The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5).
Revival continues to explode in spite of, and in the midst of, darkness such as the brutal massacres of Christians and others in North Korea, North Africa, Syria and the Middle East.
Local Australian examples of healing evangelism, for example, continue to increase. Many churches now have ministry teams that pray for people at the end of each service.
Joel Shaw, a young pastor at Glory City Church in Brisbane leads youth in prayer healing evangelism in the streets and malls of Brisbane, along with others. Here’s a recent example from him:
“I am just on a total high from last night! After church we went down with the young adults to Kangaroo Point. Chris Turner [youth pastor] and I were talking about all the opportunities that were all around us. As we were walking from one location to the next we saw this big bunch of young people smoking and rabbling around. Chris stopped and called out to them. At first they didn’t even acknowledge that he was there. Chris called out a second time in a louder voice “HEY GUYS!” Their conversation died down and they started to listen.
“Chris said, “Have you guys seen any miracles?” Some jeered, some were serious and others quite friendly. Within 30 seconds there was a guy who admitted to having a knee problem, One prayer and he was instantly healed! A girl stepped up saying that she had period pain and she was also instantly healed.
“A guy next to me started to talk to me about his elbow. He had heaps of pain and limited movement. By this stage it was electric. I knew there wasn’t a chance this guy wouldn’t be healed, so I said, “Watch this!” to the other guys around me and began to pray. I felt the presence of God go through me and he stumbled backward. “WHAT THE @#$%!” He exclaimed, moving his arm around vigorously. He began to jump around and continue to stream expletives in total shock that he had been healed.
“By that time I had lost track of the other miracles that were happening all around me. Immediately another guy comes up to me and said to me something along the lines of “I need help, I have a lot of sin!” It was because of the miracles and the presence of God he was convicted of his sin! The loving kindness leads us to repentance.
So as I hugged the guy with the healed arm for the 5th time, I proceed to share about the price that Jesus paid for his sin. Turns out he had been to church but was desperate to encounter the supernatural so had delved deep into witchcraft and other new age practices. I prayed for him, and he said he was so overwhelmed by God’s presence. … We got his number and his address and he is coming to church on Friday. Seriously Kingdom life is the most exciting life! That was an opportunity we could have easily walked by.”
During the last few years I led teams of young people from these churches on missions in the South Pacific. Healings, deliverance and salvation increase with each visit. Everyone prayed for in one pagan village reported their pain had gone, and for the first time ever the paramount chief asked for healing prayer for himself. When Andrew Chee and the pastors prayed for him the pain left. Previously he had burned a Bible given to him. Now he is saying that a church can be built where he burned the Bible.
Last year a team saw everyone healed that they prayed for on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. The testimonies opened the way for more salvation, deliverance, and people being filled with the Spirit and equipped for powerful service. That includes detecting and removing magic and witchcraft.
Grant Shaw, Joel’s brother and now pastor of Kingdom Culture Church in Brisbane, joined me at many revival meetings in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. We saw God move powerfully on hundreds of people, especially at a national youth conference in the Solomon Islands. One young man, healed at the conference, that night prayed for his mum and brother in their home and they both were healed. He had never done that before. We prayed with nurse Leah Waqa in Port Vila (the capital of Vanuatu) who that week had been led to pray in the hospital for a girl who had died after being hit by a truck. Leah prayed for the girl for over half an hour of Spirit-led prayer commanding her to live. The girl lived.
We live through amazing revivals globally this century. One of the most obvious is with Iris Global, with Roland and Heidi Baker. They write:
“Iris Global (previously Iris Ministries) is a holistic ministry that we began in 1980 as we took small evangelistic street drama teams to Asia on short-term mission trips. Our emphasis was the creative presentation of the Gospel, and our ministry grew greatly. But we were so impacted by the condition of the poor that we changed direction drastically and began to stop for the one and prove the love of God by first addressing the temporal needs of the broken and humble, “the least of these.” We focused on the bottom of society rather than the top. Now, after coming to Africa and starting with street beggar children in 1995, we have seen a people movement spread across the ten provinces of Mozambique. Massive desperation for God rising out of a long history of repression, poverty and natural disasters has fueled revival, one that is sparking more fire in nations around the world. And signs and wonders are following all the way.
“What began as a ragged band of young beggars, thieves and delinquents has developed by the power of the Holy Spirit into a closely-knit national family of thousands of churches and a broad ministry encompassing Bible schools, children’s centers, church-based orphan care, primary education, medical clinics, constant evangelistic and healing outreaches, farming, well drilling and much else. Our vision in the Lord is constantly increasing.
“But most of all we proclaim Jesus. He is our salvation, our prize, our reward, our inheritance, our destination, our motivation, our joy, wisdom and sanctification — and absolutely everything else we need, now and forever. All His grace and power flow to us through the Cross and no other way. We are glad to be known as social workers and humanitarians, and to have a reputation for doing good. But all is in vain if we do not bring to the people faith in our God and Savior Jesus Christ. We want to be known by His Name, first and foremost. And we do not expect fruitfulness to come out of anything but intimacy with Him …” (http://www.irisglobal.org).
The Light still shines. We can live in the Light.
Or, to use another picture, we can hoist our sail of faith and catch the wind of the Spirit blowing powerfully in the earth.