Revival isn’t a one-off and that’s good news: Here’s what you need to know

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There was nothing worse than the idea that something amazing had happened and I’d missed out on it.

Do you feel like that about revival?

Do you hear weird and wonderful stories from Toronto in ‘94 and feel totally gutted you weren’t there? Are you scared to skip a meeting or conference in case God moves and you miss out on an encounter?

If so, you might have a case of major revival FOMO.

Here’s the good news: Revival isn’t just a one-time event. “You may not have been there in Toronto in ‘94 or ‘95, but don’t worry about it,” said Steve Long, senior pastor of Catch The Fire Toronto, “Revival is not just what happened, it’s what’s continuing to happen.”

If you think you have revival FOMO, here’s what you need to know.

1. You haven’t missed the boat

Think about revival as a boat that makes regular stops on land, “Boats come and go but they will pick up the people along the way,” said Sandra Long, senior pastor of Catch The Fire Toronto.

Jesus told the parable of the vineyard workers (Matthew 20). The landowner enlisted workers all throughout the day, and even the people that worked for one hour got the same wages. This parable is about salvation, but it can be related to encounter with the Holy Spirit too.

If you’re hungry to experience the supernatural, there will be many more boat stops and many more chances for you to say yes to God. Catch The Fire Toronto will be celebrating 25 years of Revival in January 2019, which will be another opportunity to hop on board.

2. It’s not about one day or moment in history

I’ve seen how much prep goes into making a church event, and the Revival 25 conference is no different. We can get really excited and feel like this is it; like this is the one big moment where everything’s going to happen.

I like the way Sandra Long describes it: “A conference reminds me of your wedding day. You plan for your wedding day, you get all the food ready, all the entertainment... but it’s really not just about that day, it’s about the rest of their lives.”

Moments of encounter are powerful and impacting, and that’s why we love them. But the way we live our day to day lives is also hugely important to the heart of God.

3. One encounter can change you

You may look at people who have experienced 25 years of revival and wonder if you’ll ever be able to experience the same things. God isn’t confined to time limits. Steve Long talked about how the Holy Spirit’s able to meet you in a way, “that can be just as dramatic, just as unique as people had before, but it’s you now.”

4. You can go and get it

Benjamin Jackson, executive director of Catch The Fire Toronto, saw transformation in his family, and decided to pursue it for himself, “My dad came here [to Toronto] and got massively impacted by the Holy Spirit and came home carrying fire. Our church just exploded in the UK and I got massively impacted by it... As I grew to an adult it was like my pilgrimage to come here to the School of Ministry.”

You can position yourself to receive from God. That could be simply saying yes to God interrupting your daily life, asking a friend to pray for you, or perhaps going to a conference.

5. Individual encounters will change the world.

One of the problems with revival FOMO is believing that Revival is one specific moment which could be easily missed. Actually, it’s more about each of us having an encounter with God’s presence, being transformed, and sharing that with our communities.

“Our purpose on earth is for the world to encounter God’s presence,” said Benjamin Jackson, “We know that the best way for that to happen is for individuals to get filled up with God, to have their own encounters, and be inspired to lead other people. Our desire is that everyone who comes [to the Revival 25 conference] in January has a fresh encounter with God.”


Written by Alice Clarke

EncounterAnita Wing Lee