Isa.43:18,19 – Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert.
As many of you know I came to the Lord in the Jesus Movement in the early 1970’s. I was radically saved, came out of my sinful lifestyle, and found myself in a Jesus community in California for four years. I really didn’t realize it at the time but I was in the middle of something new and historic as the Lord swept through the hippies and street people all across our nation. The Lord was doing something brand new, something quite shocking to the church, as He was showing His grace by transforming young people’s lives that seemed to have no chance in the world. Today I want to think about some of those new things that the Lord did in those days and see if some other new thing might be happening right under our noses.
First, the Lord was reaching outcastes by the thousands. Those who had given up on the church (the church had also given up on them) were being saved by a sovereign move of God across the land. Some churches embraced what was happening but much of the work was in Jesus coffee houses that sprung up all over the country.
Worship that came out of this movement came right out of the rock culture. Christian rock bands like Love Song, Second Chapter of Acts, and Petra sprung up everywhere writing new Christian songs. The worship in the churches that sprang from this movement was revolutionary for the church in those days. Guitars, drums, and keyboards playing these new songs of the Lord. The music carried an authenticity that sprang from new believers expressing their love for the Lord.
In many of these Jesus communities the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues were common. Our fellowship would sing out in the Spirit in beautiful harmony as we sang in the Spirit language for extended periods of time. These moments were life changing.
Evangelism was also a huge part of God’s new thing in those days. Evangelism would flow out of spontaneous outdoor worship in the parks or on the beach and in the coffee houses that were found in every town in many parts of the country. Lives were being changed and the church was also being radically and permanently affected.
Maybe some of this is brooding again in America, Lord knows we need a move of God.