Graham Cooke: pgs. 10-12
COHABITATION WITH GOD
Much of the terminology surrounding revival is geared to
events and special circumstances. It is largely “visitation” terminology.
We are looking for God to come in a move of the Spirit.
Yet the language of Scripture is one of abiding, a habitation of
the Spirit being built inside each of us.
In reality, revival is not about large numbers of people discovering
the King and His Kingdom. Something that is dead
spiritually cannot be revived, it must be born again. Revival is
for the church, not the world. We must wake up from our sleep.
Revival has three stages. First is renewal of our passion for
Jesus; we must return to our first love and learn to be abandoned
to His grace and power. Secondly we must be revived in
our compassion for the lost; to give our lives in service of the
Kingdom. The outcome of these two initiatives will release the
final stage reformation where the world will begin to respond to
the power and the glory of a risen Lord, inhabiting His people.
We need to lay down our agendas and words and give ourselves,
day in and day out, to loving Jesus. “He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living
water,” Jesus taught in John 7:38. People all too often come to
church meetings because they are thirsty. I just cannot understand
that. We should be coming to meetings because we’re full
of water and wanting to give some more of it away.
Learning to cohabit with God takes time. The pressure of
ministry is intense: it can stress us out, make us sick, even kill
us, unless we know how to rest in the Lord. It takes discipline
to bring ourselves to a place of peace before God, but it is absolutely
necessary to do so. It has taken years of practice for me,
but, on most days, I can bring myself to that place of peace
in five or ten seconds. It no longer matters what is swirling
around me or threatening me, I can still myself before God. I
have to: I need to be quiet to hear His voice. God loves to speak
in whispers. He rarely answers prayers at the same decibel level
at which they are prayed.
“Father!” we can shout at Him. “I need to hear Your voice!”
“I know,” He whispers back.
“Speak to me,” we bellow at the top of our lungs.
“I am,” He whispers.
“I need to hear Your voice today!” we blare.
“Shut up and listen,” He whispers.
“Be still, and know that I am God,” says Psalm 46:10. Meditation
is another avenue towards cohabitation with God. The
western church must learn to meditate, setting time aside to
think deeply about God. It doesn’t have to be long: just fifteen
minutes or half-an-hour, but the more you do it, the more time
you’ll want to give to Him. I love meditating.
Meditation and stillness flow into an upgrade of our peace.
I spend a lot of time on peace with the people I disciple. I constantly
confront them on the issue of peace in their lives. I
don’t expect them to worry or panic at the same level next year
as they did this year. Their peace must increase, and anxiety
decrease. Peace is a vital fruit of the Spirit. Without an upgrade in our
capacity to rest in the Lord, we find ourselves running on
adrenaline. That’s okay for awhile, but for every adrenaline
high, there’s an adrenaline low. Often, people get down and
depressed because they have been running on adrenaline, and
they’ve run out. It’s not the pressure of life that gets to us, it’s
the pressure of how we run it.
Peace, though, is an equalizing pressure.
If the world is throwing a thousand pounds of pressure at you from the outside,
peace sends a thousand and one pounds from the inside.
I’m under pressure wherever I go—intense pressure in most
places. Everyone wants to see me and talk to me and pull at me
and get prayer from me. I don’t mind; it’s my job. To survive,
I have learned to be at peace. My rest in God gives me space.
Eventually, adrenaline will rob our mind and body and will
leave us exhausted. It’s okay to be tired in the work, but it’s not
okay to be tired of the work. We must learn to give ourselves
to peace, rest, and meditation. We can operate at the highest
level for many years if we have developed ourselves internally