How the Apostles Sustained Revival with One Decision

Sustaining Revival

If we are to be successful in sustaining revival we must prioritize Acts 6.

In Acts 6 the Apostles had to make a huge decision in prioritizing the Word and Prayer over ministry in the church.

Through the first five chapters in the book of Acts we witness the church exploding with power and the Presence of the Lord. The needs in the church were increasing. Problems surfaced. Needs had to be met. The pressure was on.

The Apostles made an all-important decision that we can all learn from. The problem they faced was never ignored but rightfully administrated without loosing their focus on keeping the First Commandment (Mark 12:30) in first place.

Acts 6:2-4 “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and we will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”

This was a crucial move. By prioritizing the First Commandment over the Second, it paved the way to great multiplication. Even the priests were giving their hearts to the Lord. This one decision was the catalyst that both increased and sustained revival!

Acts 6:7 “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

Though taking care of ministry needs are important, it should never move us away from continual encounter with the Lord through Prayer and the Word.

But throughout church history we have seen how ministry demands gobble-up time away from the Lord. Many Pastors and leaders are suffering from burnout which leads to huge problems.

I love this example we find here. Keep the focus strong and the priority solid. First commandment, first!

Later we see the Apostle Paul pen these words to the church at Ephesus:

Ephesians 4:11-13 11 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The Ephesian 4 mandate will not soar unless the Acts 6 priority is made.

We are all leaders and have influence to one degree or another. It is important to be examples of a First Commandment reality much like the Apostles were.

So be intentional and prioritize quality time in Prayer and in the Word to grow and sustain revival from your own history in God!

Your Turn: Do you struggle with putting ministry to others in front of ministry to the Lord? How do we get better at continually making the First Commandment first place in our lives?

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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16 Comments

  1. bill scofield

    awesome!  Great reminder.  It’s always crazy as those passages become more fleshed out.  It’s a good reminder that the needs were legitimate. It also seems that being lured away from a life where the Word and prayer are a priority betrays the the fear that my success in ministry relies on my ability to impress others and draw them to my group.  
      A private life of prayer and going deep in the Word is just so stinkin’ wise on a bunch of levels.  Good thinking, God!

    1. Yeah. So true. Good stuff in your comment. If we are not careful, our identity can get wrapped up in our ministry. So subtle because ministry is what we are called to do. We can flip our primary calling around so easily.

  2. Frank

    This was new insight for me… very interesting… still thinking about it… I’ve always been called it seems more to service… but as I am confronted in the mirror with a crotchity old guy, I wonder where’s that sweet spirit I had as a young beliver? This may be part of the answer.

    1. Hope this helps regardless of our age 😉 These Apostles were seasoned men…like you and me. We still have to fight for the 1st Commandment reality regardless of the the grey hair…or no hair. 🙂 

  3. this was really a great reminder.  i personally struggle with it all the time.  i have a desire to have  ministry to the Lord be my number one thing.  in reality, the urgent (even good urgent like ministry to others) often screams louder than the important and so it gets my attention.  i am learning and growing in getting this shifted.

    my recent post: it’s the simple things

    1. I think we minister best when I place time in His Word and Prayer first. I just thought that Acts 6 was such a KEY leadership decision. Who knows what would have happened if the chose a different coarse of action. Since we are building Houses of Prayer we need to keep this in front of us. 

      1. it is good to keep in front of us!  i think it really helps navigate the struggle correctly when we can look and see the key decision of the apostles during valid ministry needs.  

  4. Wendi4him

    Good reminder! It’s so hard to keep the 1st Commandment just that, First. There’s always things and people vying for our attention…weather it be the Tyranny of the Urgent, FB, our iphones (or any other phone you have in your grasp), Instagram, the internet and computers in general, television, shopping…on and on the list goes. Face it, the World is SCREAMing at us for our attention. When the Lord is saying, “Be still and know that I AM GOD.” Prayer and the Word is communion with Him…a growing relationship, time spent with the One Who is everything! oh that we keep pressing in and prioritizing HIM! I know I’m better and whole when I’ve been WITH HIM. Why do we struggle? HELP us JESUS!!! Give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the Knowledge of YOU, God…awaken Love in us!…Thx!

    1. Love your response. I say YES to all of it. l think I need you to guest post for M1P. Be great to hear something more from my wife. 😉 

  5. Ryan

    It’s where our weak yes gives us the ability to sustain. Not thinking that we have arrived and now we just have to run our ministry. The simple. The root. The ability to sustain all flows from Him. It takes God to love God. I’m so glad He makes it simple for us.

    1. Ryan, thanks for the reminder about keeping it simple and staying humble.  For some reason simple devotion gets lost in ministry clutter. I am glad the guys in Acts 6 made the right choice and set a solid example to follow for us in leadership positions especially when revival hits.

  6. I am feeling the pull of the Holy Spirit to just sit and be WITH Him.  And I admit, it’s not easy.  Being a wife, mom, full-time employee and desiring to minister before the Lord in the House of Prayer, even on a part-time level, I am finding how very much I have to fight for that time.  One thing I am doing to help me is being intentional with scheduling my time with the Lord.  It’s a learning curve for me, but it’s getting better.  I am realizing more and more that I can’t just do the “when I feel led approach” because more often than not, it just doesn’t happen.

    1. Barbie, Good point your making here. We have to be intentional about blocking out time not out of a legalistic approach but for a lifeline encounter. I understand that I get to “pray always” and “pray without ceasing” but I NEED to block out time to slow down and be with Him. Keep moving on your approach to do this!

  7. Good post!
    When I read your question I had a guilty feeling overwhelm me. I put God and ministry to Him first but I always feel guilty. I should be doing this or that not sitting here praying or taking a walk and praising Him. I know these feelings are wrong and just a jab from Satan but they sure are powerful, so I rebuke them and continue on but it is always looming over me.

    <

    1. So true. This happens to me often, more than I care to admit! You have established a priceless priority.  You are blazing an amazing trail for others. Keep going!! Jesus loves it! 

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