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The God Chasers book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Meet Tommy Tenney - God chaser. Join him in his search for God. Fo. I first picked up a copy of The God Chasers off the bestseller shelf at my bookstore Tommy Tenney, in his book The God Chasers, has captured the attention. Used with permission. Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the God Chasers Extreme New Testament. Please note that Destiny Image's.
The knowledge of God brings under-stand-ing Look at Proverbs chapter nine and—verse 10! Right now I kneel before You, Lord Jesus. You are awesome and powerful. You are holy. The Kingdom of God is coming! His voice was heard just before Jesus came on the scene. Repentance is a big word, but it just means to turn around and turn away from your own ways and follow God. It means to have a change of heart. Just ask John the Baptist.
The kingdom of heaven is very near! Make His paths straight. Increase means to get larger; decrease means to get smaller. If I decrease, then He can increase.
Less of me means more of Him. John the Baptist understood that the way to be really great is to become a servant; to have everything in your life point toward Jesus and not yourself.
Do you have plans and desires to really make something of your life? The way to move up higher is to make yourself lower. His plans for you are better than anything you could hope or imagine! See Jer. As a God Chaser, I should make You greater in my life and make my own wants and desires less. Help me to put You and Your Kingdom first in my life. In the book, Dr. Miller tells about 50 students in his Argentine Bible Institute who began to pray.
They prayed so hard that it was impossible to have class! Day after day for 49 days in a row, those students prayed and prayed for Argentina in the Bible school. Miller told me that he had never seen people cry and pray so hard for so long! One young man leaned his head against a wall and cried for other people in his nation for four hours!
A trail of tears had run down the wall. Those young prayer warriors cried and prayed day after day, and Dr.
Miller said it could only be described as a miracle. The Holy Spirit was calling them to repent for the bad things other people had done, and for the pain and suffering people felt in their city, their area, and in the country of Argentina.
Because those 50 young people had prayed, the people of Argentina started going to hear people preach about Jesus and heal the sick in soccer stadiums that seated , people. What about you? Are you willing to cry and pray to the Lord for people in your country?
You want them to turn to You and be saved. Please put the urge in my heart to pray. Give me the strength to cry and pray to You with all my heart. Ask God to show you HOW to pray. Men were kneeling on the street corners and ladies and children in their nightgowns were huddled around each other in their open doorways praying and crying. What is wrong? The only thing they knew to do was to go to the police station and confess.
He stood on the steps of the police station early that morning and preached the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. The people repented to God for their sins and an awesome revival came to that place. What we need for revival in America is one thing and one thing only: We need to have God show up.
So, change your hearts! Come back to God, so that He may wipe out your sins Acts 3: Repent and turn to God! Then your sins will be all gone! Change your heart and turn to God! Acts 3: That is when I come to You and repent—when I turn away from my sin and turn to You.
I love the way You are so quick to forgive me! Put your hands on it and ask God to show you HOW to pray. You probably shocked them with a tiny spark of electricity. Electricity generated by your feet rubbing across a carpet creates enough power to produce a little spark, but it takes big generators to make enough electricity to light up a city.
The power of God comes in different ways too. I get excited when I read about God Chasers who lived before us and who knew the power of God. Seymour conducted all-night prayer meetings with other desperate God Chasers and often prayed in humility with his head stuck in the apple crate he used as a makeshift pulpit. Smith Wigglesworth was another famous God Chaser from the past.
One day a pastor began to pray with Mr. This pastor was determined to pray with Mr. Wigglesworth as long as he kept going. Who are you people? Can the people around YOU tell that you have been spending time with Jesus?
They were amazed because they understood that the two men had no education or training. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus Acts 4: Someone tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around to see who it was. But my husband is a lawyer and we are about to divorce. They will sense how close He is and run to Him! Always be ready to give an answer of defense to anyone who asks you why you have hope inside you 1 Peter 3: Always be ready!
Always be prepared! To lead someone to Jesus— And tell them that He cares! Please help me to help them.
Help me notice other people and reach out to help them. I want to always be ready to tell someone how special You are and how much You love them. Pray for them one by one and ask God to prepare you to meet with them.
Ask Him to help you shine His light into the darkness of their lives. Ask Jesus to be seen in you. He does bless us, but have you ever noticed that Psalm It is really great to want to see God heal people and do miracles, but do we really want to honor Him?
We should be mostly interested in spending time with God the Blesser! Did you get me anything? Father God wishes for the same thing.
God chasers want God! Tell Him that you love Him, and every blessing you ever imagined will come to you. Seek the Blesser, not the blessing! Seek His face, not His hands! Your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. Then all the things you need will be given to you. Matthew 6: You are my Heavenly Father. I just want to spend some time with You because I love You. Besides, You already know what I need. I always try to reassure her that everything will be all right in those moments because she is resting in my arms and because I love her.
That is when my little girl just lays her head back to look at me with her eyes half open and give me her little smile. And then in complete peace she drifts off to sleep, with the smile of safety and trust on her face.
Some of us come to Him holding so tightly to our problems that we are too frustrated and distracted to see the Father or understand how much He loves us.
What He wants us to do is just look at Him. Yes, we can tell Him what we feel. We need to tell Him that, but He is really waiting to receive our trust and worship. Nothing else is needed. This is the life of a God Chaser. To live and move and have our very being in Him. See Acts So run to Him. Give Him your fears, worries, and problems. Give Him your dreams and your hopes. Then lay back and rest. Your heavenly Father loves you and will take care of you. If all of you will come to me, I will give you rest Matthew You know all about my troubles and fears and problems.
I give them all to You right now. I belong to You and I trust You to look after my whole life. Thanks for giving me Your rest and peace inside my heart. See Num. We want God to change the world, but it begins with us. If you will let Him, God will make you into what He needs you to be. The way we are changed is by spending time with Him. Often I see the walkways of churches filled with people who feel as if they have climbed into the lap of the Father.
I see them hiding their faces underneath benches and pews as they seek the face of God. This is it! This is the way the world will be changed. It starts right here.
Spend time in His Presence. Choose a time and place where you can pay attention to Him alone. Just allow yourself to love Him and to be loved by your Father God… And you will be changed. With one glory after another, we are being changed to look more like him 2 Corinthians 3: Change me and make me into the person You want me to be. Make me more like You as I spend time with You every day. I am reaching out—forgetting about what is behind me. I am pressing on toward the goal to win the prize to which God called me.
It is above in Christ Jesus. He is the one you are chasing and He will not frustrate you. God will allow you to catch Him. Even while you chase Him with your love, your worship, and your prayers, He will suddenly turn and catch you! Come join the company of God Chasers! The chase is on….
How to contact us: By Mail: Become a GodChasers. Are you a GodChaser? Do you believe the body of Christ needs Revival? If my mandate of personal, National and International Revival is a message that resonates in your spirit, I want you to prayfully consider Running with us!
Our Revival Partners fuel GodChasers. And the results are incredible, yet humbling. As a Revival Partner, your monthly seed becomes the matches we use to set Revival fires around the globe. For your monthly support of at least thirty dollars or more, I will send you free, personal fuel each month.
This could be audio or videotapes of what I feel the Lord is saying that month. In addition, you will receive discounts on all of our ministry resources. Ive never seen such an altar call. It was pure pandemonium. People shoved one another out of the way. They wouldnt wait for the aisles to clear; they climbed over pews, businessmen tore their ties off, and they were literally stacked on top of one another, in the most horribly harmonious sound of repentance you ever heard.
Just the thought of it still sends chills down my back. When I gave the altar call then for the 8: When it was time for the The people were still on their faces and, even though there was hardly any music being played at this point, worship was rampant and uninhibited. Grown men were ballet dancing; little children were weeping in repentance. People were on their faces, on their feet, on their knees, but mostly in His presence.
There was so much of the presence and the power of God there that people began to feel an urgent need to be baptized. I watched people walk through the doors of repentance, and one after another experienced the glory and the presence of God as He came near. Then they wanted baptized, and I was in a quandary about what to do. The pastor was still unavailable on the floor.
Prominent people walked up to me and stated, Ive got to be baptized. Somebody tell me what to do. They joined with the parade of the unsaved, who were now saved, provoked purely by encountering the presence of God. There was no sermon and no real songjust His Spirit that day. Two and a half hours had passed, and since the pastor had only managed to wiggle one finger at that point to call the elders to him, the ushers had carried him to his office. Meanwhile, all these people were asking me or anyone else they could find if.
As a visiting minister at the church, I didnt want to assume the authority to tell anyone to baptize these folks, so I sent people back to the pastors office to see if he would authorize the water baptisms.
I gave one altar call after another, and hundreds of people were coming forward. As more and more people came to me asking about water baptism, I noticed that no one I had sent to the pastors office had returned.
Finally I sent a senior assistant pastor back there and told him, Please find out what Pastor wants to do about the water baptismsnobody has come back to tell me yet. The man stuck his head in the pastors office, and to his shock he saw the pastor still lying before the Lord, and everyone I had sent there was sprawled on the floor too, just weeping and repenting before God.
He hurried back to tell me what he had seen and added, Ill go ask him, but if I go in that office I may not be back either. I shrugged my shoulders and agreed with the associate pastor, I guess its all right to baptize them. So we began to baptize people as a physical sign of their repentance before the Lord, and we ended up baptizing people for hours.
More and more people kept pouring in, and since the people from the early service were still there, there were cars parked everywhere outside the church building. A big open-air ball field next to the building was filled with cars parked every which way. As people drove onto the parking lot, they sensed the presence of God so strongly that some began to weep uncontrollably. They just found themselves driving up onto the parking lot or into the grass not knowing what was going on. Some started to get out of their cars and barely managed to stagger across the parking lot.
Some came inside the building only to fall to the floor just inside the doors. The hard-pressed ushers had to literally pull the helpless people away from the doors and stack them up along the walls of the hallways to clear the entrance. Others managed to make it part way down the hallways, and some made it to the foyer before they fell on their faces in repentance. Some actually made it inside the auditorium, but most of them didnt bother to find seats.
They just made for the altar. No matter what they did or how far they made it, it wasnt long before they began to weep and repent. As I said, there wasnt any preaching. There wasnt even any music part of the time.
Primarily one thing happened that day: The presence of God showed up. When that happens, the first thing you do is the same thing Isaiah did when he saw the Lord high and lifted up.
He cried out from the depths of his soul: Then said I, Woe is me!
You see, the instant Isaiah the prophet, the chosen servant of God, saw the King of glory, what he used to think was clean and holy now looked like filthy rags. That Sunday we seemed to come so close; we almost caught Him. Now I know its possible. They Came Right Back for More People just kept filling the auditorium again and again, beginning with that strange service that started at 8: I finally went to eat at around 4: Many never left.
The continuous Sunday morning service lasted until 1: We didnt have to announce our plans for Monday evening. Everybody already knew. Frankly, there would have been a meeting whether we announced it or not. The people simply went home to get some sleep or do the things they had to do, and they came right back for morenot for more of men and their programs, but for God and His presence.
Night after night, the pastor and I would come in and say, What are we going to do? Most of the time our answer to one another was just as predictable: What do you want to do? What we meant was, I dont know what to do. What does He want to do? Sometimes wed go in and start trying to have church, but the crying hunger of the people would quickly draw in the presence of God and suddenly God had us! Listen, my friend, God doesnt care about your music, your midget steeples, and your flesh-impressive buildings.
Your church carpet doesnt impress HimHe carpets the fields. God doesnt really care about anything you can do for Him; He only cares about your answer to one question: Do you want Me? We have programmed our church services so tightly that we really dont leave room for the Holy Spirit. Oh, we might let God speak prophetically to us a little, but we get nervous if He tries to break out of our schedules. We cant let God out of the box too much because He can ruin everything.
That has become my prayer: Break out of our boxes, Lord, and ruin everything that isnt of You! Let me ask you a question: How long has it been since you came to church and said, We are going to wait on the Lord? I think we are afraid to wait on Him because were afraid He wont show up. I have a promise for you: They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength Is. Do you want to know why weve lived in weakness as Christians and have not had all that God wanted for us? Do you want to know why we have lived beneath our privilege and have not had the strength to overcome our own carnality?
Maybe its because we havent waited on Him to show up to empower us, and were trying to do too much in the power of our own soulish realm. I am not trying to make you feel bad. I know most Christians and most of our leaders genuinely mean well, but there is so much more. You can catch Godask Jacoband it might ruin the way youve always walked!
But you can catch Him. Weve talked, preached, and taught about revival until the Church is. Thats what I did for a living: I preached revivalsor so I thought. Then God broke out of His box and ruined everything when He showed up. Seven nights a week, for the next four or five weeks straight, hundreds of people a night would stand in line to repent and receive Christ, worship, wait, and pray.
What had happened in history, past and present, was happening again. Then it dawned on me, God, Youre wanting to do this everywhere. For months His manifest presence hovered. He is not going to pour out His Spirit where He doesnt find hunger. He looks for the hungry. Hunger means youre dissatisfied with the way it has been because it forced you to live without Him in His fullness.
He only comes when you are ready to turn it all over to Him. God is coming back to repossess His Church, but you have to be hungry. He wants to reveal Himself among us. He wants to come ever stronger, and stronger, and stronger, and stronger until your flesh wont be able to stand it.
The beauty of it is this: Its beginning to happen. I have seen the day when sinners veer off the highway when they drive by places of an open heaven. They pull into parking lots with puzzled looks, and they knock on the doors and say, Please, theres something hereIve got to have it. What Do We Do? Arent you tired of trying to pass out tracts, knock on doors, and make things happen? Weve been trying to make things happen for a long time. Now He wants to make it happen!
Why dont you find out what Hes doing and join in? Thats what Jesus did. He said, Father, what are You doing? Thats what Ill do. How long has it been since youve been so hungry for God that it consumed. I challenge you right now to forget about every distraction, every opinion, but one. What are you feeling right now as you read about how God Himself invaded these churches? Are you squelching it?
What is gripping your heart? Dont you feel the awakening of what you thought was a long-dead hunger? How long has it been since you felt what youre feeling right now? Rise up and pursue His presence. Become a God chaser. Im not talking about the excitement of praise and worship, as we would call it.
We know how to get the music just right so the singing is stunning, the accompaniment is awesome, and everything seems perfect. But thats not what Im talking about, and thats not what is causing your hunger right now. Im talking about a hunger for Gods presence. I said a hunger for Gods presence. Let me be blunt for a moment. I know in my heart of hearts that the truth of the matter is this: The Church has lived in self-righteous smugness for so long that we stink in Gods nostrils.
He cant even look at us in our present state. In the same way that you or I might feel embarrassed in a restaurant or grocery store when we see someones children acting up and getting away with it, God feels the same way about our self-righteousness. God is uncomfortable with our smug self-righteousness. We are not as together as we think we are. What causes this kind of thing to happen? For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight Matthew 3: Repentance prepares the way and makes the road of our hearts straight.
Repentance builds up every low place and takes down every high place in our lives and church families. Repentance prepares us for His presence. In fact, you cannot live in His presence without repentance.
Repentance permits pursuit of His presence. It builds the road for you to get to God or for God to get to you! Just ask John the Baptist. When he built the road, Jesus came walking. This is the crux of what I have to say: How long has it been since you said, Im going for God?
How long has it been since you laid aside everything that ever occupied you and ran down the road of repentance to pursue God? But Ive been ruined. Now Im a God chaser. Nothing else matters anymore. I tell you that as your brother in Christ, I love you. But I love Him more. I couldnt care less about what other people or ministers think about me. Im going after God.
Thats not a pride thing; its a hunger thing. When you pursue God with all your heart, soul, and body, He will turn to meet you and you will come out of it ruined for the world. Good things have become the enemy of the best things. I challenge you and release you right now as you read these words to let your heart be broken by the Holy Ghost.
Its time for you to make your life holy. Quit watching what you used to watch; quit reading what you used to read if you are reading it more than you read His Word. He must be your first and greatest hunger. If you are contented and satisfied, then Ill leave you alone and you can safely put down this book at this point and I wont ever bother you again.
But if you are hungry, I have a promise from the Lord for you. He said, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: Our problem is that we have never really been hungry. We have allowed things of this realm to satisfy our lives and satiate our hunger. We have come to God week after week, year after year, just to have Him fill in the little empty spaces. I tell you that God is tired of being second place to everything else in our lives.
He is even tired of being second to the local church program and church life! Everything good, including the things your local church doesfrom feeding the poor, to rescuing babies at the pregnancy counseling center, to teaching kids in the Sunday school classesshould flow from the presence of God. Our primary motivating factor should be, We do it because of Him and because it is His heart. But if were not careful, we can get so caught up in doing things for Him that we forget about Him.
You can get so caught up in being religious that you never become spiritual. It doesnt matter how much you pray. Pardon me for saying this, but you can be lost, not even knowing God, and still have a prayer life. I dont care how much you know about the Bible, or what you know about Him.
Im asking you, Do you know Him? Im afraid that we have satiated our hunger for Him by reading old love letters from Him to the churches in the Epistles of the New Testament. These are good, holy, and necessary, but we never have intimacy with Him. We have stifled our hunger for His presence by doing things for Him. A husband and wife can do things for each other while never really loving each other.
They can go through childbirth classes together, have kids, and share a mortgage, but never enjoy the high level of intimacy that God ordained and designed for a marriage and Im not just talking about sexual things. Too often we live on a lower plane than what God intended for us, so when He unexpectedly shows up in His power, we are shocked. Most of us are simply not prepared to see His train fill the temple. The Holy Spirit may already be speaking to you.
If you are barely holding back the tears, then let them go. I ask the Lord, right now, to awaken an old, old hunger that you have almost forgotten. Perhaps you used to feel this way in days gone by, but youve allowed other things to fill you up and replace that desire for His presence. In Jesus name, I release you from dead religion into spiritual hunger, this very moment.
I pray that you get so hungry for God that you dont care about anything else. I think I see a flickering flame. He will fan that. Lord, we just want Your presence. We are so hungry. See Phil. The pulpit was made of a high-tech acrylic plastic, often mistakenly called plexiglas. This material was said by engineers to be able to withstand tens of thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch.
See Jn. No Bread in the House of Bread Crumbs in the carpet and empty shelves The priority of Gods presence has been lost in the modern Church.
Were like bakeries that are open, but have no bread. And furthermore, were not interested in selling bread.
We just like the chit-chat that goes on around cold ovens and empty shelves. In fact, I wonder, do we even know whether Hes here or not, and if He is here, what Hes doing? Where He is going? Or are we just too preoccupied with sweeping out imaginary crumbs from bakeries with no bread?
On the day Jesus made what we call His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a little donkey, His path through the city probably led Him right past the entrance to the temple of Herod.
I believe the reason the Pharisees were upset at the parade in John 12 is because it disturbed their religious services inside the temple. I can hear them complaining, What is all this going on? Youre disturbing the high priest! Dont you know what we are doing?
We are having a very important prayer service inside. Do you know what were praying for? Were praying for the Messiah. And you have the audacity to have this noisy parade and disturb us?! Who is in charge of this unruly mob anyway?
Uh, do you see the guy on the little donkey? They missed the hour of their visitation. He was in town and they didnt know it. The Messiah passed right by their door while they were inside praying for Him to come. The problem was that He didnt come in the manner in which they expected Him to come. They didnt recognize Him. Had Jesus come on the back of a prancing white stallion, or in a royal chariot of gold with a phalanx of soldiers ahead of Him, the Pharisees and priests would have said, That might be Him.
Unfortunately, they were more interested in seeing the Messiah throw off the yoke of Roman bondage than in throwing off the spiritual bondage that had become a blight on their land and people. God is getting ready to break out in America, even if He has to bypass her stuffy churches to break out in the barrooms! We would be wise to remember that He has bypassed the religious elite before to dine with the poor, the profane, and the prostitutes.
The Western Church, and the American Church in particular, has exported its programs about God all over the world, but it is time for us to learn that our programs are not progress. What we need is His presence. We need to decide that whatever it takes and wherever it comes from, we must have Him. And He wants to comeon His terms, not ours.
Until then, the absence of awesomeness will haunt the Church. We can be inside praying for Him to come while He passes by outside. Worse than that, the insiders miss Him while the outsiders march with Him! Bread Is Scarce During Times of Famine Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah1 went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and. Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah.
And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. And Elimelech Naomis husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: Naomi and her husband and two sons left home and moved to Moab because there was a famine in Bethlehem. Consider the literal meaning of the Hebrew name of their hometown: Bethlehem means house of bread. The reason they left the house of bread is that there was no bread in the house. Its simple, why people leave churchestheres no bread. Bread was part of the temple practices as well; it was proof of His presencethe showbread, the bread of the presence.
Bread has always been the one thing historically that was an indicator of His presence. We find in the Old Testament that bread in the form of the showbread was in the Holy Place.
It was called the bread of the Presence Num. Showbread might better be interpreted as show up bread, or in the Hebraic terms, face bread.
It was a heavenly symbol of God Himself. Naomi and her family have something in common with the people who leave or totally avoid our churches todaythey left that place and went somewhere else to try to find bread. I can tell you why people are flocking to the bars, the clubs, and the psychics by the millions. Theyre just trying to get by; they are just trying to survive because the Church has failed them. They looked, or their parents and friends looked and reported, and.
There was no presence in the pantry; just empty shelves and offices full of recipes for bread. But the oven was cold and dusty. We have falsely advertised and hyped-up our claims that there is bread in our house.
But when the hungry come, all they can do is scrounge through the carpet for a few crumbs of yesteryears revivals. We talk grandly about where He has been and what He has done, but we can say very little about what He is doing among us today. That isnt Gods fault; it is ours. We have only remnants of what used to bea residue of the fading glory. And unfortunately, we keep the veil of secrecy over that fact, much in the same way Moses kept the veil over his face after the shine of glory dust faded.
God may have to pierce the veil of our flesh to reveal our the Churchs inner emptiness also. Its a pride problemwe point with pride to where He has been protecting the temple tradition while we deny the obviously apparent glory of the Son of God. The religious spirits of Jesus day didnt want the populace to realize that there was no glory behind their veil. Jesus presence presented problems. Religious spirits must preserve where Hes been at the expense of where He is!
But a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with only an argument. All I know is I was blind but now I see! See John 9: If we can lead people into the manifest presence of God, all false theological houses of cards will tumble down. Yet we wonder why people hardly bow their heads when they come in our meetings and places of worship.
Where has the fear of God gone? People dont sense Gods presence in our gatherings because its just not there sufficiently enough to register on our gauges. This, in turn, creates another problem. When people get just a little touch of God mixed with a lot of something that is not God, it.
Once theyve been inoculated by a crumb of Gods presence, then when we say, God really is here; they say, No, Ive been there, done that. I bought that T-shirt, and I didnt find Him; it really didnt work for me.
The problem is that God was there all right, but not enough of Him! There was no experience of meeting Him at the Damascus road. There was no undeniable, overwhelming sense of His manifest presence. People have come to the House of Bread time and again only to find there was simply too much of man and too little of God there. The Almighty One is out to restore the sense of His awesome manifest presence in our lives and places of worship.
Over and over we talk about the glory of God covering the earth, but how is it going to flow through the streets of our cities if it cant even flow down the aisles of our churches? Its got to start somewhere, and its not going to start out there.
It must start in here! It must start at the temple, as Ezekiel wrote. I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple Ezek. If Gods glory cant flow through the aisles of the church because of seducing spirits and manipulating men, then God will have to turn somewhere else as He did the day Jesus rode past the house of bread temple in Jerusalem on a donkey.
If there is no bread in the house, then I dont blame the hungry for not going there! I wouldnt! When Bethlehem, the house of bread, is empty, people are forced to look elsewhere for the bread of life. The dilemma they face is that the worlds alternatives can be deadly.
As Naomi was to discover, Moab is a cruel place. Moab will steal your sons from you and bury them before their time. Moab will separate you from your spouse. Moab will rob the very vitality of life from you. In the end, all that Naomi had left were two daughters-in-law whom she had known only ten years. With nothing but a gloomy and disastrous future staring her in the.
I dont have any more sons to give you. But then she said, I heard a rumor. It winds its way all down our coasts, over every mountain range, and into every place where men and women dwell. It is the grapevine of the hungry. If just one of them hears the rumor that there is bread back in the House of Bread, the news will flow like a surge of electricity through a power line at near the speed of light.
The news of bread will leapfrog from one household to the other, from one place to another almost instantaneously. You wont have to worry about advertising on TV or promoting it in the usual ways of the world. The hungry will just hear. The news will break: No, its not a fake! Its hard to believe, but this time its not hype or manipulation. No, its not just a trickle; its not just crumbs in the carpet.
There really is bread back in the House of Bread! God is in the Church! When that happens, we wont be able to hold them in our buildings, no matter how many services we conduct each day.
All you must do is get the bread back! There is much more of God available than we have ever known or imagined, but we have become so satisfied with where we are and what we have that we dont press in for Gods best. Yes, God is moving among us and working in our lives, but we have been content to comb the carpet for crumbs as opposed to having the abundant loaves of hot bread God has prepared for us in the ovens of Heaven!
He has prepared a great table of His presence in this day, and He is calling to the Church, Come and dine. We ignore Gods summons while carefully counting our stale crumbs of yesteryears bread.
Meanwhile millions of people outside our church walls are starving for life. They are sick. They are starving for Him, not stories about Him. They want the food, but all we have to give them is a tattered menu vacuum-sealed in plastic to protect the fading images of what once was from the grasping fingers of the desperately hungry.
This is why we see highly educated men and women wearing crystals around their necks in the hopes of getting in touch with something beyond themselves and their sad existence. Wealthy and poor alike flock to flashy seminars about enlightenment and inner peace, gullibly swallowing every bit of the unbelievable junk being passed off as the latest bright revelation from the other world.
How can this be? It should convict and shame the Church to see so many hurting and searching people turn to psychics, astrology, and spiritists for guidance and hope in their lives! People are so hungry that they are pouring millions of dollars into an overnight industry of the occult manned by fake soothsayers even the genuine mediums or channelers who tap the dark world of the occult and satanic familiar spirits are rare among this bunch.
They are so desperate for hope that they will accept canned script from paid marketers as spiritual insight. Oh, the depth of spiritual hunger in the world! There is only one reason so many people are so willing to attempt to get in touch with something from the other side, even accepting the counterfeitthey dont know where to find the real thing.
The blame for that can only fall in one place. This hour seems to be custom tailored for the Church of His presence to prevail. Now I must repeat one of the shocking statements that I keep hearing God say in my spirit: It is no wonder that neither sinners nor saints feel the need to bow when they come into a worship service.
They dont sense the presence of anything or anyone worthy of worship among us. On the other hand, if the Church would become what it should and could become, then wed have to scramble just to accommodate the demand for bread in the house.
And when people would enter our houses of bread, no one would have to tell them to bow their heads in prayer. They would fall on their faces before our holy God without a single word being spoken. Even the heathen would instinctively know that God Himself had entered the house. Why do I say this? Because when people pay the exorbitant price to psychics, they are really trying to touch God and find relief from the pain in their lives.
They just dont know where else to go. King Saul gave us the example of the desperate wanderer cut off from God. When he couldnt reach or catch God, he said, Then let me find a witch. Ive got to have a word if I have to disguise myself and sneak in the back door. I must have access to the spirit realm. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in mens faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to Mt. It is bad enough when you refuse to go in yourself, but God gets extra agitated when you stand at the door and refuse to let anybody else in either!
Through our ignorance of spiritual matters and our lack of hunger, we have figuratively stood at the door by the way we have done things, and have barred the lost and hungry from entering in. Our constant claims of hot bread backed only by stale crumbs on a frayed carpet of mans tradition have left countless generations hungry, homeless, and with nowhere else to go but Moab.
And so they grow weary with the cruel taskmaster who takes his tax in their marriages, children, and lives. Now, today, there is a faint rumor that there is bread in Gods house once again. This generation, like Ruth a picture. Wherever you go, Ill go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God see Ruth 1: Iftheres really bread. So tattered was the reputation of Bethlehem the house of bread that Orpah didnt go. How many like her dont go because the history of hype from the Church exhausts their energy?
They cant make the trip. Do you know what will instantly integrate someone directly into the fabric of the local church? It will happen the moment they taste the bread of His presence in that place.
When Ruth heard that there was bread back in Bethlehem, she rose from her sorrow to go to the house of bread. The sign is still up. We still take people into our churches and show them the ovens where we used to bake bread. The ovens are all still in place and everything is there, but all you can find is crumbs from last years visitation, and from the last great wave of revival our predecessors talked about.
Now we are reduced to being shallow students of what we hope to experience some day. Im constantly reading about revival, and God impressed upon me recently, Son, youre reading about it because you dont yet have the experience to write about. I am tired of reading about Gods visitations of yesteryear.
I want God to break out somewhere in my lifetime so that in the future my children can say, I was there. I know; its true. God has no grandchildren. Each generation must experience His presence. Recitation was never meant to take the place of visitation.
Two things happen when the bread of Gods presence is restored to the Church. Naomi was a prodigal who left the house of bread when that table became bare. Yet once she heard that God had restored bread to Bethlehem, the house of bread, she quickly returned. The prodigals will come walking back. Naomi came back to the house of bread accompanied by Ruth, who had never been there before.
The never saved will come. As a result, Ruth became part of the Messianic lineage of Jesus when she married Boaz and bore him a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Revival as we know it now is really the recycling of saved people through the Church to keep them fired up. But the next wave of true revival will bring waves of unchurched people into the House of Breadpeople who have never darkened the door of a church in their lives.
When they hear that there really is bread in the house, they will stream through our doors after smelling the fragrance of hot bread from the ovens of Heaven! Often we are so full and satisfied with other things that we insist on getting by with our crumbs of the past. Were happy with our music the way it is. Were happy with our renewal meetings.
It is time for some of what I have politely termed divine discontent. Can I say it and not be judged? Im not happy. By that I mean that even though I have been a participant in what some would call the revival of a lifetime, I am still not happy. Because I know what can happen. I can catch Him. I know that there is far more than anything we have seen or hoped for yet, and it has become a holy obsession. I want God. I want more of Him. Satans ploy has been to keep us so full of junk that were not hungry for Him, and it has worked magnificently for centuries.
The enemy has made us so accustomed to surviving on an earthly prosperity but a beggars subsistence in the spirit realm, that just a crumb of Gods presence will satisfy. There are those who are not content with crumbs anymore.
They want Him and nothing else will do. A full loaf! Counterfeits no longer satisfy or interest them; they must have the real thing. Most of us, however, keep our lives so jammed with junk food. Have you ever seen hungry people? I mean really hungry people. If you could come with me on a ministry trip to Ethiopia or travel to some famine-ravaged land, you would see what happens when sacks of rice are brought out among really hungry people.
They come from everywhere in a matter of seconds. Most of us eat before we go to a church meeting, so the sight of a loaf of bread on a church altar wouldnt do anything for us. But when God told me one morning to preach about the bread, He also said Son, if they were physically starving, they would act differently. Interestingly, an intercessor felt impressed to bake bread that morning and the pastor felt led to place it on the altar! There was birthed that day a Heaveninduced hunger for the bread of His presence.
That bread has provoked healing, restoration, and hunger for revival around the world. The Bible says of the Kingdom of Heaven, the violent take it by force Mt.
For some reason that doesnt sound like us, does it? Weve become so churchified that we have our own form of political correctness and polite etiquette. Since we dont want to be too radical, we line all the chairs up in nice rows and expect our services to conform to equally straight and regimented lines as well.
We need to get so desperately hungry for Him that we literally forget our manners! The most apparent difference between liturgical worship and charismatic worship is that one has a printed program and the other is memorized. Often the one will even know when God will speak prophetically! Everybody whom I can think of in the New Testament record who forgot their manners received something from Him. Im not talking about rudeness for the sake of rudeness; Im talking about rudeness born out of desperation!
What about the desperate woman with an incurable hemorrhaging problem who elbowed and shoved her way through the crowd until she touched the hem of the Lords garment? Even though Jesus insulted her when He said, It is not meet to take the childrens bread, and cast it to dogs Mt.
And she was so rude, so abrupt, and so pushy or was she simply so desperately hungry for bread that she replied, Truth, Lord: Most of us, on the other hand, come to our ministers and say, Oh Pastor, would you, could you, pray for me and bless me?
If nothing really happens, we just shrug our shoulders and say, Well, Ill go eat or Ill go relax, or Im going to go home and placate the inner man with fleshly food and entertainment. To be honest, Im hoping that God grips men and women in His Church and causes them to become so obsessed with the bread of His presence that they will not stop. Once that happens, they dont want just a bless me touch. They will want Him to show up in the place no matter how much it costs or how uncomfortable it may feel.
They may sound and act rude, but they wont really care about mans opinion, only about Gods opinion. It is accurate to say that the Church, by and large, doesnt really have a place for people like that.
One of the first steps to real revival is to recognize that you are in a state of decline. This isnt an easy task in our professed prosperity, but we need to say, Were in decline; were not in the best of times.
Ironically, we find ourselves in the odd situation of matching the famous line from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. How long has it been since your shadow healed anybody? How long has it been since your mere presence in a room caused people to say, Ive got to get right with God?
Where are the future Finneys and Wigglesworths? This happened with them. I know a pastor in Ethiopia who was ministering in a service when men from the Communist government there interrupted the church service and said, We are here to stop you from having church.
They had already done everything they knew to do but without success, so that day they grabbed the pastors threeyear-old daughter and literally threw her out the second-story window of the building while everybody watched. The Communists thought that would stop the service, but the pastors wife went down to the ground floor, cradled her dead baby in her arms, and returned to her seat on the front row and worship continued.
As a result of this humble pastors faithfulness, , devout believers would boldly show up for his Bible conferences in Ethiopia. One time my father, a national leader in a Pentecostal denomination in America, was talking with this pastor. He knew that this pastor lived in horrible poverty in Ethiopia, and he made the mistake of showing a little bit of what he thought would be gracious sympathy. He told this Ethiopian pastor, Brother, we pray for you in your poverty.
This humble man turned to my father and said, No, you dont understand. We pray for you in your prosperity. That took my father aback, but the Ethiopian pastor explained, We pray for you Americans because it is much harder for you to live at the place God wants you to live in the midst of prosperity, than it is for us in the midst of our poverty. The greatest trick the enemy has used to rob the American Church of its vitality has been the lollipop of prosperity.
I am not against prosperity. Be as prosperous as you want to be, but pursue Him instead of the prosperity. You see, it is very easy to begin chasing God and wind up chasing something else!
Be a God chaser. If God really shows His face in your church, I can assure you that the grapevine of the hungry in your city or region will spread the news overnight! Before you can even pry the doors open the next day, the hungry will come and stand in. Why dont we see that kind of response now? The hungry have been burned.
As soon as the tiniest trickle of Gods presence flows through our services, we want to tell the whole world, Theres a river of Gods anointing that has broken out over here. Unfortunately, most of the times we shout, God is here! Weve falsely portrayed every trickle of Gods anointing as a mighty river, and to their dismay the only river they have found among us is a river of words.
We sometimes even build magnificent bridges over dry riverbeds! We cant expect the lost and the hurting to come running to our river only to discover that theres barely enough for them to get a single sip from Gods glass. Weve told them, God is really here; theres food on the table, but every time they have believed our report, they have been forced to comb through the carpet for the mere crumbs of the promised feast.
Our past is more powerful than our present. Compared to what God wants to do, were digging for crumbs in the carpet when He has hot loaves baking in the ovens of Heaven! He is not the God of crumbs and lack. He is waiting just to dispense unending loaves of His life-giving presence, but our problem was described long ago by James the apostle, ye have not, because ye ask not Jas. Yet the psalmist David sings through the tunnel of time that his seed never go begging for bread see Ps.
We need to understand that what we have, where we are, and what we are doing is small compared to what He wants to do among and through us. Young Samuel was a prophet in a generation of transition much like ours. The Bible tells us that early in Samuels life, the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision 1 Sam. One night Eli the old high priest went to bed, and by that point in his life his eyesight had grown so poor that he could.
Part of our problem in the historical Church is that our eyesight has grown dim and we cant see like we should. Weve become satisfied with church proceeding in the dim normal and status quo mode. We just keep going through the motions, lighting the lamps and shuffling from dusty room to dusty room as if God was still speaking to us.
But when He really does speak, we think people are dreaming. When He really does appear, dim eyes cant see Him. When He really does move, we are reluctant to accept it for fear we will bump into something unfamiliar in our dim, lamp-less darkness. It frustrates us when God moves the furniture on us. We tell the young Samuels among us, Go back to sleep. Just keep doing things the way Ive taught you to do them, Samuel. Its okay. It has always been this way.
No, it hasnt always been that way! And Im not happy with it being that wayI want more! I dont know about you, but every empty seat I see in a church building screams out to me, I could be filled with some former citizen of Moab!
Cant you put a body in this seat? I dont know about you, but that just feeds my holy frustration, my divine discontent. And [before] the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the Lord called Samuel: The lamp of God was flickering low and was just about to go out, but that didnt disturb Eli.
He lived in a permanent state of semi-darkness. Young Samuel, though, said, I hear something. It is time for us to admit that the lamp of God is flickering.
Yes, it is still burning, but things are not as they should be. We look at this little flickering lamp casting low light in the Church here and there and say, Oh, its revival!
It may be for the handful who can get close enough to see it, but what about those who are at a distance? What about the lost who never read our magazines, watch our TV shows, or listen to the latest Christian teaching tapes? We need the light of the glory of God.