The Revival Code

by Morris Ruddick on February 19, 2014


© Morris E. Ruddick


“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2

I have heard many, who experienced the days of the Charismatic Revival, to describe it with the words: “It was like there was something in the air.” Indeed there was. God was moving. There prevailed an awareness and expectation with God that simply incited a priority to being a part of it.

I heard an author named Doug Wead (“Tonight They’ll Kill a Catholic,” Creation House, 1974) share about the research he did in war-torn Northern Ireland, during a time in which Protestants and Catholics were meeting together for prayer. His research was to verify the incredible stories of miracles that were coming from these gatherings. His observation was that in seven out of ten of the stories, there indeed had been amazing things that had happened, but the stories had been exaggerated. However, he noted that in three out of ten of the cases, that they could only be described with the word: “WOW!!”

That was a generation ago. Since that time, the Body of Christ has experienced much growth, both in numbers and maturity. Yet when the word revival is raised, those we are close to, to a person, can be quoted as expressing a longing for more, much more of this dimension of God being at the forefront of everyday life.

Under the pressures of the Cultural Revolution, the church in China equally had amazing growth and stories of miracles. Church growth in places like Indonesia and Korea can be explained by nothing short of revival fires being released. Similarly, the church in Vietnam has emerged as a vibrant, praying church that has truly touched the hem of His garment.

The Issues
Yet, in defining sovereign moves of the Spirit, the question must be asked: What is it that distinguishes true revival from the contagion of a well-orchestrated program. From models of revival, what are the codes and strategies that ignite and sustain it? Likewise, is revival something that has manifested just since the Acts 2 outpouring of the Holy Spirit or is there precedent historically within the Jewish roots to the faith?

One of my favorite remembrances from the early 1970s, days of vibrant revival fires, was what we referred to as body ministry. It was one of the distinguishing characteristics of those days. Praying for one another was more spontaneous. We took time to gather; to bear one another’s burdens.

I recall vividly small group gatherings that nurtured short words of wisdom, exhortations, testimonies of answered prayer, simple scriptures participants may have had on their hearts; all of which came together prophetically under the Spirit’s guidance to form a theme that highlighted and encouraged those people gathering.

These interactive dynamics would be followed by spontaneous prayer as members of the group revealed needs tied to the words given. Spontaneity, Word-based, Spirit led were the key factors that marked these gatherings. It was the gatherings like this that became the spark that ignited revival in a broad, cross-section of the church.

Similarly, Acts 2 notes that the believers in the early church met daily and broke bread together in their homes; in addition to meeting in the temple. The Amplified version notes those gatherings included the Lord’s supper and prayers (v. 42). Paul gave instruction for such gatherings (1 Cor 14:26) with the admonition that when they came together that opportunity should be given for ministering to one another; building one another up. He made it clear that this vital function should be done under the guidance of leadership, decently and in order.

The Old Covenant is rich with historical references to what happened when God’s people came together, as one. This was the purpose of the feast days which served purposes such as community-wide repentance (Yom Kippur), to celebrating God’s deliverance of His people (Passover; the exact time paralleling Jesus’ resurrection), to giving honor to Pentecost (the giving of God’s Torah/Truth; which also was when the Acts 2 outpouring of the Spirit happened).
“Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’S house.”
2 Chron 7:1-3

Some of these community-wide gatherings involve fasting, but each result in rejoicing, prayer and celebrating the Lord, which includes spiritually festive times of eating together.
“So you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go to the mountain of the Lord. The Lord will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. The voice of the Lord will shatter His enemies; with his scepter he will strike them down.”
Isa 30:29-31

The Dynamics
When revival is in evidence its prime dynamics will include the broad community-response of believers; the priority given to God and His presence; and of hearing from Him; all of which engenders radical obedience to God’s standard and heart.

Community-Response. Revival fires that are unleashed at the community-level, will have an impact that affects the broader community: a broad cross-section of churched and unchurched alike. It brings an insatiable hunger for God as people reach out for the reality of God operating in their midst.

It operates beyond denominational and doctrinal boundaries, while adhering to central biblical common ground shared by all. As our pastor from the early 70s told us: “In our faith are some things, for which, we should be willing to die. Those are the areas the Body needs to agree on.” Revival flows in those areas.

God’s Presence and Priority. Times of revival are marked by the consciousness of God’s presence and powerful answers to prayer. With a keen focus on prayer, worship and seeking God, there is a reverence and centrality to giving the priority necessary to take that “next step” with God.

It provokes a trust and spontaneity of gathering with those of a kindred spirit to seek Him, in waiting on Him with prayer gatherings that tap and unveil the specifics of His priorities and will.

Hearing God. Revival pivots on the consciousness of His presence which results in hearing from God. It involves a humility and trust that is willing to be personally vulnerable in order stay in the prophetic flow of the Spirit. Operating in the flow of His Spirit and His will, results in the tendency toward remarkable answers to prayer.

Hearing God is always in conformance with the standard of His Truth. Those truly tapping God’s guidance are like the Bereans in Acts 17, daily searching the Scripture to verify and grasp all that the Spirit is imparting.

Radical Obedience. Hearing God and obeying is not in any way passive. It realigns and it changes things. It changes things on both an individual and a community-level. It becomes the basis of what is referred to as societal transformation.

It can be said that spiritual maturity kicks in when the prime focus shifts from issues of self to engaging one’s calling in serving community and Kingdom issues. Radical obedience accelerates this process. It generates a more global, proactive perspective that is interactive among those sharing in this flow of the Spirit.

Most Distinguishing Characteristic
True revival is marked by the atmosphere of God’s presence. It is an atmosphere of His presence that doesn’t fade when the gathering is over. It abides. It represents a spark, an igniter of the Spirit which those embracing it carry with them.

What we perceive when “God is moving” is first our heightened God-consciousness, together with a God-response to our spiritual hunger and purity of our reach for Him.

When the atmosphere of God’s presence prevails, the dynamic fuels an explosive multiplication. This is the increase that results as the combination of the anointings and the diversity of the gifts of those in community, responding to revival begin operating together in unity.

Those who have experienced revival, the atmosphere of His presence, yearn for the unfathomable consciousness of His presence. It is insatiable. It has a depth that knows no bounds. It sparks at the dividing asunder between soul and spirit. It is contagious for those who truly seek Truth. His presence indeed changes everything.

Revival’s Catalysts
There are subtle, but distinct differences between the catalysts that ignite revival; and the nurturing or maintaining of revival; and of spiritual maturing.

Sound doctrine helps us mature spiritually as we progressively grasp the glimmers of His Truth. Yet Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth, Who leads us into all Truth. Holy Spirit revival fires guide us into Truth. Revival is that process of release that provokes the manifestation of the reality of God.

There are some who are carriers of revival. This is a key function of how the anointing operates

Carriers of revival are catalysts, igniters of God’s presence. When one spends time in God’s presence, they begin to operate as a carrier of His presence. We make reference to “flowing” in His Spirit. The anointing is given release, from the priority given to time spent with God.

When it matures with a pure heart, the overflow of the anointing operates in concert with the leadership anointing, each within their own sphere (2 Cor 10:13). It is the foundation for influence. It has become the basis of many successful ministries. It similarly represents the authority of the intercessor to be a shield for those for whom they stand in the gap.

Moses was a carrier for God’s presence. He was a gatekeeper for God’s glory among the people. It was a dynamic that began with the time Moses spent in God’s presence together with the fervency he had in reaching for the conscious abiding of God’s presence.
“’I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.’ The Lord said, ‘My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Moses then said to Him, ‘If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people of the earth?’ Then Moses said, ‘I pray You show me your glory.’”
Ex 33:13-19

Many years ago, during a time of ministry, a man of God prefaced his ministry to us with these words: “I sit in the presence of the Lord. There are many things I could say to you; but what I bring you, I bring from the presence of the Lord.” That orientation is one of my chief prayers for what I scribe with my writings and what I impart with my God’s economy program.

I have no desire to operate outside that context. I yearn for and seek the anointing that breaks the yoke. In this quest, for over two decades, I have embraced a lifestyle of arising in the middle of the night to pray and seek God. It is a part of the cost.

The Kingdom of God is the culture through which God’s people operate. Revival and the restoration of God’s order are at the heart of the Kingdom. God is a consuming fire. His presence is a catalyst, a fire that ignites change in its wake. When manifesting, this conscious, flowing presence of the Lord, through His people, yields the authority to reset governments and economies and the cultures of the peoples of the world.

At the core of this abiding presence operating through His people, is what Paul referred to as the law of Christ: bearing one another’s burdens. Scripture tells us that Jesus took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. He was bruised for our iniquities and by His stripes we were healed. It is the standard for those willing to endure the cost. It is the banner for those who have been prepared for this season.

It is a mantle of fire traversing a pathway of fire, with a responsibility and authority that wields God’s glory to restore His order. It is a mantle that carries a cost for those paying the cost in paving its pathway.
“The wilderness and wasteland shall be glad. The desert shall rejoice and bloom. You shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. So strengthen the weak hands, make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are feeble-hearted: ‘Be strong, do not fear.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the death unstopped. The lame shall leap like a dear and the tongue of the dumb sing. Waters shall burst forth in the wilderness and springs in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and a highway shall be there and a road. It shall be called the highway of holiness. The unclean will not pass over it, for it shall be for the redeemed; and whoever walks this road will not go astray.”
Isaiah 35:1-8

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