Friday, May 23, 2008

Bible Tools

The cool thing about the internet is that there are so many useful and accessible tools to make the Scriptures come alive. The next time you are digging in the scriptures, either for your personal devotion or in preparation to teach others, check out these on-line resources. Bookmark them and come back to them often.

What Constitutes Change?

[Click on image to enlarge it.]

What Is Really Happening In Lakeland?

Something is going on in Lakeland, Florida. Depending on who you listen to, it is either a hoax or a mighty move of God.

A revival started in Lakeland, Florida about 50 days ago. It started with meetings with Todd Bentley on April 2 at Ignited Church pastored by Steve Strader. This is also the church where Rodney Howard Browne's ministry really took off in the United States with extended meetings back in the early 90's.

For some reason, everything that calls itself "revival" comes under severe criticism from the Church community. Makes me wonder if real revival would be recognized if it ever arrived.

Someone reported that even Charisma Magazine was skeptical of the Lakeland outpouring. However, I see on Steven Strang's Blog that he is excited to see what is happening in Lakeland.

I've never seen any "revival meeting" get so much attention so fast. A long line of respected leaders have attended the meetings to see it for themselves. Most have come away saying it's a genuine move of God.

The Pentecostal movement which started at Azusa Street has had many revivals over the years and has had an enormous impact felt around the world. Yet many Pentecostals long for the "good-old-days" of revival that they experienced when they first came to Christ or received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Many-- instead of praying for souls or even for more of God in their lives-- will pray for revival. The excitement that touches the spirit and the closeness to God that one feels in the service is something that many people long for.

Just because people are excited, don't say --as someone is quoted as saying--that it's the greatest move of God since Azusa Street. The revival may actually be short lived, or the long-term effects not so pleasant, if things begin to go awry.

What is happening in Lakeland seems to have good results at the present time. So why don't we nurture it and help it avoid pitfalls that could cause its demise?

Is the problem for the critics that something theological has been said that they disagree with? What else is new? I don't know of any movement nor any church that does not have varying theological views among it's clergy.

Steven Strang said, "I sensed nothing wrong in my spirit. I was encouraged by attending. I'm glad to see "revival" breaking out. It is wonderful to hear the testimonies of healing and even stories about people being raised from the dead. I hope the revival continues because I believe that it is a fresh move of God."

I am accustomed to the secular media finding fault with everything Christian. But, it amazes me how Christians judge one another to the point of slander.

I say, the jury is still out on this revival. Let's wait and see if it proves to be real. Keep your criticism to yourself until we see what it accomplishes. If it is a move of God, and you attempt to discredit it, you will be opposing God. If it is not of God, it will be for naught.

Let’s pray that this revival grows. Pray for the leaders who are under enormous pressure to minister seven days a week under the glare of national and international media, as well as critics — both those who want to destroy the revival as well as those who want the revival to stay on track so it can continue to grow.