A Second Look

The new voice of the Holy Spirit might well be the old voice. Have noticed that a lot of the itinerates are preaching the same stuff with just slightly different variations? The charismatic world seems to be becoming a bit anemic. Voices that challenge the body to leave the American dream behind aren’t very popular. Yet, treasure in heaven is garnered by such things. Woe to the ones that gain everything here and have little to show on the Lord’s day. My prayer is that I’d have reward when he comes. What we do, give, and live all matter. [Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. Rev 22:12]

The Waters May Be Torrent, Don’t Give Up

     Have you ever had a dream in your heart that was not to be? During the glory days of the Brownsville Revival, I had a dream. Sitting there in the atmosphere that gushed the Lord’s heart for the lost, my soul was imprinted forever. But I couldn’t have known at the time of the dreadful events that would seemingly forever shift my plans. Unfortunately, being betrayed by leadership is all too common in the western church. But the first lesson here is that God is watching how you react. I reacted badly. I allowed the enemy, through a senior leader/mentor, to crush me after being unjustly betrayed in ministry. Hope was scuttled; my spirit sank. My identity was too tied up in what I was doing ministerially rather than being anchored in the certainty of sonship. Further, the fact that I was innocent of wrongdoing only made me feel like even God had abandoned me since no one came to my aid. In attempting to bring some semblance of relief to my anguish, I was cast into frigid waters. And ultimately, my own sin allowed an open port for self-condemnation and giant despair to run me aground.

     Even after some the greatest years in the revival school, I would now limp through Bible college and a masters degree. It’s true that I did well scholastically, but my heart was so dull and I continued to spiritually list for more than a decade. I hated that I also was hurting others as a result of my own condition and what had taken place. But that is where God owns the title of savior. He is the lighthouse in the night. The one ever hurling the life-preserver into rough seas. He rescues because it is, simply, who he is. If you had asked me eight years ago, I would not have thought that dream of my heart would have any life left in it. But it was then that I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not using a metaphor here. I actually saw a light at the end of a tunnel in a vision during prayer.

     It was time to plot a new course, so I quit my videographer job and moved to Colorado to start the deep healing. Then I moved to Florida for seminary and wouldn’t you know, God would get ahold of me during carpet time at OHOP. Into the night, soul healing, restoration, and character straightening would be wrestled out on that carpet. Between seminary and the house of prayer, God would teach me to be rooted and grounded in his love. He would reintroduce the call to holiness and the grace to victoriously walk it out. He would teach me that I am a son and that he indeed has a hope and a future for me regardless of betrayal, trials, and shortcomings. The rebirthing that started for me in 2009 has carried me through to this day. The forty day water fast I did back in 2015 steered my heart back to a missional posture and to care less about personal comforts. So in my heart, I’ve said I’ll go. I’m trained, tempered, and willing to set sail. The dream was to take Christ to the lost and to follow in His footsteps of compassion for the hurting. I’ve been praying that He would send workers into the harvest field, for the need is great. The dream is alive again- to bring something of Him to them. But understand that the mission is not an end in itself. The end is to keep paddling back to Him no matter what occurs and you will find your.…well everything. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it (1 Thess 5:24). Keep steaming ahead. Don’t give up.

Into the Future (a prognostication about where the church is going)

In this season of transitions, we will see the rise of the micro church and apostolic centers. Over the next 5-20 years, many “churches” will begin to operate in a different way. Apostolic centers will be focused on equipping the church for the work fo the ministry. The house prayer movement will continue but will morph into a very different shape than the early leaders had envisioned. Though many of them will continue doing it the way they always have, many will recognize the HOP movement as an underscore to the importance of the generator of consistent prayer within the context of specific gatherings of believers both small and large. Micro churches may be seen as a threat to some but will begin to flourish as more people are both released and emboldened to prophesy, lead deliverance, baptize, equip, and lead. The growth of mentoring and apprenticeship will be in addition to the growing trend of internships. This will be resisted for a season but will come to pass in greater measure as leaders are actually willing to invest their time and resources in others on a more personal basis. The church will also move away from ministry as an enterprise and shift back to making real disciples without monetary motivations primary guiding decisions of leaders.

Share this with your friends so that they too can be edified in what the Spirit is saying.