worship comes from the heart that only God can truly see. God does inhabit the praises of His people but He is not bound to respond to what may simply be a way of manipulating Him to show up whether or not the hearts of the people are really seeking Him. They may just be seeking signs and wonders.
But before the anticipated signs and wonders the pastor must preach. He or she wants to preach under the anointing. If the proper praise is not going up the anointing may not come down. Then the preaching is really going to be a chore. So the pastor may encourage the people to praise with more fervor. Is this a desire to honor God or merely to get something from Him? We must always examine our motives. Or it may just be that this is the just the way the pastor was taught. The pastor may be sincerely trying to follow what he or she thinks is expected by God, or at least by the people. He or she is relying on familiar a path that seemed to have worked in the past. And he knows that he needs God’s anointing to continue with the service effectively.
Pastor, listen please. God may no longer play by the rules of our game. Why? Because He wants to do a new thing. And He wants you to rely on Him more and less on your anointing. He wants to come in and take over the service. He wants to do and is ready to do things that you cannot do, and never will be able to do, even under His anointing. He may be tired of pastors working under an anointing that they so quickly and easily hand up in a closet after the service so that they may go back to living a less than holy lifestyle.
Do you understand this? He has even removed some anointings. Unfortunately, certain pastors have sought the power elsewhere as King Saul did when he lost his Godly anointing. This is how much witchcraft has entered the Pentecostal Church. Let us get real.
Pastor and elders, are you prepared to let the Lord Jesus take over now? Yes, you will lose control of the service. You will not be able to predict what will happen. But whatever that is you will not be able to take credit for it. You will no longer be the charismatic star. People may stop worshiping you. And it will no longer be necessary for you to prance around on the platform announcing that you feel the Holy Ghost in the house. People will know that God has entered the building.
What do you say? Do you trust God? The Lord Jesus wants to get back in His Church. If you let Him you will see a revival the likes as has never been seen. He wants revival more than we do. If we do want revival God will bring it. The price, however, is repentance and denial of self. Then we are to open up our churches to the One standing at the door. May the Lord bless this word to you. Amen.