It is unbelievable. No sooner is the pandemic fading, than churches are falling into a terrible habit: punishing those who are on fire for God and catering to the lukewarm!

As soon as someone raises their hands in worship, an usher runs over to stop them, like they’re putting out a fire.  If you get a little boisterous, you are immediately shushed, because, “People who we are trying to attract might be offended.”

If you share with others that you are hungry for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, you are suddenly marginalized and asked to worship somewhere else.

This is happening far more often than we want to admit.  It is the tragic result of church-growth seminars, where pastors were trained to eject those who want a move of God.

But a growing number of Christians feel their church is doing a lot of things that are not scriptural and that do not matter.  They believe only a move of God can save us now.

They believe we have no time to play games.  They are frustrated that churches are catering to the lukewarm members.  Most of all, they feel that they are being punished for wanting an outpouring of the Spirit of God.

I want to address those leaders who are guilty of these tactics. You have gotten things totally backwards.  Those who are hungry for a move of God are the best thing that ever happened to your church!

If you have wounded the heart of a single hungry saint—you have made a spectacular mistake.  It is the fiery believer, and not the lukewarm pew-warmer, who should be setting the tone for your church.

The mega-church growth experts call exuberant worship, preaching with unction, fiery prayer meetings, and deliberate soulwinning the “old fashioned ways.” But they are not old fashioned, they are timeless ways.  In fact, they transcend time.  They are the weapons the Holy Spirit has always chosen.

The best people in the church love 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land,” and they quote it, often.

They yearn for the miracle that will stop America’s slide toward oblivion—they wish for an act of the Holy Spirit so real and widespread that it impacts crime, injustice, addiction, and despair.

You may be punishing the very people God is stirring.  Don’t you fear God? Would you put out a flame that God lit in their heart?

I think I know the biggest reason you may be punishing people who seek revival―it is that you doubt it will happen.  You doubt it is for today.  Listen carefully to me: not only can God do it, but the fact that your people are being stirred, is a sign that God is stirring up revival fire.

Here is the verse that forever killed my doubts about revival:  Matthew 12:20, “A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench, until He sends forth justice to victory.”

Jesus is not going to put out any fire, no matter how insignificant it looks, until justice is victorious.

When anyone asks for revival from a pure heart, God says, “Yes.” And then begins the process. He takes you at your word.  

When can we know that a revival has started?  I got my answer one day at the beach when the tide was out.  White foam was gently lapping at my toes, and the still small voice of the Lord spoke to me, “No matter how small that wave is, it is an ocean wave.  It is a relative of the tsunami.”  

Yes, and a tidal wave can travel at 500 miles per hour, yet it is still nothing but an ocean wave, only larger.

The smallest flame in the smallest church will not be quenched by Jesus.  Given the proper opportunity, the Spirit of God will fan it into a raging fire of righteousness.  The gentlest wave can grow into a tidal wave when anyone simply welcomes God’s presence, obeys His step-by-step orders, and refuses to abuse what God is doing among them.

And the first time you cry out for America to be saved, God will take you at your word and start a revival fire in you. Look at past revivals: the first syllable that was spoken in prayer for revival at any gathering where Christians prayed, began the revival.  The first time a pastor told his people how much we need revival, the spark was ignited.

The job now is to cooperate with God for bigger and bigger and bigger waves.  The tide rises as the revival core pays the price of obedience.   If they keep to the intention of the revival, it will intensify.  If they refuse to operate in the flesh, refuse to rely on those teachings that seem right in the eyes of men, and reject the ways of Baal, the waves will continue to come, in faithful and ever-increasing power.

How else can I say it?  You are a revival-starter, simply by wanting more of Jesus. The first step is to stop punishing those wonderful people who are hungry for the Holy Spirit to fall on your church!