He Has Come! Stewarding Revival!
Acts 2:14-16 (NKJV)"... But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel..."
I have a good friend in Pastor Tom Albrecht, who shares my deep hunger for God and His moves on the earth. We have been to Toronto during the years of the Father's blessing, revivals with Rodney Howard-Brown, Bethel Church in Redding, California, as well as when the Spirit has been poured out at the historic home of Aimee Semple McPherson, and Pensacola, Florida to encounter what God was doing during the outpouring of the Spirit at the Brownsville Assembly of God church.
What happened to us with the gathering of many churches and at Fusion cumulatively this last week was a similar thing. The question remains, what do you do when God "taps your dance card" and meets you in an unusual way? I don't know about you, but I am messed up in all the right ways after this weekend. Even this morning as I was reading through our Life Journal selections, I just started crying at the nearness of God through His word. (I know, you're shocked.) Below, I remember this dear lady when she was immersed in the nearness of God in the Brownsville meetings (scrub forward to the 24:50 mark):
Intoxicated with His kiss of love
"Honey, where are we from?" is an understandable query in the midst of a radical touch from Jesus. It is how profound, deep, and powerful this touch is that unsettles people, makes their brains "tilt" a little and reduces us to a state of ecstatic bliss. This is evidenced with this passage in the book of Acts:
Acts 2:1-13 (NKJV) "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God." So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "Whatever could this mean?"
Others mocking said, "They are full of new wine.""
Am I saying we have experienced an outpouring like the book of Acts?
Why, yes, yes I am.
Do you think that is overstating, or arrogant? Did you look around you this Sunday? Did you talk with people abut what was happen in their souls, bodies and spirits? God was and is present among us!
There is a critical moment in all revivals and it is now. We cannot allow ourselves to go back to business as usual, as this would produce the opposite of what God wants to do among us, in that it would create an inoculation towards the move of God, snuffing it out among us! How do we sustain and amplify this move of revival?
Agree and Declare: Revival Has Indeed Come
I want you to say something with me, "revival has come to Fusion!" Again, say this, "revival has come to me!"
Back at the dawn of the Welsh revival in 1904, young Evan Roberts gave a simple sermon after a service which was only attended by 12 people. After the service ended, he rushed to put out a newspaper article and announced, "revival has come to Wales!" Now that was only 12 people, who experienced only some of what was happening in the meetings with Seth Joshua where Evan Roberts himself had an experience with God. He declared, "Revival has come to Wales!" From that, the mighty Welsh revival started. It went from Wales clear across the earth. From that declaration, the mighty hymn, "Here Is Love" was published.
Then in just a few short years, the Azusa Street revival started. It flowed around the world and created untold numbers of converts through an incredible missions emphasis, until a vast majority of Global Christians identify as Pentecostal/Charismatic. John G. Lake, Bishop William Seymour, F.F. Bosworth and so many others were catalyzed by His presence.
Toronto began with John Arnott repenting and telling God that if He moved in revival again, he wouldn't try to control it, but would release it. Randy Clark had two sermons and God came! Now Georgian and Winnie Bannov, who's marriage was healed, Che and Sue Ahn, John and Carol Arnott, Rolland and Heidi Baker and all of Iris ministries thousands of churches, Bill and Beni Johnson and Bethel, Jesus Culture, Bethel Music, Kevin and Theresa Dedmon and Firestarters, Cal Pierce and Healing Rooms International, Leif Hetland, Paul Yaddao and so much more are the fruit of this revival.
Pensacola began when John Kilpatrick cried out of grief from his mother dying and burnout for God to move. He went to Toronto and God came on Father's Day in 1995.
It will be said one day, that a people, who identified as Fusion, gathered hungry for God and during meetings in Greeley God came and revival started.
What is the key of all these stories of God moving throughout history?
The manifestation of His love that is released when the numinous (the realized presence, mystery, and majesty) of God, has come. So many cry out for the glory, but it is the love of God that precedes and transcends the accompanying glory! The love of God and conversely the God of love is displayed in His vast affection for us, the framework of His glory is released! Know that we have been freshly baptized by His love this weekend! We are in revival!
It may be small, but answer me this: if you plant an apple tree, is it only an apple tree when the apples are present, or is it already an apple tree with the promise of an apple orchard in its beginning state? So too, we have see the beginnings of an orchard spring up within us in the promise of this first apple tree of revival!
Stoke the fire within....
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NKJV) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
We are called to cultivate the fire. The passion in our hearts has been placed by God and now we steward that flame. To stir up means to "to kindle up, inflame one's mind, strength, zeal". We are to fan into flame what God has started. If the fire dies out, it won't be because of Him!
How do you stoke the fire of God?
Receive more love from God! Invite God and ask Him to come close with His intoxicating kiss (Song of Songs 1:1ff). Sit and wait and just believe and receive His love. Rest. Receive. Renew. Repeat.
Engage God in heartfelt love and worship. You respond to Him. Invite Him into your day. Ask Him to interrupt you during the day and into the evening. Isaiah 26:9a (NLT) In the night I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek you.
Devour His word! In His word is a chance to have a daily re-calibration and to discover treasures in His word! In a conversation with Dr, Brian Simmons, we laughed as he recounted the joy of doing daily treasure hunts through his reading and study of the word. This excitement is available to you! Remember this, Psalms 107:8-9 (NKJV) Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Gather and encourage one another! Have you ever tried to start a fire? If you light a single stick of kindling, it burns, but it, by itself, has a danger of the fire going out. Yet, if you add a lot of lit kindling on fire, a raging fire results. It is the same when we gather with excitement and intention of faith! Hebrews 10:23-25 (NASB)"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near." You being present can light someone's fire!
Give it away, give it away, give it away now! I remember a few phone calls I have had with Pastor Tom over the years, after I had gone and encountered God where I would not hear anything on the other end, but would find him weeping with the manifest presence of the Lord. One time, he was sequestered in his office and I was recounting what God had done. He relates this about that day and his discovery of his staff upon coming out of his office and they were overwhelmed with the presence of Jesus: "As I remember they said they felt a palpable presence of God and overwhelming love. I told them that I had just gotten off the phone with you and the presence of the Lord was so strong upon me that I began to weep and cry out to God for revival and for His presence to fill my life and to fill our church. When I came out to tell them, they had no idea what I had experienced, but they felt an anointing and the presence overflow them that brought them to tears with an indescribable sense of God’s nearness. This happened to them before I came out of my office, so when I came out and saw what was going on with them we knew the presence of the Lord was setting himself to do something powerful in our midst and in the Church." He walked over to one of them, a fierce Navy man and when he extended his hand towards him, this Navy man fell over for the first time in his life, overwhelmed by the presence of God! This is one way of giving it away. Remember, Revelation 19:10 (NASB) "Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”" Also, just tell people about what you have seen and heard. Let them see the passion of God in and on you. Remember the simple way of evangelizing that Jesus gave to people, "Go and tell them what you have seen and heard." Luke 7:22; Acts 22:15, 1 John 1:3,4
Well, in a few short days we will gather to passionately love and worship our God. Come, add your fire to ours. Has your fire gone out? Come and be with us as we share our fire with you! I feel this about what we have begun to enter into: Luke 10:23-24 (NKJV) "Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it."" We are being blessed because of His great love and mercy!
It's free, come and get it and return with that fire to your home, city, church and family!
I am ablaze with His love!