Does this ever get rich today!
I Corinthians 10: 2 says that the children of Israel were baptized into the cloud. Then later, in verse 11, it says that “all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
So what is the message for us? God put a cloud over the tabernacle – representing the cloud of His Glory. When the cloud lifted and started to move, the people were to move with it. When it stayed in a certain place, they were to stay in that plce. This is the way He guided them.
So how does that apply today?Let’s take a history detour. During the dark ages of the church, there was much corruption among the priesthood. The leaders tried to control their people by not allowing them to read the Word for themselves, and the priests presented a very skewed approach to God’s Word. Rituals and large sums of money were extracted from the people, who thought these were necessary to be saved.
Then one day, the revolutionary monk, Martin Luther, boldly nailed to the door of the church building his list of grievances against the corruption and error. The protestant movement was born, as the people learned that the “just are saved by faith, and not by works.”
Since that time, our Father has been restoring truths to His people. He restored the healing ministry, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the understanding of living by faith in Him. Each time He would restore a doctrine, there would be those who would run with it, and those who would resist. It’s human nature to want to get comfortable and think that we know it all.
Well, this is a manifestation of the “moving of the cloud.” Let me give you a concrete example. Starting in 1906 a major revival began that affected the whole world. On a tiny little street, in a small house in Los Angeles, the “Azusa Street Revival” broke out. This was led by a shy, black man named William Seymour. In fact, he was so shy he put a box in front of his face, and stuck his head in it when he talked.
Who would have thought that such an insignificant-seeming scenario could change the world, but it did! God’s cloud was on that place. This is what He was doing, and people streamed to that place from around the world to have a touch from God. People were receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, praying in tongues, and being healed.
All of the present-day spirit-filled denominations grew out of this revival. God was restoring His church to a place of power and wisdom. God’s cloud was there.
Interestingly, many main-line churches didn’t even know about that revival. They were satisfied and complacent, going through their routines. A little more than 70 years after Azusa Street I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and a whole new world opened up to me. When that happened, I was amazed that I had never heard of Azusa.
Today my prayer is that I want to be in on everything God does in the earth. When He is restoring His church and revealing new concepts, I want to know about it. I want to receive everything He has for His people. In other words, I want to be baptized into the cloud. When He moves, I want to move. When He stops, I want to do that also.
Dear Lord, let me hear Your voice, and lead me to Your cutting edge of revelation and ministry. I want to move with Your cloud.
If there is anything we learn here, it’s that there is no one too far gone for God to turn them around. We meet this man who “no one could tame.” The people of the Gadarenes tried to shackle and chain this wild man, and they couldn’t. He just stayed around the tombs crying out and cutting himself.
He is full of demons (2000 of them), and they cry out when they see Jesus. (My husband says sometimes that demons obey God quicker than Christians do. Demons have no choice; Christians have their free will). These demons know that they are in trouble when Jesus comes on the scene.
The end of the story is that Jesus casts all of the demons out and sends them into the swine, who rush into the sea and drown.
This man, with all of his history of violence and craziness is totally healed. The natives come to see him – sitting, fully clothed, and in his right mind. Such authority Jesus walked in!
Interestingly, the people are now afraid, not of the mad man, but of Jesus. They beg Him to leave the territory, and He does. Even today, there are some who are afraid of the workings of God. His power is here to heal and restore, but some don’t want to receive it.
I want all that He has, don’t you? And when I see people who are in desperate straits, I want to reach out to them and let them know that Jesus is their answer.
Nothing is impossible with God.