Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
I keep hearing about an imminent spiritual revival involving millions of people coming to the Lord. A preacher I was listenining to yesterday suggested the number would actually number in the billions.
There are several hypotheses afloat as to how this will happen mainly involving various individuals’ and denominations’ interpretation of prophecy. A search for “end time spiritual revival” produces numerous types and takes.
However, no matter how such a spiritual phenomenon might happen, every day of our lives each of us begins or increases a ripple of Holy Spirit influence, whether in prayer, word, or deed, at home or abroad in the world or the workplace. As Scripture notes, “some plant, others water”–and “God giveth the increase” although means and mechanisms vary.
For most of us, participation in this kind of “revival” happens quietly by way of how we lives our lives, ministering in ordinary ways through which, nevertheless, God is constantly performing His extraordinary work of salvation, healing, deliverance, direction, and guidance in the lives of those who draw nearer to Him, “us” consisting of praying mothers, protecting fathers, faithful partners, workers, interceders–along with more visible ministers such as preachers, teachers, and evangelists.
“Revival tents” resemble more often the four walls of home, cubicles at work, classrooms, prisons, and prayer closets than cathedrals and convention centers…
I suspect that most of us even have no idea of when, where, and/or how we might be an instrument of God’s influence in others’ lives that draws them closer to Him*.
Estimates of how many people one individual can influence in a lifetime (one way or another, to one degree or another) range from 10,ooo to as many as 80,000 depending on one’s work, but also the size of one’s family and friend spheres. With social media, I’d rank it closer to the latter estimate–and well beyond, in some cases.
So that’s a lot–starting with just one believer.
Then, if you want to attempt a real life math story problem, multiply the same odds by each individual represented: 10,000 times 10,000 or up to 80,000 times 80,000 and even the word “exponential” becomes trite.
In short, the size crowd you are crowd funding, as it were, with the coin of the spiritual realm, in this case that treasure called the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ, that “neither moth nor rust destroys” but that yields eternal wealth, is likely a whole lot more people than you might ever imagine.
Now that’s some spiritual revival!
And without even having to rent a tent or hire a band.
But, of course, other reasons for spiritual revival exist, such as the case where the Church has/is “going underground” due to increasing persecution around the world, because, as historically the case, where there is persecution there is also revival.
The blood of martyrs is its own force to bring people down from the fence of indecision and attract others to the strength and commitment of those who would rather die than abandon this God they speak of–and preach about and cling to–and through Whom their lives have been fundamentally transformed in a good way and for eternity.
Somehow, even in the middle of terror and tribulation what Satan intended for evil renders good and eternal results.
In short, God’s work in and through, because of–and in spite of–people, places, eras, and circumstances, is never hindered.
God is always and everywhere and through every circumstance and time period at work in multitudes because His Spirit is eternally alive, active, and “blowing withersoever it wishes” in–and regardless of–any and all kinds of “surface” revivals, restrictions–and/or resistance.
Even yesterday, today, and tomorrow–through such as you and such as me.
*Here is even a story about a neighbor of mine who, while she was simply embroidering on a “housedress” she made for herself, back in the day, actually implanted in this, then, young girl a lesson about God’s love amid the harsh doctrines of the religious milieu in which I grew up.
Image of ripples in water from Wikimedia Commons