Like a lot of people in the church world, I have been hearing about the revival in Lakeland, Florida.  For those of you who don’t know, there has been a strong move of God there for the last 90 days, with many stories of healing and salvation coming out of it.  People that I’m close to have urged me to go.  So, instead of heading home with the rest of our family after our trip to Universal Studios, my husband, younger daughter, and I booked another hotel and attended the Lakeland revival on Friday, July 4. 

I went expecting.  I’d heard of the strength of God’s presence.  The healing miracles.  The awesomeness of God in that place. 

I went expecting.  I expected to feel an incredible presence.  I fully expected to receive a healing from a condition I had recently been experiencing.  I went expecting.

When we arrived, I saw an above-ground pool that had been placed in the sanctuary.  I knew immediately that I would go forward to be baptized there.  We had arrived before the start of the televised portion of the service.  The front was full, but we easily found seats in the back.  We were encouraged by a man on the stage to pray.  His encouragement was quite fervent.  Almost like a pre-show warm up time.  It involved a lot of shouting and my younger daughter was quite distressed by it.  But, we settled in to pray and eventually the service began.

The praise and worship was great.  There was a freedom to worship there that I haven’t experienced in many years.  A freedom that I’ve really missed.  After a while, Todd Bentley came out and spoke.  He recounted stories of miracles.  Watching him, it was easy to see how sincere and open he was.  I don’t doubt that about him.  His enthusiasm was genuine.

I went forward to the baptism line.  I watched several people before me get baptised.  Some seemed profoundly affected.  I was ready.  As I stepped down into the pool, the first thing I realized was that the water was freezing.  I mean really freezing.  Todd Bentley asked me why I was there.  I told him for spiritual renewal and physical healing.  I went under. 

I got out and was helped down a slippery walkway where I was greeted at the end by a group of people praying.  The shaking and trembling I experienced was from the freezing water.  Other than that, I felt nothing profound. 

I did receive a word that was very much on target when I was prayed for in the back after the baptism.  It was about God helping me not to intellectualize or think so much.  Not to worry.  An appropriate scripture was given me about this. 

After I returned to my seat, we left.  Fortunately, I had towels in the car because it was an hour drive back to the motel.  I was cold and I was a little let down.  I knew that I had obeyed God by going forward, but I guess I expected a miracle.  Something immediate.  Dramatic would have been nice. 

It has been three days since I went.  A condition with my lymph nodes that had been bothering me has improved in a noticeable way.  A condition that was exacerbated by caffeine which I haven’t had for four days.  So, did the baptism heal me? 

No, I don’t think so.  But I did see into the past.  Remembered the freedom I’d experienced before.  The passion I felt in the past.  And, I began to pray for more of a revival in my heart.  Because ultimately, it isn’t about any particular evangelist, or any particular meeting, it is about the path I let my heart take.  It’s about expecting God to work in my life daily. 

So, I am expecting.  Expecting God to show up in my life.  To meet me wherever I am.  My own personal revival.

Isaiah 57:15

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 


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