Preparing for a Move of the Spirit | 01 Motives & Expectations

The power of God is difficult to explain. How do you describe something that is so completely beyond you? I grew up in an atmosphere that was full of His power. You could sense it in the air, but also see it in the fruit that was produced. Lives were transformed, people came to Jesus. Since then no matter what church I’ve been at, people talk about revival, longing for a move of the Spirit.

Of course, not everyone means exactly the same thing when they use those words. Our definitions are colored through the lens of our experience. Some have grown up hearing the words without ever experiencing it. At times there are certain services where it’s like God is breathing into them and those who long for His moving lean in and whisper, “this is it.”

It wasn’t. 

What will it take? When will we experience a move of the Spirit? There isn’t exactly a magic formula we can concoct. We can’t force God’s hand. God will move, in His timing and in His way. Still, I want to share four key steps I believe we must take if we want to experience a move of the Spirit. Examine your motives, remove obstacles, pray, and act.

Examine your motives

Our WHY is such an important factor in everything we do in life. Why do we want a “move of the spirit”. The way some people talk makes me feel like they are mostly concerned with having a powerful church service. I’m not against a powerful church service, but is that why I want the spirit to move? Am I more interested in an electrically charged environment than building His Kingdom?

I believe that God will not send the Spirit among a people who are not about the purposes of the Spirit. That is to say God sends His power for His purposes. If our goal is to experience great power, but never do anything to impact our community for His Kingdom then our desires are misaligned. 

I think another area where our motivations occasionally miss the mark is in our expectations. Sometimes when we say we want to experience a move of God what we are really saying is we want to recapture something from our past. What if what God is wanting to accomplish today looks differently, feels differently, functions differently? Are we willing to lay down our expectations and follow where He leads?

Personally, I have long believed that what is coming, will be very different than what has been done. I don’t believe the next great move of God will be central to one location, but take place in the common areas, unexpected areas. I think we need to move away from trying to cultivate an atmosphere that draws people to us and take the power of God to where the people already are.

I often wonder, what is it we are really hoping for? When we pray for revival what is it you want to see? I hope that our heart’s desire is to see God accomplish His purpose in whatever manner He desires. I pray we will be a people who will follow wherever He leads and put His Kingdom over our own comfort. (Luke 9:57-58)

I believe if our motives and expectations line up with His then we are so much less likely to be disappointed when it doesn’t “happen.” 

We will continue our preparation for a move of the Spirit with “remove the obstacles” in the next post.

Divine Impartation

Recently I had a new experience. As I slept my mind awakened and I felt the Lord say, “If I asked, would you get up.”

I thought for a moment and replied, “I would, but why?”

“I need you to get to work an hour early.”

I opened my eyes for the first time to see the clock. It was exactly 1 hour and 5 minutes before the time I would normally wake up! I don’t normally have conversations like that with the Lord, but sometimes when I’m just barely awake I hear the Lord more clearly than when I’m fully conscious. I got out of bed and began my morning prayer time.

I was reading a book about the anointing and as I closed it tears filled my eyes and I found myself on the floor hands raised and weeping in the presence of God. I can’t say for certain right now what He was doing in my life, only that He is doing something new within me. Had I not obeyed and began praying I would have missed out on the Lord’s impartation in my spirit.

If there is one thought I can pass on today it is this.

We need the Holy Spirit.

I think of John the Baptist. We know he was Jesus’ cousin, but he did not know that his cousin was the promised One until He saw the sign. In the first chapter of John, the author tells of how John the Baptist describes the moment he saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus like a dove. 

John 1:33 (ESV)  I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

I love that everything Jesus did, He did not do as God, but as a man operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore this same Holy Spirit He gives to us. Yes, the scripture tells us Jesus is the one who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 (NLT) But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

1 John 2:27 (NLT)  But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.

I love that the Holy Spirit is our teacher! We must learn again to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit. When we read the Scripture we are not reading just to fill our head with knowledge, we are reading to hear the voice of the Lord for our lives. When we don’t understand something, we shouldn’t just shrug and say I didn’t know. We should ask the Lord to teach us.

I am not suggesting we never ask other people to teach us, only that we should rely on the Holy Spirit inside us. Even when we are learning from another, their lesson should bear witness to the Spirit within us. We can recognize false teaching because He will help us.

I believe we are not hearing His voice like we should for two predominant reasons. First, we are too busy and too distracted to listen. We are surrounded by noise constantly. Thanks to our smart phones we schedule ourselves to the MAX and have little time left to just sit and listen. We also are constantly bombarded with entertainment, from news media to social media, and from music to television we are constantly filling our minds with information and noise. However, none of it is useful for eternity.

The second reason we struggle to hear His voice stems from the first reason. We are not taking the time to really study His word. We barely have time to read it, let alone meditate on it, thinking about what it means and how it applies to our lives. Recognizing the voice of the Holy Spirit is learned, not innate. We learn to recognize it because it always, and I do mean ALWAYS, lines up with the Word of God.

When we learn to recognize and listen to His voice we will see an undeniable increase of Divine moments in our day to day living. I don’t want a mundane Christian life, being sustained from church service to church service. I want to live a life full of Holy Ghost encounters that not only leave me transformed, but leave the world shaken and in awe of the mighty power of God.

This is what is available to us when we put aside everything else and truly make our focus one primary thing, Jesus.