15
Sep
10

Conflagration

During the great spiritual revivals in this country, thousands upon thousands of people were born again, to the point where bars and saloons went out of business and crime rates dropped drastically. Many believers are praying for a new revival today, including me.

I was singing along as the praise team sang “Holy Spirit, rain down” a couple of Sundays ago, when the Lord began talking to me. “I don’t want to rain down on this place.”

What? I thought I was really, really mistaken.

But he continued. “I don’t want a gentle rain, which is what some people think about when they sing that song.”

“I want a conflagration. I want to burn this building down, not physically, but with the power and fire of the Holy Spirit.”

I suddenly saw in my mind what he was talking about. He was talking about people speaking with power, praying with power, people being healed and filled with God’s power and presence, miracles taking place throughout the church. And not just in our church but throughout the body of Christ.

“Conflagration,” he said. “Pray that.”

So I’ve been praying for a conflagration of the Holy Spirit to overwhelm Trinity. There’s a lay witness renewal event coming up in a couple of weeks, and maybe it will begin that weekend. If not, I’ll keep praying.

I made an appointment to talk to the pastor and told him about this. He listened and said he is open to whatever the Lord wants to do. Then I told him about the 1970’s revival here in Florence, describing some of what had happened.

I ended our conversation with this caution: Jesus doesn’t always do what we think of as “normal.”

Once he spit on the ground, made some mud and smeared it on a man’s eyes (John 9:6). That’s odd, to say the least. Some of what God does might seem strange, even weird to us. Are we ready for it?

In the 1970’s I saw some “not normal” things that God did. A revival had begun sweeping across the nation and people started praying for our town to be part of it. And their prayers were answered, for a time.

One night I was in the congregation at a local charismatic church on East Palmetto Street. The building was full, and sitting near me was my brother and sister-in-law, who had a cracked elbow. A few pews in front of me was Charlie Smith, an older man who was sick with pneumonia or bronchitis, something like that.

The pastor and several other men were on the platform, one a guest minister who was preaching that night, the others seated behind him.

Suddenly, a silent “whoosh” sensation blanketed the building as if a heavy cloud had descended on the place, and everyone on the platform simply fell over. One tried to raise himself up on his hands and knees, but he couldn’t. It was like he was weighted down, too heavy to even sit up.

Then people in the pews began to fall over on their neighbors as if all the energy had drained out of their bodies. Across the congregation, sick and hurt people began to be healed. My sister-in-law’s elbow was healed, Mr. Smith was healed, and only the Lord knows how many others.

I have no idea how long we stayed like that, but it soon began to be funny, watching the men on the platform trying to get up. People began to giggle and laugh, and before long simply to praise and worship God for what He was doing.

The results? All across Florence and the Pee Dee, as word spread and similar events took place in home groups and churches, people were born again by the dozens, maybe hundreds. Many miracles happened.

But then some in mainline denominations began denouncing this move of God, declaring “It’s of the devil.” Eventually the miracles stopped and the revival stopped.

But my memories are vivid, and there are quite a few of us still around who were in the congregation that night, who also have vivid memories.

If God wants a conflagration, and he has people praying for a conflagration, he’s going to get it. I want it in Florence again! They – whoever they are – dare not to call it from the devil, this time.

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Bette’s Journal

Bette Cox 2010

Christ is the "Big C" in my life!

That was told to me by a good friend recently, and it's so very true.

Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I believe Jesus. I hope you do too.

I have one request of other believers reading this journal:

Agree with me that the invader will shrink, shrivel, die and disappear from my body, whatever method the Lord uses to accomplish that.

Thanks in advance.

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