In an article from “Spirit of Revival” magazine, from years ago, the author Del Fehsenfeld, Jr. stated four reasons why we don’t have a divine fire burning in our lives and churches today:
Reason 1: Because we don’t think we need it. According to the author, we are content to live without it. We have lost sight of the fact that our greatest need is for God Himself. The author wrote, “We have sinned against God and He has withdrawn His manifest presence from us. But our eyes have grown accustomed to the darkness. We have gotten used to functioning in our own efforts… We have become blinded to our true spiritual condition and need. Like the Laodicean church, we think we are “rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”
“As long as we think we are doing alright,” he continues, “we will never be motivated to cry out to God to send fire from heaven.” What fools we are to think that we can “do” church without the power of God, while we’re just busying ourselves playing church games.
Reason 2: We really don’t want it. We only want the kind of fire “that will draw attention to our church, increase our offerings, and solve all our problems.” He adds, “We don’t want the fire that will consume, destroy, expose, root up, burn, and hurt. We’re afraid of what might happen if God appeared on the scene. We want a tidy religious experience that we can control.” He continues, “We don’t want the kind of preaching that precedes revival. I have found that many people want nothing but encouragement and love from the pulpit… Preaching on sin, repentance, holiness, brokenness, or confession is considered too negative. ‘You’re putting people on a guilt trip. You’ll damage their self-esteem.’ I wish we were half as concerned about a proper view of God as we are about people have a proper view of themselves!”
Reason 3: We don’t believe it can happen today. We read of powerful things happening in scripture, but we think, “Ah, that’s not for today.” But, the author writes, “when you study the revivals throughout church history we see that, in a certain sense, a repetition of what took place on Pentecost. The Spirit is poured out upon God’s people in an extraordinary way, and the manifest presence and power of God are released.”
In our concern to avoid the excesses of the charismatic movement, we have denied totally the possibility of a supernatural visitation of the Holy Spirit. We don’t pray for miracles, we don’t pray for divine fire from heaven because we are convinced that God doesn’t work that way anymore.
Reason 4: We aren’t willing to pay the price to get it. We aren’t willing to make the sacrifice. “We want an instantaneous, costless, painless revival. We want all the positive results and benefits of revival at little or no cost.
“We want gain without pain… We want to enter into the power of the resurrection, without first suffering the agony of the cross… We want our schedules and programs…with a minimum of disruption or interference with our plans and traditions.”
If we are going to be difference makers, if we are going to know the power of God in our lives we must be willing to make the necessary sacrifices. “We’ve got to be willing to discard our man-made traditions, methods, structures, and programs, to make room for Him.” Not that those things are wrong, but frequently we rely more on them than we do on God.
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Used , in part, with permission from “Spirit of Revival” (today it goes be the name, “Revive” magazine) published by Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Michigan. These four points are from an article by Del Fehsenfeld, Jr., titled, Fire From Heaven, vol. 18, Number 1, pp. 4-7.