Healing Testimony! – Revival on the River

The following is an amazing testimony from Revival on the River that was sent to us a few weeks ago. I was just re-reading the testimony and thought it would be something great to share. God is still a God of miracles. With HIM nothing is impossible! We saw God do so many amazing things including the miracles you will read about below.

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“Last year at Revival on the River, a girl prayed with my mom for me and then the next day I had zero back pain.. that was amazing. This year’s Revival on the River, I got excited when Jessie Wilson started singing so my foot came out of my AFO. My mom went to find a worker or helper to ask if they had anymore of the wristbands they were throwing out. I really wanted one but I couldn’t walk down there in that large crowd. She then told the man about what happened to me with the brain aneurysm and stroke. The man said yes but before I get her one do you mind me praying for her. He came over to me with his girlfriend and his friend (they all 3 are apart of Teen Challenge). His friend and girlfriend were standing beside me praying and then he, Robert who my mom talked to was sitting below me, had his hands on my AFO and he was praying for healing in my left leg and in my arm. They all were so nice to me and I still talk to them on Facebook.

When he got through praying he went to get me the wristband and he threw in a Revival on the River T-Shirt also! After that we were getting ready to go home because my foot was hurting badly. When we started to leave this man reached his hand out and told me to come here. I didn’t know who it was but I knew he wouldn’t be a bad person so I went over to him and then recognized him. When I was in 5th grade I started going to church at Golden Acres. He was one of the people in charge of the youth. One day he had to be taken out in the ambulance and he never came back and I wondered why. He is in a wheelchair and there is always a constant pain for him from his waist up. He said that not a lot of people know whats wrong with him and he doesnt post it on Facebook because a few years ago a little 12 year old girl with blonde told him to never give up and she told him about her surviving a brain aneurysm and a stroke and even though its hard living with a disability, it proves that you are a fighter and you can do it. He just kept talkin about how I inspire him and that because of me and my words of encouragement made him not give up. That made me so happy to know that I helped him and inspire many. I was crying the whole time but Saturday morning, when I walked I no longer dragged my left foot, I was able to pick it up.

People say that prayer doesn’t work and that God isn’t real… Who saved me 7 years ago? How could on April 25, 2014 a lady pray with mom and then April 26 I had zero back pain. After I had back pain for a whole year I don’t think it would just stop, God stopped it. Just like April 24, 2015 A man prayed for me and and on April 25 I was able to pick my foot up instead of dragging it like I have had to do for 6 years no matter how many botox I have had. I have always dragged my leg because I couldn’t pick it up because it was paralyzed. Now I can use my leg because of God! “

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The Key to Revival

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Our greatest enemy as Christ followers is our pride and our self-sufficiency. As we follow Christ we are to follow His example of humility. We are also to follow His example in laying our lives down in exchange for His. As we follow Christ we trade a life of pride for a lifestyle of lowliness and humility.

“For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

The word contrite in the verse above comes from the hebrew word “daka” which means to be crushed. Through the prophet Isaiah God tells us in this verse about how He not only is in a high and exalted place (heaven) but that He is also drawn to those who are “daka” or crushed. In talking about Christ Isaiah also says in an earlier passage, “He was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). We see that Jesus chose to allow himself to be crushed for us. I believe that we are also called to lay down our own lives and allow our pride to be crushed before Him.

What I find so cool about this verse is that it comes with a really powerful promise about God’s nature. He tells us at the end of this verse that He will revive those who are humble and have allowed themselves to be crushed (those who are contrite). We have a promise in this verse of revival. The only condition of this promise is that we humble ourselves and crush our pride. As we do this in faith then God promises that our hearts and lives will be forever changed.

Revival comes in response to humble saints. Revival comes as God draws near to those who have crushed their pride and have come to Him in humility and brokenness. God longs to send revival and He is simply waiting for us to crush our pride and humble ourselves before Him!

The word revive in the verse above is used over 250 times in the old testament. It is the hebrew word “chayah” which means: to live, restored, revived, to be restored to life and to live prosperously. When God promised to revive us in response to our brokenness then He promised to bring us into a life where our soul is prosperous. This same hebrew word is used over and over again in the OT when talking about genealogies. For examples it is used a lot of times when talking about how someone “begot” another in a list of family lineages. It is a word that ultimately means to create life. When we pick up our cross and lay down our lives then God promises to birth something new inside of us. 

“Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves.” 2 Cor 5:14-15

God is looking for a generation who will humble themselves, seek His face, turn from their sin so that He can bring healing and restoration. He is looking for a generation who will become broken and humble sot hat He can birth something new inside of them. He longs for a humble church whom He can use to birth revival. If we want revival then we need to ask God for humility and brokenness. Revival is coming but only in response to our humility. Revival is coming as we crush our pride and choose to totally depend on our God. Humility is the KEY to revival in the Church. 

WWJD?

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I remember growing up in elementary and middle school when this really interesting fad hit the southeastern United States that involved these colorful bracelets with the letters “WWJD?” on them. In fact, when I first begin to see these bracelets on people I can distinctly remember pretending like I knew what the letters stood for before I really even had a clue. Maybe as I mention them you can also remember these bracelets. The interesting thing about these bracelets that I remember is how suddenly they became hugely popular in the community where I lived and how suddenly everyone not only had one but some people actually would wear 5 or more on a single arm. It was the cool thing to do and so of course I began to follow and got one or two of my own!

WWJD?The interesting thing about these bracelets that I distinctly remember is that over time people at my school that were not Christians and were not involved in church whatsoever suddenly began to wear the bracelets. It seemed as if everyone was asking this same question, “What Would Jesus Do?” I remember how the popularity of this bracelet seemed to be a huge success for the Christian community but now that I look back I wonder what impact it really even did make on our culture?

Last night I was reflecting about a friend of mine who was over at my house earlier this week and was doing some hilarious impressions of me and some of our other friends as we were all just hanging out. It was so funny when he began to do the impression of me because of how accurate he was in impersonating me. Everyone started bursting out laughing from the moment he started speaking because his voice and mannerisms suddenly resembled mine in such an astonishing way. My friend then told me something that really caught my attention. He said that he couldn’t do impressions of certain people because he had not really had time to watch them and study them.

I later realized that this is a really interesting fact that he demonstrated at my house. My friend taught me in this situation that we couldn’t represent or imitate something we are unfamiliar with! We must study and spend a lot of time with someone if we really plan to imitate them and act like them. In fact I have been around people that were so close in relationship that they could literally finish one another’s sentences! This is a demonstration of true intimacy and friendship.

peter pan peanut butterI want to offer one more example that I just thought of us well. Let’s pretend that someone you know really well has asked you to run to the grocery store for them and purchase something for them before you come to visit them. Imagine if that specific brand of whatever they wanted was out of stock. You would immediately know how this person would respond. For instance you may already know that if it is not “Peter Pan” peanut butter then you may as well not even purchase anything. You would then make a really well informed decision for them without even having to ask them. You wouldn’t even need to call them because you already know what decision they would have made. This is what true intimacy looks like! This is when you know that you really know someone well. You know them well when you can easily imitate and represent them!

Now I want to look back at the “WWJD?” bracelets that I originally brought up.  The whole point of these bracelets is to remind people to always ask the question wherever they are what Jesus might do in that situation. While I think that this question is of extreme importance in our everyday lives I want to suggest that there is a key ingredient that is necessary before this question can even be relevant. We must intimately know Jesus before we can ever assume or imitate what He might do in our everyday lives.

Do we really even know Jesus in such a way that we can easily do what He might do? Have we spent so much time with Him recently that we know how He talks and responds? Could we imitate his mannerisms to others without really even putting any thought to it? Have we spent so much time studying, reading and memorizing His word that we can quickly say what He might say in any situation that we find ourselves in? Do we even have a relationship with Him in such a way where we are qualified to answer this important question about what He might do in whatever situations we face on a daily basis? I think that these questions are some important ones for us all to look at and ask ourselves.

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Lastly, I want to say that I love the “WWJD?” bracelets and the question that they represent. I think that it is one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis as we live our daily lives. The amazing thing is that when we combine this question with a lifestyle of studying His word and practicing His presence then anything becomes possible! When we memorize His word and devote ourselves in the secret place of prayer then we have the opportunity to become so familiar with Christ that it becomes more and more easy to imitate Him in our everyday lives. In fact, I want to suggest that when we devote ourselves to living in intimate communion with Him that the question of what He might do becomes totally irrelevant because we just naturally begin to act how he might act and say what He might say.

We create a recipe for the supernatural to become natural as we begin to combine a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus and the question, “what He might do in our everyday situations?” When we combine these two things then suddenly people will begin to encounter Christ in us which is the only Hope that they truly have. People don’t need to encounter us or our weak impressions of who we think Jesus might be. They need to see Jesus in us in such a way that their lives are forever changed. These type of encounters only come through people who are truly abiding in an intimate relationship with Jesus.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

Learning Obedience through Fasting and Prayer

Rebellion was the first sin in the garden and it involved food. Adam and Eve were given commands from their inception and were given a single thing they were to abstain from. When they fell into sin by rebelling against God it caused a great chasm and separation between God and man. Since the fall of man God has been in the pursuit of bringing his created children back to himself while still respecting the free will that he gave them. This free will is what makes us so special in his sight.

Jesus came so that our rebellion from God which results in eternal separation could be forgiven. No matter how much good we do and how hard we try we can never do enough to cover up even the smallest sin we have ever committed. Rebellion is rebellion and the cost of rebellion is separation from God forever. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus paid that price that we could never pay back for our rebellion. He made a way for us to enter back into relationship with our Creator and Father!

When we choose to receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ we make a choice not only to just believe in Him but to also make Him Lord. We choose to believe in Him and also choose to change our old ways and learn to obey Him in every way. We gain salvation as a free gift that we do not earn. We gain the blessed and abundant life that comes along with salvation when we learn to live obedient to Christ as our King. We enter into His fullness as we set ourselves apart and learn to submit to Him.

Adam and Eve lived in perfect communion in the Garden of Eden because they were COMPLETELY submitted to God. They encountered complete peace, joy and abundance to the fullest in that place because they were completely obedient to Him in every way. In Christ, we also have the amazing opportunity to enter into this communion with God the more and more we subject ourselves to Him and all His ways. We do not subject ourselves to him because we are merely His slaves but rather because when we live a life of complete obedience we enter back into a place like the Garden of Eden with our Father God! Obedience makes our life a landing strip for God’s goodness and abundance while rebellion blocks these things from coming into our lives.

God can never bless rebellion so we must learn subjection and obedience to His son Jesus. Remember the two things that were involved in the fall: rebellion and food. When we fast we subject our flesh, which is full of rebellion and sin, to the Spirit of God. When we neglect our flesh we teach it obedience to the person of Christ Jesus. Just like rebellion was started in the eating of this fruit so is obedience injected into our lives through the abstaining of it. Just like a supernatural occurrence happened when they ate the fruit so is there a supernatural exchange when we choose to abstain from food and bring our souls into submission.

Fasting and prayer teaches our flesh to obey the Spirit of God and allows us to enter into the blessed abundance of intimacy with our Father in Heaven like there was once in the Garden. As we enter into the weakness of fasting it brings things to the surface that we would otherwise not see. It acts as a purifying agent that exposes our impurities and rebellion. As we begin to deal with these things we learn to subject ourselves to the will of our Father and are able to live more fully in the way He created us to live. Fasting is that which teaches our souls obedience and helps us to enter into the abundance that we were originally created to exist in!

Treasure Found

This past weekend we hosted an event called Take the City which happens monthly in the Columbus, GA area. Each month we take teams out all over this community to go and share the love of Christ with people in practical ways. This month we did a holiday outreach and got to bless some local quick-stop gas stations by cleaning there bathrooms, giving out candy canes and we sand them Christmas carols. It was amazing to see God move powerfully in these quick-stops as we loved people with no strings attached!

Before we left for our outreach we prayed and ask God to give us clues for people that we may encounter along the way. I had a list of things that lead me to believe that we were to go to this one particular gas station and that I would meet a woman that matched a description that God gave me.

After blessing the gas station we gathered our cleaning stuff and started to leave. As we left I noticed a red for truck right in front of the gas station. This caught my attention because I had written down “red ford truck” on my piece of paper. As we began to drive off I looked back towards the gas station and suddenly noticed a woman walking towards the gas station that matched my description. I jumped out of the car and went over to her filled with excitement.

I started to tell her that God had led me to this gas station and had shown me that I was going to meet a woman that matched her description. I told her that God thought she was so special that HE directed me straight to her to just tell her that He loves her SO much. She began to cry as I told her about how God had lead me to her and how much he cared. Her name was Ms Brenda Jones.

treasurehuntI showed her the “clues” I had written on paper and how she matched many of the things I had written down. One of the things I had written down was “neck” problems which she began to tell me that she had frequent issues with her neck. I then was able to pray for her and bless her.

Then before I left her friend walked up and said, “I need prayer!” So we both began to pray for her friend and she began to weep as God’s presence began to fill her with peace. In fact as we prayed the woman started to feel so overcome by God’s presence that she started to fall over and Ms Brenda had to hold her up. Then we all had a big group hug and we were all filled with joy at all that God had done in each of our lives in a matter of 10 minutes.

It was amazing to see how God lead me to these women and how much of a blessing it was for me to get to meet them. During this Holiday season as we celebrate Jesus begin to ask the Lord how you can be a blessing to those around you. Maybe God will give you clues of someone that needs a simple encouragement during the business of this season. Maybe He will direct you to bless someone by buying them their christmas gifts in the line at Walmart. It will be unforgettable to watch CHRISTmas joy released everywhere in the midst of a world that is in such great need of hope and joy.

Beliefs of Remarkably Productive People

This is an amazing guest post from a pastor from Columbus, GA that I have so much respect and honor for. I know that this post will be a huge blessing for you! 

2 Peter 1:5 – 8  (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

shutterstock_134044358Remarkable productive people, regardless of industry or profession, all share similar perspectives and beliefs.  Successful people act on beliefs that fuel success:  It is a fallacy for the Christian to take the equation of his diligence in the use of their time and energy out of the formula for victorious living.  Our desire for success should not interfere with a Christian’s faith.  Our faith should be married to our desire to be a blessing to the Kingdom of God.  God desires for us to be prosperous so that we can be a blessing to His Kingdom.  Far too many Christians live with a poverty mentality by their actions.  It is easy to call it faith and then settle for less than God intended for us.  Our faith should empower us to seek to be successful!  Know that success is a badge of honor to be offered to God.  It does little to speak of God’s grace in my life when I am broke, don’t tithe, can’t seem to pay bills or provide for the family or support those who serve on mission fields.  God’s grace should propel us to success that we can bless the Kingdom of God.  It is by the grace of God that we are able to succeed in life.  We give our best, but realize without God’s grace in our life it all is in vain and selfish gain.  Success for the Child of God is defined in grace.  Grace is the power to become all you can be and do all that you can do.  Grace is the fertile soil for success.  Grace should never be an excuse for failure or lack of provision for God’s purposes.

 

1. Time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.

Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way.  The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks.  Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity.  Tasks should only take as long as they need to take.  Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can.  Then use your “free” time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively.

Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.  Control the events of your life or time will control your life.  When you bring your highest priorities into agreement with the events of your life you will find a great amount of peace in your life.

2. The people around me are the people I chose.

Some people will drive you nuts. Some of your own family can be obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks.  Be honest enough to recognize people for who they are.  We chose the people we spend our time with for the most part.  If there are people around you that make you unhappy it’s not their fault. It’s your fault.  You drew them to you–and you let them remain.  You do not have to offend people or cast them aside, just don’t give your time and attention to people who drain you and restrain you.

Think about the type of people you want to associate with. Think about the individuals who inspire you.  Think about people you desire to serve. Think about the friends you want to have.  Don’t let friends pick you, you pick your friends who share your time and activity.  Ask God for wisdom to change you so you can attract successful people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues.

Dues aren’t paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution that God produces through you on a daily basis.  You have not prayed enough in the past, studied enough previously, or served enough before now.  No matter what God has done through you or what He accomplished with you in the past, you’re never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty and do the grunt work.  No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring.  Remarkably successful people never feel entitled–except to the fruits of their labor.  What we do is insignificant in comparison to what God does to make it acceptable and successful.  God just allows us to participate with Him in what He is doing.  When we give our time and effort to what God desires done, then our efforts have merit.  Never  boast of your time spent for activity if it does not bear God’s blessings of success upon it.

4. Experience is irrelevant. Accomplishments are everything.

You may have “20 years in the ministry.” Whoopee. It does not matter how long you’ve been doing what you do. Years of service indicate little to nothing; what does matter is our effectiveness in the ministry God has placed at our hands.  It matters little where you have been; how many struggles you’ve faced, how many heartaches you have suffered, … all that matters is if the grace of God has been able to use you for His glory.

Successful people don’t need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they’ve seen the hand of God do.  Success will be celebrated by those who appreciate you.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to me.

Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we.

Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, “My toy got broken…” instead of, “I broke my toy.”

They’ll say the economy tanked. They’ll say the market wasn’t ready. They’ll say their suppliers couldn’t keep up.  They’ll say it was the system, someone or something else.  And by distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their failures.  Occasionally something completely outside your control will cause you to fail.  Most of the time, it is we who have failed. And that’s okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times! Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. Often times God has to humble us through failure before we learn that it truly is His work and not ours.

Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.  Pray more, plan more, strategize more, learn more from successful individuals.

6. Volunteers always win.

Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more.

That’s great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships–to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.

Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to serve.  Successful people give of themselves.  They give to good causes, they give of their time and energy to good purposes.  Successful people step forward to create opportunities, they face challenges and discover solutions.  Remarkably successful people sprint forward with a spirit of faith.

7. If I am paid I will serve.

When you are driven by monetary motivation alone you are an island to yourself.  Do what God has called you to do and do it with excellence, knowing that the only true value is what God puts into the equation.   Going the extra mile is the norm for the Child of God.  Serving is our nature because Christ set the example.  Find what you enjoy doing most and give your best to make it successful.  Be willing to do more than is required and you will build a reputation that will be honorable.

8. Only the people who pay me have the right to tell me what to do.

Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-my-individuality self.   You may be that way on your own private time.  Servant-hood is a way of life, it is accepting your role of serving others with pleasure and gratitude.  People who pay you earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it–sometimes down to the last detail.  When you give beyond what is expected it builds character.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland.

Most everyone will say they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. The extra mile is such a lonely place.  What you do when no one is looking will speak louder than everything else that you do.  The extra mile is a place filled with opportunities.  Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research.  Don’t wait to be asked; offer.  Show diligence.  Accept the fact that you different, because God has redeemed you and given you a heart to serve others.  Your serving is an expression of your devotion to God.  Jesus set the benchmark, therefore strive for excellence.

 

Larry Biggers, Sr. Pastor

Northside Worship Center

Community Transformation Testimony – Take the City

Here in Columbus, GA we began doing outreach efforts consistently in 2013 all over the Tri-city area through an initiative called Take the City. In the beginning we would go sporadically from place to place each month and see some great things happen but we quickly realized that we needed to begin to plant ourselves in communities on a consistent basis to see the impact that we knew was possible. God led us to a neighborhood called Wilson Homes one month that summer and began to open up doors of relationships there like we had never seen before. We knew that God was leading us to key People of Peace who would help partner with us as we pour into this neighborhood. We decided then to stay in that neighborhood consistently and watch God move.Take the City outreach

Over time we began doing things on a weekly basis and watched God move powerfully. We would host activities for the children and have bible study each week in the activity center of the neighborhood. We saw people getting saved, healed and delivered each week as God began to move powerfully! It was amazing to see the momentum in this neighborhood as we partnered with People of Peace to see lasting change in their neighborhood.

Today we have a consistent Kids Club that happens each week. We are pouring into the children there and believe God is raising up a new generation of kids in that neighborhood. The kids know our team all by our first names and have grown to love everyone who has committed to serve there. The kids often go around the neighborhood with us during our outreaches to pray for the sick and share the Gospel. It’s amazing to see how God is using the kids to impact their own neighborhood for the glory of Jesus!

Take the City outreachWe also have a Living Free group that happens there in the community and are currently raising up the leaders from within that community who will continue to lead Living Free in that community under our guidance. It’s exciting to think of the day that we have empowered these community members in a way that we can move to another neighborhood and start to see God do the same things there! We are believing God for a multiplication of our efforts in these areas.

“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities” Isaiah 61:4

As we see the church rise up and join together in unity to reach the lost I believe we are going to begin to see our cities rebuilt, restored and renewed. Our goal is to go and help raise up people in broken and devastated communities who will rise up out of the ashes and be used by God to bring renewal to their community. We are all called to be those who take part in the rebuilding, restoring and renewal of cities as the Kingdom of God advances. As we depend on God, abide in His love and go to the lost we will truly put HOPE within reach and see God transform our cities and nations. 

Let me know if you would be interested in somehow partnering with this effort over the next year! We are always in need of people who are willing to donate supplies or finances to help us with these efforts.