Well, I could add my thoughts to today’s title. . .but instead I will share with you what A.W. Tozer wrote. . .it’s amazing to see how his words written mid-twentieth century are so needed today. . .
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’
(Anticipation lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group)
Who remembers that song by Carly Simon? Guess I’m revealing my age; actually I don’t have to reveal my age–it shows naturally. But early this morning, I’m awake and filled with great anticipation, like a child on the way to Disney World. What is the cause of my great anticipation? I am leaving for Brentwood, Tennessee for another New Room Conference. This will be my third consecutive time. I don’t know how long this event has been happening. If I did, I’d probably kick myself in the butt for missing the earlier ones.
What is it? I’m so glad you asked me that question. It’s a time of inspired worship, spirit-filled preaching and teaching, and a time for Spiritual Renewal. Not all “conferences” I have attended over these past 44 years have filled me with anticipation. OK, OK, it’s closer to 99% of those conferences never filled me with anticipation. But this is different. I looked up synonyms for “anticipation” and there was a single word that leaped out at me from that list. It’s a word you seldom hear used unless you’re singing that great old hymn, Blessed Assurance, FORETASTE!
We don’t use that old word much anymore, but maybe we should. It means “a slight and partial experience, knowledge, or taste of something to come in the future”. You get that small taste, and you know, “Wow! This is just a sample, I can’t wait to get the full course!” This foretaste has been given a name at New Room–AWAKENING! I confess that my hope for the church in the U.S. before New Room was at an all time low; I mean the bottom of the cellar, ocean bottom low. But here….I was Elisha’s servant who had his eyes opened to the presence of Heaven’s Army!
We worship together, learn together and we have these things called “breakout sessions”. From a list of subjects we choose where we want to go. Last year was an especially powerful Epiphany for me. I can’t even remember which breakout session I had signed up for, but something (actually someONE) drew me into a different one on Travailing Prayer. I was like a puppy being drawn towards that treat.
I was taking notes right and left. At the end, now there was another Epiphany. The speaker asked that anyone who needed prayer to come and offer themselves to God. This preacher never hesitated. I went forward and stretched myself out on the floor. As I was praying I became aware of another presence. Someone was standing over me, and he was praying for me. He was praying in tongues FOR me (a new experience for me), but I wasn’t freaked out by it. In fact, I felt a calmness come over me. From time to time, he touched my shoulder as he prayed in tongues and I felt the most amazing coolness where he touched me and a profound calmness in my heart. Somehow, I sensed it was a prayer for preparation for what was ahead for me.
In the time that followed, I tried to figure out what God was trying to prepare me for. There were some moments that I thought I figured it out–but I was wrong. And now? I am still assured it was and IS a prayer for preparation–not just where I thought it would me. Through a tumultuous April, a time when I allowed hurt to consume me, I have finally learned that this prayer of preparation was for where I am right now.
I still don’t know all the details of what God is preparing me for here–but I know He’s Got This, and I am OK with that. Actually, better than OK. I am filled with anticipation! Unlike the anticipation of Carly Simon that was keeping her waiting–this anticipation is keeping me moving forward. I don’t know where it’s leading me, but I DO know that HE is both with me, and waiting for me as He reveals more and more of what He has for someone like me. Now here’s a testimony of grace and mercy.
Truthfully, I never anticipated that at 62 years old that God would have so much more for me–but HE anticipated it. And that moment of being prayed for in a language I could not understand has given me more confidence in God than I ever had before. Well, excuse me but my “foretaste” is beckoning me. Need to pack up and head out to God knows where–and I’m perfectly good with that.
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him. OH, and don’t miss the “foretaste” He has for you….
It’s not enough to know ABOUT God. I know about the atom, but that doesn’t make me a nuclear physicist. Sitting in a pew doesn’t turn you into a real Follower of Jesus anymore than sitting in the garage will turn you into a car. Come on folks, this isn’t rocket surgery! Get to know GOD, revealed in Scripture, and seen in perfect clarity through Jesus! And only Jesus!
OK, since God calls us to be a Kingdom of Priests (1 Peter 2:9) I ask you: Whose altar is it? Priests in the Old Testament served before the Altar of God, meaning God owned that altar. If the altar is yours then the Fire of Revival will never fall on it. The fire from Heaven didn’t fall on the altar of Jezebel’s priests because it wasn’t God’s altar. As long as we try to control the altar, God’s fire won’t fall on it!