Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Let the Nations Feel Your Rain!" - Ken Gott, Stoneleigh 1997

I have been listening to Ken Gott's two messages to Stoneleigh when he was the guest speaker and in particular his first message; "Resurrecting the Promises of God". It isn't a classic expository message by any stretch of the imagination - but in terms of power, it is extrodinary! I had goosebumps while he was getting the gathered thousands to do the "Rain Clap". All in all though it really stirred me again with a passion for revival - to see God come and drench His people. And of course as I have mentioned before, leadership - heroes are vital to keep such a move of God going.

I think any who read recent comments by a blogger should be justifiably stirred and maybe even offended - but definately bothered that there seem to be few to replace the greats of the past. Is Joshua Harris really all that our generation has to offer? Are the organisers of the up-coming Together for the Gospel conference really 'giants of the faith' as the same blogger thinks? Are they the models we should be looking to? So my thought processes have been busy for the last few weeks thinking about; "What Makes a Giant of the Faith?".

Rather than come up with my own thoughts, Terry Virgo's message to Stoneleigh 1998 deals virtually with this exact topic. It was the last of his 3 messages entitled: "Gathered Together as One Man". He spoke firstly of how leaders and therefore potential giants of the faith must:

1. Lead by Example.

Terry said; "Zerubbabel and Joshua were leading by acting. They were leading by building - they were among the people. Gideon said one day, "Watch what I do - you do the same". That's how Gideon - the Spirit of God was upon him - brought forth a new kind of army. He stood with them, he was one of them - he was in the battle. And so we are looking for leadership that is doing the stuff - leading from the front. You find it in the book of Acts. You don't just find them telling the people to pray. You find that the apostles are devoting themselves to prayer. It is good to imitate godly people. Imitate their faith - watch what they do".

2. Submissive to Scripture.

Terry said; "In other words these leaders were themselves subject to Scripture - subject to what God had said, therefore they were worthy of being followed. They didn't say, well we're going to go with every new trend and fad. They used to believe that - Paul believed that, but we've come out of that - we reject that. We reflect modern society more. No, no. We must be suspicious of that kind of leadership. These leaders were subject to what Moses had set out. Those who are teaching the Bible - teaching honest truth, actually have the blessing of God upon them and lives are changed when the Spirit of God is active. So that is the kind of leadership we want that is submitted to what God has revealed. Its God-breathed".

3. Power Encounters or Faith Encounters with God.

Leaders should have words and promises that burn in their hearts - their own encounters with God that they live with. This is what makes them leaders; this is what makes them anointed leaders rather! God has come to them! The Holy Spirit is upon him! God has touched him - God has sown promises in his heart! God has called him like Moses or Samuel or any other biblical leader! They have encounters with God and are given promises from God that shape what they do with their lives.

Leadership must know deep in its spirit that you have with you a God who can look at a mountain and say - that mountain before you is a plain! Why? Because you are the Lord's anointed! And we must know that! We must have leaders who know they are rightous as a gift, but also know that mountains will become plains! Why? Because we are the called of God!

Leaders who know God will be able to go to enemies and say; "Go - we're coming through! We're coming through!". That's going to happen dear friends! I prophesy that over you tonight!

4. Someone Who had a Revelation of the Place of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit!

"Its not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord".

Terry said; "It is important that we know what it is to go on drinking in the Holy Spirit. The enjoyment of the continual flow of the Holy Spirit is so very important to us - to keep drinking in the fresh oil - keep receiving - keep receiving! So we are looking for leaders and churches that are constantly sons of fresh oil. Not old oil! Fresh oil!

5. Open to the Ministry of Other Gifts.

Terry said; "They were open to the ministry of other gifts! When the prophets came to the work that Ezra and Zerrubbabel were carrying out, the work came alive!! Now in your church - do you have prophetic, visionary ministry coming in to you? Prophets who come and inspire you with faith again! That's God's provision! We're not simply meant to have a local pastor and that's all there is to it. He's trying to be an evangelist and a prophet and all things to all men. The Bible speaks of many ministries and these prophets stimulated them to action again - because they were open to the prophetic.

Is your church open to the prophetic? You must be saying; "God please send us prophets!". God help us believe for and see the flourishing and releasing of prophetic ministry in our ranks that change the situation by their coming!"

So ...

Rather than being pessimistic that Joshua Harris seems to be the only giant of the faith around in our generation or moaning that all giants of the faith seem to live in the USA, I think that we should be stirred to rise up and take the baton. Terry reminded us at Brighton last year that God can use weakness. The only thing He can't use is unbelief. To me the gauntlet is laid down - God wants men to stand in the gap and stop bemoaning the death of our heroes. And in this sermon that I've quoted, I think there is a marvellous template for leaders to apply to their lives. Have I had a power encounter with God? If so, when was the last one? Am I constantly drinking fresh oil? Or was my last oil back in the 1990s? Am I submissive - totally - to the Scriptures? Am I an example that I am willing to let others look to?


Mark Lawrence said...

I don't want to be totally dismissive of the concept of giants (or do I?). I'm not sure that God is looking for giants, He is looking for a people, a chosen people, a royal preisthood, a holy nation, a corporate body, sent as Jesus was sent, empowered by His Spirit to do the same works that Jesus did. Somehow the idea of giants seems incompatible with this?

jul said...

I read that post you referenced and I was rather upset by it! I even commented, on a male dominated blog. Anyway, supposing those who think this way were right, whose fault would it be if this generation were lacking? Who was supposed to train us up and teach us and model godliness ect...? Were they such spiritual giants if they could not reproduce their spirituality in the next generation? Enough of that...

I thoroughly disagree. There are hundreds of thousands of young men and women around the world laying down their lives to see the church built and the kingdom of God ushered in. You want to know where the spiritual giants of this generation are? They are building churches, not travelling all around getting famous and writing books. And that is not a criticism of those who God is using to write books and influence a broader audience, I just don't think you can measure the power of the plain old church.

Baxter's Boy said...

Wow ... both those comments have excellent points and I'm really thankful for them. To Mark's comment; yes, you are right! All those examples I was looking at and thinking through were Old Covenant weren't they? Now we are in the age of the Spirit (hallelujah!) and He has come to ALL men and ALL women.

As for Jul ... I am glad that you are far from impressed by it, because I wasn't either! You are absolutely ABSOLUTELY right and I couldn't agree more!! Why are we measuring giants by FAME?!? Outrageous! Yes, the giants of our faith are out there building church and keeping quiet.

So thank you to you both! Once again I have learnt something!

Don said...

Dan, can you tell me if it's still possible to get tapes/CDs of the teachings from the Stoneleigh conferences? Please email me: don [at] zapgerms.com.