Genuine and Lasting Revival Requires These 4 Elements by PUTTY PUTMAN for Charisma News
Today’s charismatic churches seek revival fire, but are they equipped to steward it when it comes? I have found it helpful to think of cultivating Holy Spirit ministry with the analogy of building fireplaces within our local churches. It’s easy, at times, for charismatics to pray and ask for God to send more power. Often, we believe that if we just had more anointing flowing, that would take care of whatever problems we’re facing. But what I’ve found is that’s not usually the case. If we ask for the fire of God and receive it, we quickly will be faced with our need to figure out how to steward the fire in a safe way.
Fire may have the potential to be very productive, but in and of itself, it is far from safe. Under most circumstances, a fire burning in our home will result in one of two outcomes: Either the home will be damaged or the fire will be extinguished. It is only with the structure of a fireplace that the fire can be harnessed to warm the home or be used to cook food. Believe it or not, the fire of God can rip a church apart just as much as it can build it up. It’s all about building an environment that can steward and protect the fire God provides.
This subject is essentially the point of 1 Corinthians 14, wherein Paul gives a number of very direct instructions for how to build a healthy fireplace environment. For example, here is a fire without a fireplace: “Therefore if the whole church assembles in one place and all speak with tongues, and those who are unlearned or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (1 Cor. 14:23).
And here is what Paul says will happen when that fire is in a fireplace: “But if all prophesy and there comes in one who does not believe or one unlearned, he is convinced by all and judged by all. Thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. And so falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Cor. 14:24-25).