So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.
Acts 5:11 NKJV
One of my greatest desires is to experience revival in Malaysia, to behold it with my own eyes, to see what God does in our cities, and to see the church carry and transmit God’s glory. I would love to be part of a move of God like that before I die. Have you ever been in a revival before? In 1994, I experienced the revival in Toronto Canada and came back changed. I love it when the presence of God is gloriously manifest, when signs and wonders break out, and when people are brought back into an intimate love relationship with God. But demonic manifestations also infiltrate revivals.
These, and much more, were some of the happenings that accompanied the early church revival in Jerusalem. Of these, the slaying of Ananias and Sapphira for lying to the Holy Spirit was by far the most shocking! Sure they had lied about how much they had sold their land for, and how much they had given to God, but was it that serious to warrant “sudden death”? Then I realised that once revival hits, standards change. In the Bario revival of 1973, students returned stolen pencils, and adults returned stolen eggs. Trivial right? Yet such was the conviction of God upon their sensitised hearts! You see, Ananias and Sapphira were never truly touched. They rode on the revival for their personal agenda. They lied, and lied again. And the Holy Spirit exposed them.
Here then is the nub of revival: “….Great fear came upon the church and all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11). One thing central to all revivals is the return to an awesome reverence and fear of the living God by the church, and even pre-believers. We become aware of His holiness, His fire that burns, His otherness, and His power before we realise His love, His heart, and His desire for intimacy with us. The Bible tells me this is a central mark in revival history. May we catch a glimpse of the glory of God as Acts 5 is preached today, so we will long for revival and God’s power to fill us afresh!
Philip Lyn 医生牧师