I had heard the name Surprise Sithole, on a number of occasions and was more than eager to meet him. On Sunday afternoon the 10th of march while ministering with team in Nelspruit , I had just this opportunity. He leads a small church called Iris Revival Church. On arriving we were greeted by this warm, friendly, humble man whose smile could light up the darkest room. Excitement rose in me as we shook hands and embraced. Born to witch doctors, he had been saved from sure death as a young boy, he has seen the dead raised and speaks 17 languages, some of which God gave him supernaturally. I had the keen sense that the words he would speak would stir up something in my spirit and impart life and truth to all in the little chapel that afternoon.
The title of Sithole’s message was ” The face of Revival “. He showed how every revival in the past had looked different from each other, they each had a “different face”. The Toronto Revival, Korean Revival, Azusa Street and Argentinian Revival. In one place deep conviction and a fear of the Lord fell on people as they walked on the streets or came close to a revival meeting. Lawlessness became a thing of the past in one such revival and the prisons were literally emptied out. Surprise read a scripture from the book of Haggai “And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.”(Haggai 2:7 ESV). He shared how God told him that there would be a revival in South Africa and that the face of this revival would be unity. God would start shaking us and through this shaking an outpouring of His love would come, a supernatural love for people. This love would demonstrate God in such a way that people would be united like never before in the history of South Africa. As I sat and listened intently with tears running down my face, my spirit shouted out in agreement.
I decided to take a look at some revivals of the past. (I have added some links at the end of this column for you to start your own exploration). The stories I read stirred me so deeply. The psalms say; “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.” Psalm 145:4-6. This history excites and motivates me to pray earnestly for God to bring revival once again. It is the passionate, singleminded prayers of believers who would not stop crying out to God that is the common denominator of all past revivals. Let us pray that the life of the Lord Jesus will be poured into human hearts, hearts that will be made soft through an encounter with the Spirit and power and be forever changed. I believe that as we love, the love of Jesus in us, overflows to others, the results will be brokenness, repentance, confession, restitution and salvation. I want to encourage you to just take a look at one revival of the past. Allow your heart to be excited, your passion to be fuelled and your prayer life to reach new heights.
As I continue to read in Haggai 2: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:8, 9 ESV). I am even more convinced that this is the time, this is the season for revival. We are living in ” The Latter”. I remember an old song we used to sing in church ” send revival and start with me”. We can and must be praying and asking for revival now. Only ask if you are ready to be shaken! Are you willing for your life to be undoubtedly changed and inconvenienced in your pursuit of revival? Even though I know shaking is most often painful, if this is what it must take then I want in. Shake every stubborn, jealous, prideful and selfish bone out of our bodies God. Fill us with submission, love, acceptance and selflessness. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours Lord. Help us love the unlovable, care for the destitute and walk with the broken into wholeness. Use us as your hands and feet. If unity is going to be the face of the revival in South Africa, then let us be aware of the enemy doing everything in his power to sow disunity. Be vigilant to do everything to “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”, (Ephesians 4:3 ESV). Let us live prophetic lives, lives poured out for others as Jesus did.
Listening to Surprise Sithole did stir something up in me and everyone there that day. Whatever was imparted to us through the worship, the message and prayer has lingered in and over me. I long to see my South Africa filled with the glory of The Lord, that His saving grace unites us. My prayer is that we wait no longer for others to pray but we in FAITH, with HUMILITY, fall down in REPENTANCE and PRAY:
God send Revival, and yes, start with me!
The beginning of the great argentine revival http:// www.evanwiggs.com/revival/history/The%20Beginning%20of %20the%20Great%20Argentine%20Revival.htm