Many people have been asking about what the Lord seems to be doing in our midst in these days. Who knows all God has in His matchless mind for these days? But there are some things I do know.
I DO KNOW: The Lord graciously awakened our church two weeks ago. We have been praying and we have been teaching for years, our city pastors have been praying for 15 years, but what the Lord did last Sunday was taken completely out of our hands as we yielded our TIME and the CONTROL of the service to Him. To see a very interesting thought about that, please read the article on my blog entitled “Releasing and Shepherding the Microphone during Revival” at www.thesummitchurch.org. One of my dear pastor friends commenting to me this week, “Bill, the two things pastors have a struggle releasing are the microphone and the schedule.” Although I have been teaching whenever the Lord directs, the Lord took the control of those areas out of my hands—in a glorious way—two weeks ago in a sovereign way. He has cautioned me to be very careful not to manipulate or try to produce anything but simple to listen to Him and promptly obey.
I DO KNOW that He has done acts of wonderful redemption in more lives than we can count. My wife told me this morning that 5 of the ladies in her bible study have been baptized in the past 14 days. Marriages are being healed, sin is being gladly released, adultery confessed and forsaken, forgiveness is happening, consciences are being cleared, children are being saved, adults are being redeemed (50 spontaneous baptisms in the services so far), homeless people are being reached as our people are going to where they are and feeding them, letting them sleep in their own homes and leading them to Christ, a deeper burden than we have ever had (by a LONG SHOT) is descending on our hearts…we will never be the same.
Last night, a young college student came up after we had dismissed with something to say. We stopped and let her share with those who were still in the building. She told how she came several nights before with her UCA college shirt on. A man said, “Do you go to UCA? I am a youth pastor from Texarkana and I am tremendously burdened for this girl. Would you pray for her? And he handed the girl the name. She thought she recognized it, later went on Facebook and realized it was the girl who sat RIGHT BESIDE HER IN HER HISTORY class! The next day she told the girl exactly what happened, shared what was going on at the church and said, “I think I’m supposed to pray for you. Is there anything I can pray with you about?” The girl broke into tears, told her that her father was dying of cancer…and it will now lead to a wonderful, redeeming relationship. God, in answer to prayer, sent a missionary to a needy life. He’s repeating that over and over again. (And what would happ
en if that occurred with thousands of people in a city?)
I DO KNOW that a spirit of INTERCESSION has settled over our people. When was the last time anyone said to you, “I can’t wait till the prayer meeting starts!” …and then they keep saying that for 14 continuous nights? The LORD—no preacher or even phenomena at all—is calling us to prayer. God is bringing the people and others in the city to intercede.
I DO KNOW that there are two primary things God is putting on our hearts: 1) revival in the whole church in the city and 2) a great spiritual awakening among the lost. These two prayers are overwhelmingly strong in our minds and keep surfacing in manifold ways night after night. The Lord has awakened to intercede in ways that we should have been doing all along.
I DO KNOW that the primary thing God has said to us is “Do not quench the Spirit.” Rather than being afraid of that, we believe that what that means is, “As the Lord speaks His truth to you through His Word and Spirit, examine everything carefully (Is it biblical? Is it consistent with God? Is it consistent with the inner witness of God’s Spirit in your heart and the leadership of spiritual leaders?), but as God speaks, don’t despise or minimize it by disobedience. Simply obey. Instantly obey. Gladly and expectantly obey. As hundreds do that, God’s Spirit is released in witness and praise and proclamation in ways that He has been longing to do for years.
And I DO KNOW that what He is doing is marvelous, glorious, refreshing and unexplainable. “Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” One of my dear friends, Del Fehsenfeld, used to say before his death, “God can do more in 5 minutes of His manifest presence than what we can accomplish in 50 years of our best human activity.” He’s right. Biblical and church history proves it.
And I DO KNOW that God longs for so much more. A sweet, senior adult lady in our church, who is not in the least given to the fantastical or to visions wrote me today to say that the Lord had awakened her at 5 am to pray for her lost brother in California. She went on to write about God waking her up to prayer for her brother…
“As much as I need and cherish my sleep, I now am willing to have this happen every night if that is what it will take.
As I was trying to get back to sleep, I had this amazing vision. It was as if I were in the air looking down on central Arkansas, which was darkened except for a little light on here and there. Then gradually, lights started to come on, one by one, until the entire area was brightly lighted! The brilliance rose to heaven and the Father was very pleased.”
I don’t know what to make of this. We must “examine everything carefully” as the Scripture says. But I do know that it is certainly my desire…and I suspect yours if you are reading this. I do know that it would please the Father and I am asking Him, “Lord, why would you wait even one more Sunday to purify and unleash Your Spirit through your Bride in this city so the lost could be brought to you?”
By His MERCY the Lord has called us together again tonight (Friday, 4.15.11) at 7 PM. We will not meet on Saturday but join together Sunday praying for His Spirit to descend upon our whole city and our nation so that God will be glorified and His great missionary purposes through America can be fully accomplished.
“Make them remember that HIS NAME is exalted!” (Isaiah 12)
(For daily reports and information, go to our website at www.thesummitchurch.org.)
2ProphetU is an online magazine/website, started by Warren Wiersbe and Michael Catt, to build up the church, seek revival, and encourage pastors.