Conference to Confrontation
The term "Council of War" was coined a hundred years ago by William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. Once a year they would gather in England to strategize and pray how to more effectively impact unreached areas for Jesus Christ. 'People would flood the altars every where they went. "The power of God was wonderfully manifest in the meetings . . . people were frequently, struck down, overwhelmed with a sense of the presence and power of God." '
Their fervency for the gospel knew no bounds. They would then march through the streets beating hand held drums, waving banners, and passing out hand bills for their nightly revival meetings. Sometimes beaten and bruised they would assemble and the fire of God would fall and souls would be saved. 'General Booth's battle cry was "Go for souls and go for the worst." The worst of sinners were saved, saloons were closed and entire cities were shaken. 'At another time, two salvation Army workers set out to found a new work, only to meet with failure and opposition. Frustrated and tired they appealed to William Booth to close the rescue mission. General Booth sent back a telegram with two words on it, "TRY TEARS" They followed his advice and witnessed mighty revival...' When spit on during the Midlands tour, Booth encouraged his fellow soldiers, "Don't rub it off - it's a medal!" '
God is putting the fire of self sacrifice back into our hearts to preach the gospel with passion and fervency. Katherine Booth was once heard saying, "at least let them see the tears in your eyes when you tell them about the Master's love..." God is giving us tears again. Tears of compassion, tears of passion for the lost and perishing that flood our streets and cities. To be a "Salvation Army" once again beating the drum of the Father's heart through the streets of this country.
Revival is only a direct manifestation of the burning love of Jesus displayed in human hands and hearts. It is only an overflow of a church ablaze with the fervent passion of Jesus Christ. A passion that compelled Him past mobs and whips to hang on a tree. Once we are lit with this kind of love we will SEE revival and harvest! LET US BURN THEN! LET US BURN!
Later in William Booths ministry he came to the conclusion that the conference was no longer necessary, the formal gathering that produces nothing but more formality was turning into a dead tradition in itself. It was later recorded him saying, "There have been more than enough conferences, and congresses, and committees and deliberations. It is time to ACT! There is not a moment to lose! There cannot be any question to what we have to do. No more conferences! No more doubt! No more delay! Arise, ye children of the light, and buckle on the armor bright, and now prepare yourselves to fight, against the world and satan. We are called to be saints. We are called to be brothers and sisters of Jesus, to fight with Him, for Him, with every particle of strength we have to the last grasp. That is enough! No more conference!" (end of quote).
Again the Lord is pressing on the hearts of His leaders and ministers to take "conference" to a completely different level. From Conference to confrontation, as the church marches from the upperroom experience into the marketplaces of every city heralding a harvest and reformation. What is being reported in churches as revival and renewal, will be eclipsed by the awesome demonstration of what God is about to do on the streets. Like in the first century church these things will be common occurrences, "So they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed..." (Acts 5:15-16).
Revival will demand unity. In the normal church pace of program and predictability one does not feel any urgency to reach out and embrace a church across the street or city, the attitude is "we are doing our thing, and they are doing theirs, God bless'em..." But let the lost begin to press into our meeting houses by the thousands, let the sick begin to be lowered through the ceilings, let the beggars and vagabonds abandon thier "will work for food" signs and start to flood our sanctuaries, suddenly we will be like those in Luke 5:7, "They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and take hold with them. And they came and filled their boats..." When the net we have fashioned begins to break under the strain of harvest, we will surely then call out to one another for help at the cost of our own agendas! GOD GIVE US HARVEST! It is the only thing that will tear down the walls of religion once and for all.
The conferences we attend next year will not have the same format as they do this year. The time to just convene will be turned into a time to invade. We will be busy at more doing than we are hearing. Teams will be mobilized and released into targeted areas of the host cities. Reports will charge each night of the souls that were saved and the bodies healed. Prophetic conferences will become mass baptismals as hundreds receive Christ and water baptism. A week long conference will turn into months of training and equipping as the hundreds even thousands that got saved during that conference hunger and thirst for more. What started out as a week will explode into revival and harvest as the lost fill the auditoriums and church buildings. Until fields and parking lots become the norm for meetings and gatherings.
Get ready saints! The face of Christianity is about to be transfigured! What we saw in the mirror of the "perfect law of liberty" yesterday is not what we are going to see tomorrow! The old dry bones of the wilderness experience will have to lie there, we are crossing over into the Promised Land! We are about to possess the land the Lord has allotted us! The words of Joshua will ring through the camp of God once again, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5).
The church can not survive any longer on the old manna, the old experience. As they did in Joshua 5, we must begin to eat the fruit of Canaan and partake of the Lord's promises of revival and harvest. "Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land, and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year..." (Joshua 5:12). We must begin to hunger and desire a greater manifestation of His grace and power to impact our city and streets. A pat prayer will not suffice in this new millennium, God is looking for "DOERS OF THE WORD, NOT HEARERS ONLY." Warriors that will cross the Jordan of tradition and begin to radically possess the land. Leaders that will mobilize the troops and train them for battle and confrontation. Pastors that will dare to partner with other churches of different denominations and races for the gospel sake. That are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the sound that will carry us into the deep, "to take in a great catch..." This is the courage that will sustain the coming move of God. This is the heart attitude that will compel a generation of youth to "offer up their bodies as a living sacrifice..." Instead of on the altars of drugs and sex. Nothing less will move them. Nothing less will impact them. God give us a "Council of war" so that we may "please Him who has enlisted us as soldiers!" (2nd Timothy 2:4)