"We Were Never Meant To Be Content With A Little!!" - Dr Lloyd-Jones
"You love your conferences don't you" ... so said my beloved older sister kindly. On this coming Saturday I am going away to Brighton for the upcoming "New Frontiers Brighton Leaders Conference 2005". And to say I am excited is to drastically understate it. But I've been to many conferences in my time. Stoneleigh 2000 was the highlight - to worship God among the thousands ... pure heaven!! I've been to the Brighton Conference before - if anything more intense than Stoneleigh!! I've been to Sovereign "Grace" Celebration weekends ... enough said. So is this ... just another conference?
I don't want it to be - and I don't intend it to be. Actually I don't think it will be. Because my expectations of God have never been greater. His sovereignity aside ... I am desperately thirsty for Him to move in awesome unparallelled power. Terry Virgo wrote a commendation to "Joy Unspeakable" - Dr Lloyd-Jone's tome on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and he said; "This is NO age to advocate restraint". Amen, amen and AMEN!! All cautious restraints are laid aside. I come desperate ... I come barren ... I come to be flooded with God's Spirit. And as such my thoughts are drifting to my aims and objectives this coming week. I want to be clear in what I want of God; "I will not let You go until You bless Me".
1. Jerusalem Must Be Revived
Me. Revival must begin with the individual. I don't think I have ever experienced greater darkness these last 8 to 10 months. Trials - upon trials - and I seriously wondered if I would ever make it! One day I will testify to all ... when I can see how God brought me through and for why. But my soul is so desperate. So hungry after real Presence of God. To see Him move again. To feel His touch. My darling older sister would counsel me that I am seeking after the unusual, the radical and I should settle for the normal, the peaceful. But I can't!! As hard as I try!! The clarion call of Dr Lloyd-Jones hangs over my life: "We were NEVER MEANT TO BE CONTENT!!".
So I come to Brighton for "a touch". I want to leave that place transformed - a different person. And why not? Jacob left his wrestle and encounter with God different. Moses left the burning bush different. Paul left the Damascus Road different. An encounter with God will change forever!! It may disable this outer shell - but so be it!! I want a touch!! As the chorus says; "I feel the touch of Your wind on my face - I feel the first drops of rain!!". I want more than the cloud the size of a man's hand. I want the deluge!!
2. Judea Must Live
"It is the church - the hope of all the world! And here I place my heart and hand - I CANNOT TURN AWAY!!". My heroes - Ern Baxter and Terry Virgo have left me bound to the church. I cannot turn away - they have shown me a glorious city set on a hill that cannot be hidden!! And I have seen glimpses!! But my experience of church has been horrible. I have trusted in church and confided my deepest hurts and they have trampled on it. "Sincere" as my father may say. But they still trampled. "My expectations are too high" my sister may say! But still they trampled. Again I will testify soon - but my faith in church has been severely shattered.
Can it really be true? Can God really be serious? Can He intend to use this motley crew of people who hurt each other, who love power and abuse it by wrecking people's lives? By acting truly like the Pharisees of old? Can it be true? I come to Brighton looking for that city again!! I come desperate to have my faith in church restored!! I come and want to leave - my faith sure and true that the church IS the hope of the world!! Prophecy has been fulfilled - the passion of God's Son will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea!!
3. The World Will Know!
One of the most exciting things about Brighton is that I don't come alone this year. I am bringing two of my spiritual children ... Myriddin and Scott. These two boys mean more to me than words can express. I have seen the seeds of God beginning to work in both of their lives and I thrill at it!! I was asked to cut them off - cut off my friendship with them by people who were bound to cliches and I refused. I dont regret that decision at all! God brought them into my life for a reason!! And that reason is so close!! So close!! God has great designs for these two!! Already words of prophecy have been spoken to both of them! Already He is unfolding the future and how they will fit into His glorious church!!
So I want to see both of them encounter God in just as powerful ways as me. I want to see Him touch their lives and for them to be genuinely converted and dramatically baptised in the Spirit!! I want them to have a total New Testament Peter Package conversion!!! I want them to leave that place running!! I want them to leave that place with their lives changed!! Two non-Christians coming to a Christian conference where the Spirit is allowed to roam and walk unquenched!! The air is potent with possibility!! Oh that they may see Your glory!! Oh that they may see Your might!! And let them be just the beginning!!!
May the 3 of us come back from Brighton filled with Your Spirit - overflowing with Your passion and may Bristol - our home town be affected greatly. May the ripples of Your Spirit's workings begin to flow out to the nations!! Let it begin with us!! But let it begin!! We are tired of waiting!! We are tired of the day of small things!! We long for Your to unveil Your holy arm!!
So ... we shall see!!
Of course Your are sovereign. You are God whether You bless ... or whether You hide Your face. But I will not let You go until You bless!! Put my hip out of joint!! But bless!! Touch us!! Revive us!! So that the nations may be glad!!