Catch a Wave

I am in San Diego as I write this. Earlier this week I was walking on some cool windy beaches and spent some time watching surfers in their wetsuits. Not swimming weather in my opinion! However, allow me to use surfing as an analogy to capture the spirit of revival, beginning with a little more context. That morning I had been thinking about revival. As I was walking along the very windy beach in the blowing sand a song kept rising up in my spirit as I walked and I was quietly singing some lines from it. The song was Shine Jesus Shine by Graham Kendrick, the lyrics are well worth reading and the song one that draws us into worship. The part I was singing over and over was, “Shine, Jesus, shine. Fill this land with the Father’s glory.” It is a song about outpouring, filling and transformation. In a word, revival! The same day that I was walking and worshipping the winds were so strong that one of the major parks was closed due to trees being blown over. The weather report said they had last experienced winds like this in the 90’s. So back to surfing, starting with my observations.

The first observation is that surfers spend the vast majority of their time waiting and preparing. They are paddling while looking for the big wave. They are not casually resting on their boards; they are looking out at the waves in expectation and preparing for them. As the waves come rolling in, they need to time their paddling with the wave. If they start to paddle too soon, they miss they wave, if they start to paddle too late, they miss the wave. Once they catch the wave they need to quickly get on their board and balance. They then need to pay attention to the wave and ride it back and forth to maintain their place on it.

 Now to the revival application. Whether we think of revival as a move of the Spirit, wind from the Spirit or a variety of other perspectives, a wave is simply one example of something that moves powerfully that we can join with and be caught up in. Having studied revival over the years I see the wave application. I believe we need to both pray and prepare. Revivals in history were always preceded by prayer, preparation and expectation. At times people missed the moment (wave) because they didn’t like the package it came in. For example, it was said that the bloodline washed away the colour barrier at Asuza Street. Here the different ethnicities came together and worshipped, yet at that time in history some were offended at this integration and missed the wave. For others the wave was too wild and they missed it because they were offended by excesses.

The Toronto Blessing from the 1990’s is another example. I am confident there were spirits present leading people to do things that were not from the Holy Spirit. I am also confident that some people simply did things out of emotional immaturity or a desire for attention. I am however very confident that the Holy Spirit initiated and led the outpouring and people came from all over the world and were touched and transformed by the Spirit.  

If errors are our focus in a revival season, we will miss the big wave being offended by the little ones. Fleshly excesses have always accompanied moves of the Spirit. We navigate a move of the Spirit by focusing on the genuine and remaining humble. Scripture exhorts us to test all things and hold fast to the good.

21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.  1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NKJV)  

In conclusion, let us pray for revival, let us prepare our hearts and when we see the wave let us paddle out to meet it, join it and ride it while paying close attention to the Spirit to navigate what He is doing.

A further Application Addendum regarding Wind and the Spirit

Jesus said the following in likening the wind and the Spirit

8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 (NKJV)

We then have Acts 2.

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:1–2 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit at times reveals Himself through wind. I referenced the strong winds the day I was walking on the beach worshipping and praying. I had sand blown into both of my ears due to the wind. I mentioned the trees being blown over. When the wind is blowing over trees, things are being uprooted! If this represents a wind of the Spirit, is He wanting to uproot and remove things from our lives?

I had another experience with wind when we were in Scotland in June 2018. On June 12th we toured Edinburgh Castle and I saw the small room where King James VI of King James Bible fame, was born. On the 13th took the train out to Stirling Castle. We toured the castle, the Wallace Monument and looked into the Church of the Rude just outside the gates of Stirling Castle. That day Edinburgh Castle was closed and parts of Stirling and the Wallace Monument due to the strong winds. A guide informed us this was only the second time since the 1990’s that the castle had been closed.   

The significance of the city of Stirling is that it is where William Wallace first fought Edward I of England and liberated Scotland, where King James VI was raised, though he was born in Edinburgh Castle. It was also here that John Knox preached, shook a nation and also presided over King James VI’s baptism and coronation at the church of Rude.

I believe these winds I have referenced prophetically speak of a move of the Spirit that is coming that will blow back in old things that were spiritually significant, uproot and remove things that offend His heart and sweep the church into His purpose. In closing here is what Knox uttered on his deathbed. May we live likewise. “Whatever influenced me to utter whatever the Lord put into my mouth so boldly, and without respect of persons, was a reverential fear of my God, who called and of his grace appointed me to be a steward of divine mysteries, and a belief that he will demand an account of the manner in which I have discharged the trust committed to me, when I shall stand at last before his tribunal.”

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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