A growing number of Christians feel their church is doing a lot of things that don’t matter. Even successful programs don’t matter to them. They believe only a move of God can save us now.
They believe we have no time to play games. They are frustrated that church is catering to the lukewarm members. Most of all, they feel that they are being punished for wanting a move of God.
I want to direct myself toward leaders who are guilty of correcting members who yearn for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. You’ve got it totally backwards. Those who are hungry for a move of God are the best thing that ever happened to your church.
If you wounded a hungry saint’s heart, it was a spectacular mistake. They, and not the lukewarm, should be setting the tone for your church.
Somewhere, we got the idea—I believe it came from the pit of hell—that exuberant worship, preaching with unction and conviction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soul winning are the “old ways.”
They are not old ways—they are timeless ways. In fact, they transcend time. They are the chosen weapons.
You never made Satan smile wider than when you punished someone in your congregation for wanting a move of God.
Where did you get the idea that a move of God was a bad thing? Let me guess…you heard it from a Bible College professor who can’t do it, therefore he teaches. Or you got from a church growth expert. You can’t fool me. I have read those manuals. Some even tell you to run the people out who desire an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The best people in the church love this verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” They refer to it often.
They yearn for the miracle that will stop America’s slide toward oblivion—they wish for an act of the Holy Spirit so real and widespread that it impacts, crime, injustice, addiction, and despair.
You may be punishing people God is stirring. You may be trying to put out a flame that God lit in their heart.
I think I know the biggest reason you may be punishing people who seek revival: You doubt it can happen. You doubt it is for today. Listen carefully to me: not only can God do it…the fact that your people are being stirred is a sign that God is trying to start revival fire.
Here’s what forever killed my doubts about revival. Matthew 12: 20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory.”
Jesus will not snuff out the least flicker of revival. When anyone asks for revival from a pure heart, God says yes and begins the process. He takes you at your word. As I stood on the beach the gentle foam of the ocean lapped over my toes. The voice of the Lord said, “this gentle wave is the cousin of the tsunami.”
The smallest flame in the smallest church will not be quenched by Jesus. Given the proper opportunity, the Spirit of God will fan it into a raging fire of righteousness. The gentlest wave can grow into a tidal wave before anyone who simply hosts God’s presence, obeys His step by step orders, and refuses to abuse what God is doing among them.
The first step is to stop punishing those wonderful people who are hungry for the Holy Spirit to fall on your church.
[Somewhere, we got the idea—I believe it came from the pit of hell—that exuberant worship, preaching with unction and conviction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soul winning are the “old ways.”]
But, when we have these are they of the order of the timeless, or of the new age?
I know what Mario means, and I agree. But, today it seems that the exuberance we have is external calisthenics not from a heart redeemed…
I, too, long for this. But, I also long for Selah and the Cloud…
Just because you work up a sweat doesn’t mean anything to Jehovah, it’s “In Spirit and in Truth”.
You don’t know where the exuberance is coming from, the Spirit or the flesh, for only God knows a man’s heart. I had a pastor once who said that every time the Spirit starts to fly around, so does the flesh. But we shall not quench the Spirit in the name of guarding against the flesh! Worship that in Spirit and Truth will rise above the flesh in the room. Don’t be concerned about trying to do it yourself. God will do it! He wants worshippers who will worship in Spirit & in Truth, and He shall have them!
Joanne, you are so right in your comment. For a long time I was more occupied with discerning what was flesh and what was Spirit, that I tended to spend less time on paying attention to His presence. I have come to recognize, just like you; where the Spirit is – you will always have flesh, right there. and by keeping a wrong focus we can lose the blessing of worship and being in His presence :-).
You just can’t let the flesh prevail because once flesh enters in the offering is no longer accepted by God. We need leaders who are full of the Holy Ghost and operate in the gifts of the Spirit to decern when the flesh Is starting to hinder the move of God.
Where the spirit is there is liberty
I so agree with you & appreciate your honesty about what’s going on in our churches today.
I get what You are talking about Mario. Because I was a bruised reed and I was a smoldering flax, a candle in the wind who’d just about been snuffed out.
Then Christ The King blew on me and re-ignited the flame that began to burn brighter & brighter, til it became a fire shut up in my bones and I was weary from holding it in. My husband & I were those people Mario speaks about here…we were given visions and visitations because of The great King Yeshua, we went to our local church 4 times a week, we served in every capacity they’d allow us to, we prayed for a great awakening to fall, for a revival to come to our church just as it had to us personally. But alas, our fanned flame of desire for our church, taught us NOT to speak of those remarkable things Christ our King had shown us and was doing with us. So we left that city and moved to a spiritual desert in hope that there we’d find our hearts desire A MOVE OF GOD… 16 years later, we’re still on the look out mountain where the eagles cry.
I haven’t been rekindled yet. I’m in a church that is known for “revival”. You have undoubtedly heard the name of it.
I was kicked out of their “intercessory” prayer group because I refused to stand in agreement with s (the enemy) and they wanted unity. I was certainly willing to apply I John 1:9, Joel 2, Daniel 9, whatever, but not ever, EVER come to the Father, even as a Judge through s. They wanted me to leave the church, but I told them Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit, had sent me. They would have to kick me out. People who were still the the group said the woman who instigated this against me and so many others was calling me a murderer and other things that I don’t remember. So many of us so treated have been afflicted with infirmity. Some have died of cancer. The prayer group no longer exists and the woman has increased in influence. She seems very “tuned” in with a strong prophetic and teaching gifts. Now, though, she calls herself a pastor which she is not.
It’s very confusing. They say, the lesson of the church is, “You are loved.” My lesson is, “Sit down and shut up.” The pastor (who was part of what happened to me) really does seek the LORD. But, he is blinded in this area. He really does have a heart for God.
I stay because of the wonderful saints who are still there. Those who have been wounded are the ones who are supposed to get rid of the “root of bitterness.” I have worked on this. But those who have caused so much pain, illness, and death are not required to “leave their gifts on the altar” and be reconciled.
Thank you for your letter which gives me hope, because we may be moving (retirement) soon. Thank you Mario for your articles (which I’ve just recently found). And thank you also, Mario, for not speaking in our church during this “revival”. (You probably weren’t asked–that speaks well of you.)
We followed the advice that “You can’t change a church by staying there,” and, “If the pastor doesn’t want it, it will not happen,” and started driving to a church body where the Word was taught and Holy Spirit was allowed to do what He wanted to do.
Carolina, I think I know your heart, and it is the kind of heart that the Lord wants to find in His people. However, I do believe that your disappointment and discouragement from not finding soil within your past church for what you perceived and believed that He entrusted you with, distorted the vision and desire that He had given you. I do believe, with all due respect, that this made you make the “wrong” move, perhaps based on the wrong motivation. Perhaps, at that time, you should rather have asked Him for a “spiritual desert” a little closer to home…, just my loving suggestion. Our streets are full of His “lost sheep”, that needs to be brought back home to Him. Personally, I have the gifts of a prophet and a teacher, where my ministry has been rejected/ignored in a number of churches where I attended for years. It has been very frustrating, trust me(!); lots of soul searching and self-examination on my part. My honest conclusion has been that the time for my ministry is coming, as He is getting me ready – in my heart, in my mind and in my life to take on the great responsibility of bringing lost souls into His Kingdom, and educating and raising up the Body of Christ to do the same.
Carolina, be patient, as the Lord is patient with you, bring your mind and heart into tune with what His Spirit is requesting of you – and your life will surely be fulfilled and complete!
God Bless you and your husband in your pursuit of service to Him and in His Presence!
A move of God produces
2,Babtism in the Holy Ghost
5,An emphisis on Soul wining and missions
6,Prayer and devotions daily
7,Exuberant praise and worship
8,A desire to get involved and not sit on the sidlines
9,Seperation from the worlds idiology
10,Fear of God and awareness of Gods Holiness
11,Love of the bretheran
12,An obsession with the will of God
13,A sacrificial heart
Maybe not in that order and certainly not an exhaustive list.
Thanks Aaron. Excellent list. Your heart is obviously the right kind of humble (know your authority, and have a teachable spirit).
big amen the only hope we have is for that flame to burn and grow.
YEEEESSSSS!!!!!….SAY THAT!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!
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The Lord has placed a deep burden in my heart for the Hispanic church in the Nation especially the church in the border of Mexico. I’mrom El Paso Texas living in Long Beach Ca. temporary.
I’m praying with a passion for the move of God and I can hardly wait to see the Hand of God -The Fire of The Holy Spirit to revive His church!
I appreciate your prayers my beloved
Be bless be encouraged .. Shalom
Hi Isela, last year my wife and I discovered Apostle Maldonado, his church is in Miami. We think he is one of the most gifted and holy spirit filled pastor/apostle in the US now. His church and books,are awesome. Wish we had a church like that here in San Diego.
I’ll tell you another reason why some of these pastors punish the ones who want a move of God…because they can’t stand having people around who have discernment because those same people would see how shallow they are spiritually. My family and I have seen this more than once.
Thank you brother Mario. Here’s a short video on 2 Chron. 7:14 I made that spells out what you were saying
Today’s church does not want any part of this message. It is still what the Lord is saying to us. Every Sunday message that is just another teaching from the Bible reveals that they are not hearing from the Spirit.
While I appreciate the sentiment behind these memes about 2 Chronicles 7:14, if you look at it in context with the previous verse it means we should pray for the healing of our ecological system, not our political system. But 1 Timothy 2:2 certainly applies. Let’s pray that way.
When a new pastor came to my church there was no prayer meetings because the previous pastor said “we tried that once.” So the new pastor started Sunday night prayers and Wednesday noon prayers. The pastor and his wife and maybe the elder go and go off by themselves in the large sanctuary to pray alone. I told the pastor I can do that at home. I asked for corporate prayer; lets come together to pray together. I asked for testimonies. All I see is the back of peoples heads at church. I want to know what God is doing in their lives! NOT happening.
Mario did you ever consider the reason these Pastor’s are holding back revival is because they don’t want God to hold them accountable for choices they have made that they know were wrong. I believe a lot of Pastors don’t want it is because they can’t control it. That they are afraid and possibly may have made choices they shouldn’t have and they are not real shepherds. A real shepherd lays down is life for the sheep. A fake one runs when trouble hits. Many don’t want the Holy Spirit because when He shows up he convicts of sin. Please, I am not saying all Pastors are like this, but I believe their are quite a few. Just my own opinion because of things I have seen and heard. I love the scripture of the smoking reed. A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering (dimly burning) wick He will not quench till He brings justice and a just cause to victory. (Matt.12:20, Amp.) He says, till He brings justice and a just cause to victory. May God move according to His word. I long for a move of God. Jesus was taking a stand against the Pharisees at that time. In Luke 16:15, But He said to them, You are they who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God. The world cannot [be expected to] hate you, but it does hate Me, because I denounce it for its wicked works and reveal that its doings are evil.(John 7:7, Amp.) How is it possible for you to believe-how can you learn to believe-who [are content to seek for and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?(John5:44, Amp) A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench; He will bring forth justice in truth.(Isa.42:3, Amp.) For thus says the high and lofty One Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent-bruised with sorrow for sin.[Is.57:15,Amp.]
Pastor Mario, this is so true. My heart is breaking. When the Precious Holy Ghost is allowed to move many believers get afraid and leave or grieve the Spirit of God but questioning if this is really God?????