The ground is shaking underneath my feet. Even as I write this, I feel like the foundation of this Starbucks, this table, and this chair are shaking. My friend Christy blogged a couple of weeks ago saying how she could hear the whispers of Revival and the murmurs of Awakening and I am here to tell you today, I am not just hearing them, I am seeing them, I am feeling them, I am looking at them, I am tasting them. Revival and Awakening are real and they are staring us in the face. Over the past two and a half weeks there has literally not been one night I have gone to sleep where I have not been completely and utterly overwhelmed by God. What He is doing is absolutely incredible and beyond anything I could have ever imagined while I was praying for Revival just a few short months ago. I am sure that what is happening with people giving all of themselves to Jesus and how people are coming together as the Church (outside of Sunday morning and Wednesday night? What?!) praying for one another and loving others just because Jesus loves them is so much more than even what the men and women who have been faithfully on their knees, asking God to purify His Bride for years, could have imagined.
As I have said before and will say again, I am sick of being a Christian the way we know it today. I am ready to follow Jesus. I am ready to know Jesus, I am ready to live Christ and die as gain. I am ready to pledge allegiance to one King and to one Kingdom. I am ready to taste and see the goodness of God. I am ready to wake up each day for Purpose. I am ready to risk the ocean.
This post is very simply to give all the glory and all the praise to Jesus and to tell of what He has done and what He is doing and to invite you, my brother or my sister, or my soon to be brother or soon to be sister, to join in on what the Lord is doing.
Just two and a half weeks ago Bill Elliff spoke on not quenching the Spirit at Summit Church and what followed was nearly five hours of people getting up to confess their sins and be prayed over and people being baptized and giving their lives to the Lord. Every weeknight since that Sunday believers have gathered at Summit to speak of what the Lord has done and there have been shouts of joy as beautiful people are submerged in the deep waters of Baptism and the endless love of Christ. There have tears of joy as people drop to their knees and give their lives away to find true life and tears of sorrow and pain as hearts have been broken over those who do not know Jesus. But know this my friends, this Revival has not been held inside the four walls of Summit. As people have come, hearts have set ablaze and the love of Jesus has been shared at every place you can think of here around Little Rock. I am literally receiving texts messages, phone calls, Facebook messages, and emails every day about some new crazy story of what Jesus is doing. At different high schools, middle schools, colleges, church campuses, God is moving. He is revealing how American Christianity is so longer the Church and He is changing us from the inside out.
Before I go on with any specific stories I have to stop and remember the words that my brother and sister, Britton and Niki, reminded us all of when all this was starting;
“Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something that you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” –Habakkuk 1:5
So look and be amazed folks, for God is doing something in our day, something that you wouldn’t believe even if I told you.
At a charter school here in Little Rock, there are two girls who have had their hearts burning for the lost and have acted upon the flames. The first girl decided to share Christ with her friend no matter what her friend thought of her, and so she wrote her a letter explaining the gospel. When this girl got the letter she read it aloud to her class and they all made fun of our sister. When she heard that everyone was making fun of her, instead of crying and being torn, she rejoiced as she pondered the words of Jesus in the greatest sermon ever taught, “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake”. And then there was another girl who was sharing Christ with a friend of hers at lunch and a teacher told her to go to the office. At the office she was scolded and told not to bring her Bible to school anymore and that she couldn’t talk about religion anymore, ever. I’m sure you can imagine what she had in her backpack the next day… her sword.
I was talking to a guy at work about everything that has been going on and he stopped me and exclaimed, “wait bro, you wanna know what’s crazy?” And of course I did, so he went on to tell me a story about a lady he heard speak once. The lady was on a plane flying over Arkansas and someone on the plane exclaimed out loud, “what state are we flying over?” After asking the flight attendants and everything they found they were flying over Arkansas and this woman says, “I feel like there is going to be a great Awakening in the American Church and that it is going to start here in this state.” (by the way, he heard this story months ago)
My brother Seth has held bitterness and anger in against the Church for a long time (for many righteous reasons) but it came to a point where it was sinful and he knew it. So we were at Summit church one night and I could almost feel the weight on his shoulders. From the very beginning of the service I started praying over him and that the Lord would deliver him from whatever was going on in his heart. So as the night went on, we kept praying for him until he finally got up and confessed his sin and to ask forgiven from the Body. We prayed over and sang over him.
Reconciliation is a glorious thing. I cannot even begin to capture the start of the countless stories that have come from the past weeks. People repenting of sin that has not seen the light of day in years, husbands and wives having their marriage healed, children holding hatred towards their parents, so many things. (even as I type this Bill Elliff is sitting two tables over from me talking to people about the forgiveness and love of Jesus. And again I am blown away)
On the Sunday night of this whole thing a kid named Byron gave his life to the Lord. Immediately after surrounding to the Lord he felt like he had to speak to his school about the forgiveness Jesus had given him, so he got up at Chapel TWO DAYS after that and shared. Here’s the kicker, after he shared he led another girl named Helen to start a relationship with Jesus just minutes after he stepped down from the stage. The only thing I can think of is the line from Amazing Grace that says, “how sweet did that grace appear the hour I first believed”. Oh and to add to that, Helen is declaring her love for Jesus to the world next week through baptism.
Here’s the thing about this Revival, this Awakening: Satan can tempt us and we can easily get to the point where it stops becoming about Christ and starts becoming about Awakening just for the sake of Awakening. Every night the prayer at Summit and the prayer of people who are involved (from so many places) is that we would be falling in love with Jesus and telling more and more people about Him. After all, if we’re alive to know Jesus and to make Him known, we should probably start soon. Because correct me if I’m wrong here but the last time I checked the Church as it has been, isnt so much about knowing Jesus and making Him known as it is about Christianity, as it is about money and saying the right things and doing the right things. No longer my brothers and sisters. No longer will we sit in our pews and close our eyes every now and again to worship. We will jump and dance and be undignified. No longer will we keep our heads down when the Spirit tells us to look up. No longer will be silent, no longer will we pretend like we do not know Jesus. If Jesus is our life, shouldn’t we speak of Him?
A couple of Fridays ago there was a gathering of around 90 students and all we did was get on our faces to seek the Lord. For hours we prayed and worshiped and told about our King. Near the end we had a time of prayer in which students from different churches, different schools, and different walks of life went up to their family in Christ and prayed over each other. The scene of watching the Body of Christ actually being the Body of Christ was unexplainable and awe striking.
Earlier today I was meeting with a kid and he looked at me with tears saying how he desired to truly be in love with Christ. As I cried with him at the thought of one day seeing Jesus face to face, he told me “Chris your tears are tears of joy but mine are pain” because he knows he not to point yet where he is in love fully with Jesus. But as I prayed over him I know the Spirit of God is alive in him and is leading him and pushing him to the day when the head knowledge he has becomes heart knowledge. And oh, what a magnificent day that will be.
This Revival is not slowing down, if any thing it is taking speed. Every night at Summit people are meeting to pray and this Saturday there is a group of students and adults meeting to pray at Fellowship at 8 o’clock. And I know that there are other places people are meeting and every day more people are hearing about the real Jesus. In Fayetteville there is a group of students organizing an all day prayer gathering. In Russellville there are students every night meeting at 11:11 to pray. Come, be a part of this with us. Do not the Lord pass us by. Risk the ocean with us. We want to see the Holy Spirit set us on fire.
“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces;
now he will heal us.
He has injured us;
now he will bandage our wounds.
In just a short time he will restore us,
so that we may live in his presence.
Oh, that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know him.
He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
or the coming of rains in early spring.” –Hosea 6:1-3
We are no longer Christians in a religion, we are Christ-followers in a relationship with the God of the Universe. We are no longer hearers, we are doers.
Our only response from here until the Eternity will forever be, Hallelujah.