Today is the last day of Jesus Culture Awakening in the Allstate Arena in the Chicago area. Next week Taylor Swift will be here. American Idol Live is coming soon. But from Wednesday at 2:00 until tonight, 15,000 of us, including I and two friends, are lifting up the name of Jesus. We’ve worshiped, attended to speakers, and rejoiced in the testimonies of God’s work around the world. Now, before breakfast in the hotel lobby restaurant, are some notes.
-Lou Engle, founder and director of The Call, the young adult prayer movement, (next meeting: 11-11-11 in Detroit) spoke on the sermon on the mount. Lou said we are meant to take Jesus seminal sermon seriously. He challenged the gathering–most younger than 30-to live lives “separated to the sermon.”
-Kim Walker-Smith, the lead singer of the Jesus Culture Band, spoke of long periods of waiting in God’s presence. Before she began a ministry of leading worship in the youth group at Bethel Church from which Jesus Culture has emerged, she felt God had asked her to “get to know My voice.” She wasn’t to offer her services as a singer. She was to wait upon the Lord. Many times, she waited without a sense of God’s presence. But she put in the time. And she learned to say to herself during those challenging hours, “One day I will live in the fruit of this moment.”
-Jesus Culture engages in what Vineyard people, after John Wimber, call “power evangelism.” They go to the streets, the plazas, and the stores to respectfully offer to pray for people. Sometimes not much happens. Sometimes people walk out of wheelchairs. That’s what happened to a young healing evangelist from Dallas whom we heard on a video. In the shoe aisle of a local big box store, after praying for a couple of other folks in wheelchairs without much effect, he, with some trepidation, offered to pray for another young man in a chair. “Sure, you can pray for me.” His legs were strapped to the chair and he wore a neck and back brace. Soon, though, he was standing and taking a few steps. The report continued with the announcer on the Jesus Culture stage exclaiming that this man, now healed, had later walked into a meeting.
We heard Reinhard Bonnke speak of a dead man in Africa, brought into the basement of where Bonnke was preaching, raised to life. We heard of the tattooed biker dude suffering from neck pain and migraines from a motorcycle accident, who exclaimed, after being prayed for, “I can think again. The headache is gone!” And many others.
His name is being lifted up all over the earth, and here in Chicago.
Jesus, we want to lift up your name in the earth. We want to be unsatisfied with normal life. We want to live a life through which your life can flow into the lost, the least, and the broken.