On Friday night, my wife and I were blessed to be able to go to the Power and Love Conference. This is a conference held by Lifestyle Christianity, which is the ministry of Todd White and others. If you’ve never heard of Todd White, you should look him up. His testimony is amazing, and what he spoke about on Friday night was equally engaging. He spoke about the baptism of fire, and at the end of the service, he told everyone, a room of 3000+ people, that he wanted to personally lay hands on every single one of them. He asked area Pastors to come up and help him for a Fire Tunnel, and while at first my wife and I weren’t going to go up, I felt like we really should…that we would miss something if we did not. So, I pushed her up and we took out place at the ned of the tunnel. What transpired over the course of the next 3+ hours STILL defies words. I have never seen someone slain in the Holy Spirit, or drunk in the Spirit before, but as I watched, I saw so many people come through that line, being touched by Pastors, praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit. The crazy part is that my wife and I also laid hands on people and saw them..felt them..receive the Holy Spirit on the spot. I won’t go into any details here, I say all of that to set up what I’m about to say. I believe that God wants me to write this out, because as I sat back and thought about last night, 3 words came to mind. A New Joplin.
And I saw a New Joplin. it was not a place segregated by denomination. It was not split simply into Destiny Church, or Impact Church, or One Church. It’s identity did not lie in how many members attended services on a Sunday morning. I saw a Joplin where churches came together for worship. Pastors preached from pulpits that were not their “own”, worship teams being mixed. Music being written and performed that speaks the word of God over THIS area, from voices in THIS area. I see worship so intense that sermons are shelved, because the presence of God IS the sermon! Many churches left buildings and began worship services in public places, and instead of ridicule and scorn, the public accepted what was happening as the new normal. No longer did churches simply split off on Sunday mornings to decide what they wanted to do “en masse” as a group to perform “outreach” activities. People everyday took it upon themselves to meet needs, or come together in groups to meet needs as the Lord impressed it upon them. I saw a New Joplin. It was a Joplin that people long before us had prayed about, and they went to their graves believing that God had promised an outpouring and rebuilding in this area. While they only saw it in the spirit, we will see in with our natural eyes. It will not simply be by faith, but it will be seen by sight. This revolution will be televised. It will be shown in the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls whose hearts burn with dreams and visions for the Kingdom of God. This new Joplin will understand that our desires for our churches can NEVER supersede HIS plans and desires for HIS CHURCH! This is a new Joplin where churches come together to be wild. There is dancing. There is loud music. There are praises lifting. There is reverent worship. There is gladness, joy, peace. There is the Spirit of God. This New Joplin will not be black or white. It will be made up of citizens of Heaven, who understand their identity and place in Him. These people will lead creatively as God is the Ultimate Creator. They will lead in truth, as Christ is Truth. They will lead in love, and by that love, ALL will know that we belong to HIM.
There is a new Joplin being born. I have wondered many times why God placed us here in Joplin at this time in our lives. Maybe it is to chronicle what is happening. Maybe it is to take part. Maybe it is to lead in some way. I don’t know for sure, but what I do know is that in this new Joplin, what happens in the hearts of those here will shoot outward from this place and begin implanting itself in other communities. It is not that no other community is doing the right thing, but I believe that as the hour continues to grow later, the Holy Spirit is impressing the urgency of movement. The urgency of Kingdom. The urgency of community. Community is alive and breathing. It is God’s intent for his church. Not division. There is power and love where Community is found. There is no lack where Community lives. There is power at work, and as we unleash our minds and begin to grasp what God has already provided by His spirit, the limits that we have placed on the Holy Spirit, and ourselves will begin to melt off like wax, under the all-consuming Light of His Love.
I see people hugging strangers. I see people helping others who have fallen from the floors of their sins, and not berating them or judging them, but rather restoring them in love. I see people not needing a sermon to give whatever they can to meet the needs that they come across.
I see God smiling, please because we are no longer trying to become righteous, but we understand that Jesus’ blood did everything that it was supposed to do, and now we are free to truly LIVE in a way that shows His Glory to OTHERS.
That’s all, I think. I don’t know why God wanted me to get this out, but it has been bugging me. And now it’s not, so I think I’m finished. I do want to say one thing before I sign off though. My area is no different from yours. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Take it, live it, and share it with everyone that you come into contact with! Bring the newness with you, everywhere that you go. The time is NOW!