"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).
"I have yet many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own authority. But He will speak whatever He hears, and He will tell you things that are to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive from Me and will declare it to you" (John 16:12-14).
From the dictionary, we find the definition of the word trends to be "a general direction in which something is developing or changing." Synonyms include: "tendency, movement, drift, swing, shift, course, current, direction, progression, inclination and leaning." There are "trends" in the business world and the culture at large, but also in the church world as well. I am not referring to being "trendy" as an irrelevant fad that comes and goes in a flash. But rather, trends can include true authentic changes that occur over a period of time.
I remember so well being a co-laborer with my dear friend Mike Bickle and the impact of the seer-prophets, Bob Jones, Paul Cain and John Paul Jackson in Kansas City in the 1980s and '90s before the existence and prominence of IHOPKC. Mike often shared a Holy Spirit encounter he had in Egypt while in his 20s that rocked his world and still has rippling effects to this day. The voice of the Holy Spirit came to him, saying, "I will change the understanding and the expression of Christianity in one generation across the face of the earth." Those words altered Mike Bickle's perspective on the intent of the Holy Spirit and as a result, made major impact on scores of leaders' lives through those prophetic headlines. Here was the important takeaway—big-time change was coming!
Recent Trends in the Body of Christ
In recent times, in the global movements of the Holy Spirit, we have seen the emergence and progression of the cell church, the strategic importance of the nation of Israel, the igniting of the global prayer movement, the resurgence of sign and wonders, the rebirth of the prophetic gifting along with the new apostolic reformation and so much more. (For more on these themes, please see other previous related articles I composed on "Catching and Surviving Every Wave," "It's Time for the Convergence of the Ages," "5 Prophetic Insights for 2016," "The Fourth Great Wave of the Holy Spirit Has Begun" and others.)
With that in mind, what are some of the "trends" in the movement of the Holy Spirit at this time? Where is the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing? We each see in part and speak in part (1 Cor. 13:12). So this is not meant to be an all-inclusive look into this vast subject of "What the Holy Spirit Is Saying Today," but rather a glimpse from my vantage point into some of the trends of the Holy Spirit today.
1. There will be a love revolution. As I grew up I loved the song composed by Burt Bacharach and recorded by Dionne Warwick, "What the World Needs Now Is Love." In fact, I think God likes that song! After all, the statement of Jesus is recorded in John 13:35, "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another." Jesus has never changed His mind, original intent or future vision. He wants His followers to have an outstanding characteristic. It is called love.
With over 42 years of full-time ministry under my belt, let me speak plainly. We need a love revolution in the church. But I am encouraged as I see some highly gifted leaders like Mahesh Chavda, Heidi Baker, Shawn Bolz and others getting this message right. Paul the apostle stated in 1 Corinthians 14:1, "Let love be your aim." As we get our aim or sights adjusted in the prophetic and the supernatural movements, the Holy Spirit will have no problem in pouring out higher-level gifts. In fact, the book of Romans teaches us that faith works through love.
Let me share an abbreviated version of a significant dream from the Holy Spirit that recently shook me. I was sitting with various well-known leaders having a conversation about how to accomplish effective ministry and build networks or wineskins that would stand the test of time. I stated with some frustration, "My generation does it positionally and functionally, but the next generation wants it done relationally and organically."
In the dream, this roundtable of leaders were looking eagerly at me and waiting to hear what would come from my mouth next. Then I stated, "The Lord has a solution. He wants there to be a love revolution." The group in the dream responded by declaring, "Well, let's just do it the love way!" The leaders with whom I walk in Nashville, Tennessee, have a statement we often make, "We do it better together!" I am here to tell you a simple and yet profound new trend: Love will be our aim!
2. Carriers of God's glorious goodness. As recorded in Exodus 33:18-19, Moses lifted his heartfelt cry, "I pray You, show me Your glory!" And He said, "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you." I have loved this passage for many years, but like some of the rest of you, I never attached the two statements as one continuous thought. God's glory is demonstrated through lavish displays of His goodness.
Over the last decade, the Holy Spirit has been emphasizing the goodness of God. As many different leaders in recent years have stated, "The best-kept secret in the body of Christ is that God is in a good mood!" The revelation of God's goodness is breath taking. Yes, I am relearning that no matter what, God is good all the time. After all, Jesus brought us the good news. Acts 10:38 boldly declares, "Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil."
It is now time to turn the corner from, "Show me Your Glory" to "Let me be a carrier of Your glory!" This is the key to being naturally supernatural and supernaturally natural. We must turn the corner from having a self-seeking motivation towards an outward thrust with the goal of carrying His goodness to a lost world. This is a revelation we must walk out in real time. So let's turn our hearts toward another simple life-changing new trend: We will be carriers of God's goodness.
3. A generation of abandoned worshippers. Many of our largest and most significant gatherings in the body of Christ today are extravagant worship events held all around the world. Dare I say that the current move of the Holy Spirit centers around extravagant worship? Psalm 102:18 declares, "This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD."
When Jesus is lifted up and glorified we ascend the "hill of the Lord" (Ps. 24). When the presence of God saturates our abandoned worship, anything is possible in that atmosphere. Some refer to this as presence evangelism. Healings take place. Signs and wonders occur. The lost are convicted of sin. Often miracles occur without anyone laying hands on anyone. Who gets the credit when this happens?
As stated earlier, I live in Nashville, Tennessee, Music City U.S.A. A desire many of us carry is to see Music City be transformed into worship city to the world. I am encouraged by some of the changes taking place in my city and in various other locations around the globe. The church I presently attend, The Belonging, is seeing backsliders repent and the lost come to Christ on a regular basis. How? Why? Perhaps the keys are simple: Passion-filled worship followed by straightforward preaching of the Word and public invitations to receive Jesus Christ as Lord (not just Savior). And it works!
Stadiums across the nations of the Earth are being filled with worship and praise extravaganzas. God shows up and shows off when He is authentically the center of attention. We are shifting towards the beginning of yet another well-documented prophecy of the late Bob Jones, "The Greatest Show on Earth." So for my third and last new trend: A generation of abandoned worshippers is emerging.
These three keys or trends might be considered rather simple. Don't you just love it? That means they are obtainable by any group of honest God-seeking believers in any city of the earth. 1. Let love be your aim; 2. Be a carrier of God's goodness. 3. Abandon yourself in the passionate worship of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Change is coming. Change is upon us. The understanding and expression of Christianity is changing across the face of the earth.
For the original article, visit encountersnetwork.com.
Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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