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June 09, 2008

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Eric H Janzen

Thanks Ward for your candor.

After reading your article I was reminded of something I once said to a pastor friend of mine after a period in which I was hearing a lot of talk about 'coming revivals'. The talk was frustrating me, but I was not sure why, and then in a conversation I simply said "The Kingdom of Heaven is not a revival. It is always present and always in action."

Like many, I'm tired of waiting for 'the next big thing' or 'the next move of God' as though Jesus is somehow stuck in a mud pit trying to come up with a fancy new idea. On the contrary he has given us the keys to the kingdom and is wondering why so many of us are sitting in mud pits waiting for him to pull us out when he has already done so.

I am not anti-revival nor anti-God moves, but I don't think we are meant to spend the bulk of our spiritual lives ignoring what he has given us in the present: Love God and Love your neighbour...surely these two aspects of the kingdom don't require renewals/revivals every three to five years for us to put into action.

I'll stop there...
cheers,
Eric H Janzen

Ward

Thanks Brad for the feedback.

Ward

Thanks Adria for the recommendation.

Adria

Perhaps "God's Generals: Why They Succeeded and Why Some Failed" by Roberts Liardon would be a useful read in conjunction with this article.

brad

Hey Ward,

Thanks for this article. Three quick comments:

First, I have yet to hear such a clear explanation of how some of the revivals that start out as a genuine work of God can go sideways so badly. Your reference to the lure of "shiny" things really highlights how prone we are to a sort of spiritual autism... being mesmerized into other-worldly realms. Contrary to our greatest hopes, such cul-de-sacs are NOT always the "third heaven."

Second, this reminds me of the great "bronze serpent" healing revival of Moses' day (Numbers 21:6-9). It was doubt established by God, but the community was so wowed by the power inherent in that piece of metal that they ultimately named it (Nehushtan) and began to worship it. Hezekiah finally had to destroy it (2 Kings 18:4) It was meant to point to Christ himself (John 3:14-15), but like the dog who looks at the tip of his master's finger instead of where the finger is pointing, they became fixated and idolatrized the sign. I hear you describing this as a repeatable offense in Christian revival history.

Finally, lest the literalists and militarists miss the forest for the trees, I will point out that your call to use God's weapons to "kill God's enemies" is to be read in light of 2 Cor. 10:3-4 -- "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

Ward, I commend you today for faithfully taking your stand on the front lines with the mighty weapons of prayer, mercy, service and a prophetic voice of justice.

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