How will we know when the next great move of God happens? I believe we will know when it is felt outside the Church as well as inside.
All my life I’ve heard preachers talk about a coming worldwide revival. But it has never happened. There have been pockets of excitement. From the Jesus Movement of the 1970s to local spiritual outbreaks today. Along with controversy over their genuineness and effectiveness. The one thing they all have in common? The average person has no idea they occurred. Because of that, I never thought I’d be the one to say this … but I think something may be happening.
There’s a God thing nagging at the back of my brain. Tickling at the root of my soul. Nudging the recesses of my heart. I feel it, formless but rising on the fringes of the Church right now. And outside the Church. It’s popping up in the frustrations of sincere believers who are sincerely fed up. In the longing of seekers who don’t like what they’re not finding and deep in the souls of believers like you and me who keep looking, working and praying for more … for better … for Jesus.
I’m tempted to give it a name, but I won’t. I can’t. Because it won’t fit any of our buzzwords – old or new. It’s not renewal, revival or reformation. It’s not emergent, emerging or relevant. And it will probably look more pre-modern than modern or postmodern. It will make us scramble for new words to describe it. But they will all fall short.
It’s not about worship styles, gimmicks or denominations. It’s extra-denominational, multiethnic and cross-generational. It’s about holiness without legalism, grace without moral compromise, and peace that really does pass all understanding.
It will move us forward without moving us off our foundation. It will drop us to our knees in prayerful repentance, lift us to our feet in grateful praise, and send us out in an explosion of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
It will reaffirm the authority of Scripture in all its beauty, holiness, grace and messy reality. It will be opposed by the cynics, studied by the scholars … but embraced by the hungry, thirsty and empty. But it will not be ignored. It won’t be focused on making us feel good about ourselves, but it will make us better. It will meet people where they are, but it won’t leave them where they are. It’s coming to the Church, it’s not coming for the Church. Because Jesus wants to do something new through us, not just among us. And maybe that’s the most important thing about it. It will find its roots in the local Church, as it always does. But this time it will also be God’s gift for those outside our buildings, our denominations and other extra-biblical structures. It has to.
It will probably start in nations that have not been traditionally Christian. Because what God’s already doing in those nations is being felt outside their Church walls. While Christianity is increasingly seen as ineffective across the western world, there are pockets of Latin America, Africa and Asia where some amazing moves of God are happening. That’s what Jesus wants to do everywhere. And He will … if we’ll let Him.
The next great move of God will make a lot of Church people uncomfortable and many of them will miss out – mostly because they will try to do one of the following:
- Hoard it
- Control it
- Make money from it
- Fail to see it because it doesn’t look like they expected
- Reject the good in it because of the extremes in it
And yes, there will be extremes in it. There are unhealthy extremes in every move of God because there are imperfect people involved. That’s why much of the New Testament was written. To lovingly, but sternly correct the extremes of the early Church, without rejecting the whole. The New Testament will do the same for us today and into the future.
Those who will experience God’s next move in all its explosive beauty will be the ones who can’t wait to dive into it, despite the messiness of it.
Yes, I think something is coming. I don’t know what it is. But I don’t want to miss it … and I don’t want to keep it to myself.