The Wind Came
I was sitting near the back of the room, so I walked up through the congregation and stood alongside the pulpit instead of behind it. Then the wind came, we’ll say. : ) And the pastor stood right behind me with his arms folded for the next 40 minutes while a hurricane came through that room. I didn’t plan out what I was going to say because I haven’t used notes in twenty years. But I had plenty to say at that point in time because that man had fed the fire of God by what he had done. He had thrown logs on the fire of God, so I had plenty to say.
Then the same people that had left earlier and were out in the hallway came back in. Those people in his congregation that I had never met before in my life were just celebrating and full of joy while I was speaking. Some of the brothers and sisters that had come with me shared spontaneously. People in his congregation shared spontaneously. For thirty or forty minutes this continued with the pastor standing right behind me. It was a funny feeling because I could almost smell his breath right behind me the whole time! He wanted to be in control. He wanted to make sure he knew that he was the boss of me and everybody there.
After it was all over, no one said a final “Amen” or “The meeting is now adjourned. Let’s have a closing prayer.” People just naturally flowed out of their seats and started mingling and laughing and talking. I was talking to people and this unbeliever with the medical problem for his whole life came up to me and said, “Please pray for me, please pray for me. I don’t believe in religion, but I do believe in Jesus.”
Things like that went on for another thirty minutes. I didn’t see the pastor at all during that full half an hour. Then I saw that he was still standing there in the room. People started filtering out and filtering out and he was still there in the room.
What do you mean “filtering out”?
People were just slowly leaving the room. They were laughing and talking and hugging each other and then walking away. But the pastor was still standing there, not leaving. Finally, just he and I were alone in this room. He walked directly across the room as soon as the last person had left. He put his nose on the end of my nose and said, “I’m called by God to be a pastor and you will not interfere with that!” I left my nose right where it was and said, “I don’t know who you are trying to intimidate. If you are called by God to be a pastor, that’s fine. You will then bear the fruit of being a pastor, but not because you’re a bully. It won’t be because you think you’re in charge or in control, but because you love people as Jesus loves people and you help and protect and feed them in the midst as one who serves.” All the while he was screaming and trying to interrupt me, yelling at me, with his nose touching mine.
Yes, it was terrible and that’s not the end of the story. I left the city about 10 days after that. A number of people that were part of his congregation contacted us and said that the congregation of his never met one more day ever again. The pastor showed up the next Sunday morning and not one single person in his congregation showed up. I guess he wasn’t a pastor after all. God judged it.
I never said anything bad about him or his congregation when I was speaking that day. I never said anything bad about his meeting or his building. I never said anything like that. I just said that it’s God’s desire that everyone be filled with Living Water. It’s not just for one person or for five people or just for me to be filled. Jesus said that ALL who believe would be filled with rivers of Living Water that would flow out into the parched wilderness and desert of humanity and make the flowers blossom. That’s God’s heart and His desire.
He didn’t mean for the Church to have the explosion of Life in Acts 2 and then to slowly die after 2,000 years. And now we aren’t to have the Life of God anymore but just have some form about God. His Church isn’t meant to be a cemetery of granite tombstones with words on them to celebrate God. His people are meant to have “greater works,” Jesus said. The Life of God is meant to be manifested in His body. He didn’t leave so He could go away and leave us to ourselves and then someday come back to us. He said, “I must leave so that I can send a counselor of the same kind. I was with you and now I shall be in you. That’s my plan! To be IN you—not just to you, but to be in you and through you” (John 14, 16). That’s all I said to the congregation that day. I didn’t say anything revolutionary but just normal Christianity.
But that was a revolution for them!
Yes, I guess. It certainly angered the leader, but again, I never said a negative word about him or anybody. I just painted the Gospel of the Kingdom. I spoke of the Good News of the Kingdom of God on Earth as it is in Heaven. I just promoted the Life of Jesus with feet on the ground (real people expressing it on earth as it is in heaven) and it was appalling to him. The judgment was similar to when Ananias and Sapphira fell dead. This was almost that powerful. The people in his congregation didn’t talk to each other about it and decide to boycott. They didn’t get together and say, “Let’s just not show up.” Everybody in the entire congregation individually decided, “I can’t do that. I can’t go.” And they closed the doors.
I don’t know what’s happened in the years since then, but I do know what happened at the time. I didn’t have the wind to speak when they asked me to, so I didn’t. If I had, that pastor would’ve given his attack and run roughshod over the top of the time and would have harmed a lot of God’s lambs. I didn’t have the wind so I was unwilling to speak even though the platform was there and the crowd was gathered. Why not say good things? Why not speak some truth? “Did you not spend ten hours praying yesterday? Of course you should have a message.” I may have spent ten hours praying, but my message is determined by wind also. And God’s determination was, “Why don’t we wait thirty minutes because it will be more powerful then.” : )
I didn’t know that, of course! I had no idea it was a trick, not the slightest idea. I just knew I couldn’t speak. Isn’t that how we can ALL live every day and in every meeting? Everybody can live that way. Everybody comes ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within them. Everyone considers how they might spur one another on to love and good works. No one forsakes the gathering of the saints together—and so much more as the Day approaches. When it’s a brother amongst brothers, the gift of leadership is powerful. I submit to you that a man’s gift becomes more powerful, not less, when we live by this wind. No one expects anything from just one man and there’s no burden on him. It’s all joy, in the sense that the wind can come now or it can come thirty minutes from now. Or we can gather everybody again tomorrow if we need to. If there’s no one man that’s a cork in the bottle, people grow faster too.
It’s like that with our mindset in regard to the cork in the bottle. We are expecting one man to have the wind.
This may not be for you, but if it was me and I lived in this town and was at many of these gatherings, small or large, I wouldn’t necessarily promote the teaching of, “Everybody ought to say something.” I wouldn’t necessarily do that. But what I would do is encourage others individually when I could. Let’s say a brother shares something with me that really touches my heart. It’s riveting to me. When we are later all together with everyone, the one man is expected to give the message. So he does and it is a good message. I would then say to this other brother, “Hey, brother, why don’t you tell everybody what you shared with me yesterday?”
“If revelation comes to the second let the first one sit down” doesn’t mean that after three hours everybody gets a chance to comment on the sermon. It may be that fifteen minutes into his talking, the second revelation comes and it may be just as important as the first one. The first one may last only twenty minutes instead of the 2 or 3 hours that might be his habit.
In my case I was the second one to speak and I’m not sure that the first one was even revelation. : ) I was the second in the case of that meeting. Either way, there needs to be a liberty that says I might share for fifteen minutes or I might share for five hours. And another brother may have a revelation first and I may be second.
The Bible says, “Two or at the most three…” in the same context as, “Let the first one sit down.” So, one person may speak for thirty minutes and it’s very penetrating. Different brothers and sisters comment and share thoughts about what’s been said. Then another brother brings a second revelation and several brothers and sisters share things related to that line of thinking. At that point I’d begin to think, “I do have something on my heart too, but 1 Corinthians 14 says, ‘two or at the most three’ because too much will overload God’s people.”
In the same context it says, “The Spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet,” which means that I’m capable of shutting up. I can actually stop myself from sharing this revelation because two or at the most three, and then God’s people are overloaded.
So, maybe brothers and sisters have related to what the first revelation was. They share how it touches them and what they are learning and talk about their experiences. And then someone shares a song that they wrote this week about the same topic. They didn’t have any idea that a brother would be talking about that same topic. Then another brother says, “I have something that’s just been a fire in my bones this week and it’s a different topic, but may I share it?” And so a second revelation is shared. “When revelation comes to the second, the first one sits down.” And other brothers and sisters share about the second revelation.
Then suppose I have something new that I’d like to say. Somebody else may say, “No, maybe not now. That would be an overload.” Two or at the most three bring prophetic lines of thought, and everybody relates to those openly and freely. But I can only eat so much of a meal before I get sick, no matter how good the meal is. We may sense that everyone has had enough of a meal. We need to digest these things. So someone says, “Maybe let’s leave this alone for now. Let’s go home and pray about it and talk about it in our homes and in our neighborhoods with other brothers and sisters as we walk along the way.”