IT ALL STARTED WHEN…
At a worship night in August 2017, God told me that He had planted the seed of revival in my heart. He told me that if I will give myself to grow what He has given me, it will eventually bud forth to be seen by all. So I wrote it on the back of one of those very "Pinterest" felt boards: "God planted revival in my heart 8/17." But as I began to pray about it more, God showed that what I had just seen in August, He had planted in my heart years ago when I was thirteen years old. This is important because that year was the year I was baptized, but it was also the year I began to backslide into addiction to sin. However, it was in that time as I gave up on my relationship with God that I wanted revival for my neighborhood. I started a blog and began to write about purity and revival, even though I personally didn't want much to do with God. It was the craziest thing. As I've talked to God this year, He showed me that He chose to plant the seed of revival in me at a time when I had so little faith in God to make it obvious that when He carries out any exploit of faith through my life, it is not because of my faith in God, but His grace to me. For He was faithful to me even when I was faithless to Him.
"...He chose to plant the seed of revival in my heart at a time when I had so little faith in God to make it obvious that when He carries out any exploit of faith through my life, it is not because of my faith in God, but His grace to me. For He was faithful to me even when I was faithless to Him."
WHEN SUNDAY NIGHTS BEGAN...
Early this year, our Pastor Bob Kopeny met with me and shared his vision & desire for revival to flood over Orange County, and how he had been praying for years to see it done. In this meeting, Pastor Bob invited me to lead a Bible study not just for our youth, but for our whole church and county. I was humbled, but also very aware of how unqualified I am to assist him in this way. However, after months of praying, wrestling, and seeking Jesus I chose to step up to accept the invitation.
The evening that I accepted the opportunity to begin planning for Sunday Nights, I had a mixture of so many emotions and thoughts. I was so excited about what God had chosen me to do, and yet there was a good part of me that was terrified and clueless about how He could do this through me. I don't have a high school education, I speak with a stutter and a speech impedement, and I am the youngest Pastor at our church. All this drove me to Jesus, and I would not go to sleep until the Lord spoke to me about all of this. At 3 am in my little patio, the Lord finally gave me the words out of a Psalm I had been memorizing that week: "Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act." - Psalm 37:7. This was so important because the work of revival on any scale is not something that comes from the east or the west, but it only comes from God above. Therefore, what God was saying was simply, "wait on Me and do what you can, and I will do the works that only I can do." The very next morning, I woke up to the news that Reverend Billy Graham had passed away. As I was just beginning to process that, I felt the finger of the Lord point to me right at the chest and He said, "you're it." With those words came the understanding that He wasn't saying that I am the "next Billy," but that the mantle of his powerful ministry, evangelism, and revival was now on me and my generation to press forward towards. Immediately following this, the Devil would relentlessly attack me in my dreams, and almost everything in my life that held value either broke or came under distress. But through that whole week, God kept telling me so clearly that the devil only attacks what He is afraid of.
"...I felt the finger of the Lord point to me right at the chest and He said, "you're it." With those words came the understanding that He wasn't saying that I am the "next Billy," but that the mantle of his powerful ministry, evangelism, and revival was now on me and my generation to press forward towards."
There is so much more God has done, but through it all, God has made it clear that my life's purpose is revival, and it is what I will live and die for. I may live like Moses, who by the way He lived another could claim the promise, or my life is like Joshua who would rather risk his life to claim the promise than to live a life of disobedience. All this to say, I will die before I quit on revival.
- Pastor Josh Terada