My husband and I are privileged to pastor C5 Church. It is a church that is hungry for revival. Not just hungry, but chasing after it. We get to see cancer healed, tumors disappear, brokenness made whole, relationships restored, and families reconciled by the love and power of God on a weekly basis, yet we know there MUST be MORE! Have you been feeling that way too? For some time now, I have felt a building frustration and dissatisfaction, knowing that the revival stories of old are wonderful, but we need our own stories of unprecedented Holy Spirit power, widespread repentance and city transformation and we need it now!
Awakening the Sleeping Giant
This morning I had my alarm clock set, but I awoke long before the alarm sounded. It was still dark outside, but I knew the dawn was not far off. A sense of excitement filled me as I knew God was speaking. He said, “The sleeping giant is awakening!”
Who is the sleeping giant, Lord?
Immediately He showed me a picture of Gulliver. He was tethered to the ground with many onlookers and spectators. Some were peeking in pockets, examining the strength of this giant. Many were afraid, trying to control and restrain this unknown power that he contained.
God said, “That’s my church. It has seemed to be tied down, and many have not understood it. Some have sought to silence it. Others have tried to use it’s power for their own glory and good, but the true power of the church is about to be unleashed in America.”
In Gulliver’s Travels, the author, Jonathan Swift describes Gulliver’s condition, “I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground;” (Book 1, Chapter 1, Page 55)
Wow! I thought. The unrestrained raw power of the glory of God released through the unified church will change the landscape of our nation. When, Lord?
He said, “the alarm clock is set, but many are already awake and preparing for what is about to come.”
“I’m ready, God, so ready,
ready from head to toe,
Ready to sing, ready to raise a tune:
“Wake up, soul!
Wake up, harp! wake up, lute!
Wake up, you sleepyhead sun!”
Psalm 57:8 (The Message)
Maybe you are one of those who is already awake and praying, making preparations?
The Bride is Making Herself Ready
I have a dear friend who pastors with her husband in a neighboring town. Last week we were discussing the coming move of God. She said it felt like the whole earth is trembling in expectation. “For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” Romans 8:19 (NLT) She was describing how a spiritual expectation breaks into the natural realm. Have you been feeling it?
As I told her about Lou Engle’s vision to bring together 120,000 people in Los Angeles, California on April 9, 2016 for a day of fasting and prayer to seek God for the greatest outpouring of the Spirit of God to sweep across our nation that has ever been seen. I saw fire in her eyes! We talked about the vision that we would experience a double portion of Azusa Street outbreak exactly 110 years to the day that the Azusa Street Revival broke out. The ushering in of the billion soul harvest so often prophesied by Bob Jones. Stadium Christianity as seen in 100 visions by Bobby Conner.
She said, “We have to go!” Sadly a few days later she messaged me that they had a wedding scheduled in their church that she and her husband were performing and they wouldn’t be able to go. She was devastated. I told her I would pray for miracles.
This week I received a message from my friend. She said she shared the vision with the bride and the bride changed the date of the wedding!
I could not shake the feeling that this was a prophetic sign that the Bride is making herself ready. She (the Church) is positioning herself to be prepared for what the Bridegroom wants to do! “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7 (NIV)
I believe the alarm clock has been set. In this year of Jubilee, April 9, 2016. The Call is going forth and we, the collective Church will arise and shine. (Read Isaiah 60.)
As we gather at The Call, Azusa Now, we expect to experience the fire of God! We expect to see the revival fires of thousands rekindled. We expect to see sign and wonders and salvations in the street. We have long been expecting to see these things in our city, through the triumphant church! I believe it is time.
It is time for your prodigal to come home. It is time for addiction to be broken in your family. It is time for your neighbors to experience the power of Jesus. It is time for your co-workers to live for the cause of the Kingdom. It is time for you to live joyfully free. It is time!
When the unified Church, the sleeping giant in America awakens and breaks loose of the things that have kept her bound, we will see this land return to God. We will see restoration of Godly values to our cities. When the sleeping giant arises, the glory of God will break out and spread across our world like we have only imagined our dreams. It is time.
Have you ever felt that ecstatic feeling of breakthrough?
You just know, that you know, that you know, that God has given you the victory in a long awaited, and hard fought battle. It's a beautiful feeling. You get to go to bed at night with a feeling of SATISFACTION!
The only problem is, you wake up the next day. Old habits that you thought would have disappeared, lurk. Dysfunctional relationships lure, and you find yourself asking, "Wait a minute, what happened to my breakthrough?"
The first thing I have to say about that is, you are not alone. I think we all have felt this same puzzling, frustrating, disappointing feeling.
In Joshua chapter 3, the Bible tells the amazing story of when the children of Israel finally got to step into the promised land. After 40 years of frustrating wandering and the agonizing realization that they had "missed it", they finally walked across the Jordan River on dry ground. Joshua built a memorial of stones so they would always remember the spot.
(Have you done that? Maybe not with stones, but maybe you wrote it in your journal, or circled the date on your calendar while you did your happy dance.)
But then God went a step further and told Joshua to re-circumcise all the men. Oh my gosh! Talk about never forgetting the moment! OUCH!
I am very sure that day became a painful memory that forever marked the breakthrough in their minds and their bodies. They knew beyond any doubt, that they belonged to God.
But here's the thing. That wasn't the end of the story.
The battle of Jericho was just ahead.
So here's what I make of this story and one way it might relate to us. We pray and pray, for what can be years, and we long for breakthrough. Then, the great day arrives and breakthrough comes!!!! Victory!!!! Finally.
We can do everything right. We can build a monument to mark the moment. Out of gratitude and devotion we can surrender everything, even our bodies to God, and it may even be painful. Even though we do everything right, that does not mean it's over. It does not mean life will get easy. It means it will be different.
Different territory, different battles, different instructions.
With the promise of new victories, breathtaking experiences, amazing miracles.
In Luke 19, just before Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, He told the disciples a parable. In it, He told them to "Occupy until I come."
It's really not enough to take the land, we have to occupy it. To occupy means to stay busy. In the business of life, keep walking. God knew we would be really busy keeping the territory we have gained. Every victory is for the Kingdom. The territory we take is for our King. It is worth occupying!
So, my friends, don't be discouraged when you win the battle but still have to fight. There is always more territory to take! It is not unusual to have to continue on. It is NORMAL! So fight on, valiant warrior! The territory is eternal and it is worth it!
Perhaps the Message Version states it best, when after many battles Joshua looks at his men and asks them this pointed question: "Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you?.." Joshua 18:3 (Message)
Maybe you have crossed over. Maybe you have marked the moment. Maybe you have tasted victory. Good!!! God has qualified you to take more ground. Put your armor back on and GO! It is time to OCCUPY! Possess your land today. You are not visiting, you live there! So stay put, enjoy the new view and make yourself at home. The breakthrough really is yours.