The call to pursue revival is a call to be a pioneer. A revival pioneer courageously and even sometimes naively seeks to rediscover new and forgotten places in the Spirit. Pioneers instinctively challenge the modern Church to go places she has never been before, places long forgotten and overgrown by decades of man-made traditions and spiritual decline. Pioneers dare others to dream and trust God to do ALL that the Bible plainly promises. Pioneers are not satisfied with superficial reform. They hunger and thirst for spiritual REALITY. Their calling demands that they defy the laws and limitations of man-centered religion. In their pursuit of more of Jesus, they unknowingly challenge the foundations of so-called “NORMAL CHURCH”. Like young Joseph in the company of his older brothers, the pioneer’s dream of revival often provokes strong reactions from within the established Church. -(Gen 37:5) The young pioneer is sure to be confronted by giants of intimidation and mountains of unbelief and religious control. At other times they are simply spurned and dismissed as immature extremists and idealists.
All the great pioneers of revival have had to face these same obstacles and hindrances in their zeal to bring Heaven down to Earth! Most of the early American pioneers that moved westward between 1760 and 1850 encountered countless dangers and extreme hardship, because they were not content with what they already seen. The knowledge that there was still something better beyond the horizon drove them to take extreme risks to improve the quality of their lives. A true pioneer is relentless. He refuses to compromise or substitute the barren plains of lifeless orthodoxy for the living presence of Jesus! No amount of religious rhetoric or decorum will ever satisfy his God-hungry heart. The God-breathed promises of Scripture hound his soul, reminding him over and over again of his destiny and calling. Promise of green forests, fruitful harvests and rushing streams compel him to continue to seek and pray for something MORE. -(Isa 35:7, Isa 41:18-19, Isa 44:3-4, Isa 51:3)
Revival pioneers are ordained of God to violently move Heaven and Earth. The English term “pioneer” was originally derived from a French word meaning PICK AX. Later it was also used to convey the idea of a foot soldier. The Germans use the term “trench digger” to convey the idea of a pioneer. A pioneer during wartime was one who marched before an invading army to prepare and repair the road. They did everything from clearing away barricades to setting mines for destroying the works of the enemy. Pioneers are pathfinders and scouts. Like Jeremiah, a pioneer is one who goes before to remove obstructions for the purpose of preparing the way for others that must soon follow. “See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” -(Jer 1:10) These prophetic people do not set mines and level mountains of ungodliness just for the thrill of watching things blow up. No, the revival pioneer understands that it is his job to prepare the way and make it easier for others to enter into the manifest presence of Jesus Christ.
The revival pioneer labors to restore the highway of holiness, removing stumbling blocks, so it will be straight and level again. This work is done not only for the sake of a coming army, but also for the spiritually lame and crippled. The prophet Isaiah repeatedly reminds us of this important truth. He declares, “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of jackals, where each lay, there shall be grass with reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness…” -( Isa 35:3-8)
“And one shall say, ‘Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.’ For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”. -(Isa 57:14-15)