Tag Archives: revival

When He Comes

A few days ago, while several of us prayed together for our region, one of the ladies said God had brought to her mind, “Complete each other, don’t compete with each other.”  The ever persistent problem of competition between churches for members and prestige was the context of her comment, and we prayed, as we often do, for the walls between the churches to come down and for unity of heart to prevail.

In the midst of our intercession, I had a small glimpse into what God desires to do among the believers in our region.  We are certain that He is going to bring a great awakening, and I saw that the coming outpouring of the Lord’s Presence will be of such magnitude that there will not be room to contain it.  The harvest of souls will be so great that pastors will no longer clutch nervously at their sheep, but instead will be calling other pastors on the phone, asking them to take the super-abundance of people off their hands — because there are too many to effectively minister to. 

I’ve continued to think about the way things are, as opposed to the way things will be.  You see, we live in a place where the soil of people’s hearts is packed down hard.  Most of the Church is satisfied with starvation portions of the Lord’s Presence.  I don’t see a lot of hunger in God’s people for Jesus.  Much less do I see any hunger for Him (at this point) in the nonbelievers. 

And it is not the nonbelievers’ fault, either.  For the most part, they see a powerless Church around them that is self-satisfied, self-righteous, self-preoccupied, accusatory, and unconcerned about anybody outside its four walls.  It is a mindset we are all ensnared in to one extent or another — even when we try not to be.

Living in a spiritually dry place causes churches (and individuals within the churches) to compete and be jealous over spiritual blessings. We don’t rejoice for each other when one of us receives God’s promotion or favor in some way.  One man commented that we are like crabs in a bucket: if one manages to climb high enough to obtain freedom at the pail’s rim, the others frantically try to pull their buddy back down to their level.  It is a poverty mentality at work — almost as though we think God doesn’t have enough of Himself to go around, so we must hoard Him and His blessings.  BUT when a heavenly outpouring comes, poverty mindsets are overthrown in a heartbeat. 

And come the outpouring will.  I see it in my spirit.  The faithful ones who pray with me for awakening can see it, too.  I know there must be small pockets of believers around our city and region who are praying just like we are.  I see a number of the churches beginning to position themselves for God’s coming move, perhaps without even knowing why they are making the shifts that they are.

When the Lord comes in His outpouring, there will be a harvest too great to put into one or two boxes (church houses).  It will be accompanied by wholesale miracles and healings like the Church has only read of in the Bible, but has not in many centuries experienced.  It will not be just one more hype-filled revival that focuses around one man or one “lucky” fellowship that happened to get “it.”  It will be characterized by humble awe of the Lord and by His compassion for others.  The focus will not be on the amazing miracles that will take place; the focus will be all on Jesus.

Do you think it can happen?  I know it can, and it will.  We’ve quoted Zechariah 4:6 for years: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts” — so much so that it may seem to be a cliché (but it isn’t).  In response to our heartfelt prayers, God will do by His Spirit what we cannot possibly bring about through our own efforts.

Come, Lord Jesus.  Be magnified among Your people.  May those who don’t yet know You see and embrace You.  May Your John 17 prayer for unity among Your own be realized.  May Awakening be poured out, a foretaste of  Your final coming. 

Sauls and “Smalls”

LeeAnnRubsam.com

While attending a prayer gathering recently in which we were praying for our nation, I heard God speak that He wants to change the Christian leaders of America from Sauls into “smalls.”  This is true particularly of those who have the call of being an apostle upon their lives (whether their church tradition recognizes the existence of modern-day apostles or not).

The Apostle Paul’s name was originally Saul, and he was aptly named.  King Saul of the Old Testament was the epitome of zealously trying to accomplish God’s purposes in the power of man, and that’s what the New Testament Saul did, too — until His encounter with Jesus.  He eventually was affectionately nicknamed Paul, which means “small.”

God wants to take today’s leaders in the Church and turn them from Sauls to “smalls” — humble, dependent on Him alone, making themselves of no reputation, deeply servant-hearted.  The time is coming to an end when God will tolerate His leaders trying to fulfill the Great Commission through plans that they have devised from their own natural understanding or by trying to carbon copy someone else’s model of ministry.  The time of ministry empires which have forgotten their original focus and have become self-perpetuating entities is also coming to an end. 

What did Paul and the other early apostles have that many modern-day Christian leaders do not?  They carried a wide-eyed expectancy for unlimited miracles, stemming from utter dependency on Jesus, fueled by intimacy with Him.  They yielded themselves in obedience to whatever the Lord commanded them  — whether their reputations and popularity were ruined in the process or not.  They stayed small in their own eyes while keeping Jesus big in their gaze.

The power of the Lord will flow in America, with biblical signs, wonders, miracles, healings, deliverances, and even the raising of many from the dead.  But for that to happen wholesale, God must have leaders who carry His glory without usurping any of it for themselves.  That is going to take the turning of Sauls into smalls.

Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 1

I’ve been trying to discipline myself to do “soaking prayer” for many months now.  Basically, soaking prayer is quieting oneself before the Lord for an extended period of time for the purpose of intimate contact with Him, giving Him the opportunity to speak.  It hasn’t always been a fun adventure for me.  Sometimes it’s so frustrating that I want to permanently pitch the whole idea out the window.

My particular circle of Christianity is the charismatic, prophetic community.  Most of the people around me insist that soaking prayer is a must, if one does not want to be a pygmy Christian.  I’m not so sure they are completely right.  The following five-part series explains what soaking prayer is and how my own experience with it has been to date.

Soaking prayer became very popular during the Toronto Blessing revival, but it’s really been around as long as the Church has.  Some people weird out about it, thinking it is “meditation” or “mysticism” and therefore it’s Eastern religion, not Christian.  Soaking prayer is not yoga and such things, however. Psalm  104:34 says, “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”   And Genesis 24:63 tells us Isaac was “meditating in the field” when he first met Rebekah.  There are lots more references in the Bible to meditating on God and on His Word.  And, if you use a concordance to look up words like “mystery” and “mysteries” in the New Testament, you will find that Jesus and the apostles spoke frequently about the mysteries of the Kingdom, or the “hidden wisdom.”  So “mysticism” — which involves mysteries (hidden things) — is not necessarily bad.

I’ve heard many ideas from a variety of  people about this type of prayer.  Sometimes it has sounded very ooky-spooky, depending on who was talking about it.  I’m finding that there are some expert soakers that I trust, and some that I do not, based on what I see happening in their lives.  The people who are balanced, godly people, who exhibit wisdom and grace, I listen to.  Those who are not showing the fruit of the Spirit in their lives, I do not like to listen to — no matter how stupendous their heavenly experiences sound.

I am mystified by people who are into soaking prayer for hours a day and say they are seeing all sorts of heavenly visions, but they do NOT exhibit Christ-likeness.  There must be some kind of disconnect going on in their lives that is not normal.  If we are truly connecting with God, and seeing into His supernatural realm, our lives should be changing.  When Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1-8) he said he became “undone.”  I hear that phrase thrown around a lot.  I don’t think, for Isaiah, that being “undone” was a momentary experience of chills and thrills.  It was a life-changing deal.  He took on a new purity.  The revelation of God’s holiness became a deposit of holiness in Isaiah himself.  Encounters with The Holy One should mean we take on a measure of the character of Jesus.  Transformation into His likeness should be the fruit of spending great amounts of time with Him.  This seems pretty basic to me.

I think sometimes the problem is that some of the expert soakers are not spending much time reading the Bible.  I mean reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, not just the portions that talk about heavenly visions (like Revelation and Ezekiel).  I like spending time with the Lord in prayer.  But I also know I need to commune with Him through His Word.  Sometimes in reading my Bible, I sense God is speaking directly to me through a verse or passage.  Sometimes I go for days where that direct speaking is not the case, but I am still learning general concepts that I need to be reminded of.  For instance, God talks a lot about how to relate in a godly fashion toward other people, especially in the New Testament letters to the Church.  I don’t always feel like God is giving me special, personal conviction or instruction when I read the Bible, but He is still speaking to me.  I am taking in His way, His concepts.  I still become like Him by absorbing these truths in a general way on a regular basis.

All Bible reading need not take us up into heavenly visions in order to be productive in our lives.  I don’t believe all time spent in prayer communion with God must necessarily involve heavenly visions, either.  It’s about Him, not about what glorious visions we can get out of Him — which is where I’ll pick up next time.

Next — Soaking Prayer Journey, Part 2

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