Get ready for new

Pastor of New Life Church Vyacheslav GoncharenkoI continue talking about prayer and how important it is to be awake so that God can do great things through us.

Jeremiah 33:3

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ 

As a child, I used to read in my Bible this simple but very familiar promise. Probably, on our journey with Christ from time to time we all have this experience when our heart cries, “I know there is a lot more than what I have today!” I personally not only feel it in my heart but also I can hear universal calling. This is calling of the Holy Spirit for believers to get on praying and dedicate their lives to prayer.

Today the Christian world is experiencing an unprecedented prayer movement which it has never seen throughout history. Churches are being united for prayer. In times past, Christians used to gather together at conferences to hear something new and inspiring. But today believers feel a need in their hearts to come together to pray. Today all around the world churches meet together and pray 24/7, month after month. They dedicate their lives to prayer, prayer and prayer. This fact says a lot to me.

Throughout Christian history we see that from the time of Martin Luther up to our day every great move of God gives way to a period of stagnation when everything comes with hard work: it takes hard work to turn people to God, they are not open to hear the Gospel, miracles are rare and visions are not often seen. Looking through history you can notice that when God raises up a person it is not limited to only one church but causes the whole nation to revive. God’s revival creates a special atmosphere where it is easy to see God moving, to see His hand. As a result, thousands and thousands of people in different parts of the world would turn to God and get saved during revival times, amazing miracles took place. Then at some point a revival would reach it apogee and subside. And believers understand that God has completed that particular revival and He wants to show the world a new one. But before God’s people see something new God wants them to be ready so that this new wouldn’t pass them by unnoticed.

Between the revivals there is a period when nothing seems to happen. The spiritual world seems to get still and it takes hard work for something to happen. In times like this God’s voice can be clearly heard, urging His people and His church to rise up and start praying, seek God and long for Him. But I have to say, I don’t support the idea of “seeking God” because this is a done deal: God has found us and we have found Him. I prefer to use expressions like longing for God, getting near to Him, being hungry for Him, being on fire for Him, loving Him, coming back to the first love so that God would be everything to us as it was in the beginning.

When the church begins to pray and be with the Lord, it’s getting ready and a new revival comes right after it.

During this time, God wants us to get ready. For this reason, He calls us to dedicate our lives to be with Him, trust Him and stand in prayer. God has appointed a time of harvest and it’s not only for our country but for the whole world. The time when He is going to start releasing His angels all around to gather all nations from one end of the earth to another, give every person a chance to be reconciled to Him and enter His Kingdom of Heaven. Church is going to take an active part in this world harvest. You and I, we all, are going to take part in this world harvest if we prepare ourselves for a new surge of revival, getting a perspective of what God is doing all around the world.

What does God say when He would like to give us, and all the earth, something new, something great and unsearchable? He says, “Call on me and I will answer you.” More than anything He would like us to call on Him. And it’s not about begging God to give you something. God knows your every need even before you ask Him. The thing is when you start praying, something happens in your heart, in your ground which might have been dried out. Your heart becomes pure, your ground becomes watered through released springs that bless it. Something happens to your flesh as well: your pride subsides, jealousy and anger leave, bad past memories go away. This is the mighty purifying work the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of believers to get them ready so that they don’t let revival pass them.

You may ask, “Can one fail to notice a revival? When it comes, it is going to be so powerful that it can’t be unnoticed.” Yes, you can. Many people let revival pass them by.

The Gospels tell that after Jesus rose from the dead He appeared to at least 500 brothers at one time. It means they had a meeting where all the disciples saw the Lord. Jesus told them to stay together and wait for the promised Holy Spirit. But when the Holy Spirit came there were only 120 people in the room. They received the Holy Spirit. But where were the rest? They let the glory pass them by. How many people have allowed God’s revival to pass unnoticed! Only the one who keeps on praying won’t let it pass. Prayer is one of the most important Christian virtues. Only people of prayer are sensitive to what God is doing and will be taking part in His work. This is why prophetess Anna didn’t let the moment when Jesus was presented at the temple pass her by: Anna was praying. This is why Simeon didn’t let Jesus pass by: he was a man of God. Many people paid no attention when Jesus was brought into the temple. Only spiritual people who live with God, who put God on the first place, will never miss God’s movement.

We should never allow ourselves to miss the prophesies the Lord spoken about our church, about our calling. They are precious. We are like coming close to the finish line and God wants our spirits to be on fire as the Scripture says. It may happen that our spirit fades, our wells that should be like springs of living water are clogged. In January when our church had ten days of prayer the Lord clearly spoke to me, “Look, how many people are unliftable. These are not my children. They are believers but, look, how hard it is for them to do spiritual things, to serve Me. It’s hard for them to pray, to intercede. It’s hard for them to do good works, works of mercy. How deaf and blind they are.” What has happened to the people of God?!

Let’s recall the story of patriarch Isaac. He had a distinguishing feature: he dug wells. Amazing! It’s a blessing to dig wells in a desert land to have water. What good can a land produce without water? But Philistines who are an image of demons, evil spirits, Satan, followed Isaac and clogged those wells with rubbish and stones. The same may happen in our lives. But if you are a believer who has received the Holy Spirit you have a well of living water on the inside of you. Recall that joy you experienced when you came to Jesus. You would never have squeezed it out of yourself by your own efforts. Your heart was filled with such love! Springs of water flowed through it! What a strong desire you had to do good, to live a holy life, never utter a bad word! How did it happen? God’s spring of pure water filled your life. How happy you were when it flowed through your life!

You knew that the only way to keep that spring flowing was to pray and stay connected to God because prayer got your spiritual life started. How does a life of a newborn baby start? It starts with crying and breathing. As long as a baby keeps on crying and breathing it lives. The situation is parallel in the spiritual world. As long as you pray, while you show that you are a living person, you will flow with God, and He will bless you.

With the time passing by many people say, “Everything has changed. What is going on with me?” It’s just that Philistines have clogged your wells. When you are invited to pray you look at your watch because your wells have been blocked with trash. It just stinks. Please pardon me for saying this but many believers stink to high heaven. When they open their mouths, it reeks. Instead of overflowing with pure water and blessing they are giving way to cursing, anger and hatred. And you think that you are with God? You are in the wrong: you turned away from Him a long time ago. But God is aware of what He has put on the inside of you. The Lord knows what He has given you and He is zealous of it. And when He calls us to wake up we should awaken and throw away the trash from our lives. To dump the trash is your decision. Only you can make it. I can’t make this decision for you. You yourself should throw away all rubbish and get cleaned up. I have no idea what is in your life. You alone are aware of any uncleanness in your heart.

Therefore, the healthy, beautiful, pure state of a Christian is when living springs flow through him, when the rivers of the Holy Spirit flow through him, and he himself can experience this life. If rivers of life flow you will feel it. Whatever you do – your life may be full of big and small deeds, hustle and bustle – if rivers flow in your inner being and you are clean you will always have it in mind, “I can’t wait this is all over because I long to spend time with God.” You will run into your secret place to open your Bible and read and enjoy. You will run into your prayer room, prayer meeting, you will create opportunities to be with God.

My grandmother told me this, “When we first came to believe we would gather together for prayer. We had to walk 10 kilometers (more than 6 miles) to get to the place where we had a meeting. And I would never miss a prayer meeting.” Her family lived on an isolated farm. So, she was ready to cover 10 kilometers on foot through the forest and swamp to reach the place where believers came together to pray. She said, “It was late evening when I would finish all house chores and go there. I would return at night, making my way back through forest and swamp.” Grandma would bring along her daughter, my mother, who was 10 years old at that time. Do you see what it means when a person’s heart is on fire for God, when he loves Jesus?! Forest, swamp or night make no difference. No fear. You go because your heart moves you.

Nowadays Christians live in comfortable conditions: they have cars and buses, mobile phones, hot and cold running water; they have money, apartments and houses. We have become rich and comfortable insomuch that we have grown lazy. And when we hear an invitation to take part in God’s work – deeds of mercy, prayer meetings, revival – we are not willing because it costs us something. We don’t feel comfortable to give away small things, to spend little money. What does it show? Greediness. 

Revelation 3:17-18

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 

Dear brothers and sisters, revival is at the door. The Lord is at the door! He is knocking at your heart. 

Revelation 3:20

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 

God wants to have dinner with you. He would like to fellowship with you. He would like to renew you, your spiritual life. He wants to deliver you from death. But it doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside when you purify yourself and throw rubbish out of your life. The trash you have accumulated over a lifetime will block you from breaking through because it has clogged your thinking. And it doesn’t matter where you are, even attending powerful prayer meetings you will keep on thinking, “I can’t wait ‘til this is over. I can’t wait ‘til this prayer is over because I have to run and do my own business.” Where are you running? It looks like you have no time for God and you want it’s all over. What kind of relations are these? Do you really want this rubbish to stay in your life for eternity? If so it just speaks of your pathetic condition.

Your right position should be that while you’re busy, you’re thinking, “I can’t wait to finish this stuff and go to the house of God!” They said to me, “I go to God’s house,” and my heart rejoiced! They told me, “Let’s go to prayer!” And my heart said, “Yes, I want to go there!” I was told, “We’ll preach the Gospel, tell people who don’t know Jesus about salvation so they do not go to hell.” And I said, “This is for me!” I was told, “Let’s sacrifice for the mission, because the children are starving and dying. We can do something for them!” And I said, “Yes, this is for me!” They told me, “Let’s collect gifts for Christmas – let the orphans rejoice. They have neither father nor mother. Let them at least have fun on this day. We will give them a smile.” And I was the first to buy the box and fill it with presents. They told me, “Let’s show mercy,” and I want to be there. They told me, “Let’s bring clothes for the needy,” and I ransacked my wardrobe to find clothes I stopped wearing six months ago and was unlikely to put on again. I want to serve the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Jesus Christ. When they ask, “Who would like to serve?” and you are the first one to say, “I am!” You are a Christian who is alive.

But if they told you, “We are going,” but you were the first person to walk away, if they told you, “We are doing this and this,” but you thought it was too expensive for you to contribute, if they told you, “We are going there,” but you said, “No, I have been there, it’s not for me,” it’s the miserable condition of a pitiful person who reckons himself to be a believer.

Maybe you’re done with Jesus if you are fed up with everything He loves? Maybe you are about to wander away from Jesus as well?!

There are limits neither to how high you can ascend nor to how low you can descend but regardless of where you are right now God is calling you. Wake up! Arise! Start praying and dwelling in God, fall in love with your Bible again, live with God, rise up and you will see rivers of living water to fill up your life again! You will experience a life full of blessings!

When God’s blessings come, it seems He does it from without. But the truth is that it comes from within because it’s these rivers of living water, rivers of the Holy Spirit that create all the weather in our lives. They bless our land, our houses, our families. These divine rivers bring blessing to us. It seems like you ask and God does something. No, His blessing flows from within. A wise man will get his springs clean. A wise man will clear the trash and let rivers flow; he will clean up debris and bustle from his heart and his head and make a quality decision: “Lord, I would like to be on fire for You, I would like to flame for You! I don’t want to miss new things You are going to give me.”

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