I am enjoying reading a book about Oral Roberts at the moment. It is his auto-biography, and I’m still reading about his childhood really. I don’t know much about him, but he writes simply, honestly and clearly.
His dad was an itinerant preacher as he was growing up, who set up churches. It was all a little ad hoc, usually his wife telling him to get off the settee! He would do, and then do a revival, but often returned with little more than his expenses.
The word revival is used very matter-of-factly. He would arrive, and preach over several evenings, expecting people to come to faith, come to an experience of baptism in the Spirit, then he would leave them to get on with it, seemingly.
He expected ‘revival,’ though he was often reluctant to get round to it, and ‘revival’ came in due time.
It gets me thinking about expectations. What do we expect at services – what has God taught us to expect? Well, we tend to focus on content – clear message, Jesus honoured, inspired worship, relevant and challenging teaching, living messages, etc. Bit like a curriculum.
However, these days, schools tend to list learning outcomes rather than syllabi. They are focused on effect rather than content. Though of course both need attention.
But let’s make no mistake. Through all the things we do, God expects to minister revival – a bursting out of the reality of God. Please come expecting it. Whenever you attend, whenever you meet in God’s name. Don’t be too surprised when God delivers.