Aligning With the Holy Spirit for Revival
Psalm 24 tells us that the earth belongs to the Lord. All of it is His because He created it (Psalm 24:1-2).
The Psalmist then asks who can ascend His holy hill? Who can stand before Him? (Psalm 24:3).
He answers his own question in verses 4-6.
Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. 5 They will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of their salvation. 6 Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
Some translations translate verse 4 to be, “Who do not lift up their soul to an idol.” It can also be translated, “Who do not lift up their soul to emptiness.” That which is false, that which is an idol, that which is empty – The Psalmist exhorts us to not lift up our soul to anything other than God himself. Empty idols include materialism, human wisdom, human systems, other people (fear of man and seeking to please others instead of God), seeking a platform above God himself, it can include ministry, family. The fallen human condition has made it an art of making idols out of almost anything. Anything or anyone that we value more than God is an idol (Matthew 10:37-39).
I heard a quote long ago that has stuck with me. If you remember who said this, let me know, but it was a preacher who said: “Real revival is devastating.” It is devastating because it reveals the true condition of our heart. It reveals the idols to which we so tightly cling. Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is devious (deceitful) above all things; it is perverse – who can understand (know) it?” The Psalmist tells us, “They flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated” (Psalm 36:2). We are very good at pointing out sin in other people but we do not see it lurking in our own heart. Jesus, help us!
Real revival is the fire of God coming upon each one of us as individuals and the Holy Spirit pointing out those specific areas where we have clung on to any other thing other than Him. He points it out because He loves us. He points it out because he wants to forgive us. Hallelujah for Jesus who bore it all on the cross and forgives us and cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:9)! The next verse in that same chapter says: “If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:10).
Real revival is deeper than just feeling better and getting a ‘lift’ or a ‘touch.’ It is deep repentance, honesty with the true condition of our hearts, and laying ourselves on the altar of his fire and being changed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Real revival is beholding the glory and face of Jesus, letting him consume what needs to be consumed, being ignited with his fire and going out and being his salt and light in a dying world.
What does the generation look like who relentlessly pursue him (Psalm 24:6)? Psalm 24 says it is those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their soul to that which is empty, they don’t swear deceitfully but they seek the face of the God of Jacob (Psalm 24:4-5).
Yes, I would agree that real revival is devastating. But I would also add that real revival is beautiful because it gives us a clearer vision Jesus – of His beauty, of His love, of His glory, of His sacrifice, of His heart.
Oh, Father, only you can reveal the true condition of our hearts. Only you can convict and cleanse us of the sin that lurks so deeply in our hearts. Only you can fill us up with a longing for you and you alone. We long to be that generation that seeks only you. We long to be your agents of holy fire in this hour. Help us, fill us, do what you need to do in us so we can be your people who are relentlessly prevailing over the gates of hell (Matthew 16:18).
As we bow, repent of our idols, seek your face, fill us with your glory. Fulfill your word through and in us, Holy Father:
Psalm 24:7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah
King of Glory, come! King of Glory, invade our hearts! King of Glory, invade this land again! King of Glory come!
April D. Turner
Jesus appeared to John in Revelation 1:12-20. Jesus appeared to him not as a human but as fully God.
Revelation 1:12 Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. 14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. 19 Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
Jesus was cloaked in the imagery of the Old Testament. He is the Ancient of Days. He is God in the flesh (see Daniel 7:9-14). Jesus had a word to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2 and 3). The seven churches represent all churches through all ages.
To the church in Ephesus Jesus told them to repent! They were orthodox, they went after false teachers but they had forsaken their first love (Revelation 2:4). Jesus then said an odd thing. He told them that if they did not repent he was going to come and remove their lampstand (Revelation 2:5). Jesus himself said he was going to revoke them, remove them as a church if they did not repent.
There is a lot more I could say about these seven churches. Today, I hear an alarm in the spirit. Jesus is coming with great glory and great fire. It is time for the church to repent. Judgment begins in the house of the Lord (I Peter 4:17). For too long we have done our own thing, we have turned away from the fire of God and to the wisdom of man. We have a form of godliness but have denied its power (2 Timothy 3:5).
I've had increasing visions of fire over the last three years. Yesterday I woke up with the words over and over in my spirit, “Great glory.” Today I hear, “Great fire.” Last Sunday I had a vision of a wall of fire. It was like a tidal wave of fire that is getting ready to be poured out.
God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29). It is who he is. We can either let him consume us with his fire or be devoured by it (Hebrews 12:25-29; Romans 12:1-2).
If Jesus was going to take out the church at Ephesus, he will most certainly take us out if we don’t return to him, heed his voice and humbly bow before him.
There is an urgency in my spirit unlike anything I’ve ever experienced or heard. He is coming in great power, great glory and great fire.
Let him in!
Psalm 24:1 <Of David. A Psalm.> The earth is the LORD's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; 2 for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully. 5 They will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of their salvation. 6 Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah
Revelation 19:9 And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God." 10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." 11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, "King of kings and Lord of lords."
April D. Turner
Great glory is coming. Great glory. I keep hearing it over and over again. Many of us have been praying for revival, some of us, for decades. We want the glory. But we don’t want the holiness that comes with it. What if holiness comes before the glory?
On a hike three years ago the word, “Kadosh” dropped in my spirit. Each step, Kadosh. Then the word, “Kabod.” Kadosh, Kabod, Kadosh, Kabod over and over with each step.
As I approached the end of the trail the phrase, “Lift up your heads, O gates, be lifted up that the King of Glory may come in” came to my mind. I knew it was a Psalm but I didn’t know which one. I didn’t have my bible and I didn’t have my phone at the time. When I got home, I traced down the phrase and it was the end of Psalm 24. I don’t remember a lot of Hebrew words but those two words I remembered well. I was dumbstruck when I read that Psalm. “Kadosh” is the Hebrew word for “holy.” “Kabod” is the Hebrew for “glory.” The Holy Spirit had spoken over and over and over to me that day, “Holy, Glory, Holy, Glory, Holy Glory.”
ESV Psalm 24:1 A PSALM OF DAVID. The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah
Many of us want the glory but we don’t want to lay ourselves before the altar of fire and let the Lord purify our hearts of our greed, of our people pleasing, of our desire for the accolades of man. What is the generation of those who seek the Lord (vs. 6)? It is those who have clean hands and a pure heart (vs. 4)! It implies those who have laid themselves on the altar of God’s grace (Romans 12:1-2). It implies those who have laid down the idols of their heart. What are the idols that are holding you back? What are the idols to which you so tightly cling other than to Jesus? Those who seek the God of Jacob are those who lay themselves before the Holy One and ask him to search us, to clean us, to purify our hearts. It is at that point the King of Glory will come in!
In this Psalm, great glory comes! But it doesn’t come before the holy! It doesn’t come before the bowing down, the laying down, the humility of admitting that we have exalted ourselves, we have exalted our wisdom before the King of Glory!
Oh, great glory is coming! Great glory! The Psalmist uses temple imagery in verses 7-10. Such great glory is coming that the temple would need to be enlarged to contain it. We are vessels of his glory through Jesus Christ. We are to his vessels of glory in this hour. He wants to come in! He wants to come in our hearts in a greater and larger way. He wants to come into the church in a greater and larger way.
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors! That the King of Glory may come in! Exactly who is the King of Glory? He is the Lord of Hosts! He is mighty in battle!
Oh, he is coming saints of God! He is coming!
Let us humble ourselves, repent of our rebellion and pride and let him come in!
April D. Turner
Jesus’ disciples saw him cast out devils (Matthew 8:28-34). They saw shriveled hands become whole, paralyzed people get up and walk, and dead people get out of bed (Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 2:1-12; Mark 5:21-24; 35-43). Of all the things his disciples could have asked him to teach them what do they ask? Jesus, teach us to cast out devils? Jesus, teach us to heal? Jesus, teach us to preach? They asked him, “Jesus, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). I find that request astounding: Jesus, teach us to pray.
Have you ever been around other Christians perhaps at a worship or a teaching event and thought, “What do they know that I don’t?” I was twenty when I first had that thought. I was at “Urbana 90,” a missions conference for college students. Thousands of students from all over the world came together to worship and to hear what God was doing in missions throughout the world. During corporate worship, I was seated near students that did not look like me or come from my culture. They were completely lost in worship. Their hands were raised, they swayed with the music; there was glory on their faces. I had never seen or experienced worship like that. I probably shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t stop looking at them and that was the first time I ever wondered to myself, “What do they know that I don’t know?” They had such joy in worship, such passion, such life. That experience was twenty-eight years ago. As I look back on it I see and understand that these students had experienced something of Jesus that I had not yet experienced; there was something more. There is a knowing about Jesus that grows and gets bigger as we get older in him. I think that is part of the reason why Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Jesus, teach us to pray.” There was something about his prayer life that was different. There was a passion there, an authority that at that time, the disciples had not yet experienced.
We tend to think of prayer as quiet, hands folded, pious, and stoic. That is not the kind of praying posture we see in the Psalms. There is a crying out, a falling down, hands raised, dancing and weeping kind of praying (Psalm 71:1; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 149:3; Psalm 6:6). Some would call that kind of prayer raucous and raw. Yet that kind of prayer is ‘normal’ in the Psalms. What did the Psalmist know that we don’t know?
Jesus would get up very early in the morning to go away and pray. The disciples were watching him. Jesus prayed with authority and boldness. The disciples were watching. They saw the discrepancy between his prayers and their own personal prayers. It finally led them to ask the only recorded request in the Gospels for Jesus to teach them. Jesus, teach us to pray. What did he know that the disciples didn’t know? What did Jesus know about prayer that we don’t know? In response to the disciples request Jesus said, “When you pray say, our Father…” Luke 11:2ff. We call that prayer the Lord’s Prayer but he gave that prayer to his disciples, to us. When you pray say, “Our Father.” Jesus had an intimacy with God that the disciples had never seen before and it made them thirsty for more. Jesus revealed God as Father. There was a dependence upon God that the disciples had never seen before. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
I have come back to the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray and have been meditating on it and praying it every day for the last several months. As I linger and meditate on the words there are some days that I get ‘stuck’ on certain phrases. We tend to gloss over them whenever we pray it in a corporate setting but as I’ve prayed it this summer and let the words sink in, the Spirit of Jesus has been stirring my heart with each phrase. I got stuck on, “Our Father” the last several weeks and was sweetly reminded that I really know so little about what it really means that Yahweh is my heavenly Father. There is such sweetness in the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. What does Jesus know about Father that I don’t know? What levels of love, joy and intimacy are available in our prayer life that we have not yet experienced? Jesus’ prayer life was attractive to others. Is mine? What does Jesus know that I don’t know? Jesus, teach us to pray!
It is not enough to tell Christians to leave their church if they aren't being fed. Most know they aren't being fed and given their ongoing search for real food, they know it doesn't exist at any church given over to the systems of man.
Convinced of the doctrine of identificational repentance, many in the Church go round and round, getting nowhere while thinking they are engaged in spiritual warfare. While attempting to repent for the sins of others, they never consider the fact that if they must "stand in the gap" for one sin in the past, then they must stand in the gap for all of the sins committed in the world in order to get anywhere.