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-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --
Author: Rolland Baker <Rolland@irismin.org> http://www.irismin.org
Editors: Teresa Seputis and ELvi Glass

The Real Thing
by Rolland Baker

Lesson 3
Two Models For Revival

There are two different models for serving God and seeking revival. One model involves applying yourself and trying hard. When anybody starts talking about the problems of the world, and what it takes to make a difference or how to tackle massive numbers of people starving or dying of AIDS, this model looks for dedication and perseverance. This model sees the hours of prayer and intercession and all that it takes to get going in that direction, and to see a difference. It is a model that just absolutely makes you tired. It just exhausts you, I hear that all the time.

I hear "Rolland. I have already enough problems of my own. I have bills up to here. My family is falling apart. My teenage kids are in bad trouble. I can barely make my mortgage payment myself. I have this problem and I'm sick with this, and my car needs repair, and our church is going through this and it's going through that." And when it comes to getting more spiritual, if that means getting up at 4:00 in the morning every day. It means praying for hours and hours. It means just serving God at every possible opportunity and going down to the rescue mission and going out on the streets every night and being in church every day and witnessing all of the time to people and giving your last dollar and going out there and just trying to do everything that you just possibly can. There comes a time when a lot of people generally say, "I've tried. I've tried very hard, and it's just really hard."

And there develops an attitude that God is really difficult to find. And the problems out there are really, really great, so lot of sacrifice is needed. And if we don't find a way, somehow, to move God, to get Him to do something, pray hard enough, long enough to get something to happen, then nothing's going to happen. The thinking is that if I struggle hard enough, maybe a little bit will happen.

But people who follow this model find God as really hard to move! It's hard to get Him to raise the dead. You can hardly convince Him to do it! It's hard to get healings! We get a few here and there, but it's really hard to get Him to do it! And a few people get saved here and there, but it's really hard to get Him to do it in our own church -- never mind in all those Arab countries and Africa, and all of that. Wow! What does it take to get God to respond? "You know, I'm poor and my bills are due." You go to the bookstore and you grab every book of the shelf that you can to see how you can get God's power working for you somehow. You are just trying to make it work. You're confessing stuff and you're saying stuff and you're giving stuff and, whew! What does it take to get God to do a little something?

I'm just being honest here, because you also know what it feels like. I know! I know what it's like to flip through the television channel and hear all these incredible speakers and at the end, they're going off the air, unless you help them. And you're already broke yourself! They're all depending on you. We don't see much happen, and we hear these stories and you wonder. Am I on a different planet? Where am I? How do I even relate to these people that I hear about in Africa and other places? Wow, what does it take?

There's this idea that God is just watching you to see how tough you are. The idea is that God just wants to see what you're going to do. "What are you going to do with your life, kid? I want to see what you're made out of, what you can do for Me. "How tough are you? Are you going to wimp out? When are you going to crack? He's just testing you. And God is just watching, and you feel like you're being graded and the Christian life gets to be this huge challenge. It's like a sports challenge, like weight lifting, or training for the Olympics or something. You just think, "Man. Here's the race set before me. Here's the challenge; am I up to it? Let's not get started unless I'm really going to run this race." And once you start, the pressure's on. How well are you going to do? Are you going to make it until the end?

We have thousands of visitors in Africa now, thousands of them every year. They come with all different kinds of expectations of what revival might look like, or what they're going to do or not do when they get there. They come from every kind of background, and we also see the turnover. Those that come to Africa thinking they're just going to labor for God for years, and then six months later they're just exhausted. They've got to get home, maybe in two weeks. You look at the world today, between their environment and the war, their culture and their problems of unbelief and the problems you have in your life. Wouldn't it be nice if we found the real thing? That's an overwhelming thing.

A lot of ministers are struggling to make God look good. They're struggling to make people like God. Their message is, He's not so bad! Your Heavenly Father is not nearly as tough and mean as you thought He was. They say this because they are trying to get people to like Him. (Well, I have terrible news. Our heavenly Father is an absolute perfectionist. He couldn't handle your company for one minute without the blood of Jesus.) Anyhow, that is one view of the Christian life -- work hard to please God, try hard, do your best, put a lot of effort into it and maybe you will see some results.

That is one model for revival. Now I would like to present another model. Let me start by sharing a vision/experience that a prophet friend has, that gives a good feel for what I am talking about. My friend is an extremely gifted prophet, and he seems to live regularly in the super- natural. And once I got to know him, I never had to talk. I used to spend hours with him, and I never had to talk because he always knew what I was thinking. I just learned to sit and shut up and listen. I didn't have to come in for counseling, I didn't have to ask him questions, I just had to listen.

One day he told me, "Rolland. The other night, something happened at my house." He had a two-story house in El Toro, California. He said, "I woke up in the night with my wife, and I heard this tremendous waterfall. I didn't know what was going on; I ran out of my bedroom." He has this stairway down to the living room from his bedroom upstairs. There's a waterfall pouring down the steps of his house! He thought he was in a vision. It's a cataract! It's rapids! It's washing down into his living room, washing down the chairs and sofas and stuff, all over the place. It washed out the door, into the yard, into the swimming pool. It washed all the leaves and everything, just wrecking his house. There was nothing he could do about it. It was just like a mountain stream, but wider than that, pouring down. All he could do was watch. He couldn't stop it, he couldn't change it, he couldn't do anything about it. He just watched for 30 minutes or so. He knew it was God, but he had no idea what was going on. God wasn't talking. He eventually went back to bed, thinking there was nothing he could do.

Most of us would be freaked out all night, but he's used to a lot of visions. So he went back to bed and thought it's a vision. He woke up in the morning and discovered that it was not a vision! The carpet is wrecked. The furniture is all over the place. The pool is overflowing. The house is trashed! What was that? One day went by, two days went by, three days went by. God was not talking.

Finally, God talked. God said, "That is how I am pouring out My spirit in the last days, and I don't need any help from you." Showed him a lot of other things about the end days. But the point is, He doesn't need us to struggle hard to make Him look good. He doesn't need us to struggle hard to get people to like Him. He doesn't need us to struggle hard to figure out how to get missions working or how to get churches to grow. He doesn't need help to know how to communicate to you and to conquer your heart and win you and capture you. He doesn't, He's the master lover.

-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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