God Wants You To Want Him – Pst. Ivan Raskino
This week, Pastor Priji talks with Pastor Ivan Raskino of revival in the church and the desire of God for us to want Him and desire His presence.
Pastor Priji Varghese: You were a pastor in Mumbai before passing the leadership into another’s hands. How do you take your time of rest here? Are you more involved in ministry now or then?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: It is not a rest now. I continue to mentor the pastors in Maharashtra. I travel there often.
Pastor Priji Varghese: You’ve written a lot of books. Do you have the habit of writing regularly?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: Yes
Pastor Priji Varghese: Who is your audience?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: The writing ministry is specially directed to pastors and those who love the Word of God. There is a necessity to give people a good foundation and balance in God’s Word.
Pastor Priji Varghese: How do you personally define revival?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: When the Spirit of God moves, firstly, there is a deep conviction of sin. Otherwise we cruise from one place to another. When revival comes, the church awakens, responds in repentance combined with a zeal for the Name of Jesus and the Gospel.
Pastor Priji Varghese: What are some of the people in the Bible that God used for revivals?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: When revival takes place, the presence of God rests with His people. When He rests with His people, there should be a response to His dwelling for us.There is restoration and healing in His presence, but there is a cost to it.
He is Holy. You must be pure and holy.
The presence of God is dangerous. When the presence of God rests with His people, you don’t touch it. Ananias and Sapphira lied in His presence and they die. Uzzah touched the Ark and He was finished.
When revival takes place, there is purity, good relationships, and a danger you have to take into an account.
Pastor Priji Varghese: Is it a price to be paid in order to host God in a revival?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: It is a price for holiness. It is not something you try to do or work up yourself. You posture yourself for the presence of God.
You must not take the grace of God in vain.
God, in His mercy, withdraws His presence from you if you are not ready. If He continues, and you are not ready in holiness, you will die. Either He withdraws or you die.
Pastor Priji Varghese: Would you say that lack of holiness is one of the biggest reasons why a revival doesn’t get manifested in our generation?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: It is a lack of hunger. God wants you to want Him. If you do not want Him, He will not come in His manifest presence. We have the presence of God in our lives, but there is a greater intensity when He comes amongst His people.
Pastor Priji Varghese: How can we develop that hunger in this limited time?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: I can think of Psalm 132. David had a vision. He was a young man in Bethlehem, and just a few miles away there was the Ark of the Covenant lying there for forty years with nobody bothering themselves about it. His vision was to bring the Ark because He wanted the presence of God.
His vision became His burden. He became consumed by it. His hunger, in Psalm 132: 3-5 was such that He vowed to not enter the chamber of his house not give slumber to his eyelids until he found a place for his God. It is not that he neglected his household or sleep or comfort, but that the presence of God became his priority. It starts with a vision, then develops into a burden, like Nehemiah.
The hunger then spreads to others. In verse 6 & 7, it is a group of people who go ahead with a call to worship Him.
Pastor Priji Varghese: Many times, before it comes to a thousand, revival comes to a person or a few praying, waiting people.
What can be my greatest hope if I am praying and waiting for a revival in the Lord for a long time?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: Every good thing comes from heaven- even the hunger. It comes from above and people only need to follow Him.
The grace of God touches a few who will be willing to pay the price in prayer and relationships.
You need to know His heart and His heart is to dwell with you. Keep seeking Him.
Pastor Priji Varghese: God desires revival for us more than we desire for it.
Why do you say that along with prayer, good relationships with one another is required?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: Loving your God and loving your neighbour as yourself are the greatest commandments. If you do not love those you see, how can you love Him Who is unseen?
Our fallen nature is such that we like to be self righteous and judgmental. We do not like humility to think of others better than ourselves.
Pastor Priji Varghese: How can we prepare ourselves in such a way that when God moves, the revival is sustained and does not fade out after a season as we have seen happen throughout Christian history?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: There is a revival and there is an awakening. Revival happens in the church, and the world experiences an awakening. The Spirit brings many to salvation.
In a revival, thousands come to Christ. There must be a good leadership in order to disciple them. There are no shortcuts to discipleship. Use the grace of God and go into discipleship.
Not being discipled can lead to many contentions and even into sin. If the case is such, God, in His love, withdraws Himself rather than staying and killing us. God won’t tolerate sin. He withdraws or the people perish.
Pastor Priji Varghese: As much as we pray we must prepare ourselves.
Would you give a word of advice for those waiting for a revival?
Pastor Ivan Raskino: Understanding the heart of God, discipleship, and living a holy life is important.
God is good. He loves His people, and He wants His leadership to be successful. He is on our side.
You can get in touch with Pastor Ivan Raskino via Email
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