Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
In the fall of 2006 we had a watershed experience in our church. Every year the women go away for a retreat and it has given our church a lot of forward momentum over the years. We were not necessarily expecting anything less or more that year.
For me, I had been going deeper and deeper into the Father’s heart for a while, and I was really hungry spiritually. I told Becky, “If the Lord starts moving at the retreat, let Him. Go with what He is doing.”
There was a Holy Ghost breakout at that retreat. When they returned home, Becky and I decided if the Lord wants to keep moving in our Sunday services the next morning, we were going with it.
It started toward the end of the first service during the ministry time. The first service never actually ended. The Holy Spirit River began to fill the front of the room and people were getting mightily touched. We just kept going and tossed our regular agenda for the second service. It was a Holy Ghost blow out. I will never forget that day.
One of the ladies, Jackie Rummage, asked if the women could do a weeknight meeting to see if the Lord might continue to move. A man of great faith that I was, I didn’t think He would, but I agreed and reluctantly invited the whole church to a meeting I didn’t think would be very good. I was gloriously proven wrong. The River kept flowing and we kept flowing with it.
Not long after that during a Wednesday night meeting, I overheard Angel Whitlow say to no one in particular, “This is the way it is going to be, this is the way it is going to be from now on.”
I was really astonished by that. I immediately asked the Lord, “Is this true, is this the way it is going to be from now on?” I had been involved in other moves of God and I knew I did not know how to steward a move. In the Old Testament, God lit the fire on the altar, but it was the priest that kept it burning (Leviticus 6:9-13). I wasn’t sure how to do such a thing.
Also, whenever the Holy Spirit shows up in an unusual manner, there is a challenge to the status quo. A young woman in our congregation confided in me that she was not at all comfortable with her parents visiting our church now that the Holy Spirit was moving as He was.
It is true that we become so accustomed to what we are doing that it is easy to be offended when God intervenes in our affairs. A move of the Spirit is messy and unpredictable and history proves that not everyone embraces His moves. I could see people I love lining up to leave the church if this kept going.
However, history also proves that moves of God come, and must come or way too many languish and their love for God grows lukewarm. When God intervened in the affairs of men in Bible times and historically, there were almost always unusual manifestations; things happened that were beyond the natural understanding of men. People got offended, but some lives were gloriously transformed.
I knew I had to respond to what Angel was saying. I knew the Holy Spirit was saying, “This is what I desire. Is it what you desire?” I made a decision in my heart. I was going 100% in. I jumped off the deep end and by the grace of God, it was one of the best leadership decisions I have ever made. It didn’t feel that way at the time. I was totally at the mercy of God.
Many Blessings, BW