Posts Tagged ‘great joy in that city’

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

The Alignment of Hearts

Revival Language: “And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:8)

How could anyone tell there was joy in the city of Samaria? By the sound of praise – the atmosphere was electric and people were rejoicing in their new found freedom in Christ! I believe that praise is both an evidence, as well as a motivator that something is shifting. Praise makes God feel welcome and ushers God’s Glory into our environment; but it also ushers us into His purposes. This wonderful atmosphere of Glory is His Manifest Presence among us. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3). Why? Because He has a desire to be among His people. He sees in praise an alignment of hearts. Drawing near to God, causes Him to take notice of our posture and draw near to us (Jms. 4:8).

Alignment is not just agreeing with a set of Truths… its experiencing the flow of life that those Truths promise.

Our motivation to draw near to God comes out of a desire to engage in what we believe He is doing. Jesus is still healing the sick, casting out demons, performing miracles and embracing the needs of humanity. By most any Christian’s definition, these are the works that accompany revival. I want to propose that these are the works that manifest themselves when we praise Him until He comes.

Revival is God visiting His people!

You hear lots of phrases from those who have experienced revival or studied great revivals of the past.

  • “There was an overwhelming sense of God’s Presence there.”
  • “His Presence was moving with awesome power.”
  • “God came down and filled the room with love.”
  • “The Power of God seemed to descend on the assembly.”
  • “Jesus lives in our town now, like never before!”
  • “The atmosphere was electric and marvelous.”

One common denominator in every true revival is that the atmosphere is full of praise and people become aware that they are in the Presence of God! Praise ushers in the Glory of God and sets a welcoming atmosphere for God to have His way with us. “Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” (Ps 50:23) God wants to exhibit the evidence of His salvation in an atmosphere that feels welcoming to Him. So our greatest challenge is to praise Him until He comes and begins to show us His Glory.

God inhabits the praises of His people!