Recently our Church Community eldership team committed to pressing in for “glory to glory.” We wanted to make sure we were embracing everything God has for us. As a result our Church Community has been experiencing a number of exciting phenomena.
Numerous people have been experiencing physical manifestations of the Spirit, others are having incredible dreams as they sleep, others are venturing into heavenly places where they enjoy the presence of God. Still others are seeing, and hearing angels. As a community we are becoming increasingly aware of the spirit realm. All these things are taking place in Adults and kids, in our joint worship times, but also in peoples homes, work places and third spaces.
A couple of us have been asking God, “What are you doing?” or “Where are you taking us?” This has had me thinking and I think an old revival story, and Bible passage will help me point to where I believe God is taking us…
Cannot Be Hidden
Hidden from the world in a corner of South East China, was Adullam Children’s home. Home to some of the world’s most vulnerable, these children had been abandoned or orphaned, many left to beg on the street. The world had rejected them but they were never hidden from the sight of God.
In the early 1900’s a revival broke out amongst these children. At first a spirit of prayer came upon them. They missed meals, not because there was no food, but because their focus was upon God. They began prophesying over one another, and seeing and interacting with Angels. As they prayed they had Heavenly encounters that were so real that when they returned they would immediately check their pockets for the fruit they had been picking in Heaven.
The atmosphere around the Children’s home changed. They were more kind as they each began to display the fruit of the Spirit. They returned from heavenly experiences with revelation on Biblical passages. Their hearts began burning for the lost, and evangelism and outreach became a priority as their hearts began to beat in tune with Daddy God. They were now thoroughly in love with Jesus.
Over a 40 year period, as the cultural revolution kicked in, these children would shine brightly in the darkest of circumstances. Religion was banned, church leaders killed, believers tortured and imprisoned, Bibles burned and meeting together was forbidden. These same children, who had now grown up, became leaders in the underground church that led the greatest revival the world has ever seen. In this time of heavy persecution, the church grew from 2 million believers to over 60 million.
City on a Hill
In Matthew 5:11-16 Jesus said that a City on a Hill cannot be hidden. When you are full of the light and life of Jesus, you cannot help but stand out. The purpose of all humanity is to shine the light and glory of God. That is what we are created for. Darkness tried to hide these precious kids, but once they had fallen in love with Jesus they were always bound to shine.
I believe God is lavishing us with His manifest presence because He wants us to be able to stand in the dark hard times. So many believers today are hiding in the darkness, too scared or too stuck to stand out. It is easier and less risky to go along with the crowd. But once your heart has been arrested by the captivating love of Jesus you cannot help but shine.
There are three things I believe God is saying to us that will help us shine for the world to see:
- Embrace your season. (Matthew 5:11-12) If I plant seeds in the wrong season my crops won’t end up very good. If I put a dish in the oven before I have added all the right ingredients it won’t turn out well. The same is true for us. We cannot do everything in every season. What is God doing with you in this season? Recognise what season you are in, embrace it and enjoy it, even if it means copping some persecution.
- Embrace your difference. (Matthew 5:13) Salt is no good if it is not salty! If you aren’t being who God made you to be then the world is missing out – and you won’t be as happy as you should be! You are made to be you! Don’t compare yourself to other people. This means no more masks, no more faking it. Simply be who God made you to be. If you are not in a community that embraces you, find one that does. You will do far better when you find people who can celebrate and encourage your uniqueness.
- Embrace your purpose. (Matthew 5:14-16) Every human is made to carry the glory of God. You were made to shine, not be hidden. As a follower of Jesus you are different. There is something different inside of you. You have incredible love and power at work inside of you. Let it out in your own unique way! This is what you were born for! Go for it! Let your light shine bright for all the world to see!
When we experience the love God has towards us, it transforms us. But it doesn’t end with us. The love intensifies and our hearts begin to burn for others.
What God is doing in us, He wants to do through us – just like He did with the boys in Adullam Children’s Home.
Read more about this revival in “Visions Beyond The Veil” by H.A Baker.