This week we celebrated Martin Luther King’s Day and we saw several quotations from his speeches, particularly from the last one “I have been to the mountaintop”.
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
It made me think, when he listed what he would do if he could travel back in history, of how many things, -good things and not so good- I have experienced myself. It also made me think how hard it is to depart from the places in our own personal history where we tend to dwell, allowing our history and experience to hinder our advancement toward that Promised Land which God has given us.
Each of you.
Each of us.
I remember many things. Mistakes, frustrations and other such regrettable times, yet I am not talking about them now. I want to look at the promises of the Land of Promise.
I remember many miracles but some in particular very poignant.
The woman had a black tumor in her face that literally fell off of her face a few days after she received prayer.
And that other woman in England who was given weeks to live and after prayer on Sunday visited her doctor who was amazed when he could not find trace of cancer. Next time I saw her, some years later she was volunteering at the Christian Cafe where she had been healed.
Or this young man who got lost and had to come back to a meeting he did not like, only to fall under the power of the Holy Spirit and while down on the floor her started to understand what his friends were saying above e him: His friends were speaking in tongues. And he was saved that night.
Yes, I have seen such miracles during our years traveling around preaching revival. Yes I have seen this man reconnecting with the Lord and going back to ministry, after he had walked away and became an atheist.
I have seen countless faces coming to the altar with a crisped expression of pain and their tortured soul crying for relief, and after a few moments standing face to face with Jesus those faces began to change, as if they were newly made: And they were!
But I don’t want to stay there. I want move forward. I want the “so much more” that Smith Wigglesworth preached about. I have seen the fruits of the Land of Promise, and I want more. I want the church, -every local church- to reach higher into the level of supernatural power the Holy Spirit is ready to display for the sake of Jesus Christ. I want the church to be that force to reckon with that God intended for her to be.
Many years ago, I was visiting First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA for the first time. I have heard much about that church, particularly of the years when Kathryn Kuhlman held meetings there. I sat on the third row by the left of the central aisle on that empty, silent church on a Tuesday morning.
I could not stop crying. I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit. And He said: Do you see those doors? I thought it was a wall behind the altar, but as it happened the wall was actually a door with two massive 30 feet tall leaves weighing each two tons.
The Holy Spirit continued and said: “Those are the doors to the nations that I have set for you to go and tell them that revival is a real and to be expected possibility. But you don’t have to open them, I have already called in those who are going to open the doors for you to move through”.
I was still pondering, in this my personal mountaintop of the moment what that could mean, and where would the path take me, when suddenly out of visibly nowhere this man stood by me and started talking. He was the janitor. He offered me to open the doors to see the other side.
I was like yes, go, go, go!
He pushed the two leaf door open and my jaw dropped. Behind the doors was what I later learnt, was the old chapel that has been converted into the choir after the new building was finished. The balcony around the chapel was emblazoned with flags and standard from all over. I just saw the nations as God promised me.
From then on the doors were opened and I was blessed to minister in many parts of this wide world including almost every state of the USA. Yet I don’t want to remain there.
What would have been the point of staying there contemplating the doors?
I saw miracles. I saw salvations. I saw deliverance. Demons cast out. Oppressions lifted. Families restored. I saw reconciliation, healing, baptisms in the Holy Spirit. I saw the transformation of revival. But I don’t want the memories. I want to go further, deeper into the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God.
Before I left, the Senior Pastor of the church came down from his office and met me there. He told me about the history of the church. He told me about how people packed the place, literally hanging from every available spot, including the stairways and the basements, during the Kuhlman’s miracle services. He gave me a lot of tidbits regarding what God was doing there. And he gave me a book.
DON’S STOP ON THE MOUNTAINTOP