In November 2016, I was with several thousand others for a gathering in Jerusalem. The agenda was simply worship, prayer, and catching what the Holy Spirit might want to say to us. While there was some speaking, the messages came from the steering committee prayerfully gathering before each session. At the final gathering, I shared a vision the Lord gave me during the worship there.
The vision began with the throne of God and the world hovering before it. The Lord blew upon the world. The word for Spirit in Hebrew is ruah which means wind or breath. We see this in John chapter 20 when Jesus first appeared to the disciples after His resurrection. John 20, verse 22, reads that Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Likewise, on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came on the disciples with power, ‘there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind.’
As the breath of the Lord went forth, in the vision, it transformed into drops of blood, which I understood to be the blood of the Lamb- the redemptive compassion of God. The drops landed in different cities and locations. As these drops landed, fires symbolic of God’s consuming fire began to spring up. In all these places, there was a revelation of God’s holiness, glory, and the majesty of Christ. Without so many words, I understood that God’s glory would manifest to a degree in each of these locations and that worship would be a significant key in what God would be doing. Interestingly, the Book of Revelation tells us there is continuous worship before God’s throne. So, when we pray, ‘Lord, your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’, we are praying for a greater depth of worship, whether we realize it or not!
In the last six years, many churches globally, which I relate to, have experienced a fresh dynamic of worship and a fresh hunger for the Lord. You can read about what my home church has experienced in my newsletter from last year: https://marcdupontministries.com/the-coming-harvest-and-gods-holy-fire/. Indeed, just over the last month, my home church has been experiencing a more significant presence of the Lord in worship pronouncedly. And by now, the news of the outbreak of worship and repentance, which began several weeks ago in Asbury, Kentucky, has become very well known.
As I write this, I am with an internationally based church in London, England, for eight days of meetings. Our first meetings were the two Sunday morning services last weekend. We experienced a profound sense of the Lord’s glory, primarily worshipping God for almost all morning. Our preaching was shortened, and there was no break between services. We had no room for announcements or the other usual church routine. This happens when even a bit of God’s glory manifests- our programs get swallowed up by God’s- if we truly make room for Him!
Lessons from Jonathon
In a sense, Jonathan, the oldest son of King Saul, is a picture of Christ. The Book of Philippians, chapter two, says that Jesus did not regard His equality with the Father as something to be grasped, so He came to earth as a servant. Likewise, Jonathan, the crown prince, preferred David, an outsider to the royal family, over himself. 1 Samuel 18.4 reads, ‘And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.’ Earlier on in the first book of Samuel, chapter 14, we read something else extraordinary about Jonathan. When his father, King Saul, and his army of 600 men were utterly overwhelmed with fear because of the vast army they were facing, Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Let’s see what the Lord may want to do. They went over to the first set of enemy soldiers and simply made room for God to be God!
The Lord began to move, and God gave Jonathon and his armor bearer an initial victory over the Philistines. This initial breakthrough resulted in a stirring with Saul and his troops, propelling them to follow suit. Overall, the Israelites had a tremendous supernatural victory over their enemies despite being vastly outnumbered and lacking weapons for the fight. Similarly, many churches today feel overwhelmed by the rapid increase of secular humanism and an anti-God culture. But, as the prophet to Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah proclaimed, ‘the battle belongs to the Lord.’ (2 Chron.20.15)
My encouragement to pastors and leaders is to emulate Jonathon, make more space in our meetings, and simply see what the Lord may want to do. There is no need for hype or manipulation. We will find that a Holy Spirit-inspired hunger is rising in the church for more of God and to come into alignment more fully with His purposes. As Psalm 110, verse 3 states,
‘Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power.’
In these coming moves of God’s Spirit, the pulpits and personalities of the church will not be the fuel for the fire. It will be God’s presence and our responding worship!
Enjoy the Celebration but Pause for the Glory!
It’s very likely that when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he had to ‘feel his way around.’ Leviticus chapter 16, verses 12-13 relate that the high priest would ‘take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die.’ It’s possible the smoke from the incense, symbolic of worship and prayer, was so thick he could not see clearly. It’s exactly like in any worship meeting where even a bit of God’s glory manifests. Suddenly, the most important thing is not to make sure all the boxes of our services are ticked. Instead, it’s time to put on the brakes and, as with Jonathan, ask the Lord what He wants to do!
As we reach that crux between the growing hunger in the church for the Lord and His manifest presence, we will have phenomenal times of celebration. But, when the Holy Spirit begins to release His glory, it will be time to pause and ask God,’ what are your purposes at this time and place.’ As we experience the ‘going from glory to glory,’ it’s vital that we make room for the fullness of what God wants to do rather than continue with our agendas. Like the Hebrews traveling through the wilderness, they realized God uses structure but is not the God of structure!
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.’ Hab.2.14