Donnie and Catriona Stewart are the founding pastors of New Wine Church. Donnie and Catriona have four adult children and two grandchildren of whom they are immensely proud.
Donnie and Catriona share a passionate desire to see people experience the fullness of their heavenly Father’s provision for their lives – to see them walking in the revelation of the Father’s love for them that releases their potential to be who they really are, enables them to do all that they are capable of doing, and empowers them to access all that they can have in, through, and by Christ Jesus – and to see them walking and ministering in the power and authority that is available through Christ in them.
And so He can. But God in His sovereignty has sovereignly decided that in His dealings with man He is going to give man personal responsibility.And so God has limited Himself in His dealings with man – He doesn’t do anything until man does something first! He does say something – but He doesn’t do anything. God has given man FAITH (Romans 12: 3) – faith which is activated through hearing and applying what God says. When man begins to apply what God has said, then God acts.Here in 2 Chronicles 7: 14 God uses this word “if”, and He says “IF My people who are called by My name” – He’s talking about His people – “IF My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” When? THEN! As soon as His people respond to His Word!He goes on in verses 15 and 16, and He says “NOW” – “NOW My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For NOW I have chosen and sanctified (set apart) this house, that My name may be there FOREVER; and My eyes (My attention) and My heart (My concern) will be there PERPETUALLY.”When something is perpetual it is there eternally; it lasts forever; it is CONTINUAL and UNINTERRUPTED!
Jesus said, “I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13: 5) – He was saying, “I will be with you perpetually!”So if there is a problem with “revival” right now, the problem is not with God. God has not sovereignly decided to turn off the tap – to turn the flow on and off when He sovereignly feels like it! But He has left the ball very firmly in our court, and He has said, “IF My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray…”So what has that produced? We have a lot of people chewing carpets – we have a lot of people slinging snot around – trying to “humble” themselves and get into a place where they can be worthy to receive the blessings of God.But God said something else. He said, “You’ve got to turn from your wicked ways.” Repentance is a “turning” – it is a 180-degree turnaround. Repentance is about walking away from death and walking into life; it is about walking out of darkness and walking into light; it is about walking out from under the power and dominion of satan and walking into the kingdom of God; it is about walking out of sickness and walking into health; it is about walking out of bondage and oppression and walking into deliverance and freedom; it is about walking out of anxiety and walking into peace; it is about walking out of poverty and walking into prosperity; it is about walking out of fear and torment and walking into faith that works through love; it is about walking out of religious formality and walking into revival! When God says, “If My people will turn”, that is what He is talking about!Romans 2: 4 says, “The goodness of God leads us to repentance.” The revelation of His goodness causes us to turn – to abandon the death and the darkness and to pursue His goodness!The problem is that people are focusing on their “badness” rather than on God’s “goodness”, and so you have Christians who are paralysed, and who believe that God is withholding something from them, when what they really need to believe is that God is longing to pour everything out on them – all they need to do is believe and receive!
And so when people stop their unbelieving thoughts and their “evil thinking” – their bad thoughts about the Lord – and instead begin to believe in the goodness of God and in the fullness of His provision, THEN we are really going to see something happen! Because God says, “Revival NOW!” He doesn’t say, “Revival in five years”, He doesn’t say, “Revival in ten years”, He doesn’t say, “Revival in forty years” – He says, “Revival NOW!” As soon as His people BELIEVE in His GOODNESS they walk into REVIVAL! And as long as they continue to believe in His goodness they continue to walk in revival! Perpetual revival!
“NOW”, He says, “My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.” What has happened? What has changed? The prayers have changed!
Let’s look at John 10: 10 – 11. The first part of verse 10 reveals the devil’s mission statement – he comes solely to steal, to kill, and to destroy. However, in the second part of verse 10we have Jesus’ mission statement – He has come so that we may have life and have it more abundantly – a super-abundance, an excess, an overflow, a surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, more than sufficient LIFE! A never ending, continual, perpetual overflow of LIFE! In verse 11 Jesus goes on to say, “I AM the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” That is how we can have life. Jesus gave His life so that we could share in HIS LIFE! The life that we now enjoy is not the natural life that we had before we were born again – we now have a supernatural life, resurrection life. We died with Christ and have been raised again with Him to walk in newness of life – resurrection life! Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2: 20Our new life is not inferior to our past life – it is superior!
2 Chronicles 7: 15 says, “NOW My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”God said this at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. But now, we no longer have to wait until we go to worship God in a temple building. According to 1 Corinthians 3: 9, 16 – 17 and 6: 19 – 20, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and so NOW God says, “My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” – Matthew 21: 22.He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” – Luke 11: 9 – 10.He said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name I will do it” – John 14: 13 – 14.
He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you…ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” – John 16: 23 – 24.
The Holy Spirit has opened up a cry on the inside of us – “Abba, Father!” How can we say that we don’t have Revival NOW? Only through unbelief! To “revive” means to “bring back to consciousness, or life, or strength” – how can we say that we need this when it has already been done!
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” – Ephesians 2: 1, 4 – 6. How much more do we want? So much talk and energy that is expended in “praying for revival” is just a distraction – all we need to do is walk in who we already are! To pray for “revival” is a denial of what God has ALREADY done in Christ! “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” – Ephesians 2: 10. The works are already prepared – all we have to do is walk in them! These signs shall follow those who BELIEVE , those who GO into the world to preach the gospel – “They will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” – Mark 16: 17 – 18. And the Lord works with them, confirming the word through the accompanying signs! Now that is REVIVAL! And it’s for NOW!God says, “In this temple” – that’s you and me as we go about our daily lives, amongst our family and community, and in the workplace – God says, “My ears will be attentive to prayer made in this place.” If we will pray the prayer of faith – “God, Your Word says this – I believe Your Word is Your will – let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”
And God will reply, “Yes! All of My promises are in Christ yes, and in Him amen – and you are in Christ, so yes – and amen, let it be done according to My Word!”
Too often prayers have been hindered because we prayed wrong! We prayed, “IF it be your will…” – but God says, “Have you not read, have you not heard what My will is? My Word is My will – you can pray My Word!”
Some people don’t live by faith – they live by “if- faith”. God’s Word is settled – He has categorically stated, “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips” – Psalm 89: 34.
Jesus said, “ Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that proceeds from the mouth of God” – Matthew 4: 4.
We have to learn that our life comes from hearing and applying the Word of God. The word rhema is used here in contrast to logos. Logos is the message; rhema is the communication of the message. Logos is the Bible in its entirety; rhema is a verse from the Bible. A good example of the distinction between logos and rhema is found in Ephesians 6: 17 – “Take…the sword of the Spirit which is the word (rhema) of God.” Here the reference is not to the Scripture as a whole, but to a particular portion which the believer wields as a sword in his time of need. We need to hear what God is saying to us in any given situation and act on it.
Then, and only then will we walk in revival NOW, and we will walk in it perpetually. Otherwise, we will be like a dog chasing his tail, or like Israel in the wilderness – wandering aimlessly for forty years, every so often passing the entrance to the Promised Land, but failing to enter in. God says, “If My people…will turn…THEN…”
When is THEN?
How long will NOW last?
Be blessed as you walk in Revival NOW!