My friend Ron Dunn died several years ago, but his words still ring in my ears. I was looking through some articles he wrote in the 1970s when the church he pastured was going through an extended season of revival. They stirred my heart, inspired me to seek after God and to pray for revival. We need revival in our pulpits, in the pews and in the land. Read them prayerfully. Ask God to do it in your church.
You can find out more information about Ron Dunn and his ministry by going to www.rondunn.com. These articles are used by permission of LifeStyle Ministries, are copyrighted and for individual use.
A Place Shaken
By Ron Dunn
On the last Sunday in April 1970, God moved into our midst with a power that can only be described as EARTHQUAKE POWER, a power that transformed the countenance and composure of our church.
SHAKEN WITH AN OVERWHELMING AWARENESS OF GOD’S PRESENCE. Without a doubt the greatest thing that’s happened is this: JESUS HAS BECOME REAL. God is no longer something we pray AT, but a FATHER we pray TO. The actuality of the INDWELLING SPIRIT has become a REALITY. MILKSHAKE RELIGION has become an EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE.
SHAKEN WITH UNBROKEN UNITY AND HARMONY. “One heart and one soul.” The fiery heart of the Holy Spirit melted differences and welded hearts together in a loving fellowship that grows sweeter each time we meet to worship.
SHAKEN WITH SUPERNATURAL POWER FOR LIVING AND WITNESSING. God has consistently done “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” We’ve seen things happen that two years ago we would have never believed. People who never witnessed before (never had the course!) found themselves gossiping about Jesus wherever they went. Sinful habits and attitudes have been conquered through the power of the Holy Spirit. We’ve come to know that IF IT ISN’T SUPERNATURAL, IT’S SUPERFICIAL.
SHAKEN WITH OVERFLOWING LIBERALITY. Until Revival came, our church had never met a budget in it’s history! Then the Holy Spirit revealed a FIXED LAW OF HEAVEN! WHEN A MAN’S LORDSHIP IS RIGHT HIS STEWARDSHIP WILL BE RIGHT! The issue isn’t “Will you tithe?” but “Is Jesus Lord?”. With no budget drives or pledge campaigns of any sort we have met our budget and finished the year with no unpaid bills–and have tripled our giving to WORLD MISSIONS.
SHAKEN WITH A KNOWLEDGE THAT IT IS GOD’S DOING. What has happened in the past two years, the increased growth in every single area of church life, is not, I repeat, is not, the result of hard work, clever programs, keen administration, intelligent leadership, etc. It is the result of God’s Spirit breathing new life into these old bones. And nobody knows this better than this pastor. God forbid that we should ever glory in any of these things.
“To God be the glory, great things HE hath done.”
© 2002 Ron Dunn. Used by permission of LifeStyle Ministries. This article is copyrighted and is for your individual use. Reproduction for any other purpose is governed by copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. This material originally appeared in the MacArthur Blvd. Baptist Church newsletter.
Words of Warning for Times of Blessings
By Ron Dunn
(1) Don’t get hung up on the blessing, but the Blesser. Let’s not seek the GIFTS BUT THE GIVER. Don’t seek an “experience” but CHRIST HIMSELF.Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted,
Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.
(2) God has greater blessings in store. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” God is merely getting us ready for greater displays of his glory.
(3) The key is “Praise to the Lord.” In every case where our people have entered into this attitude of the Lordship of Christ, their immediate reaction has been “praise” and “thanksgiving”. Their prayer life undergoes a revolution–it is mostly praising God for His goodness.
(4) Don’t talk about the church. Talk about Jesus. It isn’t our church or the denominational program that’s bringing this about, it is God. When people ask you about it, don’t tell them how great our church is. Tell them what Christ has done in your life. The only thing the Holy Spirit is interested in is GLORIFYING JESUS.
(5) Don’t try to help the revival along–don’t try to force it or make it happen. Just get out of the way and let God do what He pleases.
(6) Let the revival overflow the banks of your life and spill over on others. Nothing kills this kind of revival quicker than the attitude that God is blessing us just to be blessing us. That’s the big mistake Israel made. Every day make yourself available to God and He will use you to witness to others of Christ. You’ll find you won’t have to go looking for people to witness to. Just make yourself available, then go about your daily routine and watch what God does.
(7) Expect the Devil to work. He will prey especially upon weaker Christians. Thank God that the devil is working. This means that he fears what God is doing. An army never attacks a defeated fort. A thief never robs an empty bank.
(8) Expect criticism and misunderstanding. Many Christians will feel like a “stranger at a family reunion” when you tell them that Jesus is real and Lord in your life. Because some will resist any spiritual upheaval in their lives, they may be critical of what God is doing.
We are certain to be misunderstood, and much of it will come from church members.
But every such incident is an opportunity to show that Christ really is Lord of our lives.
(9) Just because this is happening to others doesn’t mean it will automatically happen to you. You don’t experience revival by osmosis. Unless you are willing to come to grips with your own sin and the Lordship of Christ in your own life, the revival will pass you by.
Revival is happening. I want to be a part of it, don’t you?
Michael served as the President of the Large Church Roundtable, the Southern Baptist Convention as an IMB Trustee, President of the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Preaching Conference, Vice President of the Georgia Baptist Convention, and President of the 2008 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference. He has spoken at conferences, colleges, seminaries, rallies, camps, NBA and college chapel services, well as The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Michael is the recipient of The Martin Luther King Award, The MLK Unity Award, and a Georgia Senate Resolution in recognition of his work in the community and in racial reconciliation.
Michael and his wife, Terri, have two grown daughters, Erin and Hayley.