Revival: What’s Love Got to Do with It
The Bible tells us in Luke 9:51-56, “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, And set messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
When you love someone and they have a need, their need is your focus. God’s focus was on the city of Jerusalem because He loved her. We sometimes forget that the word spirit is synonymous with the word love.
The Bible tells us in Is. 66:8,”Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
God requires that we speak His will into existence through prayer. When the church gets down to business with God it emits powerful waves in the spirit realm through a city and beckons the lost. It compels them to come. The whole process of the spiritual birds and bees starts with prayer. God is always looking for someone to pray for the lost. He looks for someone to birth His burden. When Zion, or the church travails, she is birthing the will of God into existence. To travail means to birth, and prayer is the first part of the birthing process. When we pray for the lost the Spirit of God visits them.
After we’ve travailed in prayer for the lost, God will send a messenger to minister to their needs.
In Gen. 1:2, the Bible says, “And the Earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” We know the Bible says that God is a Spirit, but have you ever stopped to think why God is God? The reason is conveyed in 1 John 4:8 where it stays, “God is love.” Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Real love is moving, the way God moved on the waters. So we can say that Loved moved on the face of the waters. The nature of love is that it is stirring. When love moves, something happens.
In the Hebrew language the word moved means to brood over. The Amplified Bible uses the words hovering, brooding, and moving. Webster’s Dictionary defines brood as offspring, progeny, that which is bred or produced. Brood comes from the word breed, which means to give birth to something. The word brooding is also compared to a bridegroom hovering over his bride.
When the Spirit of God was moving, it was birthing; it was bringing forth life. When love moves, it creates something. Wherever you find love, you will find that the recipient will never be the same again. Love stirs the emotion and soul of man. Real love is of the heavenly dimension. Real love demands a response because love, never fails.
The church, God’s messenger must always be moving forward in love for the gospel message to be effective. The messenger must bear the message so closely that we tell the world the truth and no lies. If I wanted to witness the gospel but had lied to the one I am trying to witness to, it is unlikely that that person will accept the gospel. It’s because I wouldn’t be adding up to the message. Love is a carrier. It emotionally and physically communicates a message that is not of this world. Real love creates emotion, and emotion opens the heart of man for the Word of God. The messenger must try to be as profound as the message. The closer we can live and match the message, the greater the chances are that we will win souls.
Several years ago there was a man that I tried to win to the Lord. This man had the toughest exterior I’ve ever seen on an individual. He purposely would say things to be contentious or rebellious. He had few friends and he was very unhappy.
He was an alcoholic and lived with his mother. He had two children who lived with his ex-wife. He didn’t drive so he would hitchhike into town every morning to go to work. For years I’ve made a point to send Christmas cards to people who don’t have family to spend the holiday with and to those I wanted to win to the Lord. Year after year I would send a card to this man. One year he called and asked me to come to his house because he had a present for me. He told me on the phone crying, “No one ever sends me cards. No one ever thinks of me.” He reiterated this statement several times. After I got off the phone I drove to his home. I went into his house and gave him and his mother a small gift. When I left, he followed me to my car and hung over the car telling me again that no one ever thought of him and how much he appreciated it. Love is very moving and there is no one who feels more unlovable than the lost of this world.
Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” When Peter told him he did, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” If we really love God, we will do everything we can that the lost will be saved.
Some of the smallest words in the Bible carry the largest meanings. The word go is one of them. Jesus told His disciples in Matt. 28:19, “Go ye therefore….”
Can you imagine if Peter had just sat alongside the road and quietly said, Ho hum. Well, one of these days I know we will have revival after he received the vision of the clean and unclean animals on the white sheet? Can you imagine Paul saying, well, no hurry. Some day the world will be converted, after he had been struck down on the road to Damascus? These men had a fire in their spirit that could not be put out. They had the love of God that moved them! They had vision and purpose. A vision is a goal with a deadline attached to it. The Bible tells us that we must work while it is still day.
I cannot imagine any army that could win a war sitting around the fire talking about the fact that someday they will win a war. Can you imagine most of an army hanging around the fire to keep warm while the rest of the soldiers fought the war? How many saints like to come to church and commit their life to living right, but will not commit their lives to the work of God? How can the lost be saved if we are just sitting at the table of our Father? They can’t be.
If I want to catch rabbits, I go rabbit hunting. In essence, I go where the rabbits are. When I want to get money, I go to the bank. So where do I go when I want to win souls? They’re everywhere! Jesus nor Paul had any problem going right into the temple where a density of those who were seeking after God had gathered. You’re probably thinking, Well, it was different then. Was it really? When was the last time you went to a seminar sponsored in your local community so you could win souls? When was the last time you went to an open Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting so you could be around new people to share the gospel? There are all types of places we can go and wait for the opportunity to witness Christ.
Acts 1:8 tells us, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the Earth.” Many people want to have the gifts of the Spirit because they want to experience the power of God. But why would God equip someone with power if they never go anywhere to use it or need the power?
The calling of an apostle is a powerful one because it means one sent. There isn’t anything more apostolic then being sent by God into our communities. God will stand behind His Word and equip us when we put ourselves on the firing line by going into enemy territory. The bolder we are and the more willing we are to go, the more He will equip us for the job. He doesn’t want us to go into our cities ill-equipped. If you want to see real apostolic power, pray, fast, and start knocking on doors and witnessing to everyone you can. You will see apostolic power!
We want to call ourselves apostolic, but apostolic is going and moving, no matter what the cost. It means giving up other things you could be doing with your time. If one person will dare to pick up the message of the gospel, go into his or her city, and spend hours witnessing the gospel, God would turn that city upside down. It only takes one. Will it be you? God turned a whole continent upside down through the Apostle Paul. What about you? How long has it been since you moved? Love is so predisposed to moving that if it does not move, it will die.
When God moved on the lost soul called planet Earth, He was searching for and found a worshiper. The Spirit of God is still searching for someone who has need of a savior. And when He finds a worshiper, He sends someone to them who will convey His love message.
It was after God moved on the face of the waters that He said, “Let there be light.” First, He displayed the love of God by moving and reaching for the planet Earth, then He spoke to her. There are three prerequisites for a transformation of the soul: when you have the presence of God and the Word of God, you have the power of God that can save, heal and deliver.
I once heard a wise preacher say that you cannot win someone to God that you have not first prayed for. When we pray, we carry with us the presence of God to our world. You can always tell in a church those individuals who have a strong prayer life because the presence of God emanates from them. When we have the presence of God with us through prayer, we can present to the lost the anointed Word of God, and together they form the power of God that can transform anyone!
Sometime ago a possessed lady came to our church. She lived in one of the worst parts of our town. She told me about all the sin in her neighborhood and how wicked it was.
We have something in our church that God gave to us called, “intercessor-eVANgelism.” For this ministry, we take a van or caravan full of intercessors into our city and pray the whole time we are en route to our destination. When God directs us on specific missions in our town, we drive around a designated area and first pray over it then go door-to-door with the gospel. As the intercessor leader in our church, God will deal with me at times about where He wants the intercessors to evangelize.
One particular time I felt God directing us to go to the area where the possessed lady lived. So on Saturday we drove around this area while praying. Then, for about two hours we handed out fliers inviting people to a special service. It was summer time so we ran into quite a few people out on the streets. The next day was Sunday and there were many visitors. We didn’t recognize one single person that we had witnessed to, but knew we had been obedient to what God wanted us to do. We learned later that a pregnant girl that we had invited had given the flier to her teenage sister who came with several of her other siblings to the special service. Since that day, we’ve had visitors in every service because of the teenagers who came to church. The intercessors hit a vein, or pocket full of souls that day. From such a little effort in one morning, God changed the eternal destiny of a good number of souls, not to mention their lives. The reaping efforts consisted of a myriad of youth who started coming to church.
When these young people first started coming to church, they were unruly and unhappy. Most of the time the only expression you would see on their faces was a frown, and a bad attitude to boot. Over a short period of time, there was a distinct difference in their countenances. Where we once saw frowns, we now see smiles. Where we once saw bad attitudes, we now see contentment. There have been many who have received salvation. And now several of their parents are coming to church and are receiving the Holy Ghost. The amazing thing about it is that these young people keep bringing more friends and parents. And it is all because of one effort led by God.
We did a little math and figured out that for every seven minutes we were out on the streets, someone got saved. For every three minutes, a visitor came to church. And as more people receive salvation and visit our church those ratios are getting better. And it’s from just one outreach effort.
Hillary Clinton believes that it takes a village to raise a child. But I say that it takes a church to find and raise a child of God. It takes the effort of an entire church that is willing to pray and actively reach for the lost. We can’t say we love if we are not willing to move toward the sinner because real love has to move. Real Intercession will cause you to not only pray, but put action behind God’s burden. True prayer will cause us to move. The principle of love cannot fail. If love will move, many souls will be birthed into the kingdom of God. Human utterance produces the divine energy of God to create the new birth time and time again.
We live in a world that flows through the vehicle of communication. It’s not a wonder because we were created in God’s image and He is the Word. We are in a war of words. Words create information and knowledge. The problem that most people have is that they have difficulty discerning what is the right information. Many people involve themselves with the wrong information. Information that is idle is a waste of time. If information doesn’t teach us something or progress the kingdom of God, it is a waste of our time.
The first thing God said after He moved on the earth was “Let there be light.” In other words, let there be knowledge; let My Word be manifest. The Spirit of God moves and is in the faith dimension. Faith is a spiritual concept. Faith with movement is life. When God moved on the earth, He set the faith dimension in operation. Faith is the response to being loved. When someone shows us love, we put a certain amount of trust or faith in that individual. By loving us, they have earned our trust. When we trust someone, we are receptive to what they have to teach us. Love is the carrier of the word.
Gal. 5:6 says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Love is the workhorse that faith rides upon. If you love someone, they will usually listen. The moment two people start arguing the scriptures, the carrier called love just died. Love will not operate in anger. When two people have heightened emotions, no one is really listening to the other speak. And whether they realize it or not, they just lost their audience.
One time I was teaching at a school in a small town and I had a tie time to spare before I was to teach the next class. Across the street was a store that had a country appearance to it, so I thought .at I would go there and spend some time.
I talked with the gentleman who owned the store. Several times pulled out a picture of the church across the street because he gave tided tours of it on occasion. The first time I let it slide by and politely told him we have churches of that faith where I lived. He persisted again before I got out the door and I stopped with my hand the doorknob and began to expound on the Word of God. This man was very steeped in tradition. After several minutes of talking to .m I could feel that passion for truth rise up in me and I would get irritated because of his tradition-laden point of view. I walked away Linking, God why does this happen?
I felt that the biggest reason this happens is we need to be patient with people, and more knowledgeable of the Bible and what others believe. In our patience we possess our souls and the souls of others.
I realized later that I should have asked more questions, knowing was talking to a man who wanted tradition over truth. I could have warned more about his beliefs and how to refute them. I could’ve received free bait to catch him. What do we gain when we go toe-to 4e with someone? Nothing. This instance caused me to go home and study the Bible even more so I’d know how to answer someone of his with the next time. I want to learn by every encounter I have with to people of various beliefs.
I know that when I operate in love I will not fail because love ever fails. Even if something arises that causes a Bible study to cease, tat door won’t be shut in my face forever because I loved them. The main ingredient people are looking for in life is love. When I went to the Pentecostal church as a little girl, the ingredient that I found there ‘as the love of God. Even at the age of four, I discerned it. The Bible says we receive understanding through faith. By the time God spoke to the earth, she was ready to listen because He first loved her. Gal. 3:2 tells us that faith has a sound: it is the Word of God. Romans 10:17 tells us, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:14 states that, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” The first thing God wanted the earth to receive after He embraced her was knowledge. Knowledge gives understanding. If you study the parable of the sower, you will find one of the main factors that caused folks to leave truth was the lack of understanding. When you teach a home Bible study you are bringing the presence, Word (knowledge), and power of God to their home. The spiritual atmosphere of where they live will change.
When God breathed into Adam the breath of life, Adam received something God-like, and that was faith. The Bible tells us that God has given to every man a measure of faith. If someone is breathing, they have life. As long as they have life, they have hope.
Heb. 11:1 tells us the definition of faith: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The lost have a seed of faith that becomes watered when God opens their heart to His Word. The only thing that can cause that seed of faith to grow is the Word of God. When God opens the heart of man to His Word, “little faith” meets “big faith.”
Numerous times when witnessing the gospel I feel the anointing of God as I expound truth to someone. What is happening when we feel the Spirit of God in this manner is the Spirit is piercing the heart of that person and the words that you are speaking are penetrating and affecting their heart. When we feel the anointing while ministering to them, we need to continue to flow in the vein that God has opened up for us. It is a confirmation to Keep it up. Your words are having an affect. Keep it up I am with you.
The Spirit that hovered over Mary and caused her to conceive is the same Spirit that hovers over the lost wanting them to receive the seed of the Word of God so they can be birthed into His kingdom. There is nothing more miraculous or powerful than the salvation of a soul. It is on the top of God’s list of priorities.
After you teach someone a Bible study, you will bring that person to church with you. Everyone needs a pastor and a home church or body. The problem with satan and his imps is that they are still looking for a body because they don’t have one. The fulfillment of belonging to a unified body can only be found with God and His church.
When the people of God begin to praise and worship Him, He will manifest Himself. The Bible says that He dwells among the praises of His people, and that where two or three are gathered together in His name He is in the midst. When sinners come to church they don’t understand that they are feeling the reconciling love of God. It causes them to weep and feel the peace of God. They will say, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” The missing ingredient in their life has just been found and it’s pretty overwhelming for them. I believe the lost soul Earth with many voids was overwhelmed when the love of God moved toward it.
With an atmosphere of love present, the Spirit of God hovers over a service, desiring to birth and create. The sinner’s measure of faith has been increased by the truth they learned in a Bible study and they are being enrobed by the love of God. Then comes the preaching of the Word.
The Bible tells us that the preacher seeks out the acceptable Word. This Word that the Lord wants delivered to the lost of this world and His people is so precious it takes great searching to find the right words. When a man asks a woman to marry him, he wants the words spoken to be just the right words. God feels the same way. Not just any word will do. It has to be anointed and led by the Spirt of God. So the love, presence, and Word of God are in the service surrounding a hungry soul. The preacher gives the altar call, v really is the birthing unit of heaven. God said He would write laws on the tables of our hearts. The sinner goes down to the willing to give his life for this new found love and begins to I God. His praise turns into worship while the Holy Ghost is we and hovering over him. After he has entered into worship, the Spirit powerfully becomes one with them, and a conception or birth occurs. Then they can cry, “Abba, Father!” The angels and the saints of God rejoice right along with them.
One day while pondering the process of soul winning, a question came to mind. When I evangelize my city streets, how do I want to feel? An army might want the best gun or piece of weaponry what do I want? The answer that came to my mind is I want to feel strong in the Lord. I want to feel His strength. The Bible says the joy of the Lord is my strength! It also says in Gal. 5:22 that, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”
The fruit of the Spirit has a domino effect. Once you have the love of God in your heart, you will have joy, from which pea birthed. Is. 55:12 tells us, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth b you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
When I am out in a city witnessing the gospel, a transition place. The first thing I feel upon going out is an adrenal rush. A take that first step of faith, the joy of God’s Spirit will literally er itself around me.
One time we were out evangelizing in our city and a jogger past me. I proceeded to run along side him as we both laughed took my tract with him as he continued on his way. I strengthened by the joy of the Lord, and it is effective!
One time I had the experience of going with an insurance agent on one of his first sales calls out in the country. One of the foundational teachings by the company was that you never tell people up front that you are selling insurance or you may not get into the door. We walked up the steps, opened the screen door, and knocked on the door. An elderly farm lady came to the door and asked, “You’re not selling insurance, are you?” My friend smiled, threw his hands up, and exclaimed, “You got me!” The lady laughed along with us. Laughter used tactfully does wonders.
I use joy many times as a shield when I am out. No matter what I encounter, the joy of the Holy Ghost will sustain me. If I am rejected, it will sustain me. The joy of the Lord is what caused Paul and Silas to sing in the jail despite their circumstances. God is stronger than any situation I will ever face. When I feel joy, I get excited because something is going to happen! The joy of God’s Spirit is there for a reason. Whenever the apostles went into a city, there was great joy in that city by the time they left. In Acts 8:8, the Bible conveys that after Phillip spoke to the people, bearing miracles and deliverance by the spirit of God, that there was great joy in that city.
The disciples were thrown out of a city after many believed. The Bible says in Acts 13:52, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.”
If you’re in a church service and you begin to feel a tremendous joy, expect a birth in the Spirit. Any time a baby is born into the kingdom, there will be great joy. Expect someone to get the Holy Ghost. Joy always accompanies a birth!
Are you longing for joy in your life? Win a soul to Jesus!
The above article, “Revival: What’s Love Got to Do With It” is written by Michelle Mihalakis. The article was excerpted from the 10th chapter of Mihalakis’s book The How’s & Whys of Witnessing the Gospel.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.