Day 24: The Principles of Influence & Variety

Day 23: The Principles of Leadership & Brokenness and Confession
February 21, 2017
Day 25: The Principles of Recoil & Doctrine
February 23, 2017
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Burns’ eighth principle of revival is the Principle of Influence. As revival progresses—as the wave action builds, as the movement of God crests—large numbers of people discover what only a remnant once knew: Jesus Christ is alive! The influence of revival, however, is not limited merely to a spiritual plane. Awakenings have always spilled over beyond the borders of the church into the life of their towns and cities. From the time of Hezekiah to the time of John and Charles Wesley in England, revival’s influence is always felt in the political and social structure.

When revival comes, the church takes on a new role in society; clergy gain new respect. As revived Christians actually live like Christ, they reach out to their schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods in what some would label “social action.” Can you think of a time when the influence of one person changed an entire group? Think of the greatest social movement of your generation. Then consider that this show of force is only a fraction of the power and influence that could result when God ignites and sustains a movement of His own.

The ninth principle is the Principle of Variety. No two spiritual awakenings are exactly alike. While some of their characteristics will be similar, the actual expression of each movement is unique to its own era. In fact, each revival’s emphasis is, in many ways, a reaction against the prevailing winds of the day. For instance, Charles Finney’s preaching on a Christian’s responsibility to conform, confess, and receive Christ came in reaction to the hyper-Calvinism of his day that maintained all had been decided beforehand by God, that your salvation or its absence was decided before you were born. The Moravian movement of the eighteenth century was a pendulum swing away from the cold residue of the Reformation.

What things are unique about the age in which we live? What is special about the social climate, the problems, or sins that trouble you, as a Christian? Can you name some fellow believers who share your views?

Matthew 5:14-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Micah 6:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? 

Psalm 146:5-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.

 

 

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Phillips, Tom (2016-11-01). Jesus Now: God Is Up to Something Big (Chapter 7 p. 163-164). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC.

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