Whoever said, “To obtain is often easier than to maintain,” wasn’t kidding. Are there any folks you know who “used to be” in the River? Are you a “used-to-be-in-the-River?”
Just like the children of Israel who witnessed the mighty power of God and then grumbled in the wilderness while the cloud was still hovering over the tabernacle, Christians can let the power and presence of God slip through their hands.
When God places His “hand” on you and commits a blessing to you, whether it is a calling, a spiritual gift, or revival, it is important to guard it. Sadly, like Esau, sometimes we would sell it for “a single meal.” That single meal could be a reputation, financial security, a position, a relationship. Whatever it is, it is something temporal and not eternal.
To date more than 3 million have been to Toronto. Had everyone maintained the blessing, the world would be saved by now. But what happens? We let it go. Usually, as it was in Esau’s case, temptation comes in a time when we are weary from persecution or trouble or boredom that we say, “Oh well. I guess renewal is over!” In that moment, it is over but only for you.
Esau could not recover his birthright though he sought it carefully with tears. I doubt that they were tears of repentance but probably tears of regret from losing his fortune. Sometimes grieving the Holy Spirit carries eternal consequences. What does it take to recover a birthright?
I believe that the Holy Spirit always honors humility. When you discover yourself letting the precious go, stop! Turn to the Lord in true repentance and ask the Lord’s forgiveness for despising what is so precious that it can’t be duplicated. How would you value what God gave you in 1994 if you could recover it now?
Recovering your birthright means to begin placing a high value on it again. Recognize the value of what you have let go. The Father’s Blessing is an intimate relationship with Him and a fullness of the Holy Spirit that makes you on fire with passion for Jesus. Place the thing on the altar that pushed the blessing out of your life. Return to spending time “soaking in His presence.” Remember the early days when you were in awe of God. Know that God is ready to revive the spirit of the meek and the heart of the contrite. Don’t allow others who let go of the blessing, influence you to let go of it, too. In the end it will not matter what anyone else did with what God gave them. It will only matter what you did with what God entrusted to you.
Stop trying to keep revival for yourself or your church and start giving the blessing away again. Pick up where you left off. The church of Ephesus in Revelation 2 didn’t lose its first love, it left its first love. Go back and find that love again. It’s worth everything you’ll give for it.
Go for His presence with whatever it takes to get it back, even if it means apologizing to someone you offended. It is always easier to fast or pray or go to the mission field than it is to obey. God doesn’t want your sacrifices. He wants your love. His presence is His blessing and you can recover Him if you want to. In this issue you will be blessed with the testimonies of people who have learned what it is to have the fire, lose the fire and catch it again. Listen to their words of wisdom and know that you can recover that fire. It is your birthright.
Originally Published August/October 2005 Editor Melinda Fish