the valentine's day outpouring - an explanation
We realized that since many of our people at Praise were not here prior to or during the move of the Holy Spirit often cited in sermon and conversation, we wanted to summarize what happened here on February 14th, 2010, a day which is and should be acclaimed and celebrated.
- 7 PM EST, Sunday, February 14th, 2010 - Praise Community Church
"After the message was finished (Pressing In) I instructed the 120+ people on what was going to happen next. I explained that I was going to do the very same thing I had witnessed Randy Clark do back on that life-changing Thursday evening, December 3rd, 2009. I told the people that the Holy Spirit was going to come and that some of them would feel or experience His presence in multiple ways. I also shared that those for whom this would be true are those who have truly counted the cost and desperately wanted more of God no matter what.
I asked those whom I had prayed for in the past from Praise Community to join me on the stage. I wanted them to see how you could actually see what the Father was doing by watching these visible manifestations and to help me during this time of ministry. The moment I started to pray, you could both hear and see what God was doing.
Some people were crying loudly. Some were shaking. Others were bending forward under the weight of His glory. The sight was amazing. But there was one manifestation that stood out among all the rest. It was one that shook Adam and I to the core. A young woman, both crying and shaking, begain wailing in a way I never heard before. It was the cry of hunger pangs. And it was this manifestation that immediately changed the atmosphere of the auditorium. The air was pregnant with God's presence.
I then called forward those whom the Holy Spirit was touching. One after another, these people encountered God in a very radical way. After we finished praying for the first group of people, we called forward anyone else who wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We prayed for hours. Man, woman, and child alike were encountering God everywhere. These were the people the Lord was looking for. These were the laid-down lovers who wanted to be more than friends.
The reality is that this story was only the beginning for Praise Community Church. Little did we know that this very moment in time would prove to be the catalyst that would aid the church in moving through the most difficult time of its existence, the suicide of its previous pastor in May 2010. It would also be the single defining moment when the face of the church would be forever changed from the natural ways of man to the supernatural ways of God.
What was even more impressive to me, however, was not that the church began to move in supernatural ways of ministry, but that the people of Praise began to experience greater levels of intimacy within their relationship with God. The very person of the Holy Spirit came upon them and filled them. A union had taken place in a way they never experienced before. God became more real to them that evening than any other time previously. Something mysterious took place. God deposited even more of Himself within the present believers. The Creator and the created became more than friends. They were becoming "one flesh."
[excerpt] pgs 116-18 - 'First Dance' Venturing Deeper Into A Relationship With God - Brian Connolly
Commemorating the movement of His Spirit and asking for a "Repeat Performance."
We're grateful for the Holy Spirit's impact in 2010, but at the seven year anniversary mark of His outpouring (the biblical number for completion or fruition) we'd desire nothing more than a repeat performance, or something totally new and uncharted. Recent testimony has stoked our coals, hungry people have increased our corporate appetite, God-postured worship has prepared our hearts, and the seeds of good teaching are starting to germinate. I believe it's time - I believe that the faith and humility that's compatible with a move of His spirit is here.
Fanning the Flame
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." 2nd Timothy 1:6-7
For what reason?
If you dig a little and understand the context of this verse, you'll find the answer to this question. For the reason of possessing faith, the type of faith that is sincere, we're reminded to fan the flame of the gift of the Holy Spirit. The reason that we can be so bold as to fan this flame is because, according to the rest of this scripture stanza, we've not been given a spirit of timidity, but rather a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
"I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." (2nd Timothy 1:5)
On April 9th at 4 PM, right here at Praise, we do so desire, hunger, and thirst that the flame of the gift of God is fanned, and we all can experience its effect.