Fresh Fire Ministries
God wants us to be carriers of His glory and anointing moment by moment, hour by hour, and day by day! There is a momentum, like riding a wave; a momentum that comes in prayer, comes in the glory and in the anointing, that God wants us to abide in all the time.
But hang on. Before I speak further about this, let’s reflect on last week’s teaching. I want to emphasize that the personal testimonies I shared last week are just meant to provoke a hunger in you to want Jesus! The glory goes to Him! So I want to build from that foundation.
We discussed several points relating to these keys:
the importance of remembering God’s hand of intervention in our lives, and how remembering pushes us deeper into the Lord’s purposes.
it was my passion, hunger, and desperation for God that prepared the way for Jesus to literally step in to my world.
Jesus came to me after I purposed to worship and love on Him with all my heart, all that was within me.
this encounter with Jesus is something I will never, ever, forget and when I remember it, my love for Him is rekindled.
rekindling love is important to the Lord---Revelation 2:4, 5: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.”
GETTING INTO THE FLOW
Something changed the first time I said, “speaking in tongues, but I knew there was more.I want to know you!” It was like my went from ten to one hundred! Everything “ramped up” to the next level just because I invited the Holy Spirit to come. Yes, I was already baptized and
I remember years ago when God started to move on my life in power. In the beginning although I wanted to pray for an hour and wait on the Lord, it was more like me yelling in tongues or telling God all my junk and then praying for my friends or whatever else came up! After only ten minutes I had already run out of things to pray about, and I didn’t even know how to pray. In fact I didn’t know how to have intimacy with God. Ten minutes of prayer was like work. I needed to learn how to get into the flow and stay there. Yet, at that time, my attitude was like this: who wants to pray? But, I knew this---I wanted the manifest presence of God and I wanted to feel the Holy Spirit.
I remembered God’s word that if I would seek and search for Him with all my heart, He said I would find Him (Matt. 7:7). If I called upon the Lord, He would answer (Ps. 91:15). So I said, “God, I want to hear Your voice!” I was hungry for what I read in the Bible---the miracles, signs and wonders---the ministry of Jesus and all the good stuff that was spoken of in the Book of Acts. I was crying out to God for that.
Although I did not see miracles,happening in the church, I said, “God, I want that. I am hungry. I am undone. I don’t know how to get more of You, and I WANT MORE!” Have you ever been in that place where there is this aching inside and you want more but you don’t know how to get more? I remember thinking: God, it’s not fair for me to be this hungry because I can never get enough.
But in my desperation and hunger, the Lord did visit me! I would have these incredible times in the glory. I mean I couldn’t even get off the floor sometimes for hours and hours. I’d just lay there and shake. It would feel like electricity was going through my body. But, then all of a sudden, the visitation would stop and I would wonder why the Spirit had left me.
Well, I learned something. God never leaves, we do. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20b). Have you ever been in theand it’s so great you wonder why you would ever leave? Or when you are in the anointing you wonder why you ever left the last time. And then what’s more, you realize that you didn’t pray all week, or you left last time because your family needed you or a friend called. You know what I mean.
Something else I came to realize is that the biggest thing about connecting with the presence of God is learning to still the mind---learning to focus. Worship helps us focus. Have you ever felt a wave come in your own prayer life---maybe you wereor you were worshipping, you have some music playing, and you are praying in the very presence of God---when all of a sudden His presence just lifts. The minute we break that flow and that momentum, the wave is gone. Or it’s like God’s presence wanes. Boom. He was there and then He disappeared.
I’ve noticed that some of the time God’s presence lifts for no apparent reason. Here I am pressing in, God’s presence comes, and then all of a sudden, POOF, it’s gone. It’s like no more anointing. No more presence of God. No more feeling of the glory. So I just want to move on and do something else.
Yet, God never let me move on to do my own thing. Instead, He began to teach me how to stay in the flow of His Spirit.
RIDING THE WAVES OF GOD'S GLORY AND ANOINTING
One day I was pressing in maybe an hour soaking in God’s presence, and then it just lifted. So I got up and thought: You know what God, I want more. I’m going to press in again as if I didn’t even pray that last hour. I am going to pretend that hour didn’t even happen.
So I started praying as if I was just starting from the very beginning---put on the CD and started worshipping. Even though I’d already prayed an hour I began pressing in as if I’d not even prayed. Then God came! Boom! I stayed on the floor for an hour but then it was like God was gone again and so I thought: Where is God going?
My impression was that He wasn’t leaving completely but the intensity of that fire was gone. And then a revelation came to me. I got up and thought: How hungry am I? My challenge was this: Am I going to wait and press in for another wave and go deeper, or stop? I began to realize that God was moving the boundary. By that I mean, it was like He was saying: “Come on son. Hide, and go seek. Come on son. Come on a little bit deeper.” Well, that was it! I started chasing God!
I’ll never forget that first time when 12 hours went by ... pressing in, God would leave, I’d give chase, and God would come and catch me. I’d be like: ahhh ... God would leave, I’d chase Him again. He would come and catch me, and then He would leave and I’d chase Him again! We went back and forth for 12 hours until I got so deep I was thinking: I’m really out here in the heavens. I’d don’t know if I’m ever going to get back to earth!
Listen. When God’s manifest presence comes and then His presence wanes, what should we do? We wait for another wave. We press in for another wave and we stay hungry. That’s the secret that God taught me and that is the challenge for me and for you.
I did that for three months, four to twelve hours a day. God gave me such determination, and this brought results. Basically that’s my testimony concerning how our ministry was birthed---I got absolutely desperate for God; so hungry; and I said I’m going to go after the anointing. You see, there is this momentum that comes in prayer that enables us to ride the waves of God’s glory and anointing. A momentum that God wants each of us to abide in all the time.
I realized on the one hand that if I kept pursuing God everyday an incredible breakthrough would happen, but on the other hand, if I stopped (praying) for two or three days, it was hard to get back in the flow. Five days might go by with no real prayer, and I’d still be thinking that I was going to go back into the glory like I had the previous week. Not! I’d go back to prayer and it was the hardest thing to do. It was like starting all over again.
As a result, I took it seriously to continually build up “this place” in prayer and to keep pressing in for the anointing. For example, I would start feeling the presence of God and then the next day God’s presence would come in less time, perhaps only 20 minutes, and then the following day I’d’s presence after only about a minute. Then the next day it was like no effort---BOOM---there He is! The same for the next day---BOOM!
Listen. Cultivating and maintaining intimacy with God goes hand in hand with pursuing Him constantly. In fact, that’s the way we learn how to wait for the next wave and how we learn to press in deeper and ride the momentum of God’s glory and anointing. Look. If you get hungry enough to wait and you begin to pray and if the Spirit of God comes, that momentum will carry you through the night and the next day and it will carry you into the next week and the next month! As a matter of fact, when you get a grace and a momentum and a spark and a fire, you’ve got to ride the wave!
What’s more, you don’t have to stay in your prayer closet in order to ride God’s waves. You see, there is a wave in the anointing and when you hit the wave and experience the momentum, you’ll start moving in the anointing. For some, you’ll be getting out on the streets evangelizing. For others, you’ll start prophesying and your gift will get sharper and sharper. You’ll be hitting this “groove,” but you need to stay hungry for God to stay in the groove!
HOW HUNGRY ARE YOU?
I remember in 1998 I got so hungry and desperate. I just wanted God so I could feel His presence all the time. Around this time, man, I was crying out (sitting in my apartment), when all of a sudden a wind came out of heaven. I felt that wind come in and go out of my lungs. When that happened I was mute, I couldn’t even speak! Then I felt like this electricity and this warm oil, almost like honey. I began to feel this “atmosphere” (it was getting hot); it was manifesting off to my left, and I felt it come out of my kitchen. I can only describe it as a glory-liquid-honey-cloud. When it came out of my kitchen and started moving into my living room I was thinking it was like the cloud of glory, or the pillar of glory described in thethat Moses experienced (Ex. 24:15–18; Ex. 33:9).
I could feel it all over me and can best describe it this way. It was like swimming in warm, liquid honey. It was sticky. I had never felt the presence of the Lord like this before. When it moved into the living room, it got heavier and heavier---the weighted glory. Pretty soon I just fell out of my chair onto the carpet on my face, eating rug! I was just lying there and it was like this swirl around me, this oil, warm, and it was like electricity. It went on for two or three hours and then lifted. The wave was gone. I thought: Wow. That was awesome.
The next day when I was in my kitchen about to get a glass of juice little did I know another wave was coming! God was teaching me how to press in for all His waves, to learn how to wait for the next wave, and how to press in deeper and ride the momentum. Here’s what happened. I opened the refrigerator and pulled out the juice and suddenly a Person (not a presence), a Person, Jesus, stepped into my kitchen and I saw His feet under the fridge door.
Of course the juice stayed on the counter and the fridge door stayed open! I fell under the power and I started weeping at the feet of Jesus, taken in the spirit to the Garden of Gethsemane (that’s another story). But I was thinking: Something happened yesterday when the glory-liquid-honey-cloud came because today you know, it’s like the waves are just showing up at my house now. Boom. Boom. It’s like I am getting flooded here.
The wave continued. The next day I went into our baby’s room to pray, expecting to press in and do whatever it takes to come into God’s presence. I opened the door and stepped into the room, and then closed the door behind me. As I turned around to begin praying, Jesus was standing in the middle of the room! I just started weeping and weeping and I didn’t even get to prayer. He was already there waiting. This was true intimacy.
There were times when I would come home from work and run downstairs into my bedroom and most times God was already there waiting for me. Think about that now. I would go into my room and as soon as I went into my room I would start weeping. No effort whatsoever to worship pray press in, He was there. It was as if God was just excited about waiting for me.
Nevertheless, even after abiding in the glory and the anointing in encounters with the Lord like the ones I just described (as well as other encounters that time does not permit me to share in this teaching), all of a sudden Jesus would just leave. When this happened, that same question would come into my mind---“God where are you going?” And then I would hear that same answer from the Lord---“How hungry are you, Todd?”
That is God’s challenge to all of us today! There is a contagious holy provoking from God---“How hungry are you?” This holy confrontation drives me to be concerned that you have an encounter with God and that your heart cries: “God, I want to know You!”
THE REVIVAL SPIRIT
If I could give you anything it would be an impartation of holy hunger, desperation, anointing, and Holy Spirit presence. These four manifestations combined with the cry, “God I want to know You,” mark what it takes to release the raw spirit of revival. In fact, I believe there is that kind of revival spirit here today! That’s what this generation needs to catch!
You see, I got really hungry, and so can you! I said, “Holy Spirit I don’t know You in fellowship. I want to begin to talk to You, worship You, and be in Your presence!” Then after I started inviting that raw power of God, that’s how Fresh Fire, everything that we are today as a ministry was all born. And that raw power enabled me to boldly ask God to use me to save multitudes. Friends, in the last eight years we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of decisions for Christ in about thirty-five different countries. Only God knows the ripple effect!
When people ask me how this happened I tell them, “It’s really simple; I can’t take any credit. It’s God!” But also, the fact is, I wasn’t short on hunger, desperation and passion, and everyday I spent all that I had on Him. If you would go after that, spend all that you are on the Lord, everything else would just show up---those waves of God’s glory and anointing.
But remember, before we can actually ride those waves, we need to return to our first love, Jesus Christ. That’s why I shared some of my testimony in this teaching series, because I thought if this generation is really going to catch any of what God wants to release, I need to share what I did in the beginning. How we paid the price and how important it is to rekindle our first love for Jesus. Part of that is my own journey right now.
Quite recently I took half a year off, a Sabbatical. Actually God destroyed me and crushed me; for six months we just laid everything down. I lost all my desire, all my love, all my passion, and all my hunger. But God restored something in my heart. He said, “I want to bring you back, I want you to return to that true raw spirit of the revival.”
So friends, it’s time to have an encounter with God. Are you ready to stir yourself up and remember the grace from which you’ve fallen, and repent and go back to those first works? (Rev. 2:4). Back to those simple times? How many of you are challenged in your prayerlessness and the routine of what Christianity has become and you’re ready to say: “Soul, why have you become cast down?” (Ps. 42:5a, 11a).
Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to come. I just love being in His presence and seeing Him show up and mess people up. We get so polished sometimes, in such a routine. What if God came down and just wrecked our whole paradigm and shook us to the core? “Come, Holy Spirit, I invite you. Come into my life, everything. Shake me, visit me, and change me.” Just begin to pray now.
Jesus, we want to return to You, our first love! God, thank You for the invitation to run with You and to ride the waves of Your glory and anointing each day!
Would You stir our hearts with ravenous hunger so that we’re transformed into fiery lovers marked by a holy passion to see Your name and Your fame spread far and wide in the earth.
O Lord, without You we can do nothing. God, we are a desperate people. We need You and we cry out for that raw spirit of revival to break forth, to rock us to the depths of our being. And then Lord, send us out into the harvest fields, those fields that are white with lost souls waiting for Your powerful salvation. Let it come Lord, we pray. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.