Another New Outpouring!
As news begins to spread of more ‘outpourings’ beginning to occur on planet earth, this has particular relevance here in Wales as ‘seemingly’ a portal has opened up over the mining area of Cwmbran near Newport. The ‘Wales Outpouring’ as they are advertising it started last week and has been going on nightly now for nearly a week. There have been reports of salvations, healings, people being set free, people prostrate for hours, encounters with God, dry Christians getting a new hunger and infilling, some amazing stories and testimonies. Lives are being changed. Revival fervour hits Wales again. ‘Come and get the flame and take it back to your church’ they write on their web page. Similar things are also happening in Durban, South Africa as we speak. God breaking out in the earth once again. I am thrilled for those whose lives will be changed forever. I am not decrying the genuine encounters that people will have. The testimonies are exciting to read. Yet at the same time why am I not excited about all this? Why do I not have the urge to jump in my car and go and see what is going on? Find God for myself so I can go deeper into Him? Be part of a revival atmosphere? Have I really become such a grumpy, hardened old man who has been burnt too many times? After all when I was running to Sunderland during the refreshing there, and others were flying to Toronto and Pensacola, and these ‘revival’ types were coming into Wales every day to speak, release, give the flame, was this not what I wanted to see, God moving in this land of Cymru once again like He did in the days of Evan Roberts? Maybe the tram lines of my journey have imprinted my head and heart too deeply. I’m not saying for a second God isn’t in it, so please do not misquote me, but I just have that feeling inside that we have been here too many times before and we only end up getting disappointed when the world does not come to Christ, community is not transformed and Christ does not return because after all this was the end time revival again.
Desperate for Anything.
A people desperate for God are desperate for anything that reveals something that smells of blessing and heaven. More than anything it reveals what a needy people we are for outward manifestation and touches and visible evidence of God doing something. We want the heavenly quick fix for our Nation. After all when God moves like this we do not even have to get our hands dirty, he sovereignly does it all. The heavens are opened and God comes down. He answered the cry to rend the heavens and He came down. Yet stop and think for a moment here! Did that mean that the day before the outpouring the heavens were closed over Wales? Has God got a door that He keeps opening and closing? Does that mean that the ordinary person with a daily walk with God where there are no crowds and internet reports of amazing stuff going on was really walking in closed heaven situations? And surely the cry of the prophet was answered in Jesus, who literally did rend the heavens and came down, not just in physicality but at the cross the curtain, the partitioning was ripped up, torn forever. Why do we think He keeps sowing it back up and then like Superman burst in when He is needed in answer to desperate cries. I think our history and knowledge of revivals has not helped us here. We think God moving equals the dynamic as evidence. I know, I ran after those things myself, and therefore I do not judge anyone running after such things. I believe God will bless and do deep work because that is in His character. I often think of how the glory fell when the temple was completed and yet God was quite clear He did not want it built and that He does not live in man made places, but He still blessed anyway. Our desperation for more that we can feel and touch leads us to such things. But it becomes like the next fix we need. We end up running to the meeting place to meet with God. Seven nights a week, travelling huge distances, finding the wells. We end up dependant on the centres of revival, hunting out the revivalists, wanting that man who carries such fire to touch me. It all seems to me a pull back to centrality and a few people carrying the special gifts. The church is like a high dependency unit, people totally dependant on the gift people, the healers, the prophets, the gatherings. The same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead lives in ME!!!!
Scattered For Jesus!
In the book of Acts Jerusalem was a place of great outpouring. Stories were getting out about what God was doing there and the crowds began to come. Salvation by the score, dynamic healing ministry, apostolic teaching, manifestation of God’s presence, something tangible from God at last. The Lord was adding daily to the church. What an exciting place to be in. The end time revival was here already. They travelled from all over to get a touch. Then a persecution arose that caused a scattering. Some would say the devil was stopping an amazing move of God, but it was never about building a centre of outpouring. The infilling of the Holy Spirit, the continual open heaven, was always about ripples and going out, not gathering in. Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the ends of the earth. It stalled at the first hurdle because people wanted a touch. But the people were scattered for Jesus. Not saying God sent the persecution but boy did the people need it to happen. As they were scattered the word spread. In no time at all the ripples of the scattered reached Samaria. A place of outpouring was being created again, but I love the account of Philip here. Standing in a revival atmosphere, opportunity to build a life long ministry and what does he do? Leaves and goes into the wilderness and finds one man. And a man with no gonads at that, a foreigner, a eunuch. The one. It must be about the one. Acts is nearly always the story about man running after the dynamic and the miraculous, Jesus story was always about the individual. He did not want a story that was just Acts of the Apostles with a capital A, He wanted a story of the one whose life was never the same after having a meal together. He walked the margins, we build the centres. He walked back into the valley on the dirt of the road, we build booths on the places of transfiguration. He dismissed the crowds to share fish with His friends, we dismiss our friends to build the crowds. Jesus could have run ‘outpouring’ gatherings for all of His days of ministry, but He never did, He poured His life into the few, so the ripples would flow out. Why am I not excited at another outpouring? Maybe I am learning slowly to walk just like Jesus did. I wonder if Evan Roberts learned the same thing and that is why he withdrew from public minstry? I will ask him that when I see Him in the future life.