“This is what happens when God shows up!” This a quote from a powerful movie Patty and I went to the other night called “Woodland.” If I had the money I would send everyone I know to check it out. Yes, I loved it because it was based on a true story about a football team in Birmingham, Alabama in 1973, and featured an unexpected high school athlete, Tony Nathan. But the movie is so much more than awesome football action; it is the amazing story of the reaction to when the Holy Spirit unexpectantly brings revival to a team, a racially divided school ready to close down, and to a hurting community.
Hollywood could never have created a script like the one you encounter in this movie. Only God could get the credit for bringing an uninvited chaplain to speak to football team at a school filled with hate. This courageous man preached the simple Gospel, shared about forgiveness, and guess what? It spread like wild fire and brought Heavens love to heal and break down demonic strongholds. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when a prayer service broke out in the gym that lasted for 3 days. It was powerful, authentic and unscripted! Many were brought to faith in Jesus by the powerful move of the Holy Spirit.
“Woodlawn” brought me back to my childhood days in the early 70’s where each Sunday I watched people commit their lives to Christ. It was not at all surprising for a Sunday night service to go on for 2 to 3 hours, and the truth was that no one wanted to leave. Even as a young boy I sensed something miraculous. Truly the preaching of the Word came with Heaven’s power and for a season that church was filled with a powerful transforming love.
Maybe that is why I continue to daily pray for another Great Outpouring in our day. Only an invasion of Heaven can heal the deep wounds in hearts, families, churches, our nation and the world. What are the answers for global terrorism, demonic racism, the god’s of materialism and greed, and religious systems that are man centered? Will our political system fix it? How about a better educational program? Maybe throwing more money at the problems or having perfectly constructed worship services? Are these the answers to heal all life’s social ills? No, I believe there is only “One Way,” that slogan that was used in the Jesus Movement in the 70’s. How we need Heaven’s love to visit us once again, a fresh revelation of the Father’s love through His Son made real by the Holy Spirit.
Go see the movie, take your family and friends, and have a good talk afterwards. May this movie challenge you to pray, to be bold, and believe in a day where we can say, “This is what happens when God shows up!”
“LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.”