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Posted: August 10, 2011 in General

I’ve always been a cultural observer. Like a weatherman examines Doppler systems to identify weather patterns and assimilate a forecast; I often spend hours reading the news headlines, listening to popular music, examining the most popular tv shows and films in order to gauge the spiritual temperature and atmospheric conditions of our generation.   For the past few years, i’ve tried to diligently become a student of human history. Most importantly, the history of God in and among humanity. One of the things that i’ve noticed is that for every noticeable increase of the Kingdom of God in our lives, there is a seemingly more pronounced movement in the realm of darkness on the Earth.

Just this past week, an incredible and I believe “historic” gathering took place in Chicago, Illinois called “Jesus Culture Awakening”. Over 15,000 “revivalists” gathered for three days of encouragement and encounter with God. Even though I wasn’t there and was watching it on a webstream, I could feel the impartation of HOPE that was released. Hope that in SPITE of and even THROUGH the crumbling infrastructure of our external condition, we have a loving and mighty Advocate in the Holy Spirit who WILL transform our hearts AND the nations to the Glory of the Father. Then, a day of prayer for our nation called “The Response” was held in Houston, TX at the invitation of Gov. Rick Perry. Although it  was preceded by a firestorm of controversy, I was moved as nearly 40,000 people laid down what was theirs (in terms of agendas, denomination, suspicion, tradition, etc.) and picked up what is His (love, mercy, humility, gentleness, unity, etc.) in prayer and worship. From conversations wiht my brother who led worship at the event, to friends who came back from Chicago…there seems to be an overwhelming sense of AWE being infused into the lives of believers. But in the wake of global financial disasters, droughts, natural disasters, and civil uprisings; there is a corresponding sense of dread, fear, desperation, and chaos being infused into the hearts of the nations. If I were to be considered a national “spiritual meteorologist”, I would say the atmospheric conditions are just about perfect for an unprecedented move of God.

In the past two days, I have been made aware of multiple “mob” induced incidents of violence. From London to Wisconsin to Texas, there is a riotous spirit of HATE-induced “pandemonium” gripping people groups.  With the increase of bad news regarding violent outbreaks of mob violence across the nations, I am encouraged by the reality that it is simply a counterfeit distraction from the MASSIVE LOVE-induced move of God that is currently BREAKING OUT all around us.

For example, although racism has been dealt with in various ways throughout history; God’s solution to racism has always been Him. Although it garnered immense national attention for blind eyes opening, limbs growing, and “glossalalia”, this truth was one of the most prominent marquee miracles of the ministry of William Seymour of the Azusa Street Revival.  Sid Roth asked, “Did you know that the Azusa Street Revival that happened in the early 1900′s was the first integrated church in America? God picked a one-eyed black man to lead the greatest move of God’s Spirit in miracles I believe since the first coming of the Messiah….”

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I believe the outpouring of the spirit at Azusa Street, clearly pointed to what the last days church should earnestly desire: unquenchable love for Jesus and unconditional love for each other. History books and news archives all proliferate the incredible atmosphere of love that filled the meetings at Bonnie Brae street. It was the only place in America where european immigrants, blacks, Jews, hispanics, Asians, caucasians, and native Americans could gather in the same place and love on each other as if here was no color line. In fact, Seymour preached that in Christ, the only color is “red”. Historian Frank Bartleman adds, “The color line has been washed away in the Blood.”

True revival always brings lasting reform, therefore MANY denominations and world missions movements were brought forth from this revival. Today over 500 million living people can trace their faith expression back to this outpouring including the Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God in Christ (largest African-American denomination), Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and many other modern-day charismatic/pentecostal expressions. Unfortunately, a few people’s disagreement with the racial unity, contributed to splits and the current “black church” “white church” normalcy that we are accustomed to today. But the Bride that Jesus is returning for…will NOT look like what we currently call Church. It will be mature in love. It will look like and be filled with every characteristic that is expressed in Ephesians 4:2-15! (Read it!) To that end, God is raising up those who will labor with Him in preparing His Bride (the Church) for the great wedding day. This includes revealing, restoring, and redeeming the unique gifts of God within entire familial bloodlines, ethnic groups, cities, regions, and nations.

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