Monday, August 17, 2009
If possible get a copy of the book "Like a Mighty Wind" by Mel Tari local evangelist in East Timor in Indonesia during a time of exciting revival. The Spirit of God hit a little Presbyterian mission church in extraordinary manifestation.
On one evening the roof of the church appeared to be going up in flames. The volunteer fire fighters were called to bring things under control. But they could not fight this fire! It was not natural. It was a manifestation of the glory of God.
Attendance increased, as might have been expected, and people got serious about repentance, life change, hearing the scriptures and bringing in new babes in Christ. There were communion services where pots of water were turned into wine for sharing the remembrance of Him.
Neighbouring villages and islands were eager to be included, and itinerant evangelistic groups were organized and commissioned to go. Tales were told of tropical storms averted and crocodile streams cleared for the crossing.
One of these groups included Tari. They were called to visit a village where witchcraft was heavy. A mission pastor made the request and offered the hospitality of his home. They arrived from their journey very hot and tired, looking forward to cool beds and refreshments. But one of the group related that he had had a sense of the Lord's direction that they were to go to sleep outside under a big tree in the village square.
In all of their efforts these evangelists had waited for unanimity in their decision -making. They prayed for direction. The member could not retract his spiritual sense on this. Hence the group headed for a night on the hard ground under the tree. To their surprise sleep came swiftly and sweetly to their sore bodies.
At sun-up they were startled by the jarring words of an elderly man. "Men of the Great Power. Men of the Great Power. Where is He?" They tried to calm him down and get the sense of it. This was the most powerful of medicine men in the area, dealing constantly in the black arts. His sleep had been troubled by nightmares to the effect that the following day he would lose his vocation and power. He would meet strangers under the Great Tree who would tell of the greatest power, the Greatest God, and would work their magic upon him.
With smiles of realization on their faces the evangelists began to tell him of the Gentle Wanderer, Jesus, who healed the sick, comforted the lonely, brought smiles to children's faces, calmed the horrific storm, faced death fearlessly for his friends, returned from the grave and changed bad lives to good.
Note: I am speaking here of a particular visitation by God to a particular people. This should cause us to look forward to great things of mercy and deliverance from our Lord and Master. BUT we should not look for a duplication of this phenomenon, as if, by some means, we could bring it about. Our God does what He wants.