As I sat with God in my usual spot this morning, engrossed in another world, He drew my gaze to what was happening outside of my window. It was an overcast morning. Still. Like a blanket of silence had been pulled over the sky. But as I looked out, something was happening to the left, just outside of my field of view. Suddenly, thick rainclouds poured into view, scurrying low across the mountains. It seemed like an invasion of grey, driven by invisible winds that were blowing in the entirely wrong direction! Here in Trinidad & Tobago, the prevailing winds are from the Northeast. These clouds were moving in from the South… Strange.
In moments, the skies delivered its payload. The mountains that had been so clearly visible before became shadows behind white curtains. White, blinding rain. The winds picked up, jerking treetops violently, rattling doors and pelting the rain slantways off of roofs. I rushed to close my window as a gust spattered raindrops across my open journal. The scene evoked a cry of worship from my heart. What are you saying, God? Is this a picture of the shaking that is coming? What could it mean Lord?
I sat and watched and worshipped in awe and reverence as lightning flashed and thunder rolled. The rain curtains billowed, undulated and vibrated, making visible the gusts of wind moving through the valley (still in the wrong direction). David must have been in the mountains with his sheep on a day like today when the words of Psalm 29:4-8 came to him:
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
A storm is coming – a shaking – and it will not come when or how we expect it. It will come suddenly from the South.
Revival always starts with shaking or judgment in the house of God. I believe there are 6 phases of revival:
- Judgment in the house of God
- Repentance in the house of God
- Restoration in the house of God
- Judgment in society
- Conversion in society
- Reformation in society
Judgment in the house of God
The word judgment probably evokes images of the wrath of God and fire and damnation but that is not the heart of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. The heart of God is that we would repent of our self-destructive ways and turn to Him. The heart of God is to save us from paths that lead to death and put us on the path to abundant life. Judgment is a warning, “Danger ahead! Turn around now!”
God often gives a verbal warning to his people first and if we do not heed the verbal warning then he takes more drastic action to get our attention. Today, God is issuing a verbal warning. I believe there are at least 3 areas that God is putting his finger on in this country:
- Idolatry in the church. The time of God’s people running after money and luxury cars is over. The time of leaders dominating their congregation to build their empire, enrich themselves, and feel powerful is over. It is time for the Doctors, Reverends, Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, and Bishops to lose the titles and become servants and brothers and sisters. It is time to abandon the man-made antics and bring back true worship and the awesome Presence of God. The time of leaders seeking to control others is over. It is time for kings to serve and empower their people to rule as kings and queens. It is time for men to stop dominating women in the church and start unleashing powerful women leaders.
- Division in the church. The time of withholding fellowship from brothers and sisters of different denominations or ideologies is over. The time of racial division and class division in the church is over. It is time for Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and all the streams of our common faith in Jesus Christ to join together to learn from each other and serve our country together. It is time for churches in West Moorings to work together with churches in Enterprise and churchgoers in Lange Park to dine with churchgoers in Beetham. Unity in our society starts with unity in the church.
- Neglect of the poor and vulnerable by the church. The time of using tithes and offerings to enrich leaders instead of taking care of the needs of all is over. The time of churches on every corner but addiction, domestic violence, incest, abuse, and gang violence also on every corner is over. The time of staying clean and self-righteous in our churches while others go home to battle it out in the mud is over. It is time for us to bring the tangible love of Jesus out of the church walls and into the broken homes in our communities. It is time to not just talk about Christ but to walk with sinners like Christ.
Repentance in the house of God
Whether we heed these warnings or not is up to us. Repentance does not just mean that we feel convicted, or that we pray that others would change. Repentance is doing something different. We cannot afford as people of God to continue doing what we have been doing and going the way we have been going. The time for change is imminent and the need is urgent.
I will talk more about the remaining phases of revival in future posts but for now, I want to end with a call to action.
If you are interested in joining together with other like-minded believers in Trinidad & Tobago to conspire together about how we can take action (to be change agents in the 3 areas outlined above), then contact me.
Let’s start a revival in our country!
This content has been republished with permission from authenticjoy.org.