Monday, October 24, 2005

Revival at the Football Game!

You know the dreams you have about God moving in power? The ones where the sick are healed, demons are cast out and people are getting saved? I have been having them for years. Ever since I heard prophecies from people like Paul Cain, who prophesied of a stadium church, where thousands are meeting Jesus and getting healed. Or when I read Rick Joyner’s “The Harvest”, where he prophesied a coming move of God that would sweep millions into the Kingdom with an outpouring of signs, wonders and power evangelism. Just hearing those prophecies produced faith to see them (faith comes by hearing) and for years my dreams have been plagued with scenes and snippets of the coming revival. I say plagued because in the dreams and visions I have had, I can “feel” that revival atmosphere. That electric “anything could happen” atmosphere where God is moving with power. That feeling has stayed with me for years and when you get out there and just kind of slog through preaching, praying, believing and hoping for revival without the experience of revival, those dreams and visions can haunt you. But I believe that God gives dreams, visions and supernatural experiences so we can press through the dry or not very anointed times until we see the fullness of what He has promised.

So we press through. We pray, preach, prophesy and heal the sick with a fire of revival burning in our hearts, regardless of what we see on the outside. All with the hope of seeing, experiencing and being in on the next move of God.

This week, hope was manifested. The dreams and visions became reality. We saw, touched, tasted and felt what revival feels like. The weather was changed through a prophetic declaration, the sick were healed, demons were cast out, people were touched by the power of God, there was conviction of sin, there was powerful, heart rending prophecy and at least fifteen people made decisions for the Lord, although over a hundred people heard the gospel of the Kingdom. The preaching inspired religious persecution and civil authority threatened us with punishment. It was like a snapshot of the book of Acts, except in modern times

This is what happened.


CHANGING THE WEATHER
We arrived at a local football game right as the game was starting. There were seven of us (David, Jordan, Katie, Rebecca, Linda, Rachael and myself) and we were excited. It was Rachael's first time out with us and we were praying that God would show up. Last week we had seen God move at another high school football game and we were chomping at the bit. It was raining off and on and there didn’t seem to be nearly as many people in attendance as there was last week. We decided to take our time and not rush in. We looked for where the kids would gather and just hang out. After being there only a few minutes, the few people that were there were rained on pretty hard and took shelter under a covered porch. We waited a few minutes and prayed for the rain to stop, but it just rained harder. We decided to pull out the big guns and called Pastor Marc, who has changed the weather through proclamation dozens of times. If you struggle with that, sorry, but it’s true. Jesus changed the weather (Mark 4:39) and He said that if we believed, we could do what he did (John 14:12).

So my brother Jordan picked up a cell phone and asked my Dad to put a stop to the rain that was coming down pretty hard now. Pastor Marc prayed over the phone and commanded the rain to stop. We hung up the phone and looked at the sky expectantly. I checked my watch and noted the time that he prayed. Sure enough, four and a half minutes later, the rain stopped cold. To tell you the truth, we weren’t even surprised. We happily jumped into the fray with a feeling of God’s favor. I mean, He stopped the rain for us, surely God was with us!


ALL HEAVEN BROKE LOOSE
We broke off into groups of two and three and jumped in innocently enough, giving some low level prophetic words to a couple kids. But in a few minutes, there was a noticeable stir. Several of the kids that had received prophetic words from David, Linda and Jordan started bringing their friends over asking us to pray for them. Before we knew it, each one of our groups were surrounded by a group of hungry kids, each asking for prophetic words and healing. All over the area where we were, healing started breaking out as shoulders, knees, fingers, feet and backs were healed. Each healing raised the excitement level and more kids gathered. They started to get their friends from around the football stadium and they even started raiding the stands, bringing people away from the game and down to us! They would come over and ask us to “tell us their future”. Over and over, we were able to explain that we weren’t psychics and were simply revealing in part what God knew about them in full. We also preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to crowds of them with great boldness, holding nothing back. We spoke of sin, repentance and turning to God to serve Him whole heartedly and they gobbled it up, because of the demonstration of God’s power through the healing and prophetic.

Many times, I was able to prep them saying that if I asked the Lord to speak to me for them and if they received a word from God, then they would be responsible for what they heard (Luke 12:48). This caused them to receive the prophecies with a healthy dose of the fear of God and it’s also why so many of them got born again. We totaled about 15 who we KNOW gave their lives to the Lord, but it could just as easily be 60-100. Lots of them heard the Gospel and only time will tell how many heard and believed (Acts 2:41).


A CONFRONTATION
One angry young man came up to me, obviously critical as to what we were doing. He told me flat out that he thought we were full of crap and that there was no way that God would speak to people like this. I told him that he was free to move along but he stuck around, mocked while other kids were getting touched and eventually asked me to get something from God for him. I told him, “I thought you thought we were full of crap?!” He crossed his arms, told me that he had an open mind and waited. Several of his buddies were there and I asked him if he really wanted his buddies to hear what God would say. He arrogantly said, “It’s fine if they stay”.

So I asked the Lord to show me something for him and instantly had a vision of him eating out of a trash can. While he ate, it was making him sick, but he put on a happy face and just kept eating. I then saw him set up a restaurant around the trash can, complete with chairs and tables and a “we’re open” sign inviting guests to come and eat what he knew to be garbage. I saw him then recommend the garbage as a delicacy to those coming to eat. I told him this vision and he asked what it meant. I told him simply, “I believe that what you are eating spiritually is garbage; you know that it’s garbage, yet because of your hypocrisy and duplicity are recommending as a delicacy what you know to be garbage”. It made quite an impact. He turned red, called me a few names and some of his buddies were chuckling under their breath at him, nodding in agreement. He walked away extremely ticked off!

Meanwhile, I look up and each of one of our group is surrounded by 20-30 people, literally pulling on their clothing asking for healings, prophecies and words of knowledge. Jordan and I were preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to a spellbound group, Linda and Rachael were prophesying and casting out demons, David was prophesying and Katie and Rebecca were healing the sick and prophesying. To say that the kids were hungry is an understatement. They were ravenous! To say that the harvest is ripe is an understatement. It is falling off the trees!

Our experience reminded me of a fishing trip I took with a buddy of mine up to the Northwest Territory of Canada last year. The deal up there is that the lakes are frozen 9-10 months out of the year and for the 2-3 months that the ice melts, the giant trophy fish have their opportunity to eat. And eat they do. They eat everything in sight! They are wild and will bite anything that falls into the water. They are so hungry in fact that from time to time; they will come out of the water, literally flying to hit your lure! At the football game, it was just like this. The kids were flying out of their seats, out of the stands to eat what we were feeding them. And they loved it. Each time someone got healed or a prophecy was given, the faith level increased. There were tears, there was conviction of sin and people were getting delivered of demons! Several folks got delivered of anger, depression, suicide and unforgiveness. Several of the kids were getting visibly touched by God, shaking under the power. A couple of the kids that got freedom from demons reported feeling drunk and lightheaded. We could have gone on all night…

That is, until the religious demons kicked up.


RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
As I am preaching to another group of hungry kids, I am suddenly aware that we are being eyed suspiciously by several older folks with their arms crossed. I also am aware of about 5-6 Sheriff’s Deputies amassing behind me. A lady who is on staff with the school and the school Administrator walks up and ask if they can speak with me privately. I agree and walk away from the group and the Deputies surround me. The lady starts off with, “So, you really seem to have a lot of kids around you”. I’m like, “Ok…” She continues by asking, “So, what exactly are you doing?” I tell her that we are preaching Jesus to the kids and having a great time. She tells me that they have had a complaint from someone (the religious kid who got the garbage can word) saying that we were touching people inappropriately! I tell her flatly that we have touched no one inappropriately and only have laid hands on shoulders and hands and only with permission. We also have witnesses to each of these facts.

She relents, knowing that the accusations are false and then proceeds to tell us that it is against the law to touch a minor. Ever. Anywhere. One of the Sheriff’s Deputies then gruffly tells me that he is watching me and our team and if we violate this rule, then they will eject us from the stadium. I assure them that we are there to help and not hurt. I remind them that we are simply telling people about Jesus. I go around the concession area and tell David, Jordan, Linda, Rebecca and Katie to not touch anyone, anywhere. They agree and continue to preach. But the plan to intimidate us backfires. The kids see the commotion with the police and they see them talking to me and they come running up to us. The crowd grows, both in numbers and in hunger. We continue preaching, praying and prophesying, all without touching anyone. But now it’s obvious that the kids are no longer interested in the game. There are more kids out of the stands that in the stands on the home team side. Only adults are left in the stands. This is more than they can take.

The principal of the school approaches David and interrogates him, asking what we are doing. He is told that we are preaching Jesus and he responds with, “Listen, I am a Christian, but this is the wrong venue for this”. David replies, “Life is the right venue to preach the Gospel”. His response is a threat, “If you preach or say anything about Jesus, I will have you removed. You are welcome to stay and watch the game, but you can’t say anything to the kids about God, even if they ask you”.

I get the story from the police officers and make a split second judgment call. Should we: Hold our ground, defy the authorities, get ejected and maybe even go to jail for breaking some suspect law? Or: Call it a night and let the godless civil authority win? If you have read any of our stories before, you may be surprised to hear that believe it or not, we chose the latter, choosing to go ahead and bow out while we were ahead. I felt that we were having a great night and had already been working hard for a couple of hours. We had made a HUGE statement to the kids, who at this point are about to revolt if we get ejected from the game and it’s obvious that the reason for the controversy was jealousy from the school faculty. We literally had to tear ourselves away from the kids who were very upset that we had to leave. I go up to the officers, who remind us that we are free to watch the game as long as we don’t say anything about God. I tell them that we have no intention to just “chit-chat” with the kids, but we have an agenda. That agenda is to preach the Gospel. I gather the group, we close our mouths, smile and walk out of the stadium in single file, thrilled at what we have just experienced.

We’ll be back. If we go to jail, we go to jail.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

WHAT THE ENEMY HAS THOUGHT WAS HIS IS A LIE.COMMISIONED BY CHRIST ,GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND PREACH THE GOSPEL... WHICH CLEARLY REVEALS,SET THE CAPTIVES FREE.

THE EARTH IS THE LORDS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF,AND THEY THAT DWELL THERE IN IT.

CAN GOD BE ANY PLAINER THAN THIS?

HIS KINGDOM IS IN HEAVEN AND IN THE EARTH... WE ARE THAT KINGDOM,FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITH MEN.

OF HIS KINGDOM THERE SHALL BE NO END.

PRETTY WELL SETTLES AND SEALS IT UP.SO LET THE SONSHINE.

GONNA GIVE THIS SITE TO MY SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GOD LOVIN DAUGHTER.I'M SURE THIS WILL PUT EVEN MORE FIRE IN HER BONES.FROM PERSECUTION TO RESPECT IN NINE MONTHS IN HER NEW HIGHSCHOOL.THE F.C.C.A.IS GROWING AND RELIGIOUS BARRIERS ARE COMING DOWN.I'M POSITIVE THIS SITE WILL ENCOURAGE THE WHOLE GROUP... NOT TO MENTION NEW AVENUES TO TO OPEN.

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN SUFFERETH VIOLENCE,AND THE VIOLENT TAKE IT BY FORCE!
REGENA ESTEP

Cindy Allen said...

Hello Ryan,

I always enjoy hearing how God leads you to spread the Gospel. I especially enjoyed hearing how well you were received by the kids at the football game. What you planted within them will continue to grow in them and cannot be stolen.

Believe it or not, I also enjoy hearing how and where powers and principalities manifest in the arenas of other Christians. When we can identify our boundaries through them, then we understand when to seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit in how to take back the gates of our city. He is always faithful to demonstrate how to take back the gates as long as we are forgiving towards those who do not manifest Christ. I truly believe that the favor you received with the kids that night came from your respect of authority. Powers and principalities serve Christ also and I believe that when the church understands this more fully, we will experience greater grace and favor in our cities - especially where gatekeepers unite.

Thanks for sharing your faith walk with us.

God bless,

Cindy Allen

jctruth1 said...

Ryan :)

We may not always understand why GOD wants us to shut our mouths and be quiet.

Yet, deep down i know that the HOLY SPIRIT is still working on each of those young people that were touched by HIM !

Those that were touched will be raised up by FATHER GOD to carry on the work and the ministry that you all started.

As far as the authority: the young people might not have understood why you all refused to "obey" their requests to stop.

We both know the principle in the WORD to submit to authority unless, it violates GOD's laws.

Pray for the authority's...

Pray for mercy for them for they will answer to GOD for their words and actions.

Wish I could be there and get this on film........but i can see it all in my mind's eyes and have tasted it when i was involved in street evangelism from 1979 to 1988 or so.

Blessings !
Michael in Colorado

Nikolaj said...

Hey Ryan,

this is amazing. Praise God!

Anonymous said...

The lame shall walk, the blind shall see and the demonized set free; but you my friend will know the deep joy that comes from serving the Living God as you revel in having a front row seat watching the Lord's hand at work.
Father, let your holy fire increase in your servants so that it overflows to others who desire to serve you.

CAROLYNMARTINEZ said...

PRAISE JESUS FOR YOUR STEP OUT FAITH. I WAS BORNED IN JESSUP GEORGIA IN 1945 AND WAS RAISED NEAR MY PENECOSTAL GRANDMOTHER THAT WAS BORN IN ATLANTA AND GREAT GRANDMOTHER.I AM IN CALIFORNIA AND HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN SINCE 1965 I AM NOW 60 YEARS OLD. AND CAME TO THE LORD THROUGH A HIGH SCOOL MINISTRY. PRAISE GOD FOR HIM WORKING THROUGH YOU.
KEEP IT UP. I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU.
IN HIS HOLY NAME
CAROLYN MARTINEZ

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I just read your testimony about the football game and i am so touched by all of your faith and excitement! the Lord is really moving everywhere and it is so good to hear your story. there is something going on in the Heavenlies, Lord let it happen to all of us! thank you for sharing. keep on keeping on!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading about "Revival at the Football Game".

I am a substitute teacher. Recently I asked my 9 year old grandson if he wanted me to come to his school.

He said, "Granny, don't mention anything about God. We are a different kind of school".

SO SAD!!!!

By the way, he is a new christian too.