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I just wanted to share what's been happening lately at the renewal meetings at San Francisco VCF. On Friday, Dec 30, John Arnott spoke and ministered at our Church and over 800 people showed up. As you might expect, God came in power and many lives were touched and transformed.
But that is not what I want to write about. The really exciting thing is what occurred the following Friday evening (we're only having renewal meetings once a week now). There were only a 100 or so people there, but it was one of the most powerful evenings we've had.
Our pastor, Micheal Brodeur, spoke on prophetic anointing. He visited the story of King Saul from a different prospective. He started with Saul's initial encounter with Samuel and how Saul was launched into his ministry via a prophetic encounter. Then Samuel told Saul that he would encounter a school of prophets and that the Spirit of the Lord would fall on him and he would prophesy with them. It happened exactly as Samuel had predicted. Micheal pointed out how similar this was to the renewal anointing -- so effortless and contageous, and God coming with such power and intimacy. Later Saul got out of a right relationship with God and was "distressed with evil spirits from the Lord". (The bible records one instance where Saul was troubled and David was called in to minister with worship music and Saul ended up trying to kill David by throwing a javalin at him.)
Micheal pointed out how Saul could not tell the difference between when the Holy Spirit came on him and when a demon came on him because his heart was so wrong. Later, David had fled from Saul's presense and was staying with Samuel and a school of prophets. Saul sent soldiers to capture him, and the soldiers ended up 'falling under the power' and prophesying -- then came back empty handed. So Saul sent another group and the same thing happened. So Saul went himself. Again the same thing happened -- this time to Saul. However, since His heart was not right with the Lord, he ended up making a fool of himself under the anointing, stripping off his clothes and prophesying naked.
Micheal went on to say that the renewal is not about the manifestations -- like laying on the floor shaking or laughing uncontrolably. It is about letting the Lord complete the work He is trying to do in us so that we can be more useful to His kingdom purposes. The goal is not to come under the anointing and get blessed. It is to allow the giftings that the Lord is placing in us to mature and to start operating in them to do what He is doing and to spread His kingdom.
He warned of the danger of "getting stuck" and indicated that this was sort of what happened to king Saul. Micheal said that alot of the more violent manisfestations we're seeing over a prolonged period of time may be people getting stuck. He said that over the next few monthes, he wanted to "midwife" what God was doing and allow the giftings to be birthed among us. The main things that the Lord is doing at our Church's renewal meetings (actually attended by people from a lot of different Churches in the area) are: 1) a prophetic anointing and 2) an intercessory anointing. Micheal says that the Lord wants bring a new level of revival were the unsaved are touched and brought to the Lord, but that needs to be bathed and birthed in prayer. He says that is why the Lord is putting an intercessory anointing on so many people. He also says that the Lord will be using a lot of words of knowledge to witness to unsaved people and demonstrate His power/love. As the secrets of their hearts are laid bare under His anointing, they will turn their lives over to the Lord. We are not to seek an experience or seek a blessing. We are to seek the Lord and to permit Him to complete the good work that He started in us. Micheal said that over the next few monthes, the emphasis will be on bringing to fruitation the giftings that God has been putting in His people.
Then we opened up the alter for ministry. Many people came forward and received prayer. The Lord really did seem to be releasing people at a new level.
I am on the ministry team and normally I would be praying for people. But I felt that the Lord wanted me to receive something from Him, so I just stood in the crowd and waited for prayer. The person who prayed for me asked the Lord to increase visions and dreams for me. (I already move in the prophetic to some degree, but I very rarely see visual pictures -- the Lord usually speaks to me other ways.) I could feel the Lord's presesnse very strongly as I received prayer and ended up unable to stand up any longer. Then I was down on the ground and the Lord continued to minister to me. His love and warmth were all over me.
Suddenly, I started to see a picture, but it was sort of hazy. I asked the Lord what it was I was seeing. Then the picture came into focus and I saw a plug -- like what is at the end of the cord from a vaccuum or a refrigerator. I felt sort of disappointed; I thought that perhaps the Lord was giving me a vision and all I saw was this stupid plug. But the picture stayed before my eyes for a very long time. So I finally asked the Lord if this was from Him and what He was showing me. Then the cord was plugged into a socket. I did not see any hands, but I saw the plug, the cord and the electrical outlet socket. The plug moved of it's own accord and plugged in. Then my eyes followed the cord and I saw that it was attached to a lamp with a very large lamp shade. The bulb began to light up and soon it was so radient that the lampshade glowed and it was too bright to keep looking at. But I did keep looking at it and I noticed that several mothes and butterflies began to flutter around it, attracted to the light. Then the Lord spoke to me very distinctly and said, "That is what I am doing with My people. I am plugging them in so that they can be the light of the world again."
Then the picture was gone.
I still felt the Lord's presense on me very strongly, but I felt like I should be ministering instead of receiving. So I got up and started praying for people. By now it was later in the evening, about 10:00 PM, and most of the prayer team had stopped praying for people and were receiving ministry themselves. It seems that the Lord used me as a sort of second-shift to minster. The Lord pointed out a lady standing way off to the side of the alter and told me to go and minister to her. As I was praying, the Lord gave me the the words to pray. It turned out that I was repeating back all the major prayers of her heart that she'd cried out to the Lord over the last several monthes -- but I did not know that when I was praying. God touched her powerfully. Once I'd finished praying for her, there were a whole bunch of people had come and stood in the area where I was ministering, waiting for prayer. The Lord seemed to meet each of them powerfully as well. He seemed to be doing a releasing thing with most of them.
By the time I finished ministering, it was close to midnight. Some of the people who I had prayed for came up to me and started telling me their stories. God had indeed met each of them very powerfully. It seems that in most cases they had been seeking the Lord for something very specific and that was exactly what the Lord had me pray over them. I myself am an intercessor and I found myself releasing that gifting on to some of the people who I prayed for. The following Sunday, some of them came up to me with stories of how powerfully and dramitically God had been leading them into prayer since I'd prayed for them two days before. It sort of blew my mind to see such a release of the intensity to pray on some of these people.
I also got phone calls from some friends of mine who go to other Churches but had been coming regularly to the renewal meetings. Other people ministered to them and God touched them so powerfully that they called me to tell me about it. For instance, God started speaking to Kelly that He wanted to release a compassion and grace in her for the elderly. Then, about 10 minutes later, Micheal came over to pray for her. He does not even know Kelly. But He prayed that the Lord would release grace and compassion in her. What a witness that was to Kelly's heart. Now she has confidence about the things that the Lord has been speaking to her heart and is already taking the first steps in ministering to the elderly and handicapped.
The stories go on and on, but I'm running out of time to type them. God seems to be taking us beyond "the party" into a completion of the good work He has begun and we are starting to see the renewal anointing transformed into a ministry and evangelism anointing.
I got a second vision during worship on Sunday morning. It started with a prolonged picture of that same cord and plug, which was eventually plugged into that same socket. But this time I could see the electricity plusing throught the cord. Again I followed the cord with my eyes, expecting to see that same lamp at the end of it. But I was surprised to find that this time I was looking at an extension cord. I sat there looking at it for a few minutes wondering why the Lord was showing me this. Then He spoke to me again and told me that I was an extension cord to help people learn to plug in to Him. I am not sure exactly what that means yet, but I am confident that the Lord will show me and I look forward to finding out.
It is so exciting to watch the Lord move among us!
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