City of Light

As you start hanging around people who are following Jesus, you may start to hear the phrase “when Heaven invades Earth” come up a lot. This is a phrase people say to describe times when the world is coming into alignment with the teachings of Jesus, when people are living in an active relationship with the Holy Spirit, and/or when righteous acts take place because people are allowing God to take the reins. Other people would describe these actions with the term “revival.” I would say all of these things are direct effects of revival and that revival is simply the restoration of people to an intimate relationship with God, and I believe that comes as people encounter Him.
 
Over the past year, a fictional book series Red Rising by Pierce Brown, has been all the talk among a large portion of the Wesley staff. It went from a couple people mentioning it was a good book to a massive group of people sharing books, creating Red Rising themed games, designating which characters each of us resemble, and constant conversations about what will come in Pierce’s coming books. It's been so fun! One quote from the 3rd book, Morning Star, caught my attention as I was thinking about writing this post. One of the characters is talking to another and says, “You and I keep looking for light in the darkness, expecting it to appear. But it already has. We’re it, boyo, broken and cracked and stupid as we are, we’re light, and we’re spreading.”

I think that I was drawn to this quote because, personally, I feel like for so long I was just waiting to see some drastic downfall of darkness and evil in order to know revival was here. But I’m starting to realize that’s not what it’s about. Just as this character from my book explains to his friend that they, themselves, are the light, we need to understand that we too are a light to the world because we have access to the light of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, inside of us. As we connect to this truth we can start to understand that we as followers of Jesus have to stop waiting for it to drop in front of us and start using what is inside of us to spread the light and wake people up to the reality of His goodness and show them His love. Bill Johnson, head pastor of Bethel Church, often says “We owe the world an encounter with God.” I LOVE this phrase because, honestly, it is the least that we can do considering Jesus gave his life for us to be able to receive those encounters. So let's stop waiting and let’s start spreading. As we spread we can begin to  enter into the beauty of this revival and heaven on earth that people keep talking about.
 
When I dream about what this life of heaven continuously invading earth would look like, these are a few things that I imagine the global church embodying as they spread to reach those who are not currently living in relationship with Christ.

  • I envision everyone daily walking with Jesus, and that people in every city will be lit up with a hunger and desire to abide in him. I believe that people will choose to live out the spiritual disciplines as an act of love and pure desire to know and live with God, and that they would never do these things out of obligation or the need to “earn God’s affection.”
  • I envision each church and people group walking in true unity—unity where we celebrate the differences in one another and utilize everyone's strengths in order to move forward after God. We would begin ACTIVELY living out of Ephesians 4 and embracing the individual calling we have received. If we say yes and pursue where God has called us, we will all begin seeing movement because revival is a calling for the whole body to participate in their unique functions. 
  • I envision people moving forward in love and honor. Honor is what we do, it’s in our actions, it's in our mindsets.  We have to choose to honor but when we do, it takes us places, it allows us to see people, and it allows Jesus to lead in the ways He intended by using who He wants to use when and where He wants to use them.
  • I envision individuals humbly coming before God and repenting for the years and years of wrong doings and missing the mark. For the countless times we have persecuted others and fallen short. Acknowledging where we lack and laying our lives down every day to ask God for help taking the right step forward. 
  • I envision a lifetime of celebration and joy because we would know that every single day more people are encountering the living God and being saved.

I don’t see revival as a one time event. I don’t see it as a single movement. I see revival as a lifestyle where we are continuously pursuing an intimate relationship with God every single day, and in each moment picking up and inviting as many people as we possibly can to join us. Revival is hearts turning soft every day. Revival is love being poured out over nations and people groups while they open up their hearts and minds to the beauty in Jesus’ truth. Revival is here and it is spreading—it will not be stopped. We need to take action today and let our hope in Jesus keep igniting a flame in us until it burns through the globe and touches every inch of our world.

Author | Tori Kramer

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