Like most students of the Bible, I believe that we are in the last days. We only have to look around to see the prophetic events coming to pass before our eyes. There are many things which are prophesied to take place: wars, disease, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, and tsunamis - and we are seeing all of these events happening around the world. Yet, with all of these taking place, there is another event prophesied that we are not yet seeing and that is global revival.
Yes, we have seen pockets of revivals taking place in different places. But, we have not yet seen the type of revival that could be considered the latter rain, which the Bible tells us will be greater than the former rain. In other words, the end times’ revival will be more significant and have greater impact than what we read took place during the first and second centuries, when the apostles were preaching and the entire world was turned upside down.
So, if this prophetic revival will take place, what is keeping it from happening? I believe that the key to revival is transparency, especially transparency among faith leaders.
If you are wondering what I mean by transparency, let me explain. I believe there is a reason that when the Bible shares the narratives of people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Paul etc., their stories include their victories and their defeats.
Yet, among modern day leaders, we rarely hear them speak about anything but their victories. We live in a world that is desperately searching for truth. Yet, in the one place that they can find truth, they only hear half-truths, half the stories.
They hear the victories, but we don’t share the battles that lead to those victories, as people who proclaim faith in the overcoming power of the redemptive work of forgiveness and the indwelling of the Spirit of G-D.
We rarely share the battles we fight every day of our lives. Yes, we often share the testimony of how we came to faith, how we came to repentance, how we were born anew. But, beyond sharing that, we, especially leaders, are rarely transparent about our daily battles.
When we read the writing of Paul, who brought the message of Yeshua not only throughout the known world during his life, but through his letters, he is still sharing that message today. We read the words of a man who not only shared about how he came to faith, he also shared transparently about the spiritual battles he fought after coming to faith. In Romans 7:14-25, Paul shares openly about the war he is fighting and winning against his sinful flesh, while he is writing to the Romans to encourage them to fight also.
Paul was so confident in his redemption through Messiah Yeshua that he wasn’t afraid to share that he still wrestled with his flesh. He wasn’t afraid to share transparently because he knew that we are overcomers through the word of our testimony. Paul knew that ministry was for the perfection of the saints, which means saints aren’t perfect, but are being perfected.
Too often, those we share the message of Yeshua with see us in our battles while we are telling them that we have already won the victory, which makes us look hypocritical. They want the victory we talk about, but they don’t see it in our reality.
If we want to see a real end-time revival, we need to become like Paul and tell people that G-D changes our hearts and lives from victory to victory, which also means from battle to battle. It is because Paul understood that revival, true revival, requires transparency, and we read these words in Ephesians 6:11-13:
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm.
Too often, we share our faith by quoting 1 John 1:9 about G-D’s faithfulness and forgiveness, but we are not transparent enough to quote in context between 1 John 1:8 and 1 John 1:10:
1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
If we want to have the true end-time revival, we must become transparent about the truth that coming to faith is voluntary enlistment into the army of G-D. Being born again comes with being issued the garments of war. Accepting Yeshua as Messiah is not the end of our battles, it is just the beginning. However, because we know that all the heroes of our faith who we transparently read about in the Bible were able to win their battles, we know we can and will win also. Or as my grandchildren sing to me, “I read the back of the book and we win.”