There is a growing and healthy desire among many churches and church leaders to see revival culture established in their churches, their communities, and their regions. This hunger and desire is growing, gaining traction, and becoming a voice that is being heard in Heaven and on earth. I join my voice and my desire to this push and hope for a culture of revival. Something I continue to understand, however, is that culture does not simply develop or spontaneously appear. There is a process to seeing a culture change from one of religious coldness or spiritual warmth to a culture of revival fire and heat. I want to briefly share some thoughts on this transition.
1. The atmosphere must first be changed.
Atmosphere is the pervading tone or mood of a place or situation. If the atmosphere of a church, a community, or a region is one of spiritual coldness then the fire of revival is going to be an unsustainable shock to the system. It would be dangerous for there to be a spontaneous explosion of heat and full blown revival. Instead there needs to be a change in the atmosphere. Initially this change will seem like a fad, a flash in the pan, or a temporary surge of activity. Some will comment that things are unseasonably warm or hot. It will be recognized for not being the norm.
In this sense it is imperative to continue to push for a hotter atmosphere. If you are going to see any real change it cannot happen with just an annual series of revival or atmosphere meetings. It must be a sustained effort through prayer, praise and worship, fasting, and bombarding Heaven to begin to see a new atmosphere established.
2. Prolonged change of atmosphere will reset the climate.
Climate is the weather condition prevailing in an area in general or over an extended period of time. One warm moment or day is not going to change a climate. A climate is only going to change if the atmosphere experiences consistent change. When churches or regions do not keep the intensity and heat going there will never be any lasting change. A climate is not made of a few moments or days, but an extended period of time.
When the spiritual climate has been changed you will notice the following difference – the people connected to your church or region will be more apt to notice when things in the spiritual realm seem less hot than normal. At the time those who are disconnected will feel at home in those more “calm” moments. That is an indicator that you have moved from an atmosphere that is favorable to revival to a climate that has become conducive for revival.
3. A climate that has been changed will create a new culture.
Culture is the established condition of a place that is suitable for certain types of growth. When the hotter atmosphere has caused a change in climate you will begin to see a shift in the culture. What happens in that context is that there will be things able to grow and live that were not able to grow and live in the former culture. There will also be things unable to grow and live that were able to grow and live in the former culture. There will be a whole new type of life in the newly established culture.
In a revival culture things will happen spiritually that could not normally take place in a more traditional culture. For example, when Paul was in Ephesus in Acts 19 they had stepped into a revival culture. We read that extraordinary miracles were done through the ministry of Paul. Handkerchiefs and aprons were taken from him and given to the sick and they were healed. Everything was functioning in a higher heat index, a hotter spiritual culture.
The culture of revival does not happen overnight, however. It develops through atmospheric and climate changes. There are things you want to see happen in the spirit in your churches, communities, and regions, but at this point the culture is not there. Do not become discouraged, but continue to push the atmosphere to a higher degree. Continue to pray and seek the Lord; continue to bombard Heaven and make the presence of the Lord more welcome than any person in the midst of what you are doing. God desires revival cultures and the truth is they are springing up in various places. You have every right and opportunity to become the next one. Pursue Him and see your atmosphere and climate changed; see the culture of what only God can do be established in your life and in your midst. The journey toward what you want begins with the next step. Let us turn up the heat.