In recent weeks I’ve found God stirring me about revival. It’s a burden I’ve lived with throughout my adult life. However, my passion for revival is like a garden bonfire, sometimes it just smoulders and sometimes it flares up. God seems to be stirring up the embers again at this time!
The Bible is clear that the world ends with both a terrifying time of judgment and the most glorious, joyful, wonderful wedding feast ever. The wedding feast is the marriage supper of the lamb. The celebration of the eternal union of Jesus Christ to his people. It’s a great party, full of noise, joy and love (Revelation 19 v 6 – 9).
We know that the Bride, the Church, has to make herself ready for this great occasion (Rev. 19 v 7). I believe God is reminding us of this scriptural concept with a new urgency in these days. I’ve felt a couple of aspects of this ‘getting ready’ for the grand finale impressed on me.
Firstly, this is going to be a wonderful, joyful, noisy occasion – shouting and thunderous praise are mentioned! Let’s ask ourselves: ‘Am I going to be comfortable there?’ I believe God wants to wake us up, fill us afresh with his Spirit and get us ready for the heady atmosphere of heaven.
Secondly, the Bride gets ready by being dressed in fine linen, bright and clean. We are told this stands for ‘the righteous acts of God’s people’ which God has given us to wear. Another question to ask ourselves is: ‘Am I dressed for the occasion?’ This is not about self righteousness but clothing ourselves in Christ – putting on what we’ve been given in him. Becoming what he’s made us to be.
God is getting his Church ready now, in this age. I believe God often prepares his Bride through times of Revival and Judgment, sometimes both together! There is an element of judgment in every revival. God usually judges sin and purifies his people as well as blessing them. Throughout the prophetic books of the old testament the idea of ‘divine visitation’ is used to describe blessing and revival on one hand and a season of judgment on the other.
It seems to me the church in my part of the world is ready for another of those revival/judgment moves of God’s Spirit. I sense the tide is rising and the wind is getting up! Jesus is determined to prepare and purify his Bride. Ultimately we will need to get ready or get out. I pray none of us suffer the fate of being swept aside in a time of blessing like the cynical, king’s officer in 2 Kings 7 v 17-20 (a curious and challenging story – read the whole of 2 Kings 7 for the full picture).
However, I am praying for a mighty reviving, purifying move of God’s Spirit in our land. I want to see Jesus come back soon. I want to be ready. I want to be part of a radiant Bride, bright and clean. I want to see heaven full with that great multitude purchased from every tribe, language, people and nation. I want revival!