I'm having a mini-holiday at Newcastle, staying with my mother-in-law.
This afternoon we went to the lovely Blacksmiths Beach where conditions were perfect. The water was warm, the air temperature was pleasant and there was no breeze.
The surf was coming in with steady waves about a metre high. Sets of about 6 or 7 waves were interspersed with periods of several minutes of quietness. Everything was perfect.
I was a little irritated by a small group of people in the surf who, every time a wave came, would come up with some swear word. I'm no prude, but really there was no need for that. The waves weren't at all scary. I ignored it and enjoyed the environment.
As I gazed out to sea, I noticed a line of foam approaching. The swearers did too because one of them said “The big one's coming!” and the Holy Spirit whispered in my spirit, “He's right.”
We waited with a sense of foreboding as the rogue wave approached. While bigger than the others at about 2 metres it wasn't anything our of the ordinary. It was right on low tide and a very calm beach so I knew that it was hardly a killer.
I took a few steps out to meet it and ducked under the surface, letting it pass harmlessly over my head.
There were a few more like that as the afternoon went on , but something had changed. There were no more expletives at every wave that came, not even the big ones. People seemed to be just as happy in the water, but there was a more respectful atmosphere.
There is a big wave of the Holy Spirit yet to come. I've seen a few waves since I've been a Christian- the charismatic movement, the “Third Wave” associated with the Vineyard movement and the Toronto Blessing are the most significant of these, But these are nothing to what is yet to come.
Here are some observations that I think the Lord would have us see:
1. Wisdom and positioning are vital. How we approach a wave and our position determine whether the wave is positive or destructive, You don't have to be spiritually strong to enjoy surfing, just observant and knowledgeable. If you know whether to swim with the wave, swim under or jump over it you will enjoy the experience, but to misjudge it can be dangerous.
I have seen people pursuing an experience of God get hurt, discouraged or arrogant. In every case their faith has been wrecked. From my earliest days of walking with the Lord I have had countless pastors, mentors, leaders etc urge me and my contemporaries to seek God not the gifts.
The wise man or woman of God will prepare for this coming wave, by seeking God, not just endlessly looking for the wave.
2. In the past, people have been hungry for the power of the presence of God, but lives have generally not been made more godly. The coming wave will have the power but the main focus will be on holiness. The big wave brought a change in people's speech and attitudes, and the coming wave of the Holy Spirit will being genuine awe and a holy reverence into the world. People who do not know Jesus will see Him revealed through acts of power and they will spontaneously change their behaviour and speech as a result, regardless of whether they immediately are saved or not.
We live in exciting times. We stand on the threshold of a powerful move of God which will soak through the church and the society, and which will radically change everyone it touches. We have seen nothing like this ever in the history of this nation.
The big one is coming!