Ps.46:4 – God has a constantly flowing river whose sparkling streams
bring joy and delight to his people.
His river flows right through the city of God Most High,
into his holy dwelling places.
I have told this story probably hundreds of times in the last twenty five years but it is impossible to tire of reiterating the same story again and again. The testimony of the move of God lives in the telling of the story. In 1994 I was dissatisfied and unappreciative of the things of God and with the church I pastor in New Orleans. Saying that again today brings me under conviction. I was dry and lukewarm in my spiritual life. Now don’t misunderstand, I was not living a secret life of sin, I was faithful to my marriage and was walking in a pure, Christian life. Something just wasn’t right. Somehow I was trying to get my satisfaction and identity from the size and influence of my church but it was never big enough or good enough. I had fallen into the despair of professional Christianity.
When I first heard rumors of the outpouring of the Spirit I was disinterested at best and critical at worst. I reluctantly went to some revival meetings near Dallas, Texas and that’s when I got more than I bargained for. The services were worse or better (depending on your perspective) than I could have imagined. There were worship times that would go on for two hours, offering teachings that seemed endless, and services that would often last beyond midnight. There were people littering the floor, their bodies, having been overcome by the Spirit. There was mass intoxication by the Spirit and then there was the laughter. Hundreds of people laughing and laughing at the same time.
The outward appearance of all those things would unnerve just about anyone except…. The longer I stayed in that atmosphere the more undeniable it became. What do I mean? The presence of the Lord was unmistakable, undeniable, and stronger than I had ever begun to experience. That’s what got me; the familiar presence that drew me to Christ so many years before was reeling me in to the River.
After several days in those services I went up for prayer. Needless to say God rocked my world. I was filled with a supernatural joy that tasted to me like heaven itself. My joy was restored, my first love for the Lord was restored, and my love for His church was restored. Twenty five years later I am still enjoying the fruit of that outpouring. All I can say is do it again Lord.