A few weeks ago, as I was driving into the state of Arkansas, I began to ask the Lord what He was saying concerning the region. It wouldn't be long until I heard, "Don't allow the famine to determine the feast."
While driving, I began to pursue the meaning of this statement, and the Lord began to reveal within me the meaning of what I heard. Time has passed since I released that word in Arkansas, and the heart of the statement has yet to leave me. Ultimately, it's the reason for this blog as I strongly believe (now) that this is a word for many, and not just for one state. It is my prayer that this word has meaning to you and your region.
What Do You Mean by Famine?
There are many regions today where individuals are passionately pursuing the outpouring of God's presence in such a way that no generation before has ever encountered. Although they are pursuing, let's face it, an overwhelming majority of these regions are in a spiritual famine. It seems that there are more churches on every corner than there are fast food joints. Even in small-town America, there are an overwhelming number of churches. Although there are many buildings, there seems to be little movement within those of the community.
If we were to take a poll, I can imagine that we would discover a lot of spiritually dead buildings. Large buildings, few people, and even less passion. We have a society of people who have become self-contained with the idea of simply attending church. We have settled on doing as little as possible in the midst of an ever changing culture. Today's culture (especially in the United States) has effectively consumed so many individuals that the church has become a secondary thought to the family.
We no longer have the desire to attend the prayer meetings, but we never miss the big game weekend after weekend. We no longer have the heart for authentic worship, but we never miss the latest concert of our favorite artist. We no longer have the hunger and thirst for righteousness, but always quick to say, "Who are you to judge me?" Look, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that there is a genuine spiritual famine in our day. When we throw a tip in the offering plate but never bat an eye at the movie theater (restaurants, ballgames and so forth), we need revival!
How Did We Get Here?
There is an interesting passage of Scripture found in 2 Kings 6:25:
"There was a great famine in Samaria, and they besieged it until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kabb of dove droppings for five shekels of silver."
When we come to this passage we discover that Ben-Hadad had attacked Samaria and because of the time that it consumed, a famine broke out in the land. The famine had become so real to the people that they were selling and buying the head of a donkey and the dung of a dove in order to eat. Yep, they were literally eating donkey brains and the excrement of doves. That's a famine!
Thankfully, this isn't the type of famine that we are dealing with today. Although it's not a physical famine, we are addressing the spirituality of where many are today. I believe that a lot of our churches are caught in the stage where they are spiritually eating donkey brains. What? I know, right. Let's take the fact that donkey brains are a type and shadow of knowledge. There are a lot of ministries that are still releasing messages that have no life. They are words of previous revelations or knowledge.
Yes, many words never lose their revelation, but we have so many that are stuck in words that we have moved past with a fresh revelation or movement through Holy Spirit. We could walk in a lot of these buildings today and hear the same message that was being preached 60 years ago. Too many—way too many—are satisfied in that ol' time religion believing that Jesus is the same yesterday and today (Heb. 13:8) while rejecting that God is doing a new thing (Is. 43:19). They eat the past word while rejecting fresh manna.
On the other side, we have just as many ministries that are satisfied with eating the leftovers of the dove. The dove is a type and shadow of Holy Spirit. In this case, we have what is left from the dove where the people are now eating in order to survive. This is a reality today, as many are manufacturing service after service on previous outpourings of Holy Spirit.
We had an outpouring, and because we did, we are doing everything to maintain what is left from that one moment in time. Instead of seeking Holy Spirit to release fresh oil and new wine, we have continued to eat the leftovers of previous moves.
Please understand that I am in no way implying that the previous knowledge and movements are not valuable. They were extremely valuable, but we have to build upon those revelations and into the newness of God. Ultimately, when we walk into the service and it's a time warp. Heaven, we have a problem!
There Is Hope!
When the Lord spoke this to my spirit, He immediately carried me to this passage and began to speak encouragement to me. Although we are witnessing a spiritual famine, the Lord said that we cannot allow the famine to determine the feast. He said feast!
Who has a feast in the middle of a famine? The whole statement sounds like an oxymoron, as you typically wouldn't have a feast during a time of lack. And yet, the Lord clearly said feast.
As I sought after the revelation, I began to really understand what He was saying. It's important for us not to give in and die. It's important that we keep pressing in for revival and awakening. Regardless of the natural circumstances, we must contend. Regardless of the spiritual complacency, we must prepare for the feast.
You have to recognize that a spiritual famine cannot stop a supernatural move of God. For those who will stand in the gap, we can't afford to be intimidated with the spiritual famine in our communities. You have to keep preparing for an outpouring of His glory, and expect a spiritual awakening in your region. Set the table, call for the guest, don't allow what others aren't willing to do keep you from being obedient to the revelation that God has ready to establish yet again.
Keep praying, even if you're the only one in the meeting. Keep worshipping, even if no one else is willing to dance. Keep studying for fresh manna, even if everyone around you is satisfied with stale bread. Keep igniting the flames of revival, even if everyone around you believes that God has nothing in store but judgment.
Throughout history, some of the greatest revivals were always birthed during a time of a spiritual famine in the nation. You don't have to eat the head of donkey when the Lord has fresh manna for you. You don't have to eat the dung of the dove when the Lord has fresh oil and new wine for you.
Keep cultivating the ground for revival! The wells are being uncapped, and it's your time to prepare for the feast!
Ryan Johnson is mantled in equipping the body of Christ to Awaken the Nations with a prophetic call of a rising ekklesia. As a revivalist and apostolic minister, Ryan ministers with a prophetic voice of revival and awakening, with the demonstration of God's purposes in regions, individuals and the church.
For the original article, visit ryanjohnson.us.
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