I think my River Jordan experience started in Bethel – and I didn’t go there either! Neither was I in Toronto nor the Upper Room, but reports from these places all serve to ratchet up my spiritual expectations.
A couple of years ago some friends visited Seattle and encountered God in a way that was new to them and new on me. When they shared it I embraced it with my usual skepticism, and yet despite the cold water I poured on the embers they carried, a flame was kindled within me. Now, a flame carried back from Bethel, a flame that people have literally risked life and limb to bring home to us, is set to kindle the fuel that is our church, either that or die from lack of tinder - so get close and get close quick!
I think that flame is a frame of mind, a way of thinking, a revelation of the Holy Spirit. Right now I’m reading it in Bill Johnson’s book ‘When Heaven Invades Earth’ and I’m reading it in the hearts of those recently returned from Bethel. I’m sold on the theory expounded in the books and rooted in the Bible, and I’m amazed at the inconceivable stories of healings I both read and hear. Yes I want to get close and I want to catch fire but No, actually I don’t want to keep reading and hearing other people’s testimonies anymore - I want to live and write my own. It’s a personal decision for personal revival and if enough of us catch fire the whole church is set to go up, and then, God help us, the whole neighborhood.
I get so impatient. I’m not interested and then suddenly I want it all yesterday! For years a friend of mine has been prophetically insisting that I get baptized – the last thing I ever wanted - until now. Now, suddenly, I crave that open heaven where the Spirit of God is freely empowered to move within and through me. So early Sunday morning I’m going down to the river for an act that might look symbolic, though I pray is anything but – to be fully immersed in the Holy Spirit; and re-emerge into a church body where each and every limb is living, breathing and dripping the Spirit of God.