I can’t recall the landscape of California ever so vibrant and full of life! It was truly breathtaking! The rain soaked hills glistened green with dashes of purple and orange from the wild flowers and left me with frequent expressions of “wow, this is amazing!” Once again the desert was full of life! What I was seeing in the natural was preparing me for what I was about to experience in the supernatural.
The trip to California included the Solvang Bike ride with some friends, dialogue on an up coming book on prayer, and speaking at a prison and attending a men’s retreat. My good friend Henry invited me to join him on the retreat Souly Business. A business associate of Henry’s had told him about the event and stated it was the best retreat he had ever experienced. Neither of us had ever heard of it, but decided to attend thinking the topics would be directed to businessmen, likely giving insights about living one’s faith in the real world, and perhaps we’d pick up some ideas for publishing the book.
Upon our arrival fellow believers warmly welcomed us and offered to carry our bags to the cabin. What was unusual about this retreat was that these men acted like they really wanted to be at this retreat, they had this joy about them. As we handed over our bags I noticed a group of men praying together with arms linked. As I scanned the surroundings and discerned the participants, as an introvert I wondered if this weekend’s events would be sweep me out of my comfort zone. I thought about returning to the car or taking a hike and getting lost. I mean, over the years I’ve attended many retreats and even led a fair share of them, but the way these men were acting and at the beginning of a retreat–well it was just not the norm.
As the 140 plus men introduced themselves eyes began to water and tears freely flowed, and this was before any speaker spoke! As the retreat continued “being swept out of my comfort zone” would be too mild of a statement, caught up in a tsunami would be a more adequate summary of the next few days as the small room we gathered in as strangers was changed to room filled with brothers in Christ.
It has taken me several weeks to process that amazing weekend. As I contemplated all that I had experienced in California I was drawn to several books on my bookshelf on revival as well as this text from 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
This well-known verse on revival in many ways is so similar to what Henry and I experienced at the Souly Business retreat. One of the deep works the Holy Spirit did in my heart was to reawaken my prayer for a world wide revival that will soon splash over the nations with the Father’s glory “as the waters cover the Earth” (Hab. 2:14). I believe our Abba Father is getting His children ready to be filled a new with the Holy Spirit to shout His glory out to a thirsty world dying in the desert. Recently a group of men got drenched with the Holy Spirit and it enlivened my spirit with Hope for what’s ahead.
Fifty days after Resurrection Sunday comes Pentecost, may our Good Father prepare His church once again for the rain of His Holy Spirit to pour down! Please pray with me into the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14 and expect the much needed rain to bring rivers of transformation.