The presence of God was prevailing. It was even manifested in the parking lot.
Our hospitality teams were serious about sharing God's love and grace with all who came.
A couple of the men took their role extremely seriously. They would remain at the back of the worship center, near the main entrance. Praying for all who attended, they would be alert to those whom God especially put on their heart. Those individuals would receive special prayer.
If that person left the worship celebration early, as occasionally happened, they would follow them to their car and engage them in conversation; hoping for an opportunity to share the gospel.
Several people were led to Christ standing in the parking lot next to their car; more than once, the person received a healing.
This amazing presence of God filled every worship celebration and Bible study for over 20 months. Dozens of people came to salvation and many with cancer were healed.
The question has often been asked, "What did you do to make such a move of God happen?" It is not an easy question to answer.
Truly, we had been seeking God earnestly for revival and spiritual awakening.
Yet, He caught us totally by surprise.
We had no warning or indication that on the first Sunday of October, 1983, that God would come in such glory and power. Neither do we know why the awesome presence began to lift after 20 months.
As I have reflected upon the events leading up to that first amazing day and the months that followed, Father has given me some important clues.
They are not spiritual secrets but spiritual principles often overlooked and often refused by those who find them too difficult or too demanding.
Here is the key to revival:
Waiting on the Father
"You will start every day waiting on me. You will not make a telephone call or meet with anyone until you have first met with me."
Those words rang loud and clear in my heart.
We were only days into a new church plant. I knew Father was giving clear and definite instruction for my schedule.
I tend to be a workaholic, and there are always calls to make, people to see, tasks to be completed. God was calling me to "the secret place of the Most High" as the first priority of my day and my work.
Early-morning devotions had been part of my daily schedule for many years.
Father was calling me to a new place in Him. I was to give additional time in waiting on Him and seeking His face. I had no idea what that would look like or what it would require.
I just knew Father wanted me to spend time with Him, waiting on Him.
It has become more than a biblical principle.
I have been privileged to experience a similar visitation of God for a season in 1992 and again in 2009. These experiences with God have not come without personal sacrifice.
Each time, I have wrestled with self and daily pressures. Each one has arrived after lengthy seasons spent waiting on Father.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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