Put Yourself in the Storyline
History was never a subject I enjoyed in school. Reading a history book was akin to reading a physics book. “Nothing I’ll ever need or use, so nothing I really care about,” was my thinking. Not that I was a shallow person, you understand. I was simply into more important subjects, such as athletics. Funny how things change.
Over time, my small and selfish world of living only for myself was finally expanded to seeing the importance of who and what came before me. However, the power and importance of history went to an entirely new level as God introduced me to the concept of “the synergy of the ages.” Had that not occurred, I would never have fully appreciated the Appeal to Heaven flag. The following dream helped.
There’s just something about an ambulance with its lights flashing that generates a strong mix of emotions. But seven of them! Something horrible must be occurring.
Fortunately, it was only a dream.
The Lord has frequently spoken to Julie Meyer, an internationally known worshipper and seasoned leader, through detailed dreams. In this particular dream, Julie saw seven ambulances lined up, each with lights flashing. Growing very concerned, she walked to the back of one of the ambulances to see what was happening. When she peeked in, Julie 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 immediately 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 the 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 have watched as the strength of the prayer movement has waned, many becoming weary and losing heart. Intercessors have prayed years for revival, but the revival hasn’t materialized, and many of them have experienced what Proverbs 13:12 refers to as “hope deferred.” And as this passage teaches, hope deferred has made their hearts sick. Traveling across America, I can attest to the truthfulness of the dream. It’s 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 started 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, fifties, and sixties. 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.”
The entire dream was impacting, 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 really 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 outpouring, 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 love those old stories, but we certainly don’t think of them as something we can agree with in prayer, connect to, or draw strength from. And we’ve never thought of them as “our” stories. They are past tense, a dead history. As mentioned in yesterday’s post just as I had never thought of Lindsay’s story as my story, 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 effort to stand on its 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). This is one of the reasons satan robs people of their history: because it is more than history; it is a generational connection.
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 a thousand generations! (Deuteronomy 7:9). We must understand the eternal purposes of God - not just the purposes we feel are for our present time. As we do, He then can continue through us what He began in someone else. And again, according to Hebrews 11:40, they can watch from heaven as their promise is fulfilled through us.
Again, referring to yesterday’s post, this is what the Lord was trying to show me regarding Gordon Lindsay. The 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. The great cloud of witnesses had finally become more than mere spectators and cheerleaders to me; 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 lived before me. My life began expanding, being defined not just by an eighty or ninety-year destiny, but also by an 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.
Now may the God who gives endurance and who supplies encouragement grant that you be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15: 5-6)
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we want to thank You for the privilege of partnering with You in the great endeavor of saving the world. Thank You for the new phase we have moved into, which You have called Operation Redeem All. We believe we are moving into the greatest revival in history. Thank You for exposing the evil in America. We thank You especially for the exposing of unrighteousness in our government. We ask You to shake and expose all of the evil operating in America‘s government. We know this is part of Your plan in bringing revival.
We also thank You for ministering to the intercessors in America and around the world. We believe You are breaking weariness and hope deferred off them. We who hear this Give Him 15 post and see the dream you gave Julie choose now to insert ourselves in the great storyline of what You have done in the past. We understand, yet we ask for an even greater revelation of the synergy of the ages. Show us, Lord, our connection to past revivals and moves of Your spirit. Allow us to literally receive anointings and impartations from them.
And as we move into this great revival that is being birthed now, we ask You to take the movement of prayer around the world to completely new levels. Increase revelation and understanding. Increase passion. Teach us how to birth things in the spirit so they can manifest in the realm of the natural. May we truly partake of the intercessory nature of Jesus Himself. We ask You for these things in the holy name of Jesus...Amen.
We declare that weariness and hope deferred are being broken off the intercessory prayer movement in America.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book An Appeal to Heaven.