The Lord has called me to an extended fast this month and I have not been engaging on social media. It’s been a time of recalibration and preparation for what’s ahead. Just three days into my fast, I received two dreams that I believe is setting the spiritual bar for this coming year and reminding the Church of our commission.
In the first dream I was taken back to a very traditional church from my family’s past. The service had already started but there were only a few folding chairs set up in the middle of the sanctuary and a few folks standing around the sides. Though I heard a faint sound coming from the pulpit up front, I heard various people whispering in conversation and a few others just moving about. I was wondering if this was the actual church service, so I asked someone nearby. He said it was set up this way to provide for more social interaction. This way people could come and go as they liked and get to know each other. Though I was somewhat shocked by his answer, he was absolutely sincere – even though the church was practically empty.
In the next dream I was gathered with another group of people in another church. I saw the pastor and his assistant, as well as a mix of leaders and younger folks in worship. They had been given some kind of direction to gather up front. As they were receiving instructions, I could see the pastor standing on the outer circle taking everything in. The group of people huddled together were so focused and unified, they appeared “as one” – almost like a wall that towered over everyone else – including the pastor. But, as a watchman, he was excited about what was happening.
I was standing on the edge with a few others. Then, the “leader” gave a cue that signaled for everyone to respond to the invitation given. All at once, everyone responded in some way, each one being different and unique, and yet it seemed synchronized as they were all in an attitude of worship and prayer. I could see and hear each one responding to the call and releasing their faith in a unique way, with one man’s head seeming to spin with great fervency. I knew this was something very intimate and very holy.
As soon as they did this, I heard a “swoosh” and felt a wind pass through as I physically felt the atmosphere change. I could feel something shift in the spirit and I fell to my knees as a result. Something powerful just happened and I had no choice but to respond. After such a long time of waiting and wondering, I was feeling the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit. It was triggered by a people of one heart and mind, fully surrendered to the Spirit’s direction – and it changed everything.
I believe the Lord is showing us the state of the Church in this hour and calling us back to a higher purpose. Through this “tale of two churches,” the Lord’s admonition is clear: The Church was never meant to be a reception area, but a house of prayer. By placing priority on social connection and making people feel comfortable, many in the Church have lost their vision and have no power to change anything or anyone.
He is reminding us that it is the watchmen of His house, the shepherds and pastors, that have been given the charge to lead the Church and make a place for God’s presence and power. It is those watchmen who yield to the Holy Spirit that make room for heaven to fall. It is those pastors who faithfully keep watch and surrender their need for reputation and recognition who are qualified to facilitate the greatest moves of the Spirit. It is those pastors who build teams and empower the next generation that will see the favor of God in their midst. And it is these kinds of houses that the Lord will visit this coming year.
He is also showing us the power and authority that is available to us as His people. When we come together in oneness of Spirit, we will usher in the wind of the Spirit. It is not enough to pursue personal freedom and breakthrough in worship. We must come together for a greater cause. It is people of faith who fully surrender their personal wills and wishes that are poised to receive the greatest manifestations and proofs of the supernatural on earth. It is hearts so postured that will be conduits of heaven in this coming hour of fire from above. And it will be so unexpected it will make heads spin.
I can testify to these truths as our own house of worship experienced these realities within two weeks of the dreams. An unexpected power surge happened during worship as the Holy Spirit fell. We were intentionally laying aside our plans and waiting upon the Lord. Our collective hunger and posture of heart opened a door in the spirit, and we experienced a fresh baptism of the Spirit’s power. Ignited by the fire of heaven, we were commissioned into service for this coming season.
This is the Father’s charge to the Church this year: Make room for His presence. Surrender your own ideas and inventions. Surrender your self-preoccupations and embrace the fellowship of His people. Clear the way for Him to speak and to move on His terms, not yours. In the midst of information overload and crowds pressing for answers, learn to wait upon His Spirit and follow without hesitation.
To the shepherds of the House, be true watchmen, not managers. Your call is to nurture a place where the Spirit of God is the guest of honor, not the people. For when the Spirit of God is present, the people will be cared for, far better than any shepherd is humanly able. God’s people have not been called to feel comfortable, but to answer a commission. In a world overrun by frauds and seducing spirits, it is only the people of His Spirit that have the authority and power to overcome.
This is a year when the fire of God will burn like never before. Pentecostal power is being reborn. Commissioning is commencing. Prepare yourselves for ignition.
Bobby and I co-wrote this devotional several years ago when our own community was called to a corporate fast. We've never been the same. Consider this devotional as a way to jump-start your own collective journey into His presence. (Group bundles also offered in addition to Kindle editions for international followers.)