God is the goal of revival – Part 21
Revival is, first and foremost, about God and His kingdom, and secondly, about us. Once we loose sight that the goal of revival is all about exalting God, the tendency is to take the glory to ourselves. Isaiah is very explicit that God will not share His glory with anyone.
“I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isaiah 42:8 NKJV ).
Man has the capacity to steal the glory that does not belong to him. Paul accurately describes what the true character of man is in these last days. “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (II Timothy 3:1-2, 4-5 NKJV).
Revival wanes when men fail to project God and begin to project themselves. This was where the revival pioneered by Garrick Isokari Braide in the early 20th century began to derail.
As early as 1914, when healing ministry was not popular in the world, our own Garrick Isokari Braide was already operating a healing ministry in Bakana, the South Eastern part of Nigeria. Thousands of souls were reported to have come to the Lord through his ministry.
Great healing and evangelistic campaigns featured during his ministry. But, gradually, pride, the penchant for titles, human praise and adulation, and confrontation with the Colonial authorities brought his ministry to an abrupt end.
This description by Bishop Johnson of a public reception, given to Braide at Abonema in 1916, reveals Braide’s egocentric tendencies: “Crowds upon crowds came out to meet him and to do him homage.
Chiefs, masters of the country, several of them of great importance, crawled along the ground to where he sat, and bowing their heads to the ground in obedience to him, he stretching out his hand in a stately fashion to raise them up. They vied with each other in entertaining, each striving to outrival his neighbor, in doing honor to one who was almost accounted a guest from heaven…. At other times when Garrick is on the march, a herald precedes him, and everyone that passes by falls on his knees and remains in the position till he has passed.”
How do we keep God as the central figure of any revival? Here are a few tips. First, those at the centre of the revival or ministry must learn to extol God at all times.
Secondly, every revival must be Christ-centered and not man- centred. All the revivals in the Bible, especially in the Acts of the Apostles focused on Christ.
Thirdly, every leader of a revival must avoid any sins that antagonize the Holy Spirit. Sin is a subtle revival fire extinguisher. Fourthly, on no account should a revivalist touch on the glory of God.
Lastly, revival leaders must listen and obey what the Holy Spirit says to them.
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