Thursday, July 14, 2005

It truly was great to see the young people praying a 1/2 hour before prayer time was to begin last Wednesday. I can see a day where time will no longer be a factor in our lives -- a time when we want Jesus and His presence more than anything else... and we are willing to lay everything aside... just to be with Him!

Then we will say, "didn't our hearts burn within us"... and that's an environment that we can take with us to hurting people -- our burning hearts will be seen in our speech, in our actions, in our faith, and God will respond with miracles, signs and wonders!... and many will see and fear and put their trust in Him!

O God, let it be so!!!

c2005 Love and Fire Ministries

It was the Spirit of the Lord that spoke those words to me during THE ALTAR on Wednesday evening, 7/6/05, as I was in another time of deep, gut-wrenching crying out to the Lord with The Love Church Saints. That evening was a time of internal-extremism for me (I use that in a positive sense). But first, going back to the beginning of the service…

The heavy presence of the Lord descended on me about 15 minutes before the service even started as Pastor Joan, Joshua and myself were seeking God’s face. Josh had put on a CD from our last Sunday service and it was powerfully anointed. It just set my heart to burning again (as it had the previous 2 Sundays) – the passion to want to be with the Holy Spirit was unbearable! He was there and burning in my heart and a cry was beginning to be released.

When 7pm came, it was time to start the service. The music was shut off and we were moving up front to do the normal routine of our "Altar" services -- starting with gathering in a circle, holding hands, taking prayer requests and praying for each other’s needs. As I joined the circle I tried my best to subdue what was happening in me on the inside… I couldn’t… from my belly came that deep cry again and I had to leave the circle and go into a side room where I could let that cry come out – Some might call it emotionalism or even strange-fire, but this I know, I couldn’t hold back. It truly was like fire shut up in my bones and it had to come out -- It was deep calling to deep in the roar of His waterfalls – It was all the waves, breakers, and billows of the Lord sweeping over me – like Psalm 42:7 says… I couldn’t do business as usual in the circle – I declared 3 weeks ago that I was through playing the "religion game" and I would not hold back anymore what the Holy Spirit was doing in me or saying through me…

Throughout the prayer time, that evening, these "burning waves" would roll over me and this sobbing would take over. After a time I left the room and went to the balcony and just laid face down before the Lord crying out for Him to burn out everything that is not from Him and leave only an undying passion for Jesus within – one that would never go away.

The fervent prayers of the righteous continued throughout the evening. At one point I knew I needed to make those same 3 declarations I had been making daily for the past month over our church, my family and the families of this church. I blew the conch shell 3 times, the first time declaring spiritual rain, the second declaring financial prosperity, and the final time declaring divine health. I believe God wants to bring us up to another level in these 3 areas, and I have determined in my heart and by His grace that I will continue to make these declarations until we see a breakthrough and the fruit of the breakthrough – I’M NOT GONNA LET GO!! I’M GONNA BE LIKE JACOB IN THIS MATTER!! Sometimes I think Jacob has been given a bad-rap (but that’s another story).

Eventually I made my way back up to the front area and laid on the altar again, sobbing, just before it was time for the closing circle. I kept hearing, "don’t go back – don’t go back to where you were – don’t slip back into business as usual – don’t do it – cry out for more of My Spirit – cry out for more of Me -- cry out for Me to change you – don’t give up so easily – cry out for that spiritual rain that you are thirsty for – cry out for financial prosperity – cry out for divine health as you have been declaring with the blowing of the conch shell daily – This is what you have all been hungry for – you’ve been praying for a desperation for Me and I am doing it in you – I want to do it in all My people if they will make room for Me!!"

About that time I heard Pastor Jim say something to this effect, "I believe an angel has taken a coal from the altar and touched a few of us with it. We need to pray that the angel will touch all of us with it"… and the prayer time took off again. A couple people prophesied and saw visions that were shared – I kept hearing 2 words in my spirit… "CAMP HERE! CAMP HERE!" I shared that with the group and exhorted that we can’t go back to the way we were – we can’t stop seeking His face – we can’t let go of Him – we’ve got to stay desperate, hungry and thirsty -- we must keep walking in obedience – we have got to keep making room for Him… there is simply no other way! We’ve been praying and singing "open our blind eyes and unlock our deaf ears". DO YOU HEAR THE CALLING?… IT’S TIME!!

As I finished I knew what I needed to do… bring up the sleeping bags from my house and CAMP HERE at THE ALTAR tonight in obedience to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. Talk about bizarre?… but I knew if I didn’t do it I would miss an opportunity that He was giving me to obey Him (even in the bizarre) and live out what He had just spoken. So Elder Shirley, Joel and myself rolled out the sleeping bags and literally camped at the altar. We praised, prayed and worshiped until falling to sleep. Joel said, "Dad, I think we should do this every Wednesday night!" Who knows, maybe we should until Jesus answers our desperate cry with REVIVAL!!
This is not strange-fire – this is holy fire that is burning within. This is not bizarre – this is extreme obedience. This is not revival – it is where we need to be so God can send the revival. This is a step in the right direction – let’s not be too quick to leave what God is doing in our hearts right now – let’s CAMP HERE as the Holy Spirit said!! He has sent us to do Kingdom business before and He will continue to do so as we are obedient. But I want to go with His fire burning in me, an unquenchable fire, an unstoppable fire, a fire that has consumed all of me so that the world will no longer see Pastor Joe, but instead will see the Jesus in me!

For this moment, for whatever reason each one of us is here… at THE ALTAR… let’s continue to CAMP HERE. Out of it will come a people that God can use, if we continue to follow His lead.
I have been arrested by the Spirit of God – The life I knew a month ago is on hold (hopefully forever). Nothing else matters to me right now as much as being with the Holy Spirit -- My heart burns for you Jesus! I want to wash your feet with my tears… O Jesus, I don’t want to let go! MANIFEST YOUR GLORY!!

c2005 Love and Fire Ministries

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