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|The Vision of the Awakening Church|
|Written by Christopher Dubois|
|Saturday, 16 May 2009 16:26|
Our vision statement is "to experience a spiritual awakening by being like the New Testament book of Acts church in the 21st century." What we mean by an awakening is for the Awakening Church, but also the universal church of Jesus Christ all over the world, to wake up from her spiritual sleep and remain awake so that she will be red hot on fire for God (see Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10; Revelation 3:15-16; 16:15). We long to continue to seek after God and to love God with all of our heart. As we seek to do this by God's grace, we will find that God truly will be the first love of our hearts and thus our greatest prize and delight. As God continues to be the first love of our hearts, we will run from the distractions of this world that try to steal our heart's love and passion for the Lord. The cares, riches, and pleasures of this life can so easily soak and drown out the love, intimacy, and hunger for the risen Lord in our hearts. And when this happens, we need a fresh spiritual awakening both in our individual lives and in the corporate life of the church. This vision is fulfilled in our church when each believer in Jesus first gets awakened by God, second remains awakened, and third becomes awakeners for others as we lead others to a passionate first love relationship with Jesus Christ.
Another term for an awakening is a revival. This is where God revives His church or makes her come alive (both individually and corporately - see Psalm 85:6). At the Awakening, we are not satisfied with just going through the religious motions of playing church for we long to see and experience a real and genuine (not hype, a show, emotionalism, or religious performance) sovereign move of God's Spirit that would revive not only our local church, but also the universal church of Jesus Christ like we have never seen or experienced before! And this would not be limited to just one church but a multitude of churches that are open and hungry for a fresh move of God's Spirit. This would take place not only in NH and New England, but would also spread to the U.S. and all over the world! There have been several local and worldwide revivals throughout the history of the church including the 1st and 2nd Great Awakening in which God used men of God such as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and John Wesley to shake up New England, the U.S., England, and even the world with the Gospel of Jesus and the Kingdom coupled with the manifest presence, power, and glory of God! This is what we need again in God's church.
Our heart and desperate cry is for a fresh new move of God and we won't be satisfied until we experience it - God come again and touch our church with your Holy Spirit must be our cry again and again! We are sick of just mere organized religion and institutionalism. We are a new and radical generation starving for more of God and long to see the Kingdom of God advance on this earth. To test when a true God sent spiritual awakening and revival comes, what we call the three big "G's" will be fulfilled. First the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 will be fulfilled. When we are awakened or revived in our hearts, all of a sudden we are passionate for the lost to come and know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! Our passion for God in our hearts spreads to our neighbor as we love them as ourselves by being the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost, hurting, and dying world. We long to see a Jesus revolution where a group of holy radicals rise up with love (not in violence or arms, but with the Word and prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit) and boldness to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with no compromise! The second big "G" we fulfill is the Great Compassion of Matthew 25:31-46. When we are awakened, we seek to reach out to the "least of these" (i.e. those who are hurting, poor, rejected, broken, sick, needy, imprisoned, etc.) with the compassion and love that Jesus has personally given to us. We demonstrate this compassion as we love a broken and hurting world that is in desparate need of God's love, grace, and freedom. And third we will see the Great Commandment fulfilled found in Mark 12:29-31. When we are awakened, we will see first have a wholehearted love for God and second we will love our neighbors as ourselves. There will be a true conviction of sin and true repentance and holiness in the heart of the believers. We will be in love intimately with God and seek Him wholeheartedly and the fruit of the Spirit will be evidenced in our lives as the church becomes one big loving family under the headship of Jesus Christ!
But how will we see this awakening? It will come when we begin to earnestly cry out for and seek after God with all of our hearts just like the early church did in the book of Acts in the New Testament of the Bible. We believe the book of Acts was written not only for history, but also as a blueprint of what a New Testament church should look like and how she should live (in function and not necessarily in form). We need to experience today the love, fellowship, unity, biblical teaching, generosity, holiness, prayer, miracles, service, fear of God, evangelistic fervor, passion for the Gospel of Jesus and the kingdom of God, spiritual gifts, power, movement of the Holy Spirit, thousands of people getting saved, the presence of God, etc. like the book of Acts churches experienced! The New Testament book of Acts church genuinely saw and experienced an awakening and revival! And all of this must and will happen by God's grace, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and Christ's strength within a 21st century context. At the Awakening, we seek to be relevant to this generation and move in a new wineskin anointing of the Holy Spirit. We engage our culture (without compromising and becoming worldly) and connect with our generation with the love of Jesus Christ as missionaries in our culture. Methods must constantly change, but the message must always remain the same. In order to experience this awakening, however, we as a church seek to be desperate, hungry, and thirsty for the Lord and His presence - we starve for more of Him! Our heart cry is, "visit us again God with your living waters - with the fullness of your Holy Spirit!"
In this economic recession in the U.S. and around the world, we need an awakening, revival, reformation, revolution, and renewal in the church! With so much of the church being worldly, weak, and spiritually dead, we need an awakening and revival that will advance and manifest the Kingdom of God on earth bringing life, healing, and freedom to a spiritually dead, hurting, lost, and dying world! A preacher once said that the only thing that will get the American church to wake up and seek God with all of her heart is either - 1) God allowing or bringing persecution and suffering upon His church which will bring her to her knees and cause her to depend upon Him completely. This in turn would bring the church to repent of her sin and stop trusting in themselves, money, and other idols, but in the Lord fresh and anew or...2) an awakening or revival that will shake up the church of Jesus Christ and bring her to experience God's manifest presence, power, and glory like never before and cause her to passionately pursue the Lord and not worldly and sinful things...At the Awakening, we pray that the latter, number 2, takes place for we do not want to be persecuted and we love the freedom of religious worship in America. However, our prayer is, "Lord do whatever it takes to wake up your church in America and worldwide so that she will seek You like never before and experience your awesome presence!" Or as the Wales revivalist Evan Roberts said during the great Wales Revival at the turn of the 20th century, "Lord break (or bend) the church and save the world." We must stop playing church and be the church! This is our heartbeat and DNA and why the Awakening Church was started. We can't hold it in as a church - God has called us to be the radical generation that seeks Him like never before! Our prayer is that this church, as well as all churches, will take an active role in witnessing to the lost and thus be used to win an end time harvest of souls for Jesus Christ, and be part of a worldwide awakening and revival (see Acts 2:17-21)! Anything is possible for those who believe what the Bible says. Will you believe with us and join us in praying for this vision to unfold? 2 Chronicles 7:14 states - if..."my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." This will forever be our prayer for not only our local church, but for the universal church of Jesus Christ. Our cry is that of Isaiah in Isaiah 64:1, "Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down..."
|Last Updated on Sunday, 04 August 2013 17:16|