I want you to know who God really is, how great He is! When I was in my prison cell, I got to a point when I couldn't pray, I tried to praise Him, but my teeth were clenched because of my suffering and pain. Suddenly my heart opened and a miracle happened: it was as if Heaven had opened, the cell was filled with a brilliant light, all the angels of Heaven seemed to crowd into that cell, and I began to praise and worship the Lord. I got to my feet and began to run around that cell singing, "Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee, how great Thou art!" The glory of God filled my heart, changing me, the sadness and pain were gone! I was locked in a prison cell, yet I was in the presence of God, experiencing something greater than I had ever known before.
In Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus was asleep, a storm arose, so the disciples woke Him saying, 'Don't you care, we're going to die! It's the end of the world...' Jesus got up, bound the storm, the winds stopped, the boat was safe, nobody died. When these strong fishermen saw the demonstration of the power that this Man had over the elements, they said, 'What kind of Man do we have in the boat?' Just as Jesus was in the middle of that storm on Galilee, today, wherever, whenever there is a crisis, a tragedy, sickness, sin, fear or pain in your life, Jesus is always there!
What is 'reasonable service'? 'Reasonable service' is what the mechanic does to your car when it breaks down and you pay him to put it right, and only when it's fixed is it 'reasonable service'! Or you have somebody to clean, or paint, or build your house - but if what they do is only what they are paid for, they're not giving you anything. You pay for it, so it's 'reasonable service'. Christian, the Son of God gave His whole life for you on the cross - and your reasonable service is to give Him your life back in return. That is why the Apostle Paul wrote, 'I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service' (Romans 12:1, KJV).
We all accept the need of faith in our lives especially as without it we cannot be saved, but the kind of faith which moves mountains is different. It is a real gift (see the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12), but also it is demonstrably necessary to those who are called into service. It must be a vital part of our experience if we are to engage in spiritual warfare. The believer who has not yet moved a 'mountain', has not yet begun the real task of the ministry because Jesus went on to say that 'nothing is impossible'. I challenge you to begin to act in the power and the authority of your faith. So many times I have had to face the impossible and seen God move in power, and I challenge you to begin to do it yourself!
I want to speak especially to young pastors and church leaders: if you desire to serve God, give Him everything you have, don't hold anything back. God hasn't called you into a position of prominence, but has given you the responsibility of service. I want to challenge you, God is saying something very important: He wants you, He wants your life, your time, your family, your money; this is the calling upon your life, God wants everything. How much did God give for you? He gave His only Son so that you would be set free. Give your life back in return.
Through the prophet Joel, God says, 'I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh...' He goes on to talk about the first and the latter rain. I believe that the first rain fell 2000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost, and that today we are living in the days of the latter rain. As a young man I was determined I would have an experience with God that was incorruptible, that could not be destroyed, that would last until the appearing of Christ! In the late 1950s, I heard that the first World Pentecostal Conference in Jerusalem would be held on the Day of Pentecost, in May 1961. - I was determined to be there to receive a new baptism of fire! My Bible says that the church of God began in fire on the Day of Pentecost, and the church will end in fire when Christ returns! At the time I thought I hadn't received what I was looking for, but forty years later, I realised God had completely changed my life!
We need to be changed and transformed by the Holy Spirit. When I first travelled to Ukraine they used to get their milk delivered not in a carton, but in a large container on the back of a carriage. When the housewives saw the man in the street with the milk, they didn't take the first jug they saw in the kitchen which was half full of dirty water, no, they took out a clean empty jug. It is the same principle with the Holy Spirit. We need to be emptied of ourselves so that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit! Our prayer needs to be: 'Lord change me now, not in part but the whole, Jesus touch me once again, as Your Spirit flows over me.'
Exploits! Do we as Christians really understand what this means? Daniel says, 'In these evil days that are coming - the people who KNOW their God won't be weak! They won't be defeated! There'll be on FIRE! And they are going to do exploits!' Exploits are the things other people can't or don't do! If you're going to do an exploit, it's something that your friends don't do, something that even the Church doesn't do, something that other pastors, other evangelists don't do. It's going to be something bigger, more powerful!