Pastor Dennis J. Gallaher
There is a revival that is sweeping India. In the midst of the most rapid changes of social and economics that India has ever seen, an even greater change is marching across the landscape of India. Traditionally, the Christian population of India has been set in stone at less than 3% with many even contesting that number as being too high. But in meetings with recognized Christian leaders in Bangalore journalist Lee Grady reports that India is now at least 25 percent Christian with some estimating even a higher percentage. (Charisma 12/2012) In both North and South India, the explosive church growth among villages and Dalits is largely unreported. In the large urban centers including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore full gospel churches are reaching numbers of over 15,000 members.
C.Peter Wagner agrees. If these numbers are correct, “it would mean that India would have a total of approximately 300 million believers, about twice as many as China. India could well be the number one hot spot for the gospel.”
India is one of the youngest nations on the planet with an average age of 28 years and world-wide makes up one-sixth of the world’s population. It means that beyond the contributions to technology, medicine and manufacturing, India is also positioned to be a major player in the end time revival that God’s word promises.
Pastor Shekkar Kallianpur, pastor of New Life Fellowship in Mumbai, said, “We have a prophetic word over this nation that India will be a platform for the glory of the Lord to the nations. Hinduism was born here. Buddhism was born here. Sikhism was born here. Jainism was born here. New Age was born here. All these religions went to the nations. Now the time has come that India will proclaim the message of the Ageless One to the nations.” (Charisma 8/2012)
Simply put, Indians are coming to Christ in remarkable numbers. Though the issues of caste discrimination, leadership and lukewarm faith still permeates many churches, the sovereign move of the Holy Spirit cannot be denied in 21st century India. God is on the move and all have been called up to lead this great army. The true greatness of a nation can only arise on the shoulders of the true church. When the church of Jesus Christ becomes great then the culture will change and blessing will return to the land.
Revival is God’s idea, not man’s. At any given time, God can stir the coals of the gospel and revival fires can sweep over a land. The wonderful thing is that God always uses men and women to be the vessels of His grace. He chooses to use His church to be the vehicle of revival. What is most needed today are those in the church who desire to deeply influence India with the gospel because there is no greater influence in a nation than those who plant the church of Jesus Christ in unreached and barren places.
One of the greatest men in the bible who exemplified influence was a man named Gideon. His story is told in Judges 6. The country of Israel has been at peace for forty years but idolatry in the land brought the discipline of God to the door of God’s chosen people. With the worship of the creature rather than the Creator came the rebuke of God through the heathen nation of Midian.
For seven years the Midianite’s plagued Israel with torture, terrorism and trials. They destroyed the crops, stole the livestock, and ravaged the land – that is when Gideon enters the scene. Like the rest of Israel, he is hiding from the enemy trying to survive and absent of any hope that circumstances will change.
And then God shows up! Judges 6:12 records this encounter with the angel of the Lord, The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and said, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”
The first step to being an influencer in your generation is to embrace this word that was spoken to Gideon.
Things are bad – but God is with us!
Sin is rampant in the land – but God is with us!
The terrorists are at the door – but God is with us!
The heathen have bankrupted us, destroyed our heritage and taken our land – but God is with us!
What God needs is an army of Gideon’s – influencers – who will go forward, knowing that God is with us!
What Does It Take to be an Influencer?
There are two keys in Gideon’s story to being a successful influencer. Both are found in Judges 6:14.
The Lord looked at Gideon and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?”
The first key is found in the words, “Go in this your strength…”
Strength is not found in education, social status, heritage or family name. A Christian’s strength is found in the fact that God knows your name. He called you. He chose you. He commissioned you.
Do not fear, I am with you. Do not be dismayed, I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
It is plain and simple…The strength of the Lord is found in the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and then, you will be a witness to all of the power of God within you.” Acts 1:8
The same power that spoke this world into existence and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in you. So, GO IN THIS THY STRENGTH!
The second key is found later in the verse…
“Have I not sent you?”
Every believer is called to influence the generations but you must first be convinced that your marching orders have come from the throne room of God. A soldier’s orders are not on the basis of personal desire, education or status but on the basis of his superior’s word. It is the same with the Christian. Our calling is not based in anything less than God Almighty’s choosing.
The apostle Paul said it this way.
Consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
Our marching orders come from heaven itself, from the very throne of God. It is He who has called us to go and be the greatest influence of salt and light in the nations where we serve. There is no greater calling and no more secure commissioning than what the believer has received from God.
This culture will only rise on the shoulders of God’s grace as expressed through His holy church. The greatest gift that He has given is the grace expressed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and it is that grace that empowers and equips us for His service. That grace can only be taken to India through called and commissioned saints who are determined to influence this generation. The church will never rise up until men and women rise up and people will not rise up until they trust only God and His ways.
Will you hear that call today? Hear His call…
Have I not sent you?
THEN GO IN THIS THY STRENGTH!”