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Revival in Our Generation

agricultureIn my last post I talked about repentance as the first step toward revival. It doesn’t matter whether you want a personal breakthrough, or are looking for the church to awaken. That’s where it starts.

So many people talk about revival. I’ve heard a lot of prophecies saying that a new move of God is on the way. Right now, many seem to just be in a waiting mode.

Is that how it works? God says that revival is coming and then we just sit back and wait for it? I don’t believe that this is what the Bible teaches.

Israel learned it the hard way. The prophet Jeremiah gives us the principle.

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
Jeremiah 18:7-10

The problem is that people don’t understand the role of prophecy. Usually it’s dependent upon the hearers.

Please don’t get me wrong. The prophecy of Scripture is totally independent of anything we do. Jesus Christ is going to return to establish His kingdom regardless of what the world does. That’s not the issue here.

I’m talking about a prophecy that deals with a certain time and place; that affects us. These are the ones that need to be listened to carefully. They will only be fulfilled if we do our part.

For instance, a prophecy may come forth that God wants to send a move of His Spirit to a region. That’s great, but it doesn’t end there. God’s people now need to do what it takes to usher in that move.

As in all areas, God is a gentleman. He tells us His plans for our good. But if we don’t want them and refuse His Word, then it will never come to pass.

I believe the Word that I’ve heard though many individuals. God is sending a new awakening to the USA. But I can’t let it stop there.

There’s something I need to do to prepare. We need to be prepared as individuals and as the church. The first step involves prayer and seeking God by the Holy Spirit. It’s not enough to sit back and “trust God to do the work.”

We need to be involved in the process.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

This is the verse that keeps coming to us again and again. It’s time we heed the voice of the Spirit; and move our nation in the direction of a great awakening.

Question: What can you do to prepare for a move of God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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Revival – Getting There

SpeedRevival. Some Christians are praying for it. Many are hoping for it. But do we really understand what it will take to bring it about?

Throughout this blog I’ve shared what I believe the next great awakening of the church will look like. It will be about God’s people listening for, hearing and obeying God’s voice. Unfortunately, the “how” and the “when” are a mystery.

Getting from here to there is what the church should be majoring on right now.

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
Psalms 127:1

As an engineering student, I had to take a lot of math courses. I learned very quickly from Geometry, that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Well, that may work on paper, but in life it’s never that easy.

What’s the quickest way to get from Boston to New York? That all depends. Are you driving a car or flying in a plane? There are highways, rivers, cities, and other obstacles to think about.

In driving, the shortest route is not always the quickest. It’s the just like our spiritual walk. The difference is that only God sees the whole map. We have to trust Him to set the route for us.

In looking at the verse above, we don’t always think like that. Many times God gives us the blueprint, and we rush off and try to build the house without Him.

When God gave Moses the plans for the tabernacle in the wilderness, He didn’t stop there. The Lord told Moses who would do the work, where to get the supplies, how to move it, and how to use it.

Faith is all about letting God have His total way in our lives. In Hebrews, chapter 11, the Faith Chapter, it says this about Abraham leaving his home at God’s request.

For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:10

When we look to the Lord for our future, He doesn’t only want to be involved in the planning. What He wants to do in our life is too big for us to accomplish. God wants to be in on the building of it as well.

So, in talking about revival, it’s great to know where He wants us to get to. But it won’t come to pass without God’s working and power in our lives. That’s why we need to spend the time necessary to seek Him.

Spending time in the Holy Spirit doesn’t just reveal God’s plan to us. It opens the door for God to do a supernatural work in us and through us. That’s what a spiritual awakening is all about.

Question: How much time do you spend listening in God’s presence?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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A Call to the Mighty

ClockAs I read the life of King David, I see a lot of parallels with our present generation. In waiting for God to fulfill His promise to make him king, it seemed like everything was going against him. But it was at this time in David’s life that God started to bring people to his aid.

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
1 Samuel 22:1-2

This is one of the lowest points in David’s life. God had called to be king in place of Saul. He had accomplished victories over giants and armies.

Yet, at this time he was being pursued by King Saul – hunted like animal. His calling was to restore Israel to greatness, yet he was alone and outcast.

Many in Israel had no clue about the issues that were occurring throughout their nation. It was almost like the church in USA right now. We are badly in need of an awakening.

So David decided to go to a place called Adullam. It was a cave in the side of a cliff, surrounded by wilderness. It was near a cool, clear spring so there was plenty of water. It had a system of caverns that could hold 1000 men comfortably. Eventually 400 to 600 would come and join with David here.

In the same way, it’s time for God’s people to rally together. So many believers are “serving God” yet going nowhere. Where do we start?

Maybe where God starts. In David’s life it was his father’s household, his immediate family. That’s us – the church.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Galatians 6:10

The work God wants accomplished in our generation starts with us. God is calling the church family together.

But it also says his brothers. The Hebrew word used is relatives in the most general term. There are many people who are a part of the body of Christ who have distanced themselves from their churches. It has been for various reasons. It might have been the results of hurts, laziness, disappointment, offence, or any number of issues.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:17

The word judgment is simply the word decision. It’s time for decisions to begin here, among God’s people. We want the world to decide for Christ. How about if we decide first. It’s time to give up the excuses.

I’ve been in church for my whole life. My deepest hurts have come from church people. Even as a pastor I’ve endured hurts, betrayals, and other problems. Yet on the lowest day of my life, I would choose God’s people over the world.

I want to take a few posts to show how David’s mighty men came together. God brought people to David to bring about His plan for Israel.

In the same way God is calling His people to do a great work in our generation. But it won’t be accomplished by big names or televangelists. It will be normal, everyday people who have heard and obeyed the call of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Question: What is your place in the Body of Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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Do We Really Want a Revival?

WaveYou may think that’s a strange question. Of course we want a revival. We pray for revival. We sing about revival. We see the need all around us.

Even though all that is true, it still doesn’t mean that we want a move of God. Why would I make a statement like that? It all comes down to history.

I love history – especially church history. I enjoy reading about the lives of godly men and women who have done exploits for Christ. I encourages me to learn about the past revivals and awakenings that have swept not only our land, but others around the world.

It gives me hope for the future and presses me forward in my calling to prepare us for that next wave. But there is a problem I see looming on the horizon. It’s something that the church is going to need to wrestle with before very long.

It might even be the greatest hindrance to us entering the next move on God’s agenda. It’s something that’s unique to our generation of believers.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:23-25

This passage clearly references the last days when it talks about us seeing the Day approaching. There are some clear commands for us to observe as God’s people.

First, we must hold to our hope in Christ without swerving to the right or the left. We can’t be distracted by what’s going on in the world.

Next, we need to be involved in each other’s lives. Spurring is not comfortable, either for the giver or the receiver. We’d much rather live our lives with any thought to the needs or struggles of those around us.

But it’s the third statement that concerns me the most. The writer is talking to a people in the habit of missing church meetings. I don’t believe he was only talking about Sundays, but all through the week.

What concerns me is this; because he references the last days, he makes it sound like it will become harder and harder to meet together near the end. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now.

God’s people have learned from the world to fill up their schedules with so many good things. I fear that many are going to miss out on the best thing that God has planned for us.

From a look at history, it’s obvious that revival isn’t convenient. You can’t add it to your schedule in the free hour you have next Thursday at 4:00.

Revival is a move of God that goes on every day for weeks, months, or even years at a time. Do we really want that? Are we really willing to rearrange our lives to accommodate God’s will?

A bigger question I have is this. Is God waiting for us to simplify our lives in preparation for a move of God? Is He waiting on us to open up our schedules to more fellowship, prayer, and worship activities?

Pray for revival. Pray for a change in the hearts of believers.

Question: How much time do you have in your schedule for a revival?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Revival, The Church

 

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America, Terrorists, and the Lord

FlagcrossThe past week has been very challenging to us as a community and a nation.  I live and minister in Watertown, Massachusetts.  It’s a tiny area where not much seems to happen – until now.

I have a friend who was at the Boston Marathon.  Upon looking at the pictures they took, they saw the terrorists standing right next to them in the crowd.

My daughter works in the Watertown Mall.  She arrived at 10 pm for an overnight inventory shift.  At 2 am they were informed by FBI agents that the store (and the town) was in lockdown – no one in or out.

I have a member of our church who lived in the area of town where she witnessed explosions and gunfire that evening.  She spent the rest of the night comforting her children and grandchildren as she saw Swat Teams sweeping her neighborhood.

What’s happening in our nation?  Where are the days when this only happened in other parts of the world and we only watched the events on TV?

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.
Psalms 33:12

I believe that the protections we enjoyed in the past were due to the heritage of faith laid down by our godly forefathers.  That was then, this is now.  We have become a nation where any public reference to Jesus Christ is considered an abuse against society.

We have effectively told God that we don’t want Him interfering in our schools, courts, or politics.  Then, in times of crisis, we ask where He went to.  We have become so enamored by our own prowess that we think we have the answer to all our problems.

I do not believe this is the judgment of God on America.  He is a God of grace.  Instead, the Lord is respecting our wishes for Him to keep His hands out of our business.

No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
Psalms 33:16-17

America needs a change of heart and not a change of politics.  We desperately hunger for revival.  God’s people must awaken from slumber and turn the tide upon their knees.  That is where true restoration will come from.

I believe that the recent events will be a part of the call to us.  The pressure is on.  Are we willing to pray the price required to save our nation?  It is time for us to rise to our feet and be true men and women of God.

Question: How have these events affected your faith?  How will you respond?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Revival

 

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