I’m writing this from Lakeland in Florida where I have spent the last couple of days at the so-called “Lakeland Outpouring/revival”, today in its 98th day of consecutive meetings with 1000’s of people from all over the world coming here looking to “get some” and take it back to wherever they came from. (And off course there are a bunch of people – including a crew from CNN last night – who are just “checking it out”)…
Would I have come to Lakeland just for these meetings? Probably not, but since I had a trip to the States planned, and have had some deep hungers stirring in me for a while, I decided that I’d swing by Lakeland and get into a different type of atmosphere to my usual. I asked myself why I came here, and here are my answers:
First, what I didn’t come for: I’m personally not looking for or particularly into gold dust, gold fillings or even diamonds (sorry Ali!), although I’m sort of open to God doing all these things…I guess I just want more of the “true riches” Jesus speaks about…so: I came because I am hungry for a few things which aren’t as real/evident in my life as I’d like the to be, being:
- The “power of the Spirit” …something the early church Christians seem to have had in massive doses more than me…In Luke 4 Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, and came out “in the power of the Spirit.” I want that – preferably without the temptations, wilderness, and fastings please – I guess that’s why places like Lakeland seem an attractive option!
- The “fire” part of the “you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire”… Still not really sure what that is supposed to really look like. Maybe its the same thing as the “power” of point one above?
- More evidence/activity of the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit in my life and ministry. I have had much more “gift activity/activation” in my personal ministry lately, and its been great and effective, but I do long for more. healing’s. accurate words of knowledge. discernment. the GIFT of faith…I need/want these more…
- At a point today I wondered whether I came for my own healing of the effects of the crippling arthritis I had in my late teens and which destroyed both my wrists. Its marked my life for 26 years now. Do I believe God can/will heal/restore these?
What have I found so far?
- I have found a gathering of hungry/thirsty Christians from all over the planet who for the most part are genuinely looking for something to power them up to effect change wherever they came from by their 10’s of 1000’s.
- I have found a place and leaders who emphasise and actually believe the “signs and wonders and healings” parts of New Testament teaching which many of us move away from over time…and they seem to be seeing a massive bunch of people reporting to be healed of all sorts of stuff…there were some truly incredible miracles reported. this challenges me.
- I found people who are pressing into something they feel God has lead them into and called them to, and they have been going for 98 days! They certainly haven’t let their strategic calendar get in the way…
- I found 1000’s of people genuinely passionately worshipping Jesus – He definitely seems to have centre stage, and doing something.
- I found a few things relating to style and practice which irritated me and which I purposefully had to decide not to get distracted by or hung up on. (Note to self & other leaders visible on meeting “platforms” during worship times: If you aren’t going to participate in worship like you expect the congregation to participate, then stay off the stage and out of eyesight if you want to joke and chat while the worship leader is leading the congregation…its distracting and rude.)
- I found a people and leaders who are being severely criticised from some quarters for all sorts of reasons. I haven’t checked this all out, but my suggestion is: don’t criticise what you haven’t personally fully checked out, and don’t criticise that which you don’t need to criticise. Yes, there are always “wheat & tares” growing in the same field (even in your & my life & churches). My advice: Don’t kill the good stuff by a hasty witch-hunting attitude. I think its time we all looked at the log in our own eye a lot more closely…
- I found that just because something has been chosen to be aired on God TV doesn’t make it THE revival. There are incredible things happening in churches all around the world which will never make it to the limelight, but God is pouring out His Spirit in many parts. Get into a solid Bible-based, God-honouring, Spirit-fuelled disciple-making church wherever you are and let God use you to bring His glory to your world…
Have I found the “power, fire, gifts, and healing”? Cant say I have yet, but its been a good time of being alone for two days with God and in an environment of passionate faith with people from every nation. On my final evening meeting there tonight I experienced an amazing passionate and unrestrained worship time with the other 3-5,000 people there. At one stage I had a strong impression of Jesus joining in this wild worship dance with this praising & worshipping international crowd of admittedly mostly first-world believers… The last time I had a similar impression was at our Every Nation world conference in Manila last year, with 14,000 people from around the world packed into the Areneta stadium – it was really awesome and a taste of heaven!
Anyway, I’ve been challenged in my faith to step out more boldly in these areas. I’ve “stirred up the gifts,” and I’m as committed as ever to “go and make disciples of all nations” – and expectant to see this followed by at least a few more “signs and wonders”…in His power…using his gifts…
PS (added on 17/6) – What I won’t be doing on my return to London is starting “special meetings” in addition to what we do already. I am persuaded that all our meetings should be “special”, allowing room for all of Gods “special works.” – if they dont, we shouldnt be having them in the first place…and we should get back on the mountain with God to revisit the why? what? and how? of what we are doing what we’re doing “in His name.”
“Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.” – I Thessalonians 5:19-21
12 thoughts on “My Lakeland Outpouring / revival experience…”
Happy Birthday Pastor Wolfie!!!
Glad to read your thoughts on the Lakeland Outpouring. Personally I haven’t been there, only watched it couple of time on God TV but the way it impacted me is really amazing… I feel so hungry for God, for the close relationship with Him like never before… To worship, spend time in His presence… It challanged my faith as well! It all isn’t because of Todd’s teachings or anything… but simply through seeing God healing people, etc.
Just to say i really liked your blog on the Lakeland revival. Really trusting that the Lord will meet the hunger which you talk of…something which is burning in so many of us at this time!
thx for the balanced report about the revival. like most of life and ministry, it seems to be a mix of God and man, good and bad, divine and weird.
as always, great to see you in Nash.
I am believing with you that an impartation happens that will evidence itself when we step into ministry, as opposed to some manifestation for it’s own sake. I do want to be open to whatever God does and is authentic. I do not want to limit God to my understanding of things, but I think we don’t want to be suckered into anything either!
I appreciate your insights as always….
Thank you for the thoughts, Wolfi. Very very encouraging. I sincerely appreciate your view.
Thanks for sharing, Wolfi. I have heard a few stories from several friends of mine – both here in London and back in South Africa, whose churches have been impacted by the Lakeland Revival, and they are seeing powerful stuff happen! A church in Ealing where healings are taking place each week, and a church in Grahamstown where they are meeting every night during the week for powerful outpourings of the Holy Spirit, being filled with the power and fire of God. The thing that strikes me the most is just the HUNGER…the hunger that everyone is expressing, which has a snowballing effect, leading to people coming on their knees before Jesus. I was cautious, even sceptical initially, but I am being humbled, and I’ve realised that I am so so dry, and so SO hungry. Let’s press in!! I want some of whatever God’s got….
I’m glad your back in London – without the golden teeth… :-). As Ps Steve says, God and man, the weird and the wonderful….. And as you say, the Lord is SO not limited to one place, but Praise God for what He is doing in Florida. I believe we are going to have an AWESOME summer with Jesus – right here in London !!!
Wolfi, I agree with all your comments and thoughts regarding Lakeland (the remark about the leaders on stage during worship time…). But I want to thank you for one thing espacially – your honesty to share things that leaders usually don’t share to keep their man-of-god-reputation. It’s refreshing to see that a leader that you respect is expressing his hunger and honestly admitting a gap between his ministry and what is seen in gospels and acts. We all need that hunger. I’m a bit tired of living in the world where we act and talk like we have it all. God has blessed us with a lot, but there’s so much more. We need more of that holy frustration/desparation. Wolfi, thank you for who you are. greetings from Krakow.
Wise! Encouraged that you too are seeking more in areas of “The Walk of The Narrow Road “.
As you probably can tell, I have been mulling over the whole Lakeland business for some time; watching on TV, You Tube, reading the opinions and views of people who have been and people who haven’t – views ranging from ‘Lakeland is a bit of heaven on earth’ to ‘Todd Bentley is a disciple of Satan”…
One aspect of this whole issue that I have been thinking about a lot is the difficulty with (or downright disdain for) the ‘manifestation’ of gold dust, gold teeth, gemstones…etc. that I pick up in many comments or reports made about Lakeland. There is an acceptance of physical healings, deliverances from demonic possession or addictions, but when it comes to the gold, jewels and feathers, the tone can often become slightly mocking or dismissive.
The more I think about this, the more puzzled I am becoming by it, and I am yet to hear a convincing argument as to why this type of manifestation should be relegated to the ‘ridiculous’ or ‘weird’.
The Bible is absolutely full of situations, incidents and manifestations of God that we might today regard as absurd: a talking donkey, an axehead floating, the entire Red Sea parting, a coin inside a fish’s mouth to pay the tax bill (….would be nice!), a small amount of food physically multiplying way in abundance of the actual need…..
The Lord’s Prayer tells us to pray “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” If we are to pray the Kingdom to be manifest on earth, as it is in heaven, well, what is heaven like? We know that it is a place where there is no sickness, poverty, disease, depression, hopelessness, tears or sin. We also know that it is a place of majestic beauty, incomprehensible glory, unimaginable splendour. Revelation describes the gold streets, the jewel encrusted walls.
” I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the GLORIOUS SPLENDOUR OF YOUR MAJESTY
and I will meditate on your wonderful works….
……They will celebrate YOUR ABUNDANT GOODNESS
and joyfully sing of your righteousness……
……..They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
AND THE GLORIOUS SPLENDOUR OF YOUR KINGDOM.”
We are longing and praying for the Kingdom to come to the earth, and we rejoice when we see the Kingdom manifest physically in dramatic and powerful healings. Why then are we surprised when God, in His abundant goodness, lets some of the glorious splendour of the Kingdom slip through into our physical world in the form of sprinklings of gold dust or gemstones?
I love serving a God that is surprising, unexpected and doesn’t do things in ways that we think He should – that’s what makes Him God! If He wants to shower me with gold dust…thanks very much, I’ll take every last speck!
I will agree with your quote from the Bible.
Praise The Lord Wolfi!
I know we have not seen eye to eye in the past, and on one occasion you said you threw my letter in the bin, around 1995.
However, I am thrilled that you have a blog, and that you have had 25,000 hits in 16 months. This averages about 50 hits a day.
Well I have just started my blog, the past 20 days I have had an average of 100 to 150 hits a day.
I guess my blog is more interesting (only joking).
Well keep in touch – its always good to keep in touch, and thank you for all your efforts in my life in the past.
I hope and pray that everyone will hear the truth.
Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!
I’m Out! 🙂