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.

A Different Way of Thinking

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I have a bad habit of declaring “this is one of my favorte scriptures,” but this really is one of my favorite scriptures. One I hope to live out daily. It is so important to recognize what Jesus has done for me, the incredible sacrifice He made in literally laying down His life for the salvation of the entire world. What should I offer Him in return? Church attendance and 10% of my pay check? That doens’t quite feel enough. He is derserving of nothing less than my entire life. Yes, I will give my life to Him. My actions, my words, my thoughts. May everything that I am be useful for glorifying the King of Kings, the Creator, the Savior.

Everything I just wrote is the natural byproduct of dwelling upon Jesus and His work on the cross, but we as humans have this habit of filling our time and minds with MANY other things. There’s so much to consume our attention today, everything from entertainment, news cycles, political rants, not to mention the everyday important life things like our families, jobs, and self care. As a result we end up imitating the world’s way of thinking and living instead of giving everything to Jesus.

None of the above is bad in and of itself, but if we don’t prioritize our relationship with Jesus and our daily pursuit of His purposes then they become secondary and eventually forgotten. We must consistently immerse ourselves in God’s Word. Let His ways become our ways and follow His path for our lives.

It really comes down to our thinking. Our lives always follow our thinking so we must ask the question, “Where do I invest my thinking?” What is it that consumes your thoughts? Is it the craziness in our world? Is it something in your personal life? Are you trying to not think and focusing on entertainment instead?

It’s easy with so much going on in our world to find ourselves thinking more about political preferences than our Kingdom purpose. I’m not throwing stones here, I’m as guilty as anyone. I’ve struggled a lot over the last few months with cynicism, offense and a general frustration over things I feel powerless to do anything about. Ultimately I have to come before God and let go of my worldly thinking and embrace Kingdom thinking.

This is why I believe that repentance and confession should be a regular part of our lives. We naturally shift back into worldly thinking so it only makes sense that a part of our daily devotions should be to surrender our thinking and refresh as we turn our thoughts back to God. As we continue to let God transform our thinking we can think less about “what is God’s will for my life.” God will naturally lead us toward the path He has created for us, if we will just purpose in our hearts and mind to follow Him, one step at a time.