One of the greatest reasons I have been bothered and many a times, saddened by many of the so called revivals and Christian movements worldwide is because, they fail to glorify God at the end of the day. One of the greatest mark of a true revival is that no man gets the glory out of it, only Jesus is glorified. It is purely the Lord’s doing and is of-course marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:23)
Can you travel with me through a couple of instances in the Bible when God truly moved? Let us study people’s responses towards God and his men at various revivals in the scriptures.
Elijah on Mount Carmel:
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” (1 Kings 18:39) This was a splendid example of what should ideally happen in a crazy revival where heaven’s real fire descends upon. People should go back home saying, the Lord, he is God! How often we return back from meetings, saying that guy can sings so awesome, or that woman preacher is so cool. I think the reason for that is cause many a times, like the prophets of Baal we have our talents and abilities at display, than God’s greatness or wonder working power!
John, in the Wilderness:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30) This was John’s comment on hearing that people are getting baptized by Jesus as well. He could have reacted in any fashion. But his reaction showed how genuinely he wanted to see Jesus lifted up, even though that meant that he would loose his crowd. Another time when people were flocking to him for advice and counsel, he tells them. “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:16 ESV) He always directed his congregation to Jesus, than himself.
Paul, at Lystra
“Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings—just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.” (Acts 14:15) That was Paul’s reaction on knowing that the the Greeks at Lystra considered them as Gods and had almost started worshiping him and Barnabas. He totally freaked out. Tore his clothes and humbled himself in front of the people and directed them to God instead. Infact this followed a powerful demonstration of the healing power of God. However, the response of the people were out of their control.
Handling Fame in Revival:
The one common thing in all the above three examples is the unwillingness of the these servants of God to take the credit for the move of God. They did not dare to touch God’s glory. They directed people to God, instead of themselves. They never attributed their success as ministers to their prayer life, or their time in wilderness or their encounters with God! Instead they took advantage of their fame to glorify God and to expand his kingdom.
Can we maintain this as a foundation principle in all that we say and do? Can we never ever take the credit or touch the glory of God in anything that he is involved in? A revival of such manners will not only glorify God, but will draw all men to Jesus, the Lover of their souls.