Familiar Chains

The Official Publication of the Church of God of Prophecy

Gary Lovette Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Gary Lovette
Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Growing up mostly in a small town has always afforded me the opportunity to see the world around me in very simplistic terms. For the most part, life didn’t seem to get that complicated until I reached adulthood. There were always familiar patterns to everyday life and church definitely fit into that mold. We knew when to expect certain things during certain times of the year.

Take youth camp for example. Every summer we would look so forward to getting ready to go to youth camp. We knew there would be hundreds of other young people just like us who would be there and be excited to be in such a charged atmosphere. We could always count on youth camp to be a life-changing event and in most cases it would turn out to be one of the greatest opportunities to experience the refreshing times of The Holy Spirit.

Many churches would experience revival after their youth came back from their great spiritual refreshing at youth camp. The youth would come back with great zeal to win the world to Christ. And then, most of the time, something familiar would happen. The zeal would die, for whatever reason, it would fade and die!

The Thrill is Gone

Maybe the church failed to capitalize on this golden opportunity to stoke the flames of revival—or maybe those who left in great bondage came back to fall right back into those same old familiar chains.

“Familiar Chains” could mean one of many things. Maybe the youth came back to their same old predictable, dead, dry churches to find that their churches weren’t interested in change and had no passion to win the lost. Maybe the youth came back and allowed themselves to become part of the bondages that they had experienced before youth camp, or maybe it was a little of both.

God in His great love for us many times has granted wonderful opportunities to advance the Kingdom by rejuvenating our spirits, whether at camp, at convention, or at assemblies. Oh, our intentions are honorable. We are going to these wonderful events so very hungry for more of God, and we seek God like never before. We experience great victory while we are there….and then we allow the same pattern when we return home.

Maybe you are reading this while you are attending such an event or have just attended one. You felt the supernatural presence of Almighty God in a way that you’ve never experienced before. You wept before God, thanking Him for being in your life and for the opportunity to be in that special event. You felt like when you were there that you could take on hell with a water pistol, but then—familiar chains! You return to the mortuary that has “Church” written over the door and wonder where God went. If you want to experience permanent breakthrough and not return to the old, familiar patterns of lethargy and stagnation, it will require a sacrifice on your part. You see, those wonderful refreshing times that you experienced at camp, retreat, conference, or assembly didn’t just happen by accident. They were preceded with great prayer and fasting. Preparations were made. Much time went in to each event to make sure that they were a success. It is no different in your local church.

Prepare the Way of the Lord

If you want those times of refreshing and renewal to continue as you return home, then you must be willing to pay the price. You must be willing to pray, fast, and make preparations for what God wants to do in the present and in the future. “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” (Jeremiah 29:11). I am convinced more and more that God wants to do so much more through us and for us! He wants to move us up to another plateau away from the predictability of our churches and our lifeless spiritual existence.

Great Revival Is Here

Great revival has begun all over the globe. As I write this article, I am hearing dynamic accounts of The Holy Spirit going before the preachers in India and when they arrive in the villages to preach, the entire community is coming to Christ. I am hearing about supernatural provision in ways that sound like

they came straight out of the Bible! There are documented accounts numerous times of people being transported from one place to another, just like Phillip the Evangelist experienced when he was found in the desert. In my own home town, a young man was raised from the dead because his local church refused to give up on him!

We have to ask the question here: “How can we, knowing that God is moving in such an historical, powerful way, be satisfied anymore with the mundane spirituality that we have grown accustomed to? How can we ever go back to the way things used to be?”

Revival has surely come to the nations. The secular media is virtually ignoring it for the most part. Well-known polling groups, calculating church growth or shrinkage the way they did 30 years ago, are, for the most part, missing what God is doing. The Kingdom is advancing extremely fast, especially in the last few months and many are missing it altogether.

It’s time that we as a church take a long, hard look at where we are headed and what we’ve allowed to transpire over the last few years. Have we become so comfortable with spiritless routines and programs that we have missed the boat on what God is doing in the Earth? Have we once again allowed ourselves to be wrapped with familiar chains?


—Garry Lovette

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