The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Charismatic movement, the 50th anniversary of the Messianic Jewish movement, and the 40th anniversary of the unified charismatic conference in Arrowhead stadium in 1977.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a notable increase in spiritual expectation for God to do something in our community. The International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC) just hosted the KAIROS gathering aimed at John 17 unity among the charismatic streams across the Church and a 3-day solemn assembly. Hunger and desire for a fresh outpouring of Holy Spirit activity continues to increase.
When the Holy Spirit was first poured out, people had gathered, expecting something to happen: Jesus had raised from the dead and over 500 people had a personal witness of his resurrection. Jesus had told people to gather and prepare for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4
Consequently, when the Holy Spirit did come with power on the day of Pentecost, people were ready and the rest is history.
In our day, there is growing expectation for another outpouring of the Holy Spirit both on a national level and within the IHOP-KC community. Numerous prophetic people believe another awakening is around the corner-perhaps a 3rd great awakening in our nation (when tens of thousands of people were swept into the kingdom of God and all of society was shaken).
The Holy Spirit came with wind, then fire, and finally with “exceedingly great joy” (where people thought those in the upper room were drunk with wine) at Pentecost. Some believe that the Holy Spirit is coming in the same ways-but the reverse order: The wine of the Holy Spirit followed by the fire of the Holy Spirit and finally the wind of the Holy Spirit.
While evangelism continues as a form of “actively waiting” for the Holy Spirit to come in increased measure, we must prepare for an increased outpouring of the Holy Spirit. An increased measure of the Holy Spirit makes evangelism exponentially easier- as in some cases, the fish are literally “jumping into the boat”. When the fire of Holy Spirit comes in much greater measure, will we be ready to evangelize and then help disciple many new followers of Jesus?