by Marc Dupont, September 2006
The word “wonderful” is not really part of my active vocabulary. I think this stems back from when I was about 8 years old. When we would visit my grandmother we would be forced to watch the Lawrence Welk show. Lawrence Welk, inevitably, would comment “wonnerful, wonnerful” after many of the songs and dances. And then the Beatles made their first appearance in the US on the Ed Sullivan show, which was broadcast nationwide. You instinctively knew in two minutes the Beatles would never use the word wonderful to describe their music. At that precise time in my life the word “wonderful” became associated with the archaic and boring.
The current pop word for “wonderful” is “awesome”. Although the word “awesome” is more in tune with my generation, I refuse to use the word because it has been so trivialized. For example, if a waitress brings a hamburger that really looks good the customer might look at it and proclaim “awesome”. Just as the word “wonderful” was trivialized, so has the word “awesome”.
The true meanings of both words have to do with things, events, and acts that are simply amazing. Not so much things and events that are nice, pleasant, and even a blessing. But, rather, things that are so out of the ordinary that they are baffling. For that reason, Biblically speaking, miracles and healings are sometimes referred to as “signs and wonders”, as in wonderful. The book of Acts tells us in the early days church of Jerusalem there was a continual sense of “awe” due to the continual manifest presence of God’s power, holiness, and compassion.
A Certain Season
The book of John, chapter 5, tells us that at “certain seasons” God would cause a stirring of the waters of the pool of Bethesda. I believe this is a prophetic picture of certain seasons that since then have happened in the course of church history. Those seasons are often characterized by not only by an increase of healings and miracles, but also an increased hunger for God and serving Him. The first part of Psalm 110, verse 3 reads “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power”. I have seen this take place in the lives of many churches during certain seasons. There is often an increased hunger for prayer, worship, and being more in tune and obedient to the Lord Jesus. Before the Lord, in His sovereignty, begins to pour out His Spirit in a tangible way, He first begins to stir the hearts (spirits) of many Christians in those local congregations. Perhaps an applicable New Testament promise is found in Acts 3. 19 which reads “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”. The Christians begin to seek to draw closer to the Lord in response to His stirring of their hearts and the church, and there also begins to be a considerable expectation that God is going to do either something fresh, or a substantial increase in what He has been doing, such as salvations, healings, etc.
In the early ‘80s I began to be involved with international ministry and missions. At first as I traveled to Africa and other 3rd world places I was thrilled by the comparative ease of seeing God do acts of power such as healings and miracles. In fact, I am still thrilled by what God does every time I get to go back to Africa. But in keeping with the primary vision God has given me for my life- to see revival come to many cities in the Western World nations, I began to become increasingly frustrated as to why we weren’t experiencing that same freedom for healings, miracles, salvations, deliverance, etc. While praying through this frustration somewhere around 1987 I believe the Lord gave me faith to believe that many of us in ministry and church leadership at that time would live to see that same freedom for God’s power and compassion come to many of our Western World cities and churches.
Of course, there are many, many lessons the church has gone through in the last twenty years pertaining to prayer, worship, wholeness, etc. that have been part of the preparation for such a move. The bottom line, however, is that we have the same Holy Spirit in the Western World church as in the church of Africa and Asia. I believe the primary lesson God has been trying to teach us has simply been to become more sensitive to the person of the Holy Spirit and the ways of God. This is not to say we are completely mature. There is always greater obedience, wholeness, and intimacy that God calls us to. But the fact is, that there are many, many Christians and leaders who have grown substantially over the last many years in both wholeness (holiness) and intimacy with God (prayer and worship). This is not to say we can qualify ourselves for a move of God’s Spirit, but at least we can avoid disqualifying ourselves from the call of God on our generation (many are called, few chosen).
Over the last 5 years in many cities, churches, and conferences through out N. America, Europe, Australia, and the U.K., I have seen a greater freedom for healings and miracles in a significant way. After almost 25 years of extensive ministry throughout many Western World nations I can definitely say something is happening out of the ordinary. Not out of the ordinary for the Kingdom of God, but something fresh for the Western World body of Christ. God is stirring the waters of our hearts. A day (a day for God can be a long season for man) of power is coming on the church and there is a responding and reciprocating volunteering and hunger for God taking place. Of course, it should go without saying that there are also many churches which place very little value on the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit in their midst. The sad truth is we can so totally rely on our programs and the natural gifting God has given us we can do church without God or knowing God’s Presence. A sadder truth is that so many who claim to be serving God are oblivious to the absence of His Presence and power in any tangible way what so ever. The Kingdom of God is one of power rather than mere words (1 Cor. 4.20), but the church does not always follow suit!
Knowing the Times and Seasons
First Chronicles, chapter 12, verse 32 tells us the sons of Issachar were men who understood the times they were in and what they should do. Numbers chapter 1, verse 28, says they were also apt for war. In contrast, the people of Jerusalem missed their time of visitation because of an inability to assess their season due to poor heart knowledge of God. Unfortunately, many contemporary church leaders are more often more obsessed with relating to the current cultural and marketing trends than they are to hearing God’s directions for the specific seasons we are in. Daniel the prophet stated it is the person of God, not Madison Avenue, or the culture gurus, who establish the times and seasons. He is the one who brings about His appointed times.
Something Wonderful is Happening
I believe we are now entering into a long season that will be characterized by a much greater freedom for God’s people to experience a significant increase of the Kingdom of God. Allow me to share just a few of the healings, which I have personally seen God do just within the last few months. These are healings, which have happened right in the heartland, so to speak, of the United States, not in Africa, Mexico, or India.
Kevin attended a service at my home church. Ten years ago he suffered a broken elbow. When it came out of the cast he no longer had very much range of motion with his arm. He could not straighten his arm out, neither could he pull his hand back to touch his shoulder of that arm. On a Sunday morning at church I gave an invitation for those with physical sickness to come forward. Some 100 people came forward. Kevin remained at his seat. I then asked everyone else to stretch forth a hand of faith towards those who came forward. Kevin did so and as he did his arm was completely healed after ten years of problems. His teenage son came up to him after the service and when his dad showed him the complete range of movement his son’s jaw dropped. As a child Kevin use to pick up his son with his bad arm and even his son’s weight could not straighten out his arm.
A month ago I ministered at Metro Church South in Cleveland, Ohio. It had been announced the week before that I would pray for people with cancer and serious diseases. A man named Chris came from another church for the meetings. I did not know he had been HIV positive for several years. As I prayed for him I was led by the Lord to pray for cleansing of his blood. Later that week the man asked his doctor to prescribe fresh blood tests. The result is Chris’s doctor does not know what has happened to the disease.
A while back in my home church I had a word in a service for a woman between mid 30’s and mid 40’s who had severe asthma to come forward for healing. Several women came forward and we prayed for them, but I sensed that they did not include the specific woman the word was for. I gave the word two more times. The last time I stated that the age may be a bit off. Finally, a woman came forward that I knew (in the Spirit) that the word was for. She was, in fact, 48 years old. She testified that when she heard the word she immediately thought “Oh, this healing is for someone else. God wouldn’t want to heal me”. Then when I continued to give the word, she wondered if it was for her, but she thought it was too late- she had missed it. Finally, when I gave the word the third time she came up.
Since birth she had suffered asthma. In 1985, however, when she gave birth to a child, her asthma became significantly worse. She has been on extensive medication ever since. After receiving prayer she went home and used her medihalor just once. Ever since then she has been completely free of asthma with no need of medication for the first time in her life.
Norma had gone through a mastectomy 5 years previously. Recently, the cancer reappeared on the other side of her chest. Her doctor told her they could attempt a lumpectomy, but she would probably need chemotherapy, or possibly even a mastectomy on the other side too. She came to church on a Wednesday night, not to receive prayer for healing, but to get a sense from the Lord about how she should proceed with the possible operations. That night I gave a word for people with cancer to come forward for healing. In her own words she said to herself “Well, it can’t hurt anything”. After receiving prayer Norma went home and after self-examination it seemed the lumps of cancer were smaller. The next morning they seemed smaller again. When she went to the doctor a few days later for a consultation regarding what sort of treatment she should have the doctor was surprised and told her the cancer was gone. When we gave Norma’s testimony the next week to our church, I shared that Jesus never stated that we need a mountain of faith to move a mustard seed. Instead just the opposite. Norma’s mustard seed of faith- being at the right place at the right time was enough “kingdom currency” to receive the healing she needed.
All of these stories testify to the power of God’s compassion. These and many other healings which have happened recently point to the acceleration of what God is doing in this “day of power”. These are healings, miracles, signs and wonders happening not only in Africa or South America, but here in the Western World. Something wonderful and awesome is happening.
An Abundance for every good deed!
Allow me to give a final word of encouragement for those individuals, leaders, and churches that have been faithfully working the harvest and seeking an increase of God’s power and anointing. This is a prophetic word for this season. “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” (Matthew 25.29) The word abundance simply means more than enough. Many churches and Christians have been faithfully praying for the sick and communicating the gospel every chance they have had for many years. And, yes, because we have been on a learning curve, we have often felt stymied and frustrated. It has been as if God has kept us on a short leash! That may be true, as God has been trying to teach us basic discipleship lessons having to do with integrity (giving Him the glory) and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. There does come a time, however, when the seeds that were planted in faithfulness come up with abundance. As 2 Corinthians 9.8 reads: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” God’s heart for us, as His sons becoming the peacemakers, is that we would have more than enough. The real school of the Spirit God has been taking many of us through is not simply how to do the work of the gospel, but rather how to die to self and live for His glory, reputation, and Kingdom.
“Lord, help us to be like Peter when you went out in his boat. Help us to have the faith in your goodness to simply go out into the deeper waters of your Holy Spirit and throw out the nets again, even though we have come up empty before. You, oh Lord, are the Lord of Harvest. Help us to give ourselves freely in the day of Your power”