When GAMERS here the word REVIVAL they likely think of a downed avatar coming back to life without having to wait a for a cooldown or respawn at some distant checkpoint. However, when the Church says REVIVAL they refer to a mass spiritual awakening of people coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Some would suggest the term also includes the demonstration of signs, wonders, and miracles being seen all over by large groups of people.
REVIVAL is a buzz word these days in churches. Lots of churches and organizations are praying for revival, but few are actually seeing it. How can we see revival? Let’s take a gamer at SwordSharp.com for example.
One gamer named Winston, who happens to be on our team at SwordSharp.com, is also a street evangelist from California. Winston spent years trying to help people know Jesus but the conversations tended to be short and unfruitful. The only real in depth discussions he had seemed to turn into never ending philosophical debates with endless questions. One day Winston met a friend that was also an evangelist (and a gamer) that experienced revival in his own life. That friend shared some tips with Winston and discipled him. When Winston left on his own he used those tips and said that he was able to lead more people to Jesus Christ in one week than his entire life prior!
What are some tips we can give for YOU to see REVIVAL in your church and in your life? Let’s discuss this is gamer relevant terms:
1) YOU CAN’T BE REVIVED IF YOU AREN’T PLAYING – When you pray for revival, are you praying for others to experience it, or yourself? Faith without works is dead. If you want revival you have to break through and pray for something phenomenal. Then you have to dare to allow God to be God so it can be done.
Mark 11:22 says “…Have faith in God.” Then it follows in Mark 11:23-24 saying, “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Our internal gamer Winston told us of the first time he recalled praying an impossible prayer on his own. After getting inspired to live a revived life he went out and asked if gentlemen on the street if he had any prayer requests. The man said to Winston he had pain in his Achilles tendon with each step. Winston was hesitant to believe the man could be healed instantly, but said he felt the words nearly slip out of his mouth, “God will heal you right now.” The gentleman said, “Really?” Winston shared that in his head he thought, “Uhhhhh….” but felt like he was forced to still believe since he felt he had to at that moment for the sake of the guy. So Winston had the man step to the side and laid his hands on the back of his ankle. Then he prayed something along the lines of, “Lord, please heal this Achilles in Jesus’ Name.” (He did not remember the exact words). He said nothing happened initially. Then he decided to try one last time and pray more fervently something along the lines of, “In Jesus’ Name, Achilles be healed!” Once Winston finished praying he said he blanked his mind in an effort to keep out all doubt and attempt to have a hopeful expectation that God heard him. He asked the man to try out his Achilles and the man did a squat or two. Winston recalled hearing the man yell, “It’s gone! What did you do?! It’s gone!” All Winston could do is embrace a joyful internal feeling as a result of the realization that God just answered his impossible prayer. Winston dared to believe God and his Heavenly Father met him where he was. All it took was a leap of faith shown through actions once thought to be incapable through Winston. What great things will you do through Jesus once you get over the fear to try them?
2) PLAY WITH THE RIGHT CLASS – You can’t revive if the avatar you’re plating with doesn’t have that attribute. But you also can’t be revived unless you’re surrounded by other players who have the ability to revive.
This point is two-fold:
One, have faith in God to do the impossible through you and try not to limit yourself to acting like others surrounding you. That great teacher you respect may have a strong teaching anointing for his or her style, but your style may thrive if you do it differently. Also, you may not have the opportunity to reach millions at once, but do not let that devalue the mighty ability you have to reach one or two!
Two, it always helps to have someone around you that can develop and encourage you to be the greatest person God has called you to be. As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) Get iron friends and mentors who will help you be as sharp as you can be. If you’re friends try to convince you that the impossible is impossible then may need more faithful friends. Try to only have conversations that will encourage you to believe the words of the God Who has your back!
Winston used to have people, even other believers, tell him that God would not answer a prayer for a person to be healed. He mentioned that he did not used to know if God would ever answer a prayer to heal someone instantly. It was not until he found friends (like the other gaming evangelist mentioned above) and mentors praying these bold prayers that he began to pray them himself. Thereafter he mentioned struggling a bit to bear fruit until the situation mentioned above. Though it took some time, he eventually found his own identity in Christ which led him to live the revived life God called him to. Everyone has their own gifts and talents. Pray and ask God what yours are, then have faith that He will empower and expand them for His Kingdom!
3) REVIVAL ONLY COMES AFTER DEATH – First, a person needs to have accepted Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior to be saved from death and reconciled to God. At that point the person has his or her sins forgiven and becomes a new creation in God’s eyes, free to live a life of power and victory as they are filled with the Holy Spirit. +1 UP!
Such a person is dead to sins and can live righteously; a new child of God that now has prayer more powerful than a point-blank sword in Halo. (Not to mention they now have a halo, as in, they are Heaven-bound!) It’s this position of power that allows people to live the revived life, if they don’t doubt their own God-given power.
Some people have already been saved, having accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but they still have a problem sinning a bunch. While this can be a challenge to overcome practically, it really can be as simple as doing 1 John 1:9 (confessing your sins to the Lord) and realizing the true power you now have over sin now that you are dead to sins. Be spiritually minded, not carnally minded, and make every effort so that your environment and entertainment guide you toward your realization of holiness, not away from it. Then you will see life in your abundant life.
Death also may come in the form of the old traditions that prevent people or ministries from innovative ways to allow God to grow His Kingdom. Some of these traditions look like they are super holy-powered but they are often-times just a bunch of man-made actions made to look that way. If we let “what we’ve always done” dictate how we move forward we will be led by our dead past rather than letting the Living God lead us toward the future. We can’t allow the old, dying ways to prevent revival.
If Winston would have kept walking up to people the same way he had always done it for years he would never have seen the powerful and effective work of the Lord in His life the way he did.
What’s holding you back from a revived life? Is it not believing the Lord can do such great things through you? Maybe you haven’t seen it so you don’t know how to do it? Is it sin you have not been able to tackle for a long time? Not sure you are going to avoid Hell because of the things you’ve done in the past? Do not let these things keep you from the great and mighty plans God has for you!
If Winston’s story teaches us anything, it’s that normal people can do extraordinary things through Jesus Christ… and that includes you!
Need prayer? Want more tips on seeing revival? Have a testimony to share? Want to receive eternal life through Jesus Christ and experience God’s love? Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bless you Champions! #StaySharp