Tsunami Revival

Tsunami Revival

Rev Anne Hibbard

Introduction and opening prayer

This is a message for all the leaders within the Christian church .   I believe that the Lord gave this message for all of us.  He wants to speak to us at this time.   May the Lord bless us as together we listen to this message.   Let’s pray.

Father, thank you so much that you are not silent, but you talk to us through your word and the Holy Spirit.   We pray that you would open each leader of your Church around the world  to understand what you want to say.  Help us understand, so that we might be able to go forward together in obedience to you.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen

In this talk, I’m going to be speaking to you about what it means to have grace in the centre of the church and what it means to have Christ on the throne in our own life and in the church.

CHRIST ON THE THRONE AND MINISTRING BY GRACE

If each leader lives  with Christ, as our Saviour and Lord and  with Christ  on the throne of our life, it should impact every group, every ministry  in the church.     It will affect us as leaders of our churches  because we won’t be holding with tight fists.   We won’t get discouraged if numbers go down, we won’t get anxious if people aren’t coming.    We will be continually releasing into the Lord’s hands the ministry or group we are involved in.  It is by grace and grace alone that our churches  are going to be growing.   It will not be by our hard work.  Our part is entrusting our ministry continually to the Lord.  That is what we work hard at:   letting go to the Lord. 

This letting go to the Lord, is an active thing.   It’s not passive.  I’m not saying that we be passive as a church.   Rather each level of our church needs to learn to minister by grace, not by our own effort. 

ERADICATION OF PRIDE, AND WAITING FOR THE REVIVAL TSUNAMI

The most important thing that the Lord wants to eradicate from the church is arrogance and pride.  I’ve seen a picture of an incredible Tsunami, his glory and light, a flood of his blessings waiting to come to the earth.   But he’s looking for a church that will give him the glory and not take it for themselves.

We’re not there yet.   I believe when the Tsunami comes we’ll see incredible miracles, the dead raised, hundreds and thousands of people coming to the Lord, and the hungry fed.   If this Tsunami of revival came to us now we would take the glory.  He’s telling us this by the passage from Matthew 6:1-8    that keeps coming up over and over for the  church.  We would take the glory, because we have not yet started to live by grace as the  church in every aspect, in every part of the  church.

CHALLENGING QUESTIONS

Following are some questions that the Lord I believe is asking us.       These questions I believe are very challenging for us.  I know they are for me.     Some of you have already started to live this way.   It may be a little easier for you.  But the questions are these

1.   When we come to our church/ministry , and there’s no one there or very few, do we get discouraged or angry at others,    or do we release it into the Lord’s hands?      

2.   Do we seek daily to; to let the ministry go that we’ve been given into the Lord’s hands praying something like this,   “This is your ministry, not mine.      What do you want Lord for this ministry?     What is it that you want me to do?   It’s not about me.  It’s about what you want Lord. “

He will speak as we come humbly, as servants.  We will learn to listen to Him.  He wants to speak to us.  He wants to teach us many things. 

LETTING GO the SHOW TO IMPRESS OTHERS

The passage from Matthew 6:1-8 is more important to the centre than we have realised because it is about the eradication of show, of manipulation, of intimidation, of control, and releasing us to do things for the Lord.

[6:1]  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. [2]  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. [3]  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4]  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.   [5]  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. [6]  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. [7]  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. [8]  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

In Matthew 6:5-8 Jesus tells us when we pray not to pray to impress others.   We instead should pray in the secret place to the Lord         

He wants to test us first to see how things are going when they’re is seemingly not much fruit   – whether we can just rest in him and not worry about trying to impress others. 

The biggest test will come when there is great fruit.  Will we be able to rest in him at that time and let go the temptation to show others how great we are?     In times of great harvest, will we be drawing the praise to our self or giving the Lord the glory?       Will our eyes be fixed on what others think of us?  

DO IT FOR THE LORD

For a moment think of that particular church or ministry you are involved with.    In all you do in that ministry ,   ask the Lord to help you to do it to Him,   rather than serving in that ministry to get praise from people.     It is important that in all that we do, we do it in faithfulness to the Lord.   

Colossians 3: 23-24 says  

“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ]  Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ. “

It doesn’t matter if only one comes, or no one comes.   When we work faithfully to the Lord, The Lord always does something good even if it’s within us.   Whatever we do let us do it for the Lord.       There’s a humility that grows in this.

God wants to be able to pour out much blessing into the  church.   But first we will have to face the things in ourselves that are not right.  All of us need to be able to do this. 

THOSE THINGS WE NEED TO LET GO OF BEFORE THE TSUNAMI REVIVAL COMES

Before the Tsunami revival comes there are things we have to let go.      We have to:  let go of the striving; let go of the discouragement; let go of intimidation; and of being intimidated.    Grace means that we are trusting in God to do this.  We are putting God on the throne of our life, of the church.

He’s asking us, “Will you let me take these things from you?”     He wants to do an incredible thing in the church but he cannot move in full power in our midst yet.    He will not do it till we are ready, or   it would destroy us.   If the revival Tsunami comes and we start moving in the spirit, in incredible ways but we haven’t learnt that it’s the Lord’s work, pride would overtake us and cause much strife.      Imagine the Tsunami revival where amazing miracles will be occurring:  cancer gone in an instant, the dead raised, the blind given sight; the hungry multitudes fed; a huge harvest of souls coming to the Lord and growing in faith; signs and wonders the earth hasn’t yet seen.

But if we haven’t learnt that it’s the Lord’s work, that the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, all that happens would puff us up in pride and be empty before the Lord. 

WHAT WE SHOULD DO IN PREPARATION

We need to learn that it’s not our works doing this, for apart from him we can do nothing. Jesus tells his disciples in John 15:5  

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 

It is only by His grace that we can do anything of lasting eternal value.   It’s not about our work but His work.   We are partners with the Lord.   Our part is faith in him (Eph 2:8) and giving ourselves as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God.    (Romans 12:1)   

BECOMING MORE LIKE CHRIST IN OUR GROUPS

At each level Church we are called to become more like Christ.   How are we as leaders, starting to let go of controlling and manipulating our groups?  1 peter 5:2-3 says 

“Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example.”

  How are we encouraging those in our group, to speak the truth in love even to those who stand against us, and even to those who are falling away?

It is trusting in the Lord for our work, not turning, into bitterness when we are bad mouthed.  This grows us, when someone that we are caring for bad mouths us.  We are given an opportunity of instead of becoming bitter, growing in Christ likeness by loving and forgiving this one .  

OVERCOMING INTIMIDATION

As leaders of the church , we have to be careful that we know what it means to be Christ like when we are spoken against by a member of our ministry.     It doesn’t mean   bowing to what they tell us to do, because then we would come under the spirit of intimidation. 

What this means is we keep a soft heart to them.  We rebuke that spirit, but underneath we love the deep soul of the person, who is probably very hurt for some reason or other.  We learn how to do this as a church.    We learn how to love even the enemy.    

We love all people.  There is no person who is an enemy in our church.   We love even the one who speaks ill against us, or against our ministry.    That’s how we will grow,  to  become like Christ. 

USING POWER IN A CHRISTLIKE WAY

It’s a part of grace, to do only what the Father does, as Christ did.   (John 4:34)  It’s important not to use our power in a incorrect way.  

I struggled when a member of our church  died.     When he collapsed in the church,   I went to pray for him and the Lord said “no, it’s his time”.      I wasn’t released to pray.    This is a very difficult thing.

The Holy Spirit wants people who will be spirit controlled and led.  Do you know what it is when we use spiritual power to do not what the Lord wants but what we want?     It’s called witchcraft.  We have to rebuke it in our own life.    We don’t want it in the church.  Galatians 5:16-17 says

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. ”

It’s very important that we come humbly and only use spiritual power to do what the Lord wants to do.       We all have to learn in every ministry  that it’s only by the grace of God that miracle working power is here.  It’s nothing that anyone can boast about.     We cannot have any arrogance or pride.  Everything that happens must be to the Lord

WHEN WE KNOW ITS GRACE THE LORD GETS THE GLORY

So if there is a great harvest the Lord gets the glory.   If there’s only one or two that come or maybe none he draws near.  He draws close.   He doesn’t matter what the outward appearance of fruit is.  All that happens is by grace.  This is the heart of the church.     This is how we become more like Christ with grace at the centre.   

It changes how we do church to have grace at the centre, because the focus is not on our own efforts.      The grace we are talking about is first for our salvation (Eph 2:8-9) , through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  But it is also by grace that people in our care are transformed to become more like Christ.     We have a ministry of God’s grace.   Our part is having faith in what God is doing.  And He will do it.

NEED TO GROW IN HUMILITY

We have to grow in humility church.   Its the only way.  I believe the Lord is crying out to us, saying

“I want to be able to pour out my spirit, but where are the people, the humble people?   I can’t find them.  I will speak through these verses from Matthew 6:1-8.   Will they be willing to do all their giving, all their praying,   everything for me?  “ . 

Look at Matthew 6:1-8.  The prayers we pray must be to the Lord.     Our ministries must be for the Lord.    They’re not for us, to meet our needs for affirmation.   Our ministries aren’t there so others will point  to us  and say ,  look at them , aren’t they great,  look at the amazing things they’re doing.   It doesn’t matter if only one or two people come to our group or a thousand.  

REPENTANCE LEADING TO LIFE

We are called to pray faithfully.  “Uniting Prayer and Fasting. “    is a ministry whose aim is  to call the church to pray for repentance and revival beginning in our own lives, the lives of our family, church (local and national), town, city, region, country, the world.      Next year for before the next Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia we will be having 40 days of repentance leading to life.  The Lord is calling us to life.   He is calling the church including us to wake up.

TWO HINDRANCES TO LIVING BY GRACE 

There are two things that are hindrances to living by grace.   The first one is arrogance and pride as shown in Matthew 6.  The second is timidity.     2 Timothy 1:7 says  “ For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. “

Sometimes rather than pride we have such a low self esteem that when something comes against us we don’t want to even go back to our group, or even church.      We can’t do anything for anyone let alone for God.   As with pride, with timidity we’re not living by grace either.     Ministries  can live like this.  They start feeling bad about themselves and feeling like failures.   Some of our people might be in that place.  Praise God that Christ Jesus has come for the sinner.   

ACCOUNTABILITY

It’s by grace we are saved through faith.     He wants us to all grow.  He wants us to be accountable one to another.   (James 5:16)    I believe what the Lord is going to bring is a mighty pouring out of his holy spirit upon us.  It will be immense.  But we are not ready.  If it came now, we would fall.

 BARRIERS OF PRIDE AND TIMIDITY

We would fall because of these two areas of pride and timidity.     You almost think they are the opposite but they are not.      Timidity is fear, not fear of the Lord, but rather fear of others, fear of man.   In Phil 1:28 it says “Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. “

WHY WE NEED TO OVERCOME FEAR BEFORE THE TSUNAMI REVIVAL COMES

When the Holy Spirit came upon the church,   thousands came to the Lord, many miracles happened and the authorities of the city became very upset.  (Acts 4:1-3)

Would we be willing to have the authorities upset with us,   if the Tsunami of the great  revival before Christ returns,  came here to our  city?      It may be that the revival will not come to us.  This is a test for us.   Maybe it will.  Maybe it won’t.    We might decide, no we don’t want this.   We have to be ready, that we might end up in jail because of this.   We might end up in prison or in trouble with the authorities   because we are raising the dead in the name of Jesus Christ.   We might be asked to no longer speak the name of Jesus in this city.    Are we still willing for this to happen?

OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF CRITICISM AND TRUSTING ONE ANOTHER

I believe we are not yet ready.    The Lord is waiting.    He’s asking for a response from us.    We are on the eve of something but one of the prime barriers to what God wants to birth is fear or timidity The Lord is waiting to pour out the gifts upon us.  However He is waiting for us to overcome both pride and fear, especially the fear of criticism.    

Criticism is not a bad thing.    We need to learn how to receive criticism.   Proverbs speaks much about the importance of receiving criticism in our lives.  Prov 13:18;  Prov 15:31-32; Prov 25:12; Prov 29:1 .    Prov 15:31-32 says   

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.  If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.  Fear of the LORD teaches a person to be wise; humility precedes honor.

  That doesn’t mean we do what everyone says.  No, we’d go crazy.     We need to learn to receive criticism in humility and bring it before the Lord with a thankful heart.     It is as we learn to receive criticism that we will learn to trust one another.

When we learn to trust one another, we can learn to be truthful and say, “this hurts when you do this.  This makes me uncomfortable when you do that.”     The Lord is calling us to love one another, and minister with one another.   He is also calling us to be truthful with one another, and not be afraid of criticism.  This timidity, feeling like we are not worthy is stopping the Holy Spirit coming.   

It is true that we’re not worthy.   But in Christ we are.     We need to find our identity in Christ.  

 TEST TIME, TIME TO WAY UP THE COST

There’s going to be an incredible sweep of his Spirit.   Maybe it will be right where we are.    Maybe it will not.   We’re in a test time in the church.  The Lord is watching and waiting to see whether we are going to yes we want this or no we don’t  

He’s not promising that we will be the place where revival comes.  He’s offering something to us,   but there’s cost to it.   The cost is not in receiving the gift of revival.   That is given to us by grace.  God himself through Christ will do all the work in us needed if we say yes.  The cost is in weighing up the consequences that will come as the result of revival.   Whether it comes or not is up to our decision to accept the gift of grace and accept the cost.  Will our answer be “yes” or “no”.

ACCOUNTABILITY GROUPS

And there are things we have to give permission to God to purify in our life before revival comes.     We have to learn to become accountable, face those things in us that aren’t good, face them as leaders.   John Wesley had accountability groups.   Each of us as leaders, need to learn to be accountable to one another, before others can be accountable to us.     Accountability best happens in relationship.   My husband, Roger and I every day pray about those areas where we are struggling.   He’s my accountability partner.   I share with him areas where I’m struggling, whether it’s loving someone who’s hard to love, forgiving those who’ve hurt me, or overcoming fear.   We then pray for each other in the areas of our struggle.   He’s my accountability partner.   

Together as a church we need to have these honest relationships with one another.    We need relationships where we can encourage one another to become like Christ.  We do this not by giving excuses to one another, and placating each other for our weaknesses.  Rather we encourage one another to become more like Christ, by grace, having faith in God’s action in our lives.   This is not by hard work so none of us can boast.  (Eph 2:8-9)   

DECISION TIME,   CALL TO DIE TO LIVE

Are we willing to go forward in this?     Are we willing to say yes to the Lord?   We need to lay down our lives for the Lord, die to ourselves, so that we can say with Paul in Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

It’s no longer the Church  that lives but Jesus Christ that lives in us.  We’re his bride

There’s only one way to live the life of Christ   and that’s to die.  To live we need to  die: die  to sin, die to pride,  die to arrogance, die to fear of others,  die to control of others, die to controlling others,   die to intimidation, die to hatred , die to bitterness,    and die to  unforgivenes.   We need to die to all of this.   

NEW HEARTS  

We’re given new hearts, when we believe by faith all that Christ has done upon the cross.  (Ezekiel 36:26.  We become a new Creation.   2 Cor 5:17     “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! “

So they’ll be  great  fruit , incredible fruit,  love, joy, that will just pour out into the community. 

WILDERNESS TIME

We are in a time of testing.  Jesus went into the wilderness time before his ministry began.  (Matt 4:1-11).     He already had the anointing.  When he was baptised the Holy Spirit came upon him as a dove.   (Matt 3:13-17)   It was the Holy Spirit that then led him into the wilderness.  I believe we’re in that time now as a church.  We’re in a time of wilderness.   I don’t know how long we are going to be in this place.   But that’s where we are church.  We are in a wilderness time.   

 

TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL

And the devil is tempting in this wilderness as he tempted Christ.  We are being tempted to make the revival happen now,    to make power happen now, to make the huge groups now when we’re not ready.

We’re not ready.  The Lord says we’re not ready.   The devil‘s trying to say you don’t have to go through all the suffering.   You don’t have to do the part of becoming more like Christ through the trials.  You can just jump to where you want.  All you have to do is to honour me. 

We are not to do what Satan says.    To honour Satan to get power is witchcraft, even if we think it’s for the sake of a revival.  It’s got to be the Lord’s will, the Lord’s way, and the Lord’s time.    We are not to use our spiritual power to meet our own end.  We’re going to be given power to do incredible things as Christ was given power.    When Jesus went into the wilderness after his baptism, he hadn’t done any miracles up to that time.    During the time in the wilderness the Holy Spirit he passed the tests to use his spiritual power in a Godly way.

When we receive power   we can’t use it for our own physical desires.       We have to be totally, in the will of God, and do only what God does.   It can’t be self motivated, relating to our own needs.  We have to be led completely by the Holy Spirit. There is no other way.    This is not an easy thing. 

SOAKING OURSELVES IN THE WORD

 In the wilderness we may end up being tempted to prove if God is really with us.  We are not to put the Lord our God to the test.   And we are to soak ourselves in the word.  It was through the word that Christ overcame temptation.

We need to ask why attendance at our bible studies might be low.       It appears there’s not a hunger for the word.  We will not be able to sustain revival without a hunger for the word.   Jesus Christ withstood the test, of the devil, because he knew the word off by heart.  He wouldn’t have had the Torah with him.  He had the Word of God memorised in his heart, in his mind.

I’ve read on the internet how little 4 year old children in South America are learning 8 verses of the bible a week.  Instead of the games we are playing, why don’t we memorise bible verses.  We don’t know if we’ll end up in a place where we may not have a bible.    We need to memorise verses so we will have it with us always no matter what the circumstance.   We need to not only memorise but also study the word.

We need to be the  church that studies the word of God together, growing in a strong foundation.   The Bible, the Word of God is the primary way we understand what God’s will is for our lives and the church.     It’s not just by   the Holy Spirit talking directly to me, although that can happen.  However everything must be tested by the word of God.    And so how can we know the will of God unless we know the word?   We must be connected as a church to the word of God.

Let us open the word of God, study the sword of the Spirit,    and pray for that hunger in the word of God in every part of this church.  We need to take it apart and understand it. 

TIME FOR DECISION and FORWARD TOGETHER IN ONE DIRECTION

The Lord is speaking to us as the church.  He is calling us into a new place.  The question is we going to say yes, or are we going to say no.    Every part of his body  needs to come together for us to go in the same direction together, not some saying yes, and some saying no.   It will not work.

If we are going to say yes, we need to be all on board together

God is calling us , the bride of Christ.  .   God, the great I am is speaking to the Church.   He’s speaking to each one of us as leaders of the church.   He’s calling us.  

He’s asking “Will you do this?      Will you let go of those things that are not good in you.  Will you rise up to become all I call you to be?  Will you do this for my glory?”

THE CALL AND A PROMISE

He’s calling church.  Don’t be afraid.   He will not leave us.  He will not forsake us.    He will strengthen us to do all that he calls us to do.   It may seem impossible, but he is the one that can do more than we can even ask or imagine.    He is the one to all glory be praised in the church and in Christ Jesus now and for all generations.   He is the one.   

SHIFT OF FOCUS

Our eyes need to come off ourselves for that is the whole problem.  Our eyes have been fixed upon ourselves.    And I speak for myself as well.  The Lord has been convicting me that this message is just as much for me as it is for all of you.   And it is challenging me to the depth of my core.

DECISION TIME

And he is asking us, “Are we going to say yes?”   The Tsunami is waiting there.     I can see it.  The Lord is holding it in place until there are a people who can hold it in humility, in grace and in truth.  

I believe the Lord has called the  Church to this, to carry this, but we need to strengthen and encourage one another, and not be afraid.  It’s time to trust.  It’s time to let go our own effort and trust in the work of the Lord in our life,    and in the life of this church.  Jesus Christ is the head of the Church.

He’s looking for people who can humbly come to this.  It’s not so people look at us and think, “O how good the ministry is,   doing this, doing that.  “   No, but that we could be faithful in what God is asking us to do humbly in the secret place.

PRAYER FOR LEADERS    I invite you to say the following prayer out loud.      Let us pray

Heavenly father we thank you   for your holy presence.   We thank you for every leader in the church,  and we  pray now that you would give us all courage,   courage to be able to rise up and be the people you call us to be.    Father we confess before you our pride,    the way we’ve intimidated others.   We confess our timidity, our being intimidated by others.  We confess that our eyes have been more on ourselves than upon you.  We ask you to forgive us, wash us with the blood of the lamb.   Only you can change us as a church to become the bride of Christ that you want us to be.    Only you can do this.  In our church, in the  group we’re leading, in that ministry we have, only you can do this Father.  By the power of your Holy Spirit in the name of your Son, we pray all of this; we give you our lives afresh.   In Jesus name we pray.  Amen.

APPENDIX    It is assumed that each leader reading this will have understanding of and will have received in their own life  the gift of grace that  Christ made possible upon the cross.   By grace we are saved  through faith.  It is not by our own works we are saved, but by the gift of God, so that none of us can boast.  (Eph 2:8-9).        It is also assumed that each leader be passionate about the centre of their faith, and are growing in their ability to communicate this with others.  However you might be reading this and not really understand how Jesus Christ can be your Lord and Saviour, or you might understand but have never made the step in your life.   My heartfelt prayers are for you.    Please feel free to email,  revanne@bigpond.net.au  and we will write to you about how to become a Christian.  May the Lord richly bless you
Grace and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ
Rev Anne Hibbard