I was wandering through the snow near a river. I would see signs that deer or other animals had been along side the river. Sometimes it was but an occasional print or other sign of wild life. Other times there were be the signs of lots of activity. But as I continued along the river, I never saw any animals. And interestingly enough where there were signs of large gatherings, I still saw nothing nor did I see the indicators of the animals leaving together. (I don’t remember seeing anything other than the place where the gathering had been.)
Sometimes I saw tracks or fur, occasionally blood. Other times I saw the yellows stains of urination or the excrement that had melted through the snows.
While I wandered, just enjoying the time, a man was right ahead of me. He was dressed in camouflage and the only weapon he carried was a large knife that hung off his belt. I wandered up to him and began to speak to him. As we walked he had lots of insight about the animals but he progressed no further in seeing any than I did.
At one point where there had been a gathering of animals, he pointed to a yellow place in the snow and began to talk to me about the animal that had urinated there. I listened and then I laughed. He spun around and asked me what I was laughing at. I explained that as he spoke I was reminded of of “writing our names” as children and that part of the reason I used my middle name Lee, was it took less time than my friends or brothers to write my name. He was not happy with me. He began to give me the reasons for names and such.
We continued on and we finally came to a wide expanse in the river. I saw a large rock and walked on the water to get to it. I stood on that rock and I saw three turtles swimming to me. The first actual life I encountered. The man yelled at me from the shore about the animals as they swam by. Something about not touching them.
I awoke from that dream. No revelation. I pondered and fell asleep. When I awoke it was clear the Lord was speaking to me about revival. I got a little excited and decided “get up. Before you wake your wife!” (I tell you-getting your revelation and information while you are sleeping. That is heavenly!)
As I began to think about it I felt like I uncovered a thing or two. And I want to be clear, it is not my desire to stir up discord over what revival is or isn’t. Many years ago, I gathered with a handful pastors and each week things were progressing. But at some point the topic turned to revival and honestly it got ugly. Another friend and I sat to the side as these two men hammered at one another. They never saw each other again. Sad. To break over the topic that all desire. Not just sad, but stupid. The reason? One said he “had revival” and the other was contending for revival. Who was right? In my mind, both were.
In my dream the river represented the presence of God and it was clear that animals had visited and had “partied” up but I asked myself where were the results.
I have been a student of revival. I have read about the great and the perhaps not so great outpourings of God. I have studied histories and personalities and His word. I am convinced of many things when it comes to revival. So, it was with great interest I contemplated this dream.
There was no life, no gathering, no end results from the gatherings in the dream. There was plenty of signs of life lived. Indicators of life but no life itself.
When I encountered the man it was clear, his seriousness about the river, his study of wildlife and wilderness. But even his knowledge could not uncover life. Just the evidence of life lived. As I gave contemplation to his dress and the knife, I thought about all the meetings I had been to where “serious” revivalists had appeared with dress and garb indicative of their “understanding” of revival and God. But all that could not manufacture life. Many times the revival was the sovereignty of God coming to establish His Love and His presence. No one could truly point to a man or a woman and say that is why. And the knife? I think it was symbolic of more Old Testament thinking and the application of the law to lives.
Finally I had to go to the river to find life. “Unclean” life by the law’s standards but in fact still life. Easy, slow moving life. As I walked on the waters I thought “how great is our God”. The man could not, did not follow me. He was caught up in the place of watching and not participating. Too much a student in his case and not enough of a “son”. I am certain at one point he truly understood, but whether he was talked out of it, burned out of it or had been hurt, he was hard. Ornery even. He was more angry I was reaching out for turtles and totally missing the fact I had just WALKED ON WATER!
The life of God produces peace, empowers love and enjoys.
That argument between two friends I mentioned. They both were good men, but too harsh in their lives, their churches and even their families. They both could cry but rarely did they laugh. (Me? I am a person of laughter.)
I believe in personal revival and I believe in the revival of the corporate. The gathering of God and ALL his people. There will be the signs of toil and the signs of work. But, there will be the absolute picture of life as well. Not just any life, but the abundant life. I hold on to the thinking of a marvelous move of God. The outpouring of His goodness. Healing, health, wholeness. Touching everything everywhere. Overturning cities, changing regions.
Many, many year ago, I made a sign for our church gathering. “That Church”. I told them I had given contemplation to officially changing the name to “That Church!”. I said if we were going to be called it, lets just give it to them. They could make fun of their practices, but how many times in the “dead of night” had we seen salvations, miracles and healings? Even when the police showed at 1:30 to ask me if I was okay. I simply responded with “praying for my community”. “Okay, I will call your landlord and let here know it is okay. Could you say a prayer for me and my family”. He was born again that night. I envisioned a house touched as the house of Cornelius was. (We never changed it because we were the church and not the building.)
We can be revival and we can have revival! Let it come to our homes, our families, our communities and our nations!