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Fruit of Revival 7 – New Encounters

“And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel [the face of God], saying, For I have seen God face to face, and my life is spared and not snatched away.” Gen. 32:30 AMP.

An encounter is a divine appointment with God. Revival is a sovereign act of God; we cannot force Him to do anything. It is a specific time in your life when God “shows up” on your behalf. Revival is marked by His presence, His power, and His personal touch. When we encounter the Living God, we are forever changed.

Revival is just the life of the Lord Jesus poured into human hearts. It’s a continuous experience Christians have and less of an event marked by time and location. History reveals that there are times when the Holy Spirit powerfully encounters a group of people (or a nation) in a certain location in a way that is radically different from the norm. For a community, a city, or a nation to be gripped with revival, we must first be fully gripped by God. Personal visitation is always the catalyst for revival.

The truth is that God doesn’t wait until we have “arrived” at our destiny to encounter us. Rather, He uses personal visitation as a key part of our commissioning. Scripture abounds with divine encounters –trances, dreams, visions, signs and wonders, angelic encounters, or other supernatural accounts – God visiting men and women make up 70% of the Bible. There are dramatic encounters with Israel’s Patriarchs, Moses, Joshua, Judges, Kings, Prophets, and many others in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, there are recorded transformational encounters of Jesus with many ordinary people – Zacchaeus, a Samaritan woman, the Gadarene demoniac, the men who would become His Disciples and even Saul. Time after time, people were healed, tormented minds cleared, blind eyes opened, and spiritually bound released.

“Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.” Mal. 3:7 ESV.

Every meeting we have with God must entail a serious and irrevocable accountability. Revival doesn’t necessitate minor adjustments to our schedules or life plans but elicits a humble, on-our-face response to our Creator. Revival never results from an encounter with a doctrine but a response to a Person.

Numerous revival accounts highlight the profound sense of God’s presence during worship preceding revival. Dynamic preaching during revival contrasts sharply with earlier anaemic and ineffective exhortations. Lifeless music is replaced by passionate worship and praise. Revival elicits testimonies of radically changed lives, something noticeably absent in earlier times. The prayer meeting, which was the least attended meeting in the church, is in revival, characterised by fervent and extended prayer. However, perhaps the most notable characteristic of revival is the profound, even overwhelming conviction of sin, which contrasts with the complacent, indulgent attitude of pre-revival times. When God moves in revival, our hearts are rightly stirred to desire more of Him personally. God gives us a new heart with His compassion for a lost world.

“The presence of the “outlaw” is apparent by the activity of Satan, who uses all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, spurious wonders, and every form of evil of deception in order to deceive those who are perishing because they have rejected the love of the truth that would lead them to being saved.” 2 Thess. 2: 9-10 TPT.

‘Encounter’ can also be defined as coming into conflict with, contending with, crossing swords with, doing battle with, or confronting. So, it really should be no surprise that in a revival situation supercharged with the presence of God, the Devil will do all in his power to subdue any forward movement of the Kingdom of God. So, as a church becomes alive, the intensity of satanic conflict increases dramatically. However, this opposition, rather than being viewed as discouragement, is an opportunity for us “to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 2:3).

Lord, we give grateful thanks that You are merciful, patient, loving and long-suffering. Heavenly Father, we humbly ask you to show the true spiritual condition of our heart, family, and church. Jesus loving Saviour, we ask You to begin the process of calling us back to You in every way we need to return. Almighty and Everlasting God, we bring our church leaders before Your throne of mercy and grace so that they would respond to an encouraging word from You. Amen.