Most revivals seem to happen as "suddenlies" when a group of people find themselves ambushed by an overpowering outbreak of the Spirit. While we will continue to see pockets of this in coming days, the broader thing I sense coming is probably not a "suddenly" but more of a gradual rising of ground water that finally overflows, or a settling much deeper into the Father's heart in Jesus over a period of time.
As such, it will ultimately be more powerful and more lasting, although less sensational in its outward manifestations. If we are absorbed in praying for the "suddenly," longing for the old manifestations and in trying to make revival happen, we may miss what God chooses to pour out. Seldom is that a repeat of something old. God does love "new wine," and I will take Him in whatever flavor He chooses to send, now or in the future. Meanwhile, I can feel that groundwater rising.
For many of us, this will necessitate a refocus of faith and spiritual hunger. In two of my books I've stated that if you focus on being supernatural you will end up in shipwreck, but that if you focus on intimacy with the Father you will end up being supernatural. You can seek an experience and find delusion, or you can seek intimate relationship with the living God and find an experience.
This calls for a simplicity we too often seem to have lost. Unless you become as a child in simple receptive innocence you cannot enter the kingdom of God (Matthew 18:3). I can therefore no longer subscribe, for example, to the assumption that revival comes by studying how to bring about healing, or any other outbreak, by following certain methods or steps.
We can learn to preserve a good thing God has already sent by studying how to steward the anointing well, but no study of the method or effort at applying it can make it actually happen. Likewise, prophetic conferences and prophetic schools do not produce prophetic people, but rather refine and discipline those who already carry prophetic gifts.
I suggest that many of us have made our spiritual lives just too complicated and have striven to become supernatural at the expense of simple intimacy with the Father and of solid grounding in Scripture. For me and for many others, the result has been disappointing. God has more for us!
For those in position to receive it in the childlike simplicity Jesus called for, a new and wonderful pulse of the Spirit is rising, an anointing sweeter, deeper and more powerful than anything we've known.
It will spell the end of hype, as well as of much of the discrediting nonsense that has too often dominated the landscape in recent decades. While it will touch some established and well-known spiritual centers, it will be especially notable for the rise of many who have been held back and hidden for many years.
It will include young and powerful emerging leaders alongside some older ones, all filled with a simple and even sensible passion for God and His eternal truth. I'm filled with anticipation to see what it will all look like. Meanwhile, seek simple intimacy with our Father and our Savior and take care for solid Scriptural grounding. Then expect great things!
R. Loren Sandford is the founder and senior pastor of New Song Church and Ministries in Denver. He is a songwriter, recording artist and worship leader, as well as the author of several books, including Understanding Prophetic People, The Prophetic Church and his latest, Visions of the Coming Days: What to Look for and How to Prepare, which are available with other resources at the church's website.