The Azusa Street Revival was probably one of the most powerful and significant ‘Revivals’ of modern times. Birthed around the beginning of the last century this move of God was crazily marked by significant healings, miracles, manifestations of tangible Glory and of course the then ‘New’ experience of Speaking in other Tongues. Guys attending the meetings would walk out of the train station and see a huge pillar of fire above the Church building. It was a crazy time of demonstration of heaven on earth, it was rumoured that sometimes the cloud of Gods presence would fill the entire building and that the Kids would play Hide and Seek in the cloud! One of the guys labelled with helping to facilitate the move was a man by the name of Frank Bartleman. Bartleman for years carried a burning desire for Revival and gave himself to prayer to see something break in his nation, even writing letters to Evan Roberts asking how they could also see the fire of God burn in the USA as Roberts was seeing in Wales. The move of God lasted for several years and touched and impacted many nations of the world. Then one day Bartleman walked to the meeting as usual and outside the building was a sign saying ‘Apostolic Faith Mission,’ Bartleman knew it was the beginning of the end for the Azusa Street Revival.
I remember hearing Rick Joyner comment a few years back that “One thing worse than premature death is prolonged Life!” Visiting a famous place of ‘Outpouring’ in 2000 with Donna, leaving our kids, paying the expense of Flights and Hotels to get a fresh ‘Touch’ from heaven seemed the right thing to do. The Outpouring was just 6 years old and was obviously legitimate with many nations getting hit by the Glory released at that time. We were super stoked about our visit and full of anticipation yet it soon became pretty evident to us that whatever fire was once burning on the alter in that place was already waining. It was a good time but after encountering so much with Rodney H Browne in 1995 was pretty tame in comparison. It was obvious to us that what was once a cutting edge, reformative expression of the River Life was now a commodified ‘Stream!’ That was in 2000, it was obvious to us even then that something was missing, YET 13 years later that same stream trickles along!
There’s something to be said about ‘Raw Expressions!’ Guys like Smith Wigglesworth, known Mavericks in their day. Nothing palatable about a guy who punches Cancerous Tumours out of bodies in the name of God Almighty! I remember the impact Todd Bentley had back in the late 90’s, a young guy who’d encountered God in a way most only dream of, who pretty much single handidly caused a supernatural reformation in the Western Church! John the Baptists in the Wilderness, crazy men, mis-understood, loose cannons, unhinged, unpalatable, uncaring, not looking for invites or concerned what public opinion suggests is right or wrong. I’ve always been drawn to read of such guys, those who refused to settle for the status quo in their day, who butted heads with the religious order, turned the tables and changed the Norm! I remember in 1999 Martin Scott prophesied of a ‘Wildfire’ which would burn out of Wales, an unpalatable fire, not a fire we could warm our hands upon in a hearth but a ‘Scary Fire’ with a life of it’s own, out of control flames! In a time of the influx of ‘Flowery’ Grace preachers who first get a revelation of Grace, then they rehash a Francois Du Toit sermon, then get a website and a business card seems so prevalent my heart burns to see a release of the Burning Ones, Guys who know nothing yet understand all things, who are known yet unknown!
It’s always easier to camp by a fire then to be the fire we are. ‘Let us build 3 tabernacles’ will always seem a great option when an experience is breaking out! Why would we want to move on from so much in a day of seeming spiritual drought? I have a few thoughts. Firstly there is no lack in this Kingdom, Eden is all around us so it’s ok to leave the safety of the boat of comfort and experience and move on! We could never escape His presence! This very thought is enough to ensure continual revival, the fact that we are ONE with Him and that He’s everywhere should allow us to Rest in continual reality and to break away from stifling fears that want to safely gather and hoard every scrap of grace! Secondly it is when we stop moving that we give the Universe nothing to work with! So many ‘Moves’ have become nothing more than maintenance programs, so many ‘Movements’ nothing more than ‘Monuments!’ Sadly it’s often those who instigate and lead moves of God who are the last to realize He moved on a long time ago! He moves because that’s all He knows, ‘The wind blows where it desires!’ Our fruitfulness is linked with His moving in our lives, of ourselves we can do nothing and can bear nothing, we are not only compelled but it is essential to flow with Him. As He moves over creation, creation responds. As ‘We’ move with Him and ‘As Him’ creation responds! It’s amazing in Mark 11 where Jesus talks with His disciples about 3 things, Desire, Confession and Mountains moving. He was actually saying “Guys when you desire ANYTHING and you talk about it enough even the Mountains will move around you!” He was talking of moving out with fresh desires, allowing yourself to get so excited about those desires that you talk about them continually and the natural response will be that in your ‘Movement’ creation responds all around YOU! So many guys are moving out of the boat of religious organisation right now, many not knowing what’s next! I suppose when all we know is ‘Structure’ then we look for another wineskin to jump right into which has more Life than the last! Soon we will realize that ‘We are the Wineskin’ that He has no other avenue to manifest His image and likeness, that it’s ok to move out without expecting another form to move into but just to be the Form and likeness we are!
Focus has to shift. We’ve said it before this thing has to be a lifestyle and not an event. Events as with Revivals will come and go, all have very definite beginnings and ends, these things are great whilst He is in them but alas He moves on! These events cannot become the focal point, He is our only focal point. If we don’t move with Him all that’s lefty is an empty shell of religious activity, In all fairness even some of what we consider ‘Cutting Edge’ in the Grace ‘Movement’ is already becoming a hive of religious fervour and activity! He’s moved On! Life is our portion! He’s now raising up Pioneers of Life. In the coming days the canvas that the prophetic artist will draw upon will be Life itself! Life doesn’t happen around us it happens through us and as us. We are Creators of Life, releasers of Life! We have the ability to change, transform, shift and reform whatever and whenever! This revelation allows us to move away, free from fear, leaving behind what seems great and onto what is Best! Every second is a creative power source, every day an opportunity to express divinity to creation. Why would we want to reproduce what has been when fresh Life lies dormant within us? This kingdom is an organic Kingdom. It flows and thrives on spontaneity, He moves and creates continually, there’s no lack whatsoever! Problems arise when we fail to see His moving, when we stagnate and remain by the Campfire sharing old stories of days gone by, regurgitating old sermons of old fore-runners many who still consider themselves cutting edge leaders! LIFE, the Now of it, the How of it, the breath of it!
So many have asked, ‘Why at a time where so many are being touched in your gatherings, where Sloshfest seems a success, where nations are coming, when Life seems great for so many are you wanting to break up camp and move on?’ Hopefully I’ve answered that Now! I’m excited about Life, I’m excited about Humanity, I’m wanting to connect with Humanity and what Humanity is seeing in a different way! Martin Scott said years back at an event we hosted “Whenever God decides to pull the Church into new shape He does it via Babylon.” The focus being that we always attempt to bring Reformation from ‘Within’ yet He usually does it from ‘Without!’ The Jesus People ‘Movement’ being a prime example. God jacks up a drug induced Hippy called Lonnie Frisbee and allows him to become an offence to institutionalised Church, YET he carried so much whack that sooner rather than later the Church had to admit defeat and embrace a new shape! He’s moving now on the margins, amongst the Gay communities, within Islam, with the Ladyboys, on the Garbage Dumps and Leper Colonies, “In the wilderness can you see Eden?” I’m excited about this reality, This is Life for me because Life is there, He is moving right in the midst of their Lives! A full appreciation of this reality causes change! As a minister of Reconciliation He’s causing us to go and tell of a great reconciliation which has already taken place, “You are reconciled now BE reconciled, You are free so be free!” This excites my heart, to move out of the comfort of a reconciled church and into the beauty of a redeemed humanity with the joy of telling of their reconciliation to God! How great will that Joy be and how powerful the manifestation when we tell them they are FREE? Maybe we will see something so amazing, something so great way beyond anything our gatherings could ever produce? I certainly believe so!!!!
Let’s move on! Let’s dream Big. Wayne Dyer says “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change!” There’s no failures in this Kingdom, there’s tremendous grace available to move on and fail, to get it wrong not ‘Be’ wrong! We have all the space we want, all the Life we need to create new worlds for all around us! MAN I’M EXCITED!!!! Big Big Hugs DAVE x