‘Astonishment swept over the crowd, for they were amazed over what had happened.’ Act 3:10 TPT
When Peter and John healed the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, the Bible says, ‘The whole crowd ran to them in amazement’ Act 3:11 (CEV).
As the Spirit was freshly poured out, the crowds’ reaction to the miracles performed by those go-for-broke 1st century Christians was extraordinary. Luke had to keep coming up with superlatives!
• ‘They marvelled’
• ‘Filled with wonder and amazement’
• ‘Greatly astounded’
• ‘Everyone was in awe’
Their testimony was so convincing – ‘(the crowds) could say nothing against it’. Thousands were saved and, within a short time, even their detractors had to admit, much to their chagrin, the entire city of Jerusalem had been filled with their message (Act 5:28). It had become unstoppable.
In recent years, worldwide chatter of a coming revival has been on the uptick. For many, the yearning to see a move of God is not simply an agenda item anymore; it’s the one and only item on their dockets worth clinging to.
Back in the 1930’s, hordes of people fled the dustbowl conditions of the midwestern plains in America and headed West. They left all behind. Many would not make it but they were determined, even if it meant they died trying.
A phrase popularised at the time, ‘California or bust!’, applies to people who will use every means possible to reach a desired destination, even if they had to spend their last penny, or expend their last breath.
These people did not set out on a whim. Tales of ‘striking it rich’ were coming from the coastal frontiers. While their own crops wilted, they watched as truckloads of fruits and produce were zigzagging across the country, and to foreign lands, from California’s sun-rich paradise. Gold Rush folklore from their grandparent’s generation still inspired the courageous among them to ‘Go West, young man’.
We need to realise Heidi Baker was an ordinary missionary until she was completely wrecked and transformed during the ‘Toronto Blessing’. We need to re-visit the stirring testimonies of the Great Awakenings, the Finney & Welch Revivals, the Latter Rain Movement, and the Charismatic Renewal.
And we need to go back to the Word. There’s no better place to be rekindled for a new move of God than to feel the fiery heat of those who stewarded the first and original outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Signs and wonders followed them. Pagan centres like Samaria were filled with unquenchable joy. Regions like Joppa reverberated with excitement after a kind Christian woman was raised from the dead.
When a regional Roman military commander’s family, friends, and soldiers were spontaneously filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, the Gospel went forth in power to the Gentiles. Those were the days!
The glory of the latter move is going to be better than the former. Have we only ever seen the ankle- and knee-deep, perhaps the waist-high swells of the river of God? Will we be the generation – will you and I be the people – who need to swim in it when God’s glory covers the earth as the waters cover the sea?
Enough is enough. My mind is made up. I’m casting all distractions aside. My dust-dwelling days are over! Wanna join me? I’m hittin’ the road with my banner lifted high – Revival or Bust!