In the last Langstaff letter, I shared how I told my congregation that I had asked the Lord if I could live to see the Vikings win the SuperBowl. They replied that I would need to live to be 120.
More than the Vikings winning the Super Bowl (which they will!), what I want to see, is to be a part of another great move of God. I lived through what I consider to be the greatest move of God in the 20th Century – The Charismatic Renewal of the late 1960’s and the decade of destiny – the 1970’s. Everything that is happing today, by and large, got its impetus from those glory days. At the end of this article, I will set out the distinctive characteristics of the Charismatic Renewal that made it the greatest move of God of the last century. Meanwhile, I am not looking back, I am looking forward with expectancy and faith, for I believe we could well be on the edge of a brand new Holy Spirit outpouring.
I believe we need to be prepared and ready so, that when God does move, we will not miss it. It may not come in the way we expect or in the way we would want it to.
REVIVAL ON A PLATTER OF RUIN
This was a prophetic word that came out of a leadership conference a number of years ago. In other words, revival would come in the midst of troubling times in this nation. But hasn’t that been the way it most regularly happens. The incredible prayer revival, that began in the 1850’s, in New York, came as the dark clouds of a coming civil war were on the horizon. The Wesleyan Revival of the 18th Century was at a time when England desperately needed revival to save it from the kind of bloody revolution that had rocked France. The Jesus movement of the 1960’s came in the midst of a gigantic counter culture era that impacted not only the young people but the nation as a whole.
America is in for troubling times and much has been said and proclaimed about a coming judgement. As I have written many times, Isaiah 60:1-2 sums up the spiritual state of our nation and the world today. The nation is getting darker, morally and spiritually, but in the midst of it all the glory of God will be manifested in the midst of His people.
Jennifer LeClaire, senior editor of Charisma Magazine, wrote an article recently entitled, ‘Prophecy: A Tsunami of Perversion Will Rise,’ in which she ended making reference to Isaiah 60:1-3. You can check out her article at www.charismamag.com
ECONOMIC TROUBLES AHEAD
Many are prophesying about this. Rick Joyner, back in October 2014, declared, ‘Many are prophetically hearing that next year will be one of the great challenges for the world. We may wonder how we could endure more challenges than we have now, but what many are hearing is that in 2015 there will be another economic sharking coming that will exceed 2008. We have started putting out a warning about this. Unlike the warnings we put out in 2006 and 2007, more are listening this time. So how do we get ready? The same way we do for every challenge – we get closer to the Lord, we seek to hear Him and obey Him. Jesus does not just have the answers – He is the answer. Only in His presence will we see clearly enough to know what to do. It is in His presence that we also have access to the One who can easily and quickly fix anything. The prepared will prosper through anything, and those who have built their lives on the kingdom will not be shaken regardless of how much the world shakes. The warning that we should be hearing is not just where to put our stuff so it will be safe, but how to better abide in the Lord and be prepared to reap the harvest that is ready.’
To put it another way. There is a shaking coming (Haggai 2:2-9 and Hebrews 12:26-29) but in the midst of the shaking, God’s glory will be manifested and the light will expose the darkness. The glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the water covers the sea.
This new move of God will be built on people praying, true worship, a heartfelt desire for the presence of God and a desire to see people come to the Lord. Get ready. It is coming. I can hear the raindrops beginning to fall. Can you?
POSTSCRIPT – THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL AS THE GREATEST MOVE OF GOD IN THE 20TH CENTURY
There are many reasons I believe this to be so. Let me give you five –
1. Rediscovery of the Holy Spirit
The third member of the trinity had been largely ignored or neglected amongst Christians at that time. In this revival, people suddenly discovered the Holy Spirit was alive and real. That is how it was for me in the early 1970’s. Being born again changed my life, but being baptized in the Spirit changed my ministry and the direction of my life.
2. It was Ecumenical
People from all different church backgrounds came together. In Australia, where I was at the time, we covered the whole gamut in our gatherings: every Protestant Denomination, Roman Catholics, Pentecostal, the lot were involved. There was an incredible unity of the Spirit, but unfortunately it didn’t keep going.
3. World Wide Renewal
This renewal touched nations all over the world from South Africa to Europe, from America to Australia, from Singapore to London. It was an exciting time, seeing the fires God was lighting all over the world. As we used to sing, ‘All over the world, the Spirit is moving.’
4. No One Central Place
In more recent times, revival has often been centered on a specific location such at Toronto, Canada or Pensacola, Florida or Redding, California, along with other places, but in the Charismatic Renewal, it was happening all over. Yes, there were significant locations for conferences, such as the International Lutheran Conference on the Holy Spirit, here in Minneapolis, MN, and also significant churches such as Melodyland Christian Center, in Anaheim, CA, but it was not limited to those places. It was happening all over the world.
5. No One Person was Leading It.
Yes, there were certain figures that stood out like David Wilkerson (The Cross and the Switchblade), Dennis Bennet (Nine O’Clock in the Morning) and Katherine Kulhman, with her healing ministry, along with the Fort Lauderdale Five (Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Derek Prince, Don Basham and Ern Baxter), but it was not led by any one person or person(s). It just erupted all over the place with many people involved.
As such, in many ways, it was unique. I counted it a privilege to have lived through that period of time, but I am now looking forward to what lies ahead, for I believe ‘The Best is Yet to Be.’