Something happened to me 7 years ago that i can't let go of. Given the chance to check out an historic move of the Spirit of God. Now understand this, me and my friends had been praying for 'revival'. (To this day, i still don't really how to pray for the thing. to me a couple things have to be a characteristic for it to be a genuine revival. Lost souls brought into the kingdom; prodicals coming home; divine healings (physical healings); deliverance (emotional healings); the dead raised. That has to be some of the fruits of a revival to me. I laugh as i hear that churches are having a week long revival. its just funny to me to think that... its like trying to plan a snow storm.) Now some of you reading this are firsthand fruit of this revival in which i was granted to be a small part of.
in any case, my friends heard about a revival that was taking place in Pensacola, FL. So we went to the youth conference. Understand that all this while, i wasn't going as a skeptic... i was going as a hungry heart wanting Daddy to love on me his child. They did what we called 'prayer lines'. they had lines set up on the floor and you come and stand on these lines and people come along and pray for you. I had complete confidence in this. I've grown up in this.. i'd heard the stories of what was going on. So i was simply going to receive.
So i'm standing and just anticipating the prayer. So, after waiting a few minutes, this little lady makes her way to me. Simply touches her fingers to my forehead and says "Brand Him With Your Fire God." I'm out cold. I come to a short time later, i'm laying on the floor looking up at the roof of the arena where we were. i tried to get up, but i couldn't. So i'm just like 'ok, i'm just going to hang out for a few minutes until i could."
I know what some of you may think of some of the manifestations of the Spirit. And a part of me doesn't even care to listen. yes, people get flaky. I've seen it.. i've done it. but i know for a fact that this little lady did not push me. given my size and her size, just not doable. do people get like that in these situations? i'm sure they do. i've had it happen to me a time or two. unfortunately it happens. Why did God entrust His bride to people who He knew would mess it up? Ask Him.
well, during this time, my right leg just starts to shake a bit and it kinda felt like jolts of electricity were going thru my body. Thats the best way for me to explain it. in any case, i eventually got up and walked back to my seat. I think they had already done worship, so after everyone got prayer and they all went back to their seats, we had the preaching of the Word. That night it was Michael Rowan. I will NEVER forget what happened that nite. He preached on the Unsanctified Slide. and the 3 chairs you can sit in. Either the chair of commitment (usually an uncomfortable chair... hard and doesn't really give much... for which he used a simple folding chair), compromise (somewhat hard but not to bad... he used a softer chair) and then comfortable (you either need to get saved or u need a rude awakening... he used a big soft chair).
Needless to say, i died on that night. the power of God touched me and the Holy Ghost shook the hell out of me. I can't even begin to describe it on here. All this to say, that something has been deposited it me during that time that I can't let go of. The Lord deposited in me a hunger for Him, a hunger for His Word and His Spirit. He put a love for people that no human could do. One minute in His presence will do the work of a thousand sermons or worship songs.
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? I don't completely know. I don't have all the answers. Ask Him?
But Shawn, if God is soo loving, how comes He allows children to be murdered in schools and the like? Because for the past 40 years, we've been telling Him we want nothing to do with Him in our society. It's me having a body guard, but telling this bodyguard that he can't be within 10 feet of me. Then, when i get slugged, i ask him why he didn't do anything to protect... b/c i told him not to step in and save me.
Our society wants the benefits of being Christians, but we don't wanna have to pay a price for it. We want leisure. we don't wanna have to bear a cross. soo many messages nowadays preach such a man centered message. there's no repentance, no denial of self. its all about what i can get out of the deal. and thats humanism. some churches don't even have a symbol of a cross in their facilities b/c they don't wanna offend a seeker. i don't know if you realize this, but the message of the Cross is one of, if not the most, offensive messages out there. its soo narrow-minded. How dare we call our selves believers when we won't even lay down our lives for our king.
I've given a good amount of stuff here to chew on. enjoy.