Steve Hill: Revival and Risky Radicals

Steve Hill
Steve Hill

Editor's Note: Steve Hill passed away earlier this year. This is one of his classic articles.

Throughout the Bible, we find those who were willing to become "risky radicals" for God. These men and women put their all on the line for Him, and as a result, God used them to do the impossible and to change the circumstances of their day.

Elijah was a risky radical who was like a bolt of fire that God loosed upon wicked King Ahab and sinful Israel.  Another risky radical was an extraordinary woman of God named Esther who secured a remarkable deliverance for Jews by stepping in and placing her own life on the line in order to do something great for God.

We could speak of other radicals such as John the Baptist who confronted King Herod and the religious people of his day, of David who fearlessly slew Goliath with just a sling and a few small stones, of Peter who walked on the water or of Stephen who put his life on the line preaching to the religious leaders.

Over the years, I've studied church history, including the great revivals of the past. I've also been involved in two major revivals. In every historical move of God, you will find risky radicals.

I'm convinced that the greatest move of God the world has ever seen is in front of us, not behind us. God is looking for those He can use in this day and hour who will expose themselves to risk and be extreme for Him.

God is scanning the earth in search of believers: Who are willing to change their ROUTINE in order to make a difference in this world.

Every one of us has a routine. I get up every single morning at 5:00 a.m., get a cup of coffee and immediately go into prayer. After I spend time in prayer, I go out and exercise. I have a routine and it's like clockwork to me—I don't have to think about it.

If you are going to do anything for God, you must be willing to change your routine.

If David had not been willing to change his routine of tending sheep to answering the call of God to slay Goliath, he would never have been promoted and eventually become king. He had to change his routine.

If the woman with the issue of blood had not been willing to change her routine and use the last bit of her energy to touch the hem of His garment, she would never have been healed.

If Noah had not been willing to change his routine to begin constructing the ark, when the flood came, who knows what would have happened?

If Peter had not been willing to change his routine of fishing to follow Jesus, he would never have become a fisher of men.

If John Wesley and George Whitfield had not been willing to change their routine from preaching in churches to preaching in the open air, there would not have been the greatest revival in English history.

Each of these men and women received miracles and were mightily used of God because they were willing to be a risky radical and change their normal ROUTINE.

God is scanning the earth in search of believers: Who have learned how to RELY on Him in order to make a difference in this world.

Remember the three radical young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were thrown into the fire for refusing to bow down and worship the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar? Talk about risk! They knew that their refusal to bow down and worship the image would probably cost them their lives, yet they risked their lives to take a stand for their God. As a result, they walked through the fiery furnace with the fourth man!

Everybody wants to experience the fourth man, but nobody wants the fire! Are you willing to take a risk for God? A risky radical—someone who's going to do something for God—is someone who relies on God to do what they can't do in their own strength or ability.

If you're going to be someone who God can use to bring about change, then you must learn how to RELY on God.

God is scanning the earth in search of believers: Who are not afraid of causing a RIOT in order to make a difference in this world.

In Acts 17, Paul and Silas were preaching the Gospel in Thessalonica where many came to believe on Christ. As a result, a group of envious, unbelieving Jews caused an uproar and assaulted the house of Jason looking for Paul and Silas. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus" (Acts 17:6-7).

How many of us today could be accused of 'turning the world upside down' because of doing something extreme for God? If you are going to do anything for God, you will disturb the status quo.

A while back a man got a hold of a video of my message, "When The Gavel Falls," which is all about the judgment of God. He was trying to get his lost loved ones saved. While visiting at his wife's brother's house, he got up early one morning, put the video on and turned up the volume really loud so his family could hear it. The family came in. His wife's brother's girlfriend also came in and sat down. She was riveted to the message. After watching the video, she got up and left the room. Ten minutes later she came back screaming that she was going to hell if she didn't get saved. She gave her life to Jesus Christ and is now on fire for God and going to church. In fact, she's taking her family to church. But her boyfriend is fuming mad at what's happened.

This man caused a riot or a disturbance in his family! The girlfriend is also causing a riot in her relationship with her boyfriend. My friend, these kinds of riots are wonderful because they are centered around what God is doing.

God is looking for men and women who aren't afraid to upset the status quo by causing a RIOT for his kingdom!

God is scanning the earth in search of believers: Who would like to receive a REWARD for making a difference in this world.

A reward is something you receive in return for the work that you've rendered. An Oscar or a Golden Globe is awarded to actors for an incredible performance, the Gold Medal to the best Olympic athletes, the Heisman Trophy to the most outstanding college football player, and the Pulitzer Prize to those who distinguish themselves in journalism and fine arts. The prestigious Nobel Prize is awarded to those who make significant contributions to society in the areas of science, medicine, literature, peace or economics.

These rewards are earned by the best of the best for a lifetime of hard work and exceptional accomplishments, and only a handful of people will ever receive such an honorable award for their life's work. As distinguished and prestigious as these rewards may be, they are temporal, and the glory and honor that they bring will one day fade away.

But there is a reward that is eternal, and God is searching the earth for believers who want to receive His reward.

Paul speaks of his reward from the Lord for being faithful and for making a difference in this world:

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Hebrews 11 speaks of those heroes of the faith who've gone on before us and received their reward for what they did on earth.

God has rewards laid up for all who will go for the gold. He's looking for those who are willing to take a risk, who will step outside of themselves and will live their lives for eternity.

The reason why many people and churches never move forward is because they want to stay in their comfort zone. But God always calls us to do something that we can't do ourselves. If we could do it ourselves, then it's not faith.

God is looking to REWARD those who are willing to take a risk, step out in faith and believe Him to do the impossible.

Are you willing to break out of your ROUTINE, to RELY on Him to do what you can't do yourself and to cause a disturbance or RIOT as you step out in faith to do something for God?

If you answer the call to be one of God's risky radicals, then on that day when you stand before Him, you will receive a REWARD for making a difference in this world. And that, my friend, is a reward worth living for!

Evangelist Steve Hill preached the Brownsville Revival for five years, was pastor emeritus of Heartland World Ministries Church and authored 13 books, including Spiritual Avalanche.

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