· it is the work of God in which people are drawn into a spiritual awakening from dormancy or stagnation
· to be revived is to live again
· to be revived is to be rekindled
We’ve been wondering about that for some months now since:
To help answer that question we determined to do this sermon series – Days of Wind and Fire
· Part 1 - Holy Spirit
· Part 2 - Prayer
· Part 3 – Study of the first great awakening of 33 AD
o what happened when it hit and what happened thereafter? …in particular what are the evidences of revival?
Last week a Review:
· 120+ followers of Jesus were waiting and praying
· The HS fell upon them
o They received power/capacities
§ Spoke in other languages
o They received dreams and visions
So…one of the evidences … perhaps the prime evidence of a revival is what happens to ordinary folk: They are filled with extraordinary power and incredible personal visions and they then move into the world and bring change.
· the First evidence is Ordinary people are filled with extraordinary power and receive an incredible vision for their lives.
There other evidences:
· Next week – extraordinary love and community
· and today – Healing
But before we dive in…so what? Why study this? Isn’t revival an act of God – yes! But he does indeed expect us to react and respond. He rarely acts unilaterally. He depends on our participation. And what should be our part? Nurture.
· If God is doing something new…a revival…we must do our part to nurture it. And in a few minutes I’ll explain how we can nurture healing.
So…healing (Physical, emotional, relational) …it is always one of the sure signs of spiritual awakening.
Acts 3:1 _____________
Early on in the story of this revival a healing occurred that rocked everyone:
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer--at three in the afternoon.
Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:1-10
o Caused astonishment and a rush to see the guy, Peter and John
o Peter spoke to the crowd and thousands surrendered to Jesus
o Also were arrested by Temple guard along with the guy who was healed brought to Sanhedrin
o Threatened and released them
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. Acts 4:23
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Acts 4:29-31
And God answered their prayers…
The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. People brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered bringing their sick and all of them were healed. Acts 5:12ff
With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. Acts 8:7
God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. Acts 19:11-12
Healings were commonplace and incredibly powerful. And, by the way, this was just a continuation of what Jesus himself had begun 3 years prior. These are just a few from one Gospel - Matthew
…he healed every disease and sickness among the people. Matt 4:23
…he healed all the sick. Matthew 8:16
…all who touched him were healed. Matthew 14:36
Great crowds came to him…and he healed them. Matthew 15:30
Large crowds followed him, and he healed them. Matthew 19:2
You might think…well sure, but that was Jesus…but don’t miss this:
And Jesus made their mandate crystal clear:
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Matthew 10:1ff
So…beyond a shadow of a doubt…one of the evidences of a revival is healing and…if God has launched that revival we must play our part in obedience to nurture it. In particular to practice healing prayer.
· How do you nurture this evidence of revival?
§ Frequent prayer
§ Believing prayer
§ Courageous prayer
§ Authoritative prayer
· Heal the sick…not pray for the sick to be healed
What will happen if healing occurs”? What will happen if we, in nurturing obedience start to pray for it with authority?
There are two purposes for healing…
1. health. to be made well. to feel better. to enjoy life to the fullest.
a. this one is obvious and what we all desire
2. The power of God will be revealed to revealed and unleashed
Back in the first post Acts 2 healing…remember what happened?
1. A guy could walk
2. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. Acts 4:4
If this is a revival…we must pray with courage prayers of healing and wait to see what God will do!
Now…at the risk of actually having two big ideas…address the elephant in the room:
· Of course this raises a big question…what if God chooses not to heal? If that happens neither of the purposes of course are achieved. No wellbeing and no revelation of the power of God…the worst of all worlds. But…that is simply not true:
2 Corinthians 12:7 ________
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
· power = might, strength, ability, and miracle
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Acts 1:8
In revival, God reveals and unleashed his power in non-healing as well as healing!
· perfected = to reach the end goal, to be accomplished
· rest = a shelter over me – the tent over me of power
· There is power in non-healing…God can and will be glorified and people will be drawn to him if:
o You allow him to work through your brokenness
o Trust in him
o Dogged determination to live your life trusting him