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lakeland "revival"???

i've pondered on this for several weeks now as people that i personally know and love have gone to the "revivial" in lakeland...so, as i said in my last post, i really try to guard the tone regarding my blog...having said that, let me share first my thoughts and then the thoughts of someone i know and trust as having an accurate word from God and an accurate first-hand assessment...
my thoughts...
  • i use the word revival parenthetically - here's why: what i seem to be observing from reports that are available is that it's mostly Christians going to these meetings. historically, revival has to do with life-transformation leading to community-transformation. at this point i know there are some salvations occurring (life-transformation indeed), but i know of churches (specifically, church plants!) that are reaching far more and they are not being labeled as the "______ revival" - so, to me, its a renewal, not a revival
  • as with every great move of God, there will be flesh involved - you may not like me for saying this, but i'll say it - every thing we do has some element of 'flesh' in it - don't like the room temp? too bad, you're listening to the 'flesh.' don't like the lighting? too bad, that's the flesh - point being, we can't escape this. having said that, the services that i've watched on tv (and yes, i'm sure it's different 'in person') seem to contain a great deal of 'flesh' - such as, people being 'slain' in the spirit, and after falling reaching up to straighten their skirt or shirt out, or people being pushed over - now, understand, i'm all for seeing God's power do a powerful work in people and i took at least 3 or 4 trips to the brownsville revivial years ago. as well, i've been used by God to see this happen to people - know what? i BARELY had to touch them for God's power to consume them. but that's just me...i totally want to be sure that it's God when i feel like that may happen so i purposely barely touch them or lay hands on them. please understand, there will always be elements of the flesh i believe and i don't judge the outcome nor the fruit of the revival on these things - i do however, want to know that people aren't attracted to a 'show' or an 'event' - if you know me, you know that i totally think the PROCESS is so much more than the event - put another way, it's in the journey that we grow to be able to embrace the "end."
now i want to share the thoughts of someone i've gotten to know in the past few weeks. i've followed his magazine and his weekly email for years and have always been challenged by them. sometimes they are 'iron sharpening iron' at other times they are more of an encouraging word in the right season. i had the opportunity to have breakfast with lee grady just a few weeks ago and i've been anxiously awaiting his thoughts on this matter. as is usual, i almost entirely agree with his email and i've posted it here for you to consider...

“When we put bizarre behavior on the platform we imply that it is normative. Thus more strange fire is allowed to spread.”

4 comments:

Jake Belder said...

Great! Thanks very much for this. Someone asked me the other day if I knew what was going on in Lakeland (I live in the north Orlando area) and I had no idea this is what he was referring to. I thought he was talking about the forest fires ravaging the state at first! :) But I saw your link in the BlogRush widget so I had to check it out. This is a good and honest review of what's going there. I appreciate your desire to be even-handed in your assessment.

Anonymous said...

"Spot-on"
dad

Debbie C. said...

Rick, I so appreciate your "take" on this. I am not meaning to be skeptical, because I am sure that amazing things are happening, but I have watched with caution and I think we need to proceed with much wisdom as we are drawn to this. Thanks for your transparency and sharing the comments of this other brother as well. It's all about balance and orderliness and loving Jesus and seeing people's lives changed!!

stricknine said...

Dude, you knocked this one out of the park, what we need to pray for is that people in general come to the neighborhood church with the same intensity and expectation for God to move in a mighty way that true revival would occur nation wide. This can be a good thing if people would go to THERE church and expect God to do GREAT things, he can do here, there and everywhere, it's only our lack of faith that is holding God back, now that's what I think, great blog!!! Todd