The Supernatural Book – Preface:
“A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2).
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.” (Isaiah 55:1).
November 2003 – A Holy Hunger for More:
What was I doing in a van with four guys from our youth group? We were hungry. But Mark, David, Freddy, Andrew and I weren’t heading to our local burger joint. We were leaving behind our homes in Surrey, British Columbia to travel over 350 miles to a youth conference in Albany, Oregon. When I said we were hungry, I wasn’t talking about natural hunger for food. We were hungry for more of God in our lives.
I had been a youth pastor for about ten years at this time, and I was desperate for a fresh encounter with the Lord. My prayer going into this event was, “Change me, Lord. Wreck me for ordinary living!” I would not be disappointed.
Let me back up a little bit and tell about some of the events that led up to this adventure. For as long as I had been a Christian, I had been a part of a charismatic church – a church that believed in the baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. During that time, I had been continually longing for a genuine revival. I wanted to see the fullness of God’s power and presence become reality in my life and ministry!
About a month before we headed to the youth conference in Oregon, we had been seeing God move through our youth group in dynamic ways. During worship, God’s presence would flood our meeting rooms. We saw students saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and empowered and released to go out and do the work of the ministry. It was an awesome thing to be part of what God was doing. I had never seen such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and such a hunger and passion for the Lord in the lives of young people. We saw times of repentance, where the students wept under conviction from the Holy Spirit, and also times of joyful dancing and celebrating the goodness of the Lord. Young people’s lives were transformed as God’s anointed, living, powerful Word was proclaimed. Students radically committed their lives to Jesus Christ.
Back to the Albany youth conference. The five of us were staying in a little youth room at the Valley Christian Center Vineyard Church, not too far from where the conference was taking place. As we met together before and after the event, we would pray and prophesy God’s Word over each other. During one of those times, David spoke a prophetic word over me and declared from the Lord: I have called you to be a shepherd to my sheep, and sometimes you need to shear the sheep, and the sheep won’t recognize themselves. Lay down the Word. Speak the truth. You’ve been in a season of renewal, but you’re going into a season of fire. The candle had been lit before, but now you’re going to set whole trees on fire. The church is dry, so it will be easy to light them on fire. That word resonated in my spirit. I wanted the Lord to send His revival fire!
I was intrigued the next day when one of the speakers preached about revival fire. He explained how God’s purpose in the fire is not just for “Holy Ghost parties” but for the massive harvest of lost souls. God is looking for fire-starters, he said, that will carry His fire in them. This speaker called me out of the crowd and prophesied over me, declaring that I would be a catalyst in the Kingdom, one who would start fires wherever I would go. I knew God was trying to get my attention!
The climax of the conference came the morning of the third day. There was an incredible time of worship, and during ministry at the end of the service, I was overwhelmed by the weightiness of the glory of the Lord. I was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit, and fell on my face in His presence. As I worshiped the Lord, I had an open vision and I had an encounter with an angel of the Lord. If you’re new to the realm of the supernatural, that statement might sound unbelievable to you, but stay with me for a minute. Later on in this book, I will share with you some teaching from God’s Word on the topic of angelic visitations, but for now, let me assure you with this one truth: Throughout the history of creation, from Genesis to Revelation and beyond, God has always given His angels charge over His people, and many, many times He has pulled back the curtain on the invisible realm and allowed His people to see His ministering spirits.
As I lay on the floor in the presence of the Lord, He opened my eyes to see into the heavenly realms, and I saw an angel. In this vision, the angel approached me and placed his hands on my eyes and my ears, but I didn’t understand the significance of what he had done to me until he spoke these words, “Matthew Thirteen.” Now, because I love the Bible, and have read it several times, there are many passages that I am very familiar with, but I did not know what was in Matthew chapter 13. So I opened up my Bible, and these words of Jesus jumped off the page at me:
“It has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven…blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.” (Matthew 13:11,16).
Immediately, I understood the significance of the angel touching my eyes and my ears, and I sensed that the Lord was getting ready to take me on a journey deeper into understanding the supernatural kingdom of God. I dug into the Bible and started studying, focusing on the life and ministry of Jesus and the early church in Acts. Soon after this we started seeing God move powerfully in our youth ministry, pouring out His Spirit in our midst to an astonishing degree. There were evenings when the manifest presence of the Lord was so tangible that literally every student in the room was lying on their face in holy reverence before the Lord.
We began hosting annual national youth conferences that were attended by hundreds of hungry and thirsty students, and by people of all ages who wanted more of God in their lives. As Jesus began baptizing us with the Holy Spirit and fire, our youth group started going out into the malls looking for people to lead to the Lord or pray for them to be healed. It was awesome!
Not only was God moving in our public meetings, but He was also doing new things in our personal lives as well. Prayer became an exciting adventure where I would literally spend hours a day soaking in God’s presence. There were times where many of the students and youth leaders would meet with me late at night for prayer meetings that would last until one or two o’clock in the morning. We were so hungry for more of God in our lives, wanting to go deeper in our relationship with Him. Our revival prayer meetings on Tuesday mornings would sometimes last up to three hours. We were completely overwhelmed by His love and we would spend hours in His presence being refreshed and revived. “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
September 2004 – Digging Revival Wells:
One of my heart’s passions is revival. About a year after the Albany conference, our church’s worship leader, Graham, gave me a prophetic word. He prophesied: God has given you a single message, of going deeper into the things of God. You’ve been working hard, digging wells, preparing God’s people for the water, just like Isaac dug wells wherever he went. And just like that well was still around in the time of Jesus, the work of God you’re doing will outlast your life. And right now you’re digging until you reach the water, and then your role will change somewhat to directing the water. Then the leaders who are coming after you will take over digging wells and preaching your message.
Less than a month later, our senior pastor, Steve Witmer, gave me a book called Digging the Wells of Revival by Lou Engle. How timely this was for me! Lou wrote:
“There are Foursquare Gospel churches around the world. And while there is a wonderful multi-ethnic work going on at the original Angelus Temple, the revival glory and harvest of souls known in its founding days are not so evident. The crutches and braces of people who were instantly healed are still displayed inside the building, but the miracles, signs and wonders that freed them are not the flood they once were. I speak this not to condemn, but to challenge the heirs of the Foursquare glory to redig their wells and reclaim their Pentecostal inheritance!” (Lou Engle).
Those words challenged me to the core! As a Foursquare pastor, I knew that our movement had been birthed in a mighty signs and wonders revival under the charismatic ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson. And as much as I didn’t like Lou pointing out some of the deficiencies in our church’s denomination, deep down on the inside, I knew that he was right. He also wrote in his book, “A revival well produces water that refreshes and revives dying people who are spiritually thirsty. Many denominations were birthed in revival! It’s time that we rediscover the ancient inheritances upon which the church has been founded.” I accepted his challenge to re-dig our wells, and reclaim our Pentecostal inheritance.
Later that same month during our annual pastor’s conference (can you see God’s hand in this?), Pastor Scott Gaglardi shared with us the roots of the Foursquare Gospel Church:
“It all began with a young girl born in a small farming community in Ontario – Sister Aimee. As a young girl, she was saddened and confused with the apparent contradiction between the Bible’s description of church, and her personal experience of it. She saw in the Bible a church with power, authority, victory and a display of the supernatural that would conquer entire cities and regions, and yet her own experience of church seemed to be more of a social gathering.
She had a deep hunger for God to reveal Himself to her with power, and after diligently pursuing God she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was endued with power. As a young girl she experienced a dramatic physical healing herself and from that point on she was wrecked for the ordinary. As she ventured out in ministry it was characterized by great faith in God and a present display of His power. She was not content to rest in the stories of the God of yesterday, or wait with expectation for the God of tomorrow; she had been called, commissioned and empowered by the ever present, ever active God of Today. Everywhere she ministered there were signs and wonders as God honored His word with healings, salvations, deliverances and miracles.”
These are our roots – but not only ours as Foursquare Gospel Churches. Every church that bears the name of Jesus Christ has its foundation in the powerful, glorious church in the Book of Acts that was birthed in signs and wonders, healings and miracles!
“Now the Philistines had stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, and they had filled them with earth… And Isaac dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them. Also Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there.” (Genesis 26:15,18-19).
One of the reasons why I have written this book is because I want to redig the wells of the supernatural for the church today. If you are believer in the Lord Jesus Christ – who is the same yesterday, today and forever – then you are a part of that supernatural church, too!
Are you hungry and desperate for more of God in your life? Don’t be satisfied with just good enough. Don’t be content with church as usual. Let’s contend together for signs and wonders to be restored to the church. Let’s believe God for another Heaven-sent, Holy Ghost fire, saving, healing, delivering, life-transforming, revival!
- Contact the author of this blog for a free copy of the e-book of Supernatural!
ENDORSEMENT FOR SUPERNATURAL:
God called us to live extraordinary lives on this earth, but so often people reduce Christianity to a self-help religion. God has so much more for us but we won’t accomplish it unless we operate in the supernatural! Chris Jordan has outlined great principles on how to awaken the supernatural in your everyday life. We need you to fulfill your calling and move from the natural into the supernatural! – John Bevere, international speaker and best-selling author of The Bait of Satan and Extraordinary. Messenger International (Colorado Springs /Australia /United Kingdom).