Finish the Race
As I said yesterday, I have been personally revisiting some of the significant words and insights I share in my book, An Appeal To Heaven. I relate a significant dream at the end of the book, which I’ve not yet shared on a post, but want to share later this week. Parts of the dream won’t be as meaningful without knowing and understanding portions of what God had said to me leading up to the dream. Some I have shared in the past, but they are important truths for all of us to review. Yesterday’s post was regarding the synergy of the ages. Today is also about connecting with past movements.
The Lord has frequently spoken to Julie Meyer, an internationally known intercessor, worshipper, and seasoned leader, through detailed dreams. In a dream given to her several years ago, Julie saw seven ambulances lined up, each with lights flashing. She walked to the back of one of the ambulances to see what was happening, peeked in, and saw a non-responsive person laying on a gurney. Next to the patient was an attendant working feverishly to revive him.
In her dream, Julie knew this attendant was an angel. He looked at her and said, “I can’t find a heartbeat.” She went from one ambulance to the next finding the same scenario - patients on gurneys with angels attending them, trying to restart their hearts. Suddenly, one of the angels looked directly at Julie and confided, “It’s the intercessors.”
This dream made sense to me. For a number of years, I had watched as the strength of the prayer movement waned, with many becoming weary and losing heart. Intercessors had prayed years for revival, but the revival hadn’t materialized, and many of them had experienced what Proverbs 13:12 refers to as “hope deferred.” And as this passage teaches, hope deferred had given them heart disease. Traveling much across America, I could attest to the truthfulness of the dream. It was hard to find a heartbeat in many tired intercessors.
As Julie’s dream continued, suddenly one of the angels shouted, “I found a heartbeat, but it’s very faint!”
The other angels grew excited and asked, “What did you do?” They, of course, wanted to do the same thing in order to generate a heartbeat in their own intercessors.
The first angel replied, “Tell the old stories. When I began telling her stories of what God did in the past, her heart started to beat.”
With that, these heavenly attendants began speaking to the intercessors about the First Great Awakening, The Second Great Awakening, and other outpourings of Holy Spirit - right up through the healing revivals and tent meetings of the 1940’s, 50s, and 60s. As they did so, the hearts of all the intercessors started beating again. At this point in the dream, an angel looked at Julie and directed her, “Tell the old stories of what God has done in the past.”
As I read this portion of the dream, I was impacted, but this angelic messenger then added instructions that stirred my heart even more: “Tell the intercessors to put themselves in the storyline, because the old stories are also their stories.”
What a profound and intriguing thought!
Who among us actually thinks this way? We should, however. God has one overarching plan for humankind, not many; we’re all part of the same unfolding drama. Our generation’s role in history is simply another act of yesterday’s play; our battles are conflicts of one ongoing war. Every revival in history is but a sequel in Holy Spirit’s ongoing series of outpourings, and every soul saved enters the same spiritual family. Our stories, though many, are one. Put yourself in the storyline, because the old stories actually are your stories!
For too long, we Christians - even those who are students of church history - have simply viewed accounts of past moves of God as inspirational. We’ve never thought of them as “our” stories. I had never thought of Wesley and his Methodists as my movement. Finney’s awakening certainly wasn’t my awakening, and William Seymour’s Azusa Street outpouring wasn’t mine. Most of us simply haven’t thought this way.
Our shortsighted reasoning has stolen from us the synergy of the ages. We’ve not put ourselves in the storyline. And since we don’t typically align with past movements or agree with past prayers, this has all too often led to the segmentation of the ages, forcing each generation’s intercession and efforts to stand on their own. Actually, the results can be more devastating than that: God says that when the generations disconnect, it can create a curse (Malachi 4:6).
On the other hand, putting ourselves into the storyline God is writing allows us to tap into the strength and life of what He did years ago. Iniquities from the past flow to 3 or 4 generations (Exodus 34:7); blessings, however, flow to 1000 generations! (Deuteronomy 7:9). We must understand the eternal purposes of God - not just His current purposes - allowing Him to continue through us what He began in others. And, according to Hebrews 11:40, they can watch from heaven as their promise is fulfilled through us.
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned agreeing with prayers Gordon Lindsay prayed while on earth in order to produce the synergy of the ages. The Bible College’s student body and I needed to put ourselves into his storyline, becoming a necessary link in the chain. We couldn’t just assume God’s promises to Lindsay would one day be fulfilled - Holy Spirit needed agreement in order to finish what He had started. We had a vital role to play.
Reinforced by Julie’s dream, this revelation opened my heart to a myriad of storylines we, as a generation, needed to identify with. We could insert ourselves into the storyline of the pilgrims at Cape Henry, declaring that the gospel of the Kingdom would go from these shores to all the nations of the earth. We could align with Charles Finney, believing that city-changing revivals would be rekindled in our day. We could agree with the prayers of Rees Howells for revivals that would shake nations. We could join the efforts of Martin Luther King, Jr., and see his dream of racial healing in America reach its intended goal. For me, the great cloud of witnesses had become more than mere spectators and cheerleaders; they were an earlier leg of a relay race, waiting for someone to grab their baton.
This truth pierced my conscience. God began the process of connecting my heart and actions with those who had run before me. My life began expanding, being defined not just by an eighty or ninety-year destiny, but by an eternal destiny and inter-generational purpose. I realized I was part of a historical chain, planned by God and built with human lives. “Back to the future” took on real meaning: Like Elijah’s servant, Elisha, I would have to connect with the past in order to find my future; the power he needed today was hidden in his yesterday (2 Kings 2:14-15). Reaching back would not only bring my life added significance, but also the lives of those who had lived before me (Hebrews 11:39-40). God’s love of relational connection would find fulfillment, causing Him to release an entirely new level of spiritual power - the synergy of the ages.
I immediately began processing this revelation in the context of my calling to America. It was obviously relevant to praying for nations. I knew I could connect with America’s story more personally, joining my heart to the prayers and dreams of pilgrims, colonists, pioneers, and every other generation that makes up our story. Whatever the cost, I determined to do my part in keeping the dream alive.
As the Lord began challenging me to enter America’s story, He assured me that if I would do so, not only would He use me to extend it into the future, but also to heal portions of its past. If I was willing to identify with and repent of America’s painful chapters, he would teach me how history can be healed. I remember the first time those words entered my heart: healing history. What a wonderful thought, I recall thinking, but is that really possible? I now know it is. History can never be changed, but its effects - the guilt and pain - can be healed. We will look at this tomorrow.
Pray with me:
Father, Your statement, “Tell the intercessors to put themselves in the storyline, because the old stories are also their stories,” is so incredibly profound. The importance of generational connection and honor is so important to You. Cause this revelation to grow in us, producing an even greater synergy of the ages.
We thank You for the efforts and sacrifices of those in the cloud of witnesses. And we thank them. We stand on great shoulders and build on the blood, sweat, and tears of many. As they observe and cheer from heaven’s balcony, may they find us faithful. We gratefully declare that our works and gains are extensions of theirs, our awakenings generated in part by the revivals for which they labored. We place ourselves into Your great storyline, Father, reaching back while pressing forward.
Use this synergy now to release Your fire and rain into the earth. Multiply power to demolish strongholds and uproot evil systems. Unseat the wicked, and release Your judgments against their evil schemes. You told us to bind these schemes and the demonic power behind them. We do so now in Jesus’ name.
We decree that the synergy of the ages is being produced by the agreement of the body of Christ and will release another wave of Kingdom fruitfulness.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book An Appeal to Heaven.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.