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Fixing Our Eyes on the King

** I am HONORED to feature a guest blog from my very dear friend, Ella! I have had the delight of walking alongside this 16 year old POWERHOUSE in the Kingdom of God for many years now, and as you will immediately sense in her words, Ella is a beloved daughter of the King and a Revivalist who is receiving and releasing the power of God in incredible ways. Ella is a student leader at my home church, Overflow Church, and I just KNOW you'll love her as much as we do! - Chuck

How familiar are you with the book of Habakkuk? Anyone? No problem, that’s why I’m here. In the 7th century, Israel was lost in their sin. Habakkuk was a prophet who arose to intercede for the state of a nation. He cried out to the Lord for help and God revealed something shocking. He was going to use the Babylonians as His tool to bring correction. Babylon had a history of jumping into evil in ways that made Israel’s sins look like nothing. How could this be the right way to receive God’s promises? Have you ever asked the same? Habakkuk had read all about his God, but had not yet experienced the goodness of a King who was waiting to write him into a new narrative of revival. The book ends with Habakkuk's full surrender to trust the Lord and to wait for Him to come…however He wants:

“O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years, revive it, in the midst of the years, make it known.” Habakkuk 3:2

 Revive. What do you think of when you hear that word? I see a fire being rekindled. Or a plant springing back to life after it seemed dead. That is exactly what revival means. 

Reverting to your created design. 

Refocusing your perspective. 

Coming back to life. 

How does revival come? It reminds me of the game of chess. The goal of chess is to vanquish your opponent’s king, without your own king becoming vanquished. The difficulty is dodging the capture of your other precious tokens. When I had become confident enough in the skill of chess, I challenged my grandpa to a match. Within five minutes, he had effortlessly won and I found myself trapped in one of his trademark “teachable moments.” He looked at me and said, “Some people try to fool you by sweeping all of your pieces off the board but remember, you haven’t lost until they have your king.”

He was right, in more ways than one. In chess, a typical strategy is to lure your opponent’s focus away from their king by placing another valuable piece, such as their queen or bishop, into jeopardy. To win, and to even stay alive, you have to continually keep your eyes on your king. 

Unobstructed focus on Jesus is the strategy God uses for revival. 

Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill wrote, “the only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it.” Revival only arrives when we ignore the distractions begging for our attention and stand fully resolved to be more hungry for Jesus than for anything else. 

Just like the game of chess, we must be willing to suffer the loss of every other piece of our own demands, our comforts, and our ‘way’ of doing things. Everything except our King. When we choose to do this, our eyes become open to our opponents’ schemes and our focus shifts to winning with our King. 

Revival comes for one singular reason: because people are tremendously hungry for Jesus. 

They have come to the life-altering conclusion that nothing else satisfies more than His presence. Nothing else has the power to sweep our cities with newness and life better than the One who created us. Imagine going back to humanity’s original design; imagine loving each other with no strings attached!  I mean, sign me up! But before we get excited about the newness and life, can I say something scandalous? The reward of revival is not how many people come to know him, how many healings occur, or how much the Church expands… 

The reward of Revival is Jesus Himself. 

When you are devoted to Jesus, you are brought back to life, and so is everything you engage with. It’s the fruit of your personal revival in Him. So what’s stopping us from having our souls focus on the king? THE PAWNS!!! These could be your financial situation, a device, social media, your own pride or fear,  your career, a relationship, or ministry.

What are you focused on: your pawn, or your king?

Jesus said that His Kingdom is at hand. That means that you and I have the opportunity to take it, because revival starts with a decision. Your decision. It feels unbelievable. God knew Habakkuk wouldn’t believe it either.

“Look at the nations and watch–and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you wouldn’t believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5

All that is needed in this very moment is to drop the worries and the distractions and to long for Jesus alone. Revival is not a distant hope; it is a current reality for every son or daughter who will simply fix our eyes on our King. Will you?

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