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Becoming Revival becoming_revivalI was at a youth conference for 2 days right around Christmas time.

As I watched young people get touched by God all around the room, I started remembering back to the times I went to youth conferences. I remembered going for a weekend, being surrounded by people going after God, hearing amazing guest speakers, and getting totally set on fire!I remembered those amazing times of personal revival. Then I remembered going home. I remembered going back to life as I knew it before the weekend, being surrounded by people not going after God. I also remembered a few weeks later, when I would wonder when the next conference would be so I could get set on fire again. Then I began to wonder about these young people all around me, getting touched by God, experiencing there own personal revivals. Would they go back to life as they knew it before this weekend? Would they be the ones who weeks later would wonder where the fire went? Would they be the ones waiting desperately for the next conference to come? As I stood there with all this running through my mind I remembered Lazarus. If there is anyone in the Bible who experienced personal revival it was him. Think about it! The dude was dead for 4 days and Jesus raised him back to life. Talk about born again! But if you read the story all the way through in John 11, it doesn't finish with him coming out of the grave. The very next verse (44) says that "he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth." Check it out, Lazarus just came back from the dead, he has a brand new life; but he's still wearing the clothes they put on dead people! Now he didn't come out of grave with his suit and tie on, because in those days, the people were buried a bit different than we do it now. He was wrapped up, sort of like a mummy. He's alive, but he still smells like he's dead, because of the oils and spices. His face is wrapped, that means he can see (similar to putting your t-shirt over your face), but not clearly. He can hear, but it's muffled. He can speak, but not like he should. His hands are bound, so he can touch people, but not really. His feet are bound, so he can walk, sort of. But the truth is, HE CAN'T STEP INTO HIS FUTURE, BECAUSE HE HASN'T BEEN FULLY SEPARATED FROM HIS PAST. Let that one sink in a bit... Lazarus had just experienced one of the greatest personal revivals ever, just like what happens to young people all over the world at conferences! But if you read the rest of verse 44, you see that Jesus really isn't interested in people only experiencing revival, He wants them to become a revival! He wants them to see, hear, and speak clearly! He wants their minds completely free! He wants them to be able to reach out to the people in their school, their job, their neighborhood and their family. He wants them to walk out the life He gave them! He doesn't want them wearing the clothes they wore when they were dead!

So what are these graveclothes for us? What can make a person who is totally alive, act like they are dead? It's crazy, cause after being wrapped this way for 4 days, it probably FELT as though these graveclothes were part of him. It's the same for us, because that's how graveclothes always FEEL, like they are part of who we are. So what are they? Condemnation, guilt and shame. Condemnation gives you names for the sins you committed. Then guilt reminds you of those names, of the person you used to be. And fear will send you thoughts and make you believe they are yours. So look, if you smoked, condemnation calls you a ...? If you stole, condemnation calls you a ...? If you lied, condemnation calls you ...? If you looked at porn...pervert. If you did drugs...addict. If you drank...alcoholic. You sinned...sinner! Then guilt says: Remember you're a smoker? Liar? Your mind is perverted? And fear says: I should just do drugs again to deal with all this; I mean, I am an addict. Man! I always think those thoughts, I'll never change...etc. These are what get wrapped onto dead people. These are what start to feel like your own skin once they've been on long enough. If you believe these, then by faith you will continue to do them. These are the graveclothes that Jesus wants off! If you look at the very last part of verse 44, Jesus said, "loose him, and let him go." That's the whole reason I'm writing this, to set you free from the past so you can step into your future. To tell you that you are a son or daughter of God, you have His DNA. It's totally natural for you to love. It's totally natural for you to have good relationships. It's totally natural for you to forgive. It's totally natural for you to hold a job. It's totally natural for you to live free from sin. If the life you are living is inconsistent with the nature of God, it is because you believe a lie about who you are. Hebrews 9:14 says that by Jesus' blood, your conscience is cleansed so you can serve God. Romans 8:1 says that now there is no condemnation for you who is in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:16 says you have the mind of Christ. If thoughts are coming to you that are inconsistent with His thoughts they are not yours, don't keep thinking them! At the end of the 2 day conference, we had a tunnel that everyone came through to get the graveclothes ripped off of them! Some people went into visions of God, others felt God's presence again. Other's relationships changed, because they could actually communicate again, and be communicated to. They walked out of their graves and kept right on walking...into their destinies; and you will too!