I was awakened by what sounded like a car wreck in our attic. The sound echoed and lingered. Our room lit up like a photographers flash. The frame of the house quaked. The explosion seemed like it was directly above us. Wave after wave of lightning followed with massive thunder claps.
“What time is it?” I thought.
I checked my phone…4 AM. It was an epic thunderstorm. One like I’d only experienced a handful of times. My next thought stirred the yearnings of my heart afresh.
“What day is it?”
Immediately my mind quickened to Zechariah 10:1, “Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.” It’s one of my favorite revival verses. It speaks of intercession for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and God’s great willingness to answer with a deluge that brings an extensive harvest.
Throughout the morning I wondered at the greeting I received from the thunderstorm. Was the Lord speaking? Decidedly, Yes! To me, this was a prophetic sign that He intends to release a great storm of heavenly power culminating in massive revival and harvest.
My life has been filled with whispers from the Lord that continually encourage me to pursue a monumental outpouring of His Spirit. I remember the night I preached on the Lord’s covenant with Moses to release marvels in abundance, the likes the world had never seen. At the end of the message as we were seeking the Lord, a friend said, “Billy, there are double rainbows over our building right now!” I went outside to see 50 people in the parking lot marveling at two full rainbows directly over the house of prayer. I took it as the Lord’s wink to let me know He intended to release marvels in our midst in the manner He promised Moses. I have had several similar experiences and so the thunderstorm this Pentecost morning alerted me to God’s intentions once again.
I’ve lived in expectation of an outpouring for the last twenty years. There is a great longing in my soul to see God’s power on display in a way that silences the loudest mocker and crushes the hardest heart. Yesterday as the thoughts of Pentecost raced through the chambers of my mind, I was once again moved with great desire to see the church receive a real baptism of fire. How I long for it. For myself, for others, I honestly don’t care who gets it. I just want somebody to step across the line. Oh, for a Spirit baptism of biblical proportions.
When I say , “a real baptism”, I don’t mean that what we’ve had is not real. I mean that its minor compared to the testimony of the apostles and others throughout church history. I’m talking about holy possession that causes the culture to bend when faced with the raw untempered power of God.
I think we spend far too much time trying to figure out how to draw people to church when we have available the greatest drawer of human hearts, the Holy Spirit. I’m committed anew to seek Him for fire. I can’t live excelling at low bar Christianity. There is a promise of fire for believers in this age. My full intent is to seek Him for this promised inferno the rest of my life. By His grace I will either attain or die in the quest. I can’t think of another way to spend my days than in aggressive pursuit of the fullness of God.
This week I’m going to post the testimonies of saints of old and their experiences of being baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. I pray these stories from Charles Finney, John G. Lake, and Smith Wigglesworth compel you to seek God in a fresh way for a greater baptism than you’ve ever known. I’m longing for God to make His power known in our day and in our time. Oh God, in the midst of years, renew Your works, in wrath remember mercy (Hab 3:2). I encourage you to seek Him for another Pentecost.