fire and dove

Are you feeling winds of change in the Spirit? Are you yearning for a new move of God? Prophetic voices say we are on the verge of such a move. Though the timing of this large-scale revival is in God's hands, you can position yourself for personal revival right now.

I once heard the story of a little boy who came upon a man in a shed shoveling pennies. When the boy asked the man what he was doing, the man told the boy to take what he wanted. The boy began stuffing pennies into his pockets as fast as he could until he saw the man a little distance away shoveling quarters.

Again the boy asked the man what he was doing, and the man responded that the boy could help himself. The boy immediately began to shove as many quarters into his pockets as would fit on top of the pennies.

Suddenly he noticed that the man was further away, shoveling gold coins. When the boy asked him what he was doing, the man told him a third time to help himself.

The boy looked down at his bulging pockets and realized they were so full with less valuable coins that he had no room for the gold. Without hesitation, he emptied his pockets of what he had already taken so he could fill them with something of greater worth.

This story illustrates an important spiritual truth: If we want to be filled with God, we must be emptied of everything else. It is the first step in preparing for a move of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

How do we empty ourselves? Charles Finney, a great revivalist of the 1800s, preached that we begin by breaking up our fallow ground (Hos. 10:12). We do this by repenting of our sins—first the ones we immediately recall and then others the Holy Spirit brings to mind as we make our confession to Him in prayer.

Another way to get ready for personal revival is to spend time in the Word. Jeremiah 23:29 says, "Is not my word like fire,' declares the Lord, 'and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" (NIV). It is a tool the Holy Spirit uses to soften our hearts to receive more of Him.

Prayer and fasting are also important means of preparation. Unfortunately, prayer is one of the first things we dispense with when we get busy; yet it is crucial in developing hunger for Him.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good," the Scriptures say (Ps. 34:8). If we don't ever "taste" and see how good He is, how can we become hungry for more?

The Word promises that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled (Matt. 5:6). And when you are filled with God, you can't help but bring His presence to others. You could be a catalyst in the coming revival—if you start your own renewal today!

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