Daily Devotional for Saturday October 25, 2008
Is it Biblical to Tell People You are Packing up the Power of God and Taking it City to City
(Colossians 2:18; 1 Corinthians 14:32)
***This past spring, word spread that there was a major revival happening in Lakeland, Florida. Being only 50 miles away, I had first hand knowledge of what transpired in Lakeland. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I will share with you the 3 Devotionals I did on these Lakeland meetings that took a very sad turn at the end. As you will read, now that we know the whole story, God gave me very clear understanding what was taking place. Even in the first days of these meetings before the real hype began, I was able to share insight with those in the Liveprayer family so they weren't deceived. In these last days, the Bible tells us that there will be many signs and wonders done in the name of Jesus. These Devotionals will be very instructive in helping to give you discernment so you can spot true moves of God's Spirit, versus acts of the flesh.
--from May 16, 2008--
Is it Biblical to tell people you are packing up the power of God and taking it from city to city? I was flipping through the television stations in the early morning hours the other day. Sprinkled in between the infomercials for exercise equipment, diet pills, foreclosure real estate seminars, were several con men merchandising Christ. Men like Don Stewart and his magical green handkerchief, Peter Popoff and his vials of holy water, and Robert Tilton with his latest wife promising people great miracles if they would send him $1,000. How these men get up every morning and do what they do is beyond me.
As I watched some of their disgusting antics, promising people things men can't promise in order to make a few dollars, I was thinking that if I really wanted to make tens of millions of dollars, I would create one of these 30 minute infomercials where for $5,000 I would sell people the power of God. As a matter of fact, they would get God's power in a nice Louis Vuitton travel bag. The phones would never stop ringing as people would be calling in to buy the power of God.
Sadly, this is what is happening, minus the $5,000 price tag and the Louis Vuitton travel bag, at the "revival" meetings in Lakeland. Claims are being made about taking God's power (anointing) from Lakeland to other cities like it was a commodity men could control. My friend, the power of God is NOT for sale as Simon the Sorcerer found out in the Book of Acts, and it is not something for men to ration out like bottles of water. Let me share this insight with you today. If you are saved, have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you already have the power of God dwelling within you!!!
All who have been saved are indwelled with the Holy Spirit. That means ALL Believers have God's power within them. There is nothing Biblical about going to some meeting and getting someone else's anointing. I know that the glory of God used to be carried from one place to another in the Ark and that Elijah bestowed his power on Elisha, but these events happened in the Old Testament BEFORE the Holy Spirit indwelled men. Today, the power of God is available to ALL MEN. All you have to do is accept the Lord as your Savior and then call upon that power. This idea of taking some special anointing from one place to another is UNBIBLICAL and pure hype.
I wrote about these meetings in Lakeland after the first week to warn you about what was happening. Since that time, it has deteriorated into mostly hype and lots of spiritually dangerous practices. First of all, the vast majority of the people attending these meetings are not the lost from the surrounding community, but experience chasers from churches across the country seeking to be part of a move of God. Most nights, there is no message, the Gospel is not preached, it simply goes from praise and worship right into the "healing service." As I stated in my first Devotional on this, in the Bible signs and wonders followed the preaching of the Gospel.
Some of the spiritually dangerous practices at these meetings include an obsession with angels. We know from the Bible that angels are real, they do exist, but Paul often warned the Corinthians, the Galatians and the Colossians about angels who preached another Gospel and demanded attention. Being obsessed with angels can lead to deception. Don't forget, it was an angel of satan who visited Mohammed and gave him the inspiration for the false religion of Islam, and it was an angel of satan who visited Joseph Smith and gave him the inspiration for the Mormon cult!
Another spiritually dangerous part of these meetings in Lakeland are the strange and bizarre behavior by many of the people on stage, behavior that is encouraged by the ministers. Paul was very clear about things being done with discipline and in order. Listen, I have been in hundreds of meetings over the years and have seen some incredibly strange manifestations. Most people really have no clue the incredible powers that exist in the spiritual realm, both good and bad. However, so much of what is occurring in Lakeland is simply exuberance and euphoria and has very little to do with any sort of real change in people's hearts or lives.
I know those who are putting these meetings on have been hyping them as a great move of God and promoting a tour to other cites where people can get a taste of God's power. Let me share this with you. Real revival is not a bunch of church people flying to a city to be part of the latest hot experience. When real revival breaks out, yes there will be signs and wonders, yes people will be healed, yes miracles will happen, but that will all be secondary to the LOST PEOPLE GETTING SAVED! The lost, not the church, will be coming to these meetings to get saved, and if God chooses to do other things while they are there accepting the Lord it will be the icing on the cake.
Real revival won't be one man, one ministry, but a move of God's Spirit through dozens, hundreds, thousands of people who will be His conduit to bring people the message of Christ! The fact is, there has been a 105 month revival going on, right here at Liveprayer.com. Tens of millions of people around the world have been impacted for Christ since we began. Over 225,000 souls we know of have come to know Jesus as their Savior. We have prayed for over 70 million prayer requests. We have an archive of over 3.5 million praise reports documenting God's miracle working power. All of this has been possible because people like you have shared a Devotional with someone, encouraged people to come to the website, got people to watch the TV program, and the power of God touched them.
I love you and care about you so much. Don't worry, as tempting as it would be to go on late night TV and sell people the power of God in a Louis Vuitton travel bag, I'll stick to sharing the simple Truth of His Word and tell people that their only hope for this life and eternity is a relationship with Jesus Christ. The fact is, the power of God is available be to ALL who will come to know Jesus as their Savior by faith and tap into the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells them. You don't need to come to Lakeland, Florida, or this meeting, or that meeting, to experience the power of God. You can experienced His power right where you are at this moment.
Man can't heal you, man can't work the miracles you need in your life, only God can. I pray that this very moment you seek the Lord for the needs in your life today. If you need a financial miracle, healing in your body, your marriage restored, deliverance from some bondage, or anything else, call upon the name of the Lord right now, this very moment. He is your strength and your hope and is the One who will meet you at the very point of your need today. Please know that I will stand with you in prayer and believe God with you for your needs to be met..
GOD'S POWER IS AVAILABLE TO YOU TODAY, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE. CALL ON HIS NAME AND LET HIM TOUCH YOUR LIFE AND MEET YOUR NEEDS. AMEN!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller