James Burns’ sixth principle of revival is the Principle of Leadership. In any revival, at least one prophet always emerges. Though he or she may be a leader, the person does not “lead” revival in the classic sense of taking control and directing followers to do certain tasks. The prophetic figure in any spiritual awakening doesn’t create revival; he or she interprets it. The prophet doesn’t direct the movement; he or she embodies it.
Revival is always flavored by the unique personality and mission of the prophet. Against the materialism of his day, St. Francis of Assisi raised the voice of poverty. Out of the Welsh Revival rose the spirited devotion of lay Christians. Yet despite all leaders’ unique personalities, revival is always directed by one person—the Lord Himself. In any spiritual awakening, there is always one leader and one leader only—God. Through the Holy Spirit, chosen people embody or epitomize what He is doing for their time. Think of the most humble, dedicated Christian you know. These qualities of devotion to God, service to others, and obedience to the Word, prayer, and sacrifice are part of the personality consistent with the people God chooses to embody spiritual awakening.
They are a part of Burns’ seventh principle, the Principle of Brokenness and Confession. Brokenness and confession are what the prophet discovers and what the participants in revival experience. When brokenness, confession, and repentance begin to occur among God’s people, revival spreads with extraordinary swiftness. As pastors are sensitized to these issues, pointed preaching begins to occur. The principle of brokenness and confession then yields to a wonderful outcome.
As a result of confession and purification of the heart, people become so magnetically attracted to Christ that their dedication grows into a great enthusiasm to follow Him. Naturally, the good news is too life changing, too wonderful to contain. There’s an enthusiasm to serve Jesus and a desire to bring others to Him. This is evangelism in its most contagious form. When have you ever found yourself so broken, so aware of your sin that the only thing you could do was come to God and confess? What do you think would happen if the genuine remorse of a few swelled and became the repentance of multiplied thousands in our country? Based on His promise to forgive, how do you suppose the lives of individuals, the life of the church, and life as a whole in our nation might change?
2 Peter 1:21 New King James Version (NKJV)
21 For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 4:10-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To stay up-to-date with Jesus Now Awakening:
Phillips, Tom (2016-11-01). Jesus Now: God Is Up to Something Big (Chapter 7 p. 161-163). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC.