The Fruit of Revival
By Chad Taylor
Last year we reported that revival had begun to take place on the streets of Boise Idaho amongst the youth. In a 72 hour period we were witnessing nearly a hundred hard core street kids coming under the influence of the Holy Spirit. In 13 years of street ministry from Seattle to Washington D.C. I had never experienced such an intense move of God amongst a people group of any age. A close friend of mine, Jim Miller and I walked downtown on Thursday evening. By Saturday afternoon, 60 of the kids were in the back yard of Youth Pastors Dan and Shannon Fontenot's home eating pizza and swimming in their pool! One young man got baptized by Pastor Harold Hopper. In 72 hours we were eye- witnesses to a revival.
In any move of God the level of impact is generally measured by the fruit that remains after the initial experience. Jesus made it clear that the consummation of His ministry was that He had not lost even one that was entrusted to Him. (Jn. 17:12). The measure of His ministry was the fruit that remained. Jesus taught, "I have appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain..." (Jn.15:16). Revival is something that so powerfully impacts a city, a street, a home, a nation, or a person, that it is forever changed under that weight of that glory revealed.
Revival is not a three day event that we advertise as "Revival." It is not a state of mind but a state of perpetual impact that drastically changes the moral climate of an area. The way people think in that region changes. The way people treat one another changes. The fog of deception begins to lift and the "eyes of their understanding are enlightened." Revival is an experience not a definition. It cannot be germinated in a test tube of theology, it can only be demonstrated by radical obedience of those that pursue it. It deals with people not statistics.
One year later in Boise Idaho the state of that perpetual motion still exists. The youth pastors have now purchased a 7,000 square foot building dubbed "The Flame." Wednesday through Saturday The Flame opens its doors to the gothic, the stoner, and the satanist. Normal to abnormal, runaway to discontent, they come. Christian bands play hard music to reach the crowd of estranged hearts. Dozens of children are reported saved every week. One year after the encounter with God on the streets of Boise, the fruit still remains. Now the challenge is to recruit laborers to work the late hours and spend quality time with the ones wandering in from the streets. Revival forces the issue of commitment. It addresses the heart of the church and measures the level of compassion.
Revival does not look like we expect it to look. Revival is shocking. It never dresses the same, never smells the same, it is unorthodox. It is unreligious. It surprises, it is hardly ever invited or expected. It comes on its own terms and it its own way. Suddenly. And it does not always wear the face that we expect. It can be painted black or white, it may have piercings and tattoos. It may smell like urine or fancy cologne. Revival never comes like we expect. It shows up on Sunday morning in the middle of a well thought out sermon. It comes and sits at our feet and begs for a piece of bread. It comes to us while we are at our best in its worst. It demands more than we have to give. It demands God.
Revival is waiting for us on the streets. It is hiding from us in nursing homes and prisons. It is calling to us from foreign fields and obscure places. Crying, yearning for even one person that will rise from the confines of normality and pursue it. One person that will approach the throne of grace with boldness and expect a miracle. That will stand on a street corner and wait for its shadow to pass by. Knowing that at any minute the wind that blows where it listeth may touch down in that very spot. Exploding, expanding everything that it touches. Revival is a fire. And souls are its kindling.
Boise Idaho was only a precedent to what we are about to experience. A forerunner to the greater works. A first fruits of a chosen generation. A peculiar people. All over the land we are about to see these fires burning. Average people without fame or notoriety doing exploits. Bars will become revival centers. Barns will become training centers. Brothels and barrios will be flaming agents of His grace. Insane asylums and mental wards will be the instruments of power and glory. The world is about to be changed as we know it. Revival is about to visit the land.
We are the catalysts of this fire. We are the river beds that this torrent comes. We are the gatekeepers that must cry out, "Here am I send me!" Revival is not an arm of a clock waiting for the alarm to sound. It is the ever beating heart of every human that contains the treasure of eternal life. That hope of glory, Christ in us. Once we begin to step from the porches of tradition into the ghetto of the impossible, will we begin to see His power unprecedented. It is through our hands He desires to demonstrate His glory. It is through our lips He longs to express His personality. We are revival.
Boise is only the seed of a great harvest about to spring up. It is only a landmark compelling us 'toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.' We must at all cost, 'forget the things which are behind us, and reach forward to those things which lie ahead.' It is only there that we will experience His glory. It is only there that we will see the impossible become tangible. The unreal a reality. The uncomely become royalty. God is calling to an army of revivalists that will step out into their cities and begin to believe. Believe that 'He is able to do above and beyond what we can think or ask.' Ones that believe for the unbelievable and in return receive 'treasures out of darkness' reserved for such a time as this. This is the fruit of revival. He is the vine and we are the branches...
(Pictures of the youth from the streets of Boise, ID. http://www.triumphantkids.org/tko/revival.html )
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