“Rise Up Oh Army of God!” was written June 27 of 2012.
I was walking back to my car after work, thinking on the amazing journey of prayer I have been on over the past few months and the amazing things I was starting to experience. I said to Jesus, “I may be crazy, but it’s the best kind of crazy!”
That was the conclusion I reached after thinking on the changes taking place in my life and the new relationship with Jesus I was developing. I had been a little concerned about myself because I seemed to have become pretty radical in my prayer life and walk with God. I just didn’t know what to think of it because it was so different than ever before!
I had done everything in my power before my daughter graduated from Bible college to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost at her commencement. It had occurred to me that her graduation ceremony could be the “perfect storm”. It had everything going for it! It would have a church full of powerful believers, Rev. Lee Stoneking preaching and my family present! I was determined to knock and push at the gates of heaven until Jesus just could NOT say no to an outpouring of His Spirit and I was NOT disappointed! I went home from graduation weekend with a very grateful heart.
Rev. Stoneking preached a message that day that I couldn’t get out of my head. He preached from Isaiah 35:1 “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” He told us about a man named Martin Buber, believed to be a modern prophet of the Jews who emphatically stated, speaking of Israel,
“We Know that the Bible is true! We Know the prophets spoke directly from God!. We Know that the desert will blossom as the rose! …But the Spirit moves SO slow! So we will do things that will MAKE the scriptures come to pass! We Know the Bible is true! We will MAKE the desert blossom as a rose! We will dig ditches, we will carry water, we will plant trees, we will plant all kinds of flora, and we will MAKE the desert blossom as a rose, we will Force as it were, the hand of God, We will do the things that will force His hand! Because His Word is true, we’ll Make it happen, we’ll Make this thing happen!”
Rev. Stoneking went on to say that if the Jews could make the scripture come to pass, what could he be doing with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and baptised in water in Jesus Name! After all, he knew who Jesus is and has the revelation of the Oneness of God! He’d been to water in Jesus Name and spoken in tongues when the Holy Ghost came! He said if we would preach the miraculous, signs, wonders and miracles, we will get exactly what we preach! He said, “In this place is a miracle, in this place is a miracle, it’s a miracle every time you come to church…we serve a living God, He is alive!”
“The tomb is empty, the cross is empty but the sanctuary is filled, my heart is filled, my life is filled, with the presence and power of the Living God!”
Rev. Stoneking went on to tell of a man in his church that came up to him after a glorious service where there had been two or three filled with the Holy Ghost and tongues and prophecy gone forth and said to him, “Br. Stoneking, I am sick of promises! I want to see some action!” He said, “You may think he was being disrespectful, but I don’t think so. I’m sick of promises, I want to see some action.” Rev. Stoneking then said, “I’m right with him. I want to see some action too! In fact, I am sick of Church, I’m sick of camp meetings, I’m sick of conferences, I’m sick of it all! And I’ll tell you why I’m sick of it, I don’t need another meeting, I’m sick of meetings, but when I get there, I want something to happen! and I can tell you the entirety of the United Pentecostal church is in that same state of mind! We are sick of promises, we want some action! We want something to happen! I want to know when I get to church, somebody’s going to be healed! Somebody’s going to be delivered! Something is going to happen, because it’s written where two or three are gathered together in His Name, there He is in the midst of them! Something is supposed to happen! Something is supposed to happen! Jesus is in this house! Anything can happen, anything can happen! Anything can happen here, because He is in this house!”
So he said to himself, “I’ll Make this thing happen!” “I’ll do the things that will Make this thing happen! Because Jesus said, If you go I will go with you! If you will lay hands on, I will heal! If you will preach it, I’ll back you! If you will pray, I will answer!” Then he went on to say that the trouble was, every time we come to church we start at zero, no matter how tremendous the service before was and that’s a bunch of nonsense! He said, “If you’ve got the Holy Ghost and He’s alive in you, you ought to come through those doors praising God! You ought to come through those doors worshipping God, EXPECTING something to happen!” He said if just one person “gets” it, it will change your whole church! It will change the whole assembly! It will change everything, if just ONE of you gets ahold of what I’m talking about!” “You are never going to build a building big enough to house what is coming. If you get signs, wonders and miracles going on in your church, you are never going to build a building big enough to house it, because people in this country are sick of religion but they’ve never seen anyone leap out of a wheelchair, they’ve never seen someone throw down crutches, that is the Jesus I preach! That’s the only Jesus I’m going to preach…if Jesus will use me He will use you!”
I took this home with me. I wanted it. Badly. I made up my mind that I was going to MAKE it happen! My prayer became radical! It became crazy! God crazy! Heaven crazy! And it hasn’t let up yet! I’m going to MAKE this thing happen! I’m going to FORCE the desert in me to blossom like a rose! Yes, this is the best kind of crazy!
One last thing before I call it a night. I remembered what Rev. Stoneking said about wanting to SEE something happen and I prayed. “Lord, cause your army of believers, just like me who took this truth home with them and were changed and made this a part of them; cause them to rise up and prepare themselves! Prepare themselves with prayer and fasting. Prayer that knocks at and shakes the gates of heaven! Prayer that calls the Holy Ghost down! Prayer that FORCES signs and miracles to follow! Prayer that causes that rolling, thundering river of the Holy Ghost to flow over the church and causes us to see something happen!
Oh, Jesus let your anointing fall!
Rise Up Oh Army of God! Prepare yourselves with prayer and fasting, and we will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!
1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
2. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
3. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.
4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.
5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
6. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
9. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
It’s time to pray.
Be sober, Be vigilant!