“Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys.” (Exodus Chapter 40 verse 36)
In my studies of revival history, one of the constant themes I’ve seen is that most revivals stopped when those involved stopped moving and camped around a truth. The Spirit of God is constantly on the move, and we must learn to follow the cloud if we are to sustain the current and future moves of God.
The children of Israel were told to follow the cloud of Glory which stood above them. They only stopped when the cloud stopped moving and those who refused to follow the cloud would eventually die in the wilderness due to the intense heat.
It takes discernment and humility to know when God is moving and when we are to transition from one season to another. One of the lessons I’ve learnedfrom church history is that the enemy of the current move of God is often the previous move of God.
Most people fight changes because humans often want to keep their traditions and it's very easy to reduce the church to traditions of men.
Many denominations are void of the presence of God because they are where God used to be and not where he is. The cloud has moved but the songs, the messages, the dance keeps going on because the people are used to the routine.
They can simulate the routine repeatedly and even if they get bored, they convince themselves that they are serving God and they are faithful believers. Even in Pentecostal churches, many have been stuck in a routine, it’s the same stuff week in week out, the same kind of songs, the same structure, the same pattern of service, the same rigid routine.
When movements become monuments
A lot of denominations today started as moves of God, but they stopped moving with God and have now become monuments to the past. They talk about the good old days but there is little to talk about in the present. Just like the marriage Jesus attended with his disciples (John 2:1-12).The wine has finished but the feast endures, the source of joy is gone but the protocols continue, they have reduced God to routines, so even if God manifests, they will reject him because it may follow the established order of things.
The Pharisees and Sadducees knew all the prophecies concerning the Messiah, they had been waiting for him for thousands of years but when he finally appeared, they rejected him because he didn’t appear the way they thought he would appear so they could not discern the Messiah in a manger. They persecuted the one whom they had always longed to see. What a tragedy!
Moves of God
Revival often comes in waves and it takes wisdom to ride the waves. Revival is not meant to be an end in itself but a wave that often leads to another wave. When Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in October 1517, it marked the beginning of the reformation.
After the reformation, came the Anabaptist movement. Luther himself criticized the new move. He said the Anabaptists should be drowned as they attempt water baptism. Luther is a great saint but he didn’t discern the new wave that had come.
Other moves of God arose such as the Quaker movement, the Moravian missionary and prayer movement, the first and second great awakening, the Welsh revival, the Azuza Street revival, the healing school of John G. Lake, the Charismatic Outpouring, the Hebrides revival, the latter rain movement, the Pensacola revival, etc. All were different waves of the move of God.
Many chose to journey with the cloud but others chose to camp around traditions and turn what should be a movement into a monument.
Listen to the son
When Jesus transfigured before Peter, James, and John, the first thought that came to Peter’s mind was to erect monuments in response to the glory he had seen:
“And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Mathew Chapter 11 verse 3-5)
God had to turn his attention from building into listening to Jesus. It’s not about the monuments we can build in the name of Jesus, it's not about how large our congregations are, it's not about how beautiful the cathedral is. It’s about listening to Jesus and walking with him.
All that is erected out of ambition, competition, or simply as a relic to the past will burn when our works are judged before God. All that will remain is that which is done in love and obedience to Jesus. Listen to the son and move as he moves.
Rume Kpadamrophe is an evangelist, writer, teacher and researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rume speaks French and English and loves to travel. His desire is to see revival ignited and sustained in the nations of the world. Rume’s email address is email@example.com
Rume’s previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rume-padsmrophe.html