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In Search of Revival?

The Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland is renowned in evangelical circles as a place of historic revival. Is it therefore valid for Christians to visit there in search of past glory? Or can such pilgrimages in fact hinder what God is seeking to move His church into in this generation?

1 Samuel 15: 23 “Stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry”

Those who come to the Isle of Lewis looking for “revival” actually feed the spirit of idolatry that exists behind the whole “revival” façade!

1 Corinthians 10: 20 “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles (those who have no personal revelation of the covenant that they have with Almighty God as their heavenly Father, and all that includes) sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that you have fellowship with devils”

Those who visit buildings asssociated with “revival” – buildings which have become religious shrines or relics – in search of “revival” are like the wise men from the East who went to Herod’s palace looking for Jesus! These men were in danger of missing out on God’s “new thing” which was actually being birthed in a stable in Bethlehem!

1 Corinthians 1: 26 – 29 “For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised God has chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence”

If these wise men had not been open to the supernatural leading of the Holy Spirit in following the star, and later in obeying His direction in a dream they would have completely missed out on the purpose of their journey, and could have jeopardised God’s plans.

The spirit of Herod (that stubbornly holds on to carnal power, authority, and prestige) will never point you towards or help you to locate God’s new thing. In fact, when Herod gets wind of anything that is a perceived threat, then the murderous spirit of Cain joins with it to seek to annihilate that which is born of faith and obedience rather than religious sacrifice!

And so, many of those who come to Lewis miss what God is doing in their generation because they are not open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as He would lead them to the lowly stable, where there are no revival historians or gurus – just people who are willing to become of no reputation and be available to God in whatever He asks of them!

As a result of this lack of sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, the idol of stubborn refusal to abandon the old, faulty, and insufficient is fed and strengthened and the “new thing” that God has birthed is deprived of the gifts, blessing, and encouragement that God desires to channel through those who initially set out on a genuine Holy Spirit – inspired pilgrimage to Lewis.

The truth is that they would be better that they stayed at home, than that they come and miss what God is doing!

The reason for this apparent inability to properly hear from God and accurately follow His leading and direction tends to be a faulty understanding of the true nature of revival and a lack of proper foundations in certain areas of truth.

One of the saddest things is when “Spirit-filled, full gospel” people make a pilgrimage to a shrine to an event where the majority of the people affected didn’t even get to experience what they (the pilgrims) are (or at least should be) enjoying every day!

Thankfully, some (a few) of the pilgrims are sensitive enough to “tune in” and obediently and faithfully seek out the stable.

It is exciting also to know that some of those from Herod’s household make it into the place of being channels of blessing and provision in God’s new thing.

Luke 8: 3 “And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance.”

Lewis does not need another “revival” – it merely needs believers to abandon the idols of religious tradition (including the faulty theology of ‘come and go’ revival) that have limited God and held people captive and hindered them from being all that they already are in Christ Jesus!

2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

Ephesians 4: 20 – 24 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.

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