2022 – The Year of Revival and Restoration

We have come to the fag end 2021 which was supposed to be a highly anticipated year. It was a Year of Rest and Satisfaction and indeed people got back to me saying that the Word was true for their lives. Those that trusted in the Lord and walked with Him found rest and satisfaction even in the midst of their challenging and busy lives. This rest was not the ‘absence of work’, but the resting in the presence of God, in the midst of varied circumstances. God took us into a time of rest to heal, refresh, rejuvenate, take stock of our life, search our heart’s condition, to pray, to hear from God and prepare for the next move of God.

For many, with the pandemic setting in, the past two years have been years of pain, loss and challenges, yet for many others it was truly a time of rest, reflection and satisfaction. If you have gone through a very difficult season, the Lord wants you to know that God has not forgotten you and your home. Can a mother forget her baby, the child of her womb? Even if she forgets, the Lord will not forget you! He knows the plans He has for you. His plans are to bless you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.

I praise God for the time of rest and satisfaction, but I also want to praise God for the beautiful year that He is ushering us into. I believe 2022 is going to be a year of ‘Revival and Restoration’. This is a powerful promise from the Lord for the coming year. Revival is dear to God’s heart. The scripture is filled with stories of revival and restoration. There is great joy and power when the Lord returns in His glory. We see that in the lives of Nehemiah and Ezra, and in many other places where the people looked to the Lord in repentance. In this seeking God filled their hearts with great revival, passionate leaders rose and led people into the presence of God.

 

Growing up in the early nineties I experienced great revival, saw people being saved, transformed and added to the church. There were some crazy young men and women with me who were not just attending church but who stood for God and believed God at His Word!! United, we passionately chased the things of God. Conferences were like a Holy Ghost downpour. There was an outpour wherever we went. Missions were a constant part of our vision and conversation.

 

Unfortunately, as I journeyed into the next two decades, it was painful to see that though people were saved and added to the church, something was missing. I constantly kept asking the Lord, “Where is the glorious church which is more than just about ‘attendance, community and Sunday services?’ Where is the love for God rather than the pursuit of selfish or unmet needs alone? Where is that firebrand Christianity? Where is the Spirit filled worship rather than just the music, lights and sounds? Where is the red-hot preaching that sets people’s hearts in the fear of God? Where is the burden for the lost and a heart of abandon for missions?”

 

Tabernacle – the heart of revival!

 

When the Egyptians asked the Israelites, their slaves, “Where is your God?”. God came for his people in power and through miracles He rescued them from the slavery. He didn’t stop there. He said, “Come out to the wilderness and to a new land and I want to tabernacle in your midst.” Revival is not just the outpouring of God’s presence or the working of miracles and deliverance from the power of the devil. When God says, “Revival”, He means that He wants the central place, to dwell in our midst. He wants to be known as our Father, and our God.

 

The Bible says in Acts 15:16 – “After these things I will return, And I will rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David, And I will rebuild its ruins, And I will restore it…” A Tabernacle is a place of dwelling. (ronbigben@gmail.complease find a good picture of the tabernacle) God longs for the place in our midst, a place where He can rejoice over us and fill us with His presence. God does not long only to do miracles, or to provide and protect. Like a loving Father, God wants to dwell in our midst, talk and walk with us.

 

The Bible says in John 1:14, that the Word became flesh and “tabernacled among us”. God sending Jesus to the earth was His way to proclaim to the world that He wants to dwell with us, first in the person of Jesus and then by the infilling with the Holy Spirit. He wants, through Jesus, to be in our midst and in our hearts. God is now promising that He is committed to rebuilding this dwelling place. God does not just want to visit us with revival, He wants to dwell in our midst. He wants the centre place. He knows that the tabernacle or the dwelling with man is in ruins. God wants to restore it as His highest priority. If God needs to rebuild this tabernacle in our midst as a dwelling place, we cannot just invite Him into some parts of our lives, but we need to be where He is positioning Himself and say, “If Your presence does not go with us, we don’t want to leave this place!”

 

Tabernacles of David and Moses – what do they signify?

 

The Tabernacle of David was being built differently from the Tabernacle of Moses. The tabernacle of Moses, was in the wilderness. There was a process, protocol and order that was followed to the detail. This tabernacle was to tell the world that God was with the people of Israel. It had three parts to it, the outer court, middle court and the inner court – God was going to be near, yet away from the people. The Tabernacle of David was a type of Christ in us, the hope of glory.

 

Moses’ tabernacle stood until the temple was built on Mt. Zion. David’s tabernacle is now for us as a type of the new Jerusalem church that is rising. Moses’ tabernacle was a place where they worshipped from a place of fear, like most of the Gentile world worships from. David’s tabernacle is a place of joy, love and devotion with intimate worship and amazing praise that comes from a place of relationship of having God as a Father! This is what Jesus revealed to the Samaritan woman, about a time coming when the true worshippers from among the Jews and the Gentiles, will worship in spirit and in truth!

 

In the tabernacle of David, worship and the move of the Spirit was a type of the New Testament move that was going to include people outside the Jewish covenant. God is not going to restrict this revival to the confines of churches and bring people to the churches. God wants us, like Peter, to take the gospel and revival to the streets, to be led into the homes of Cornelius’, Lydias and many others with the Gospel. Extending it even to the highways and byways. I believe the nations are in turmoil and are looking for a Saviour. Peter, Paul and Barnabas did not stay within the boundaries set by the Jews, but in the Spirit, took the Gospel to the Gentiles.

 

Rebuilding of David’s Tabernacle

 

When the Apostles quoted Acts 15:16, they recognised a few things about rebuilding of David’s tabernacle. They recognised it as the next move of God and understood it is what the prophets had prophesied so they exclaimed that God was rebuilding the tabernacle of David and bringing the presence of God among a people who are not called God’s people. I believe there is going to be an outpouring upon a people that the world does not call Christian. We are yet to see one of the greatest revivals in history and I believe the nations are crying out for it. Oftentimes, we as a church believe that we are the only ones crying out for revival, but do you know that there are types of Cornelius’ and Samaritan women all over the world that are looking for God to return in His glory and to be their Saviour!

 

In this revival God is looking out for

 

Firstly, God is looking for the lost – The Apostles were recognising that in the fullness of God’s time, He was not going to wait for the Jews to acknowledge or even agree with His move. He would return and reach out to the Gentile world by the power of the Holy Spirit. When the apostles quoted this prophetic verse from Amos in Acts 15:16, they had already seen what God had done with Peter in Cornelius’ home. There God did not wait for Peter to finish his preaching to pour out the Holy Spirit on the Gentiles. God saw in Cornelius a man who was longing for His indwelling and reached out to him through angelic visitation. When the Apostles heard what God was doing through Paul and Barnabas among the Gentiles, they said, “God is beginning to restore the fallen tent of David!” They recognised this move of God as something the prophets spoke about.

 

I believe that we need to see that we are living in prophetic days. In these times, as we are living in the last days, the words of the prophets will be fulfilled in our lives too.

The Bible says in Romans 8:19 – For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. The world is waiting for us. God is returning in glory. Will we arise and shine for the Lord? Jesus is going to reach out to them and wants us to be His hands and feet. God is going to do something in this next season of our lives that if He were to tell us we may not really fully comprehend it. God is moving one more time. We need to get ready for that and I believe 2022 is going to be the beginning of it. Elijah said, “I hear the sound of rain.” I believe I hear that too in my spirit. I sense in my spirit, that God is going to make His presence felt, both in the church and among the lost.

 

Secondly, God is looking to be Lord. The Tabernacle of David is a Royal Tabernacle that is being built for the King of glory! This tent is for the Lord. This is not just a revival that brings God’s presence into the hearts of men, but that which will bring the Lordship of Christ into every area of our lives. When God is restoring the tabernacle of David, I believe that He wants to restore the place for a Royal King who is our Father. One of the things about this revival is that people will honour the Lord in such a way that He can return to his people with glory. God wants to return to His people and into their hearts. Far too many things have taken the place of God that He has moved out from the central place of our lives.

 

In all the revivals, there is a returning of God’s people to God’s presence, promises and outpouring, I believe in this one we need to focus on His Lordship. This scripture starts with the words, “I will return.” That means there is going to be a coming back of the Lord. For far too long, the church has had its own agenda, its own desire and yet it would pray for revival and God’s return. But the church struggled with the issue of Lordship. The leaders and the people were lords. The Bible says, “the people name Me with their lips but their hearts are far away.” We sing and cry and worship but when the issue of Lordship comes, we are unsure of letting go. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:2, “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers…”, This has been true in our lives; we have had far too many things and people ruling our hearts.

 

Repentance and returning (Acts 3:19-21)  is the key to this time of refreshing. Repentance from our rebellion and love for self. Repentance is a true sign of love and relationship where we no longer want to break the heart of God or walk away from the Lordship of Christ. When God returns, He will begin with Lordship and that will bring a glorious outpouring of the Spirit of God in a mighty way. The sign of our love for God will be our wholehearted obedience to the will and plans of God. I believe the Lord wants to rebuild what has fallen in the church. And it will start with a people that have a total abandonment into the arms of God, and a total obedience to the voice of God.

 

Thirdly, God is looking for the next generation. I believe that the apostles saw that it had to do with the rising of another generation. Everyone knew about Moses who was the leader of Israel and Abraham who was the father of faith, but this move was going to be different. Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of David and identified Himself to this next move of restoration. This next move is going to not just be another generation of leaders, but another generation that will recognise their place as sons and daughters in the house of God.

 

Moses’ tabernacle was one of servants. David’s tabernacle through Jesus is one of a Father and a Son, it is going to be a revival that makes another generation in the family to take up responsibility. In the repentance and returning, God is going to send His Son on a mission to the lost. I believe this next season is a season for sons and daughters to arise and take this revival forward. I believe the Lord is once again pouring out His Spirit upon the church and the result will be the raising of an Elisha generation. The Elijah’s will know that they cannot do it by themselves and they need the family to stand by them and take it up from them. There is only so much that the Elijah’s can do. It is time for the Elisha’s to rise.

 

God had seen that Elijah was not meant to do the work himself but there was going to be another generation (1 Kings 19:15-17). In fact, it is amazing to note that Elijah anointed Elisha as the prophet after him and did not complete the anointing of Hazael and Jehu. But Elisha as a son, fulfilled the prophecy that was spoken to Elijah. Many prophecies will be fulfilled in our generations only when sons and daughters rise up in the faith. This next generation will take up the mantle of completing the prophetic word to the fathers. This is not going to be a one-man hero ministry. This is going to be a family mission of father and sons and daughters. The Lord said, “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh. Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions.” I believe many of the dreams of one generation will become the vision of another generation.

 

Dear family of God, God is not only a God of revival, but His heart is also to restore what the enemy has stolen away (Hosea 6:11). God is appointing a harvest for His church. It is an end-time, God appointed harvest. All of creation is waiting for the revelation of the sons of God. This is your time as this is going to be an appointed harvest. This is going to happen through the old and the young. It is not because we are capable, but grace will be given according to the prophetic Word of God to fulfil the plans of God. Along with this harvest, God promises that there will also be a restoration of the fortunes of God’s people. Whatever we have lost in the last years, I believe if we seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, all these things and much much more will be added unto us. God is the one who will restore all things. We do not have to be afraid, nor be dismayed. Let us stay faithful and pure as virgins waiting for the return of the Lord. The time has come, we are going again to prepare people who are ready for the coming of the Lord. Maranatha, Come soon Lord Jesus!

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