Sunday, April 06, 2008

John G Lake and Hungering for God

Since Rob Rufus mentioned John G Lake in a recent sermon, I've been interested to read and research a bit more about this great man of God. These encounters that men testify to are not to make us jealous or envious but to provoke us to seek the same God Who is eager and passionate to show Himself to us should we seek Him. One of the books I am reading at the moment is Bill Johnson's most recent; "Face to Face with God - the Ultimate Quest to Experience His Presence". There is a small section in there about John G Lake. Here is some of it;

"John G Lake was a wealthy insurance salesman who was touched by God in an extraordinary way. Day and night, earnestly and at great length he sought more of the Holy Spirit. Lake had an early experience in which he felt what he called "Waves of Holy Glory" by which he was "lifted into a new realm of God's Presence and power. After this, answers to prayer were frequent and miracles of healing occured from time to time. I felt myself on the borderline of a great spiritual realm, but was unable to enter in fully so my nature was not satisfied with attainment".

In response he pursued God's face more and more, dedicating certain hours of the day to prayer and maintaining communion with God's Spirit as he conducted his daily business. Almost every evening after his day's business was completed, Lake preached and ministered. He also met with a group of like-minded friends. Together they were determined to "pray through" to their goal - a complete baptism of the Holy Spirit, as they believed the early disciples had received it with signs following.

Lake said to the Lord, "God if You will baptise me in the Holy Spirit and give me the power of God, nothing shall be permitted to stand between me and a hundred-fold obedience". One day the Lord said to him, "Be patient until autumn" and Lake knew his prayers were being heard. One afternoon that that fall, a fellow minister asked Lake to accompany him to the home of a woman who requested prayers for healing. For ten years this woman had been in a wheelchair because of inflammatory rheumatism. As his friend spoke with the lady to prepare her for prayer, Lake sat across the large room in a low chair. There he had a powerful encounter with God;

"My soul was crying out to God in a yearning too deep for words, when suddenly it seemed to me that I had passed under a shower of warm tropical rain, which was not falling upon me but through me. My spirit and soul and body, under this influence, was soothed into such a deep still calm as I had never known. My brain, which had always been so active, became perfectly still. An awe of the Presence of God settled upon me.

Some moments passed, I don't know how many. The Spirit said; "I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears. You are now baptized in the Holy Spirit". Then currents of power began to rush through my being from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. The shocks of power increased in rapidity and voltage. As these currents of power would pass through me, they seemed to come upon my head and rush through my body and through my feet into the floor. The power was so great that my body began to vibrate intensely so that I believe had I not been sitting in a low chair I might have fallen upon the floor".

At that point, his friend not noticing the state he was in, invited Lake to come and help him prayer. Lake could hardly walk, he was trembling so violently. While his friend continued to kneel down in front of the woman's wheelchair, Lake simply touched her head lightly (so as not to jar her with his trembling) and he felt "currents of holy power" pass through his body. He knew she felt it too, even though she didn't say anything.

"My friend who had been talking to her in his great earnestness had been kneeling as he talked to her. He arose saying, "Let us pray that the Lord will now heal you". As he did so, he took her hand. At the instant their hands touched, a flash of dynamic power went through my person and through the sick woman and as my friend held her hand, the shock of power went through her hand and into him".

As I read this, I remembered Rob Rufus teaching on "The Anointing" and made the point:

"The power is that tangible it doesn’t matter whether you shake or fall, you can feel it leaving and if it doesn’t leave you know they won’t get healed. The power has to flow out of us and into the body. If it goes into the body the power will go like a heat seeking missile to the problem if it is big enough".

So on with John G Lake's account;

"The rush of power into his person was so great that it caused him to fall on the floor. He looked up at me with joy and surprise and springing to his feet said, "Praise the Lord, John, Jesus has baptized you in the Holy Ghost!". Then he took the crippled hand that had been set for so many years. The clenched hand opened and the joints began to work, first the fingers, then the hand and the wrist, then the elbow and the shoulder".

"Lake himself was thrilled at the inexpressible peace and joy that flooded his inner being. He felt that truly the Spirit had imparted to him; "a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14 KJV). God's love poured through him. He saw people as lost sheep and the passionate desire of his soul became the proclamation of salvation message of Jesus accompanied by powerful healing and blessing".

After reading this I sat back and felt a deep hunger rush through me. Rob says that if the manifest Presence of God doesn't come for one day - he will get lonely!! I am so provoked by that! I texted Pete Day about our mutual longing for more of this and he texted back;

"I long for that reality. It is the norm! God speaking, drenching, healing. We have the Spirit giving life to our mortal bodies. Resurrection power in new spirits given the moments we were saved so with the right to have His anointing flow all over us and authority to command healing. I just want this so much".

I guess I could blog about disapproving Emerging choruses and poking fun at the poor theology (HT: Mark Heath). But how will that help save the lost or spread the gospel or see signs and wonders and miracles rise up in the Church? How will that help me deepen my relationship with God? Sorry but if you are looking for interaction with what's wrong with Emerging churches then this is the wrong blog for you!


lydia joy said...

Dan, I am glad you put this up. I enjoyed learning more about John G. Lake, not someone you hear about in reformed circles :) I long to have more of God's love pour through me and out to others!

I too, am provoked by Rob's statement about having the manifest Presence of God coming every day and without it he'd be lonely....boy that makes me jealous, in a good way!! I want it and long for it too!!! Bring in on GOD!!

Dan Bowen said...

Amen!! WHATEVER God! We just want You! Thanks Lydia! You are, as always a wonderful blessing to hear from!