How often have you heard Christians say, “God is doing a new thing in his church”? The “new thing” they refer to may be called a revival, an outpouring, a visitation, or a move of God.
Yet very often, this “new thing” dies out very quickly. And once it has faded, it can’t be found again. In this way, it proves not to be a move of God at all. In fact, Christian sociologists have tracked many of these visitations and discovered the average span of life of such an event is about five years.
Personally, I believe God is doing a new thing in his church today. Yet this great work of the Spirit can’t be found in just one location. It’s happening worldwide.
God will not begin a new thing in his church until he does away with the old. This biblical principle, proven throughout centuries of church history, is found in both Testaments and governs any true move of God. As Jesus put it, he won’t put new wine into old wineskins (see Mark 2:22).
The principle of doing away with the old and raising up the new was first introduced in the Old Testament at Shiloh. During the time of the Judges, God established a holy work in that city (see Judges 18:31). Shiloh, where the Lord’s sanctuary stood, was the center of all religious activity in Israel. The name Shiloh itself means “that which is the Lord’s.” This speaks of things that represent God and reveal his nature and character. God spoke to his people at Shiloh; it was there that Samuel heard God’s voice and where the Lord revealed his will to him (see 1 Samuel 1).
The Lord stopped speaking at Shiloh because the priest had become lazy and sensual and the city had become corrupt. God told Samuel, in essence, “Shiloh has become so defiled, it no longer represents who I am. This house is no longer mine. I’m finished with it.” So the Lord lifted his presence from the sanctuary and wrote “Ichabod” above the door, which means, “The glory of the Lord has departed.”
The Lord completely did away with the old but once again, he raised up a new thing. After that, the temple in Jerusalem became known as “the Lord’s house” and God spoke to his people there.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).