Religious Trends and Real Revival

by Clifton Tomes

Remember the "name it and claim it" trend? It had it's day but for the most part has fizzled out because it doesn't last-because it doesn't work.

I'll never forget one of my first encounters with an individual who had been convinced this trend was genuine. There I was in Boone, North Carolina, in the winter. "Cold" is not the word to describe this particular winter day. I'm talking snow flakes that looked to me as big as quarters. This particular lady came into the house where I was visiting. Once introduced, I said "Wow! Isn't this a cold day!

Her answer was: "I looked out the window this morning and saw all this snow. I stuck my head out the door and felt that blistering cold wind, and then I said, ‘in Jesus Name I rebuke this weather and in Jesus Name I refuse to accept it!' We don't have to accept weather like this."

Well, this no doubt good Christian lady had on a thick scarf over her head, gloves that looked like something Ali would have boxed with, and boots that she could have walked to the North Pole in. It was just another trendy religious movement of that day. There was also the rebuking of illnesses and all manner of problems that occurred during this same trend.

Listen, good Christian friend, some mountains God may indeed move out of our way because of our faith in His Son Jesus Christ; however, this same faith in Jesus will also give us the strength to climb some of these mountains. It all depends upon the will of God, not our trend of the moment.

Today we see other emotional trends sweeping across our Christian societies. We must be ever so cautious not to confuse emotionalism with revival. My emotions have often been stirred in music. As a gospel singer, song-writer, and musician it really doesn't take much to stir my emotions; however, revival takes place only when my heart and mind as well, as my emotions, are stirred.

A religious trend is simply a momentary development that will be replaced with another one in due time. Revival is when God is touching the heart, soul, and mind with His powerful, eternal and unchanging challenging Word, bringing about conviction of our need for His divine grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. When this leads us to walk in His paths, walking in the light as Christ shines His light in our hearts and minds-that's revival.

No, my friend, trends aren't revival. When all trends have long faded from our view, there will still be God. Nothing either past or present or to come can accomplish like a true revival from God. Dwight L. Moody once described a revival as being "that moment when God is restoring His church to good health."

May we look to God for revival! May we trust God for revival! And may we never confuse a trend for revival.

Clifton Tomes is a former pastor residing in Bowling Green, Ky.

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