page evaluates the renewal that many Christian groups are experiencing in
recent years, and offers a balanced approach to receiving it.
Today there are indeed many groups experiencing the charismatic manifestations. However, not everything that occurs at services should be embraced. As Derek Prince says "whenever there is a revival, the first one to wake up is the devil." Satan sows weeds among wheat?
In fact, all revivals now regarded as legitimate had both wheat and weeds present during them, all the way back to Pentecost. (We won't have the perfect revival until Christ returns fully at time's end.)
While I do not endorse everything in the renewal movement, I generally encourage all to experience this wonderful outpouring of God, especially since modern American Christians can be hyper-analytical or young-white-and-uptight. It's more common we error on the side of stifling the Spirit under the guise of preserving orthodoxy.
We need a fresh blast of the Holy Spirit.
Some of what people are experiencing is simply a resurgence of gifts present in the history of renewals, such as praying in tongues, prophecy, resting in the Spirit, visions, healing, "holy laughter", etc. However, lately it seems there are more occurrences of resting in the Spirit, laughter, dancing in the Spirit and others.
As with any manifestation, such as resting in the Spirit, sometimes people fake the experience either out of ignorance, or to get attention, or they to do it simply because others do. Regardless, that should not dissuade us from the legitimate gift.
A manifestation can be judged by:
A balanced community
People of Praise Interview
Derek Prince's "mixed seed, mixed harvest" evaluation.
Uproar in the Church
A thorough, sober review of the "Toronto Blessing" (6/96)
Faith & Order Committee Report to British Methodist Conference
- Its Consistency with Scripture. Though Scripture does not require that all types of miracles be listed for legitimacy. Rather, it says the whole world doesn't have room for all that Christ is doing. Jn 21:25.
- The fruit it bears (love of God and others; repentance, joy, humility, peace, unity, joy, self-control, selflessness, generosity, purity, etc.); and
- Whether it elevates your human nature (which God married himself to in Christ). For example, supernatural laughter elevates the natural gift of laughter; but barking like a dog or twitching spasmodically doesn't elevate anything naturally good in a person (and doesn't give God much glory!)
Here are two extremes to avoid:
- It's All Bad. Some are anti-supernatural to begin with, so with no experience of common gifts (e.g, tongues, visions), they have a tougher time with anything more.
- It's All Good. Others indiscriminatingly support it all and then harvest weeds with the wheat (e.g, allowing hysterical attention-grabbers.) Be aware of "anything-goes" services.
Yet, we don't want the occurences of the bad to keep us from the good wealth of God's presence.
I have a river of resources for all My people to draw from, an abundant flow of grace, so full of power, so rich and deep, a vast ocean of resources in every area for your life. Call on My love and I will send you My Son to free you, heal you, and to bring joy and peace to the darkness of the world where you live now.
Seek My healing and I can stop disease, restore limbs, bring sight to the blind, raise the dead. Seek My provision and I will bring a hundred circumstances into line in a matter of hours or minutes and take you to such abundant provision for exactly what you need, just when you need it. When you seek My knowledge and wisdom, I can use you as a vessel to speak words of truth, to devise solutions to your problems, to set the captives free.
I have the storehouse pouring out and overflowing with Heaven's resources for the world's every need. Don't ever think I Am is unable or unwilling. But you are My vessels, My avenues of this storehouse to bring Heaven alive to this earth today. How 'big' is your faith?
Come closer to Me and allow Me to work in you, for I am calling
every day to manifest My presence. Believe in the power of who I am
and humble yourself to receive and let flow all I long to pour out in you
and through you.