21/365 days of blogging.
A few months ago, on a Saturday evening, I was privileged to attend somewhat of a revival. That is the best word I have found to describe what happened in this servants heart. However “revival” seems so minuscule for what actually DID happen. You can read what my husband wrote about it here.
I think back to times when I have heard my husband talk about John Wesley’s Alders gate experience where he describes his heart as being “strangely warmed”; or Martin Luther when he talks of his “tower experience,” when he suddenly became convinced of the truth of the certainty of the gospel – the unforgettable experience of switching from despair and uncertainty to true faith and conviction; or when John Calvin wrote in his journal in 1533, “God subdued and brought my heart to surrender”.
All I can tell you is that this servants heart was changed in a way that I went into the evening not expecting. The following is an account of what happened.
Upon arriving we entered into a building that certainly didn’t look like a church (it was a fair ground building). But the minute we walked into the room I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. It gave me somewhat of a chill that made my bones feel like they were jumping around inside of my body. We were really early so we were one of the first ones there. We found a place to sit for the dinner and sat down and started talking to Mike and Crystal Blackwell. (they went with us) As I sat there Mike asked me if I was ok. “yes”, I replied, “I just feel out-of-place.” He laughed and said because you are out of your comfort zone I guess. I said “not really, it is not an uncomfortable feeling just a feeling of uneasiness.”
Now to give you a little background, the organizer of this event was Pastor Marshall Adams from Harvest Time Ministries in Bowling Green; nine months ago, God gave him the same vision that he gave my husband Richard (many years ago) about revival in the northern MO area. Marshall prays specifically about where God would have him speak to His people…and Brookfield was one of those towns where God told him that revival was going to happen. The Holy Spirit guided him to our town, and to CSBC, one Sunday evening about four months ago, and everything Marshall told us was exactly what the Lord was having Richard teach on and share with the people, that very evening. Ever since Marshall’s visit, we have had tremendous revival within the church with SEVERAL baptisms and professions of faith and new members! He shared this map with us:
Here is the map’s breakdown: the yellow dots on the map signify churches where Marshall said that God has told him were truly “kissed” with God’s Presence; the red dots are indicators where the outreach from those churches are spreading; the blue dots are towns where God has told him to go in the future; the orange dots are churches where Marshall has visited that do not want to have anything to do with God’s vision of revival and renewal; and the black dot is a church that is spiritually dead.
We ate a wonderful meal and I continued to be quiet (and for me is NOT normal…LOL). We moved up to our chairs to start the worship service and their praise band started playing. Now I was suspecting of Marshal’s services at the church he serves being, well, very “worshipful” but nothing like I was about to experience. I have never been in a pentecostal or full gospel church in my life so I wasn’t sure what to expect. So at this point I am thinking my uneasiness is due to that. I had no idea what was in store for my heart that evening.
My husband spoke on evangelism with such conviction that I cried to see him talking about God with a passion that seemed to well up from his belly and explode out of his mouth, expressing how burdened he is for the least the last and the lost. I think back to how the seminary professor told him he was too passionate about God’s Word and that he didn’t belong in the Methodist conference. Can that even happen? Can someone be too passionate about God’s Word?
Then a man only known to me as “Pastor Dave” spoke about prayer. He spoke for almost 30 minutes and the very first statement he made stuck with me and brought me to tears and I knew then why I felt so uncomfortable and what the “uneasiness” was that had consumed my very soul at the start of the evening. The statement was this…”Your walk with God, directly reflects the amount of time you spend with God.” I don’t think I stopped crying for the next two hours. WOW makes me cry just typing it.
Pastor Marshall got up and spoke about revival in the land. He talked about all the churches on the map that he had visited and all that God had laid on his heart about what was going to happen over the next few months.
Throughout the evening, I was very humbled and felt very ashamed at the portrayal of my Christian walk to other people. I have had people say to me things like “how do you keep the faith so strong”, or “how can you work so hard for God for a reward you may not see for years to come”, or “you have so much faith in God and your relationship with him is so good.” I realized at that moment when Pastor Dave made that statement that made such an impact on my life that I have failed my Lord and Savior once again. I don’t spend as much time with him as I should. And I certainly don’t give him as much of myself as I think I do. I as a Christian, can always do more. I realized at that moment that I can never give enough back to God to repay Him for everything He has given up for me.
I experienced things that evening that I had not seen before. Speaking in tongues, people slain in the spirit, and prayer for healings. Now don’t get me wrong, this was no Benny Henn, blow you over healing service. This was a true intercessory praying, God ordained, prayer/healing service that I had never experienced.
Now here I am several months removed and Pastor Marshall has made several visits to our church. “The Awakening” that our church has had in this time has been remarkable. I never knew that worshiping God SHOULD be like this. When we praise God, in any setting, we should give him our all. We should give him all of our selves. All of us in song, prayer, during the message, joys, reading of His Word, all of it. If we are willing to give Him only a small part of ourselves, and only during worship on Sunday, how devoted to Him are we. God does not belong in a box. When we put Him in a box and only take Him out on Sundays, we limit God and His abilities. God wants us to give Him all the praise honor and glory every minute of everyday of our lives. We should learn to fall in love with Jesus first and foremost. When we learn that basic principle, then we can truly have a relationship with Jesus and begin a walk that will take us on a journey beyond our wildest dreams.