Recently, there was a great stir with the meetings in Lakeland, Florida conducted by Todd Bentley. Thousands of believers came hungry for revival from all over the nation and various parts of the world.
As stories of these meetings began to spread rapidly all of us began to wonder could this be another wave of revival?
For those of you that know me, my life and ministry has been dedicated to the move of the Holy Spirit. I would give almost anything to see a “move of the Spirit”. I would give almost anything, but not anything.
When we hear reports of a move of God we should check things out before we embrace them. What should we check out?
First, we should check out the life and lifestyle of those leading the move. Redemption from sin is what we are about, but what is the testimony of the leaders of the move. Have they lived an upstanding life after conversion and especially after they began their ministry.
Secondly, does the message line up with the teachings of the Word of God? Alarms should begin to go off in us when there is an unhealthy emphasis on what people have experienced rather than God’s word and God Himself. We must insist on a proper doctrinal emphasis and not some fringe element teachings. Jesus must be central to everything—not visions, angels or anything else. Of course, I believe in (and have experienced) visions, and also the ministry of angels, but they are not our message. I believe in prophesy and the gifts of the Spirit, but they are not the thrust of our message. We must preach Christ. He is central and He is our message.
Lakeland reminds us of two things. First it shows us how vulnerable the church is. It shows us how quickly those who claim to be Christians can be led astray. Secondly, it reminds us of the true revival. The Lord can change everything in a day. Let Lakeland put a hunger in our hearts. Let us return to the Lord, return to a God-centered life and lifestyle. Let us press on to know the Lord and know that His visitations are certain.