I am so thankful for that day. I am described as a fanatic by some.
fa·nat·ic n. A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm
Guilty as charged. I will not reason away my faith by worldly means, I am extreme in my Love for Jesus and I am wildly enthusiastic. I love it. I love HIM!
Here are some of the wonderful things that have happened as a result of that overflow and immersion from which I never emerged:
- I can read and understand the Bible supernaturally in a way I never could before. The whole thing just opened up like a flower to me.
- I hear from God in my spirit and I have heard his voice so often that I recognize it at once.
- I am able to pray in a way (Language) that even when I don’t know how or what to pray I can still pray with effect.
- I am empowered to be bold in faith, speak to mountains, and face persecution with joy. Jesus promised that.
- My future is certain even when events surrounding me are not.
- I have unwavering confidence in God and his mercy.
- I live in the full provision of God’s grace for everything in my life.
- Even though I have days like everyone, I live in Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. Those days are temporary and abnormal. I'll never forget Rodney Howard Browne saying to me, “You can live like this”.
This last week represented the week 100 years ago during which the Pentecostal outbreak took place on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. William Seymour was the African American Pastor who brought the Spirit of revival and fire to LA. I won’t bore you with all the story of how that all happened. Others will. Sufficient to say that today around the world Pentecostalism is the fasted growing and largest body of believers globally in the Christian community. Presently one in 10 people on the earth are Pentecostal (650 million). In 10 years it will be 1 in 6. I'm believing for one in one. That's how it is in heaven. Everyone is filled with the fullness of God in heaven. 1-1. Why not get it on this side of the veil?
I’m not nearly the scholar on that issue and scholarship that Julie Niedlinger is. Her post on the subject is comprehensive and impressive. What really struck me about this post was not the scholarship but the relevance of real body ministry. Julie Says:
Some believe prayer for healing and deliverance ought not take place in public. In our church, people come up to the front where the pastor is between worship and the rest of the service to be prayed for. What I value about this time the most is the fact that I see everyone come at some point, from elders to mothers to young and old. I see people praying for each other. I see that we all have needs. I see the church family's faith in action. Real people, really praying.
It's about real people going up front in the little church God gave them to be prayed for by their pastor and the other people. It's about transparency, perhaps. People need to see churches in other countries to see that we are too often trapped in man-made devices and definitions. Nice orderly pews and properly reverent worshippers work great here. I recently read a blog post ruing the architecture of modern churches as unholy in their warehouse-ness. Inartistic, I agree; the art historian in me cringes. But unholy? So, God can't meet in a General Steel building but He can make a trip to some thatched hut in Africa? Or a humid cement church in Nicaragua? I fear Bayly might find much to list and debate after an average service where, in order to get churches planted and preachers in them in extremely poor and rural areas around the world where everyone can't go to seminary, training for all pastors isn't much above being called to preach and being willing to heed that call.
I am personally really tired of the “Professionalism” that comes with much of the church world. I believe that many professional ministers are no more called than a cocker spaniel and many effective called of God "Lay-Ministers" are sidelined because they aren’t credentialed.
Incidentally I hate the term Lay. Lay what? It’s separation terminology that puts a wall between the professionals and the body of Christ. I think Jesus would have a very hard time with all that. But that’s for another post I have cooking called Authority -Given or Taken.
I am hopeful that anyone who reads this and does not experience all the joy and pleasure (yes I am a Christian Hedonist) found in the fullness of the Holy Ghost will give it consideration. I’ve been wild and crazy for Jesus for a quarter century and if given another century will still be wild and crazy.
I am attending a good church that is not (yet) overtly Pentecostal. It is in fact (sit down for this) Mo Synod Lutheran. But there is a hope and a future Just as God promised in Jeremiah. They seem to like what I teach, they like my wild side, they like the fanatic enthusiasm and even once we had people come up for healing ministry. Slow but steady progress. I am called to be part of this transformation, to offer my ministry giftings to those who will access them.
I still have to go get my Pentecostal Fix in other places. I can't live without the anointed spontaneous prophetic word, the Fire of God as manifested in powerful worship and the power of God accessed in Holy Ghost body ministry. I hope I won’t have to forever. I’m believing for a mighty move of God in our area. God has spoken it. I believe it could be in this Lutheran Church. But like Nazareth or Nineveh God can only do mighty works if he is received by faith. These are good folks who want more of God but are just a little frightened of the step of faith it takes to jump all the way in the water. I keep saying, “Its ok, you’ll either get wet or walk on the water, both are going to be fun and exciting”.
I’m thankful I didn’t know it wasn’t OK to be Pentecostal when I jumped in. I might not have. I might have let tradition or fear hold me back. I just walked by faith and stepped into the water.
I have never looked back. Once when in a meeting with Andrew Womack that had 3000 people in attendance he asked this question, “How many of you are filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?” Perhaps 2500 hands went up.
Then he asked, “How many of you are sorry your were filled with the Holy Ghost?” Laughter broke out. Not one hand went up. It was so preposterous to think you would ever ever ever want to go back again once you experienced and enjoyed this wonderful blessing.
It’s like the note I made to Jack at the bottom of the post below. If you experience the joy of a good marriage and you see someone who isn’t getting all they could out in a bad marriage, you want to say, “There’s more”. Step in. Try it you’ll like it. Believe for Good things. You hurt for their timidity that keeps them from seeking for more in their marriage.
One Last Thing, in the mid 90’s I joined a house prayer meeting with Todd Beery. They were very much like the meetings that began in LA before they moved to Azusa street. The place would be packed. We worried the floor would collapse from all the people. The Holy Ghost would move so strongly I worried that the fire department would see fire coming out of the house’s roof. It was wild and wonderful. I was later warned about not getting involved with such a foolish bunch. Too late Devil, I'm already in the water but you're all wet.
In that early 90s I became acquainted with Rodney Howard Brown at the AG Bible Camp in Devils Lake. I have never ever been the same since. Later I would be warned not to get involved with such a fanatic bunch. Too Late Slewfoot.
I’m so glad I’m too dense to hear these voices of warning from the professional Christians. Look at what I would have missed if I had listened to them. Peter warned Jesus, Agabus warned Paul. They went Anyhow. Sometimes you just GO. Keith Green said, "You gotta be called to stay".
Thank God for Pentecost. More Lord More.
Let your FIRE fall.