GRACE AND REVIVAL: THE GATHERING STORM
Revolutions gain momentum under the radar. An irresistible idea or dream flares in the hearts of a few on the unthreatening edges of a kingdom, beyond the interest of the gatekeepers. Rumors of unrest trickle into centers of power but no one is alarmed. The arrogance of power consistently underestimates the threat. By the time the king finally looks up, it’s too late.
I don’t know what preoccupied the mind of Satan just before the revivals of history swept through his kingdom of darkness. Maybe he was so busy energizing anarchy to notice nobodies speaking Christ’s words into dissatisfied souls ripe for the heavenly harvest. Maybe, as his demon hordes exalted over the addictions enslaving most people they overlooked the Jesus words and works streaming from small outposts of grace in unimportant corners of the world. Maybe, while he and his wicked generals pored over strategies to unleash the anger festering in the hearts of bigots and their victims, celebrities and their admirers, and tyrants and their followers, he never noticed a couple of guys like Barnabas and Paul setting off on a missionary journey.
Had the devil known what God was really up to in orienting Christ followers for a grace revival, he would have marshaled his forces against them with murderous rage. Christians underestimate the power of grace, but Satan never does. He knows the danger. He’s seen it before, the first time when John the Baptizer pointed to Jesus of Nazareth declaring, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) Since then he has tried every malicious weapon and committed every wicked warrior to his defense against grace. Nothing works; grace is too powerful and pure.
God loves to pump more and more grace into the lives of a few, and organize them into cells of grace-givers who are “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” because they know “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16) Grace is so much more than a theological word, it is our delivering truth—our transforming experience.⇦Tweet that! We have received the “fullness of Christ” and our lives are meant to be overflowing with ever-increasing experiences of grace—“grace for grace.” (John 1:16)
C. S. Lewis observed, “God gives His gifts where He finds the vessel empty enough to receive them.” (Quotable Lewis, p. 272) While the devil busies himself draining lives of all meaning and hope, God is pouring His amazing grace into the lives of more and more of us to the point of saturation. When that happens, conditions are right for the perfect storm of revival—hearts overflowing with grace surrounded by friends with desperately empty souls.⇦Tweet that!
Question: Why do you think most Christians believe revival is for other, more dynamic and famous believers?