A Porch Revival
Acts 5:12-16 tells about the ongoing revival that was happening as the apostles continued to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all who would listen. God’s Spirit was moving so powerfully that miraculous signs and wonders were seen by all who were near. In verse 12 scripture says, “And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade.” The Colonnade, also know as Solomon’s Porch was not like any porch we may think about on the largest house in America. That porch was HUGE and the amount of believers that met there must have been many also. In the very next verse it says, “No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.” This meeting on the porch was probably well attended, but others would not dare join them, even though they were well thought of. The people of the area knew something was going on and they could see evidence of it by the large crowds, but they still stayed at a distance, and decided not to be associated with the events that were happening. It also says that people were still being won to Christ and converts were being added to their number, despite many who were staying away.
When revival breaks out and God’s Spirit starts to move, those who don’t know Jesus don’t know what to think about it. If revival can happen on a porch at the end of an evil rulers (Herod’s)temple, then revival can happen anywhere. Location is not the important element, but God’s Spirit moving is. Early in my ministry, I was a youth pastor at a church in Missouri and our family owned a small three bedroom home on two acres of land about 3 miles from town. You had to really want to get there to get there. We had seen God do some great things at youth meetings we were having at the church and decided to have a Monday night meeting at our home to continue some of what God was doing and see where it might all go. We started out with about 40 students coming to our home and we basically sat on the floor because we didn’t have enough chairs for the number attending. Our yard was filled with cars, because our driveway wouldn’t handle all the cars of those attending. My wife would organize having some snacks and drinks for attendees, but mostly the food and drinks were a non issue. These students were seeking God and they were excited about what was going on. It was REVIVAL and God was showing up in a big way. After about four weeks of our weekly meetings I noticed the place I usually taught from in our living room was no longer available to me. It was at the point I decided to count how many were at our home that night. I counted over 100 students!! Wow! This thing had gotten very big and our time of worship and Bible study was astounding!! Not because of my teaching, but because God’s Spirit was moving in the lives of those students. Some of the older students came up and made suggestions about what we needed to do next and after some prayer, we decided to believe for God to take back territory in our local high school. Those students got very aggressive and that revival came to the High School. It began in our living room and then went to “the streets.”
In verse 15 it says,“people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.” God chose to use Peter in an extraordinary way in that porch revival. In the revival at our home God used those students who really believed to lead others to Jesus and see their hearts healed for eternity. I can actually say I was never the same after those home meetings and I long for God to move again through His people. Of course, Peter at that time was a pivotal part of the whole process and still probably had the afterglow of the day of Pentecost on his life.
Here are some things to remember.
1. Peter preached Jesus
2. The converts bonded together and formed a congregation
3. The needs were met by that congregation of believers
4. They continued to meet and follow the teaching of God’s Word
5. God showed up in an extraordinary way
6. Outside people didn’t necessarily want to be seen with this group of people
7. They just knew something was going on and wanted to see God’s Spirit move on their behalf (healings)
It all came to be on a porch. Of all things, a porch. In the revival movement in Missouri it all started in a living room. A living room in a very plain, inexpensive home out in the country. When God wants to move, He will move where He wants, so be ready. The important thing about the apostles response to God moving in Acts 5 is “they let it happen” and didn’t move it to the Synagogue. They just let it happen where it happened and a revival generation was born. What kind of stipulations do we put on God to fit him into the box we have prepared for Him? What does the box look like? Who are the builders of the boxes? Have you ever noticed that we pray for God to move, but we only want Him to do it like we want it to happen? Surely there is something very wrong with that prayer.
A more acceptable attitude about God moving is this “God please bring revival and please bring it as you want it and as we need it!!” If we changed our attitude to respond to where God is moving, we might get in on something life changing and real. Henry Blackaby preached this very thing in the book Experiencing God. What started out as a book has now turned into an international ministry that challenges all who are a part to believe for God to move and get into the movement.
I think often about those meetings we had at my house in Missouri and remember that the very thing that brought Revival to our hearts was the unashamed belief in God’s Word and in His Spirit. Believe it or not that revival happened 30 years ago and many who were a part of those meetings are serving faithfully in ministry today. Can God do it again in today’s cynical, pc driven world? YOU BET! Here’s the plan. Start praying now for God to move and show you how to get the whole going and then dive in without preconceived ideas of what to do next and let Him guide you. It may be in a home, or a school, or maybe even in a church. Only God knows where it needs to happen and what needs to happen.
Just trust him and then turn Him loose and I believe you will see your “porch revival.” Solomon’s Porch was over 2 football fields in length and it was filled with people seeking God and they found Him there. Our Revival happened in David and Andra’s living room and it was a 25′ X 20′ room with hardwood floors and only 20 chairs. I believe I missed an opportunity to capture the moment and make an even greater impact for the kingdom, but I won’t miss it again. Now is the time for God to pour out His Spirit on His church and bring revival. Where will it be next? It could be your home, or your porch, or your back deck. Only God knows!! Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Who is in control of your plans?
The Pilgrimage continues….