Yom Tov, Friends:
Day-14 into my 21-day fast, I pause once again to share with friends some things I feel are worthy of meditation.
It was in the Summer of 1982 that I met the late Dennis Bennett, an Episcopal priest who is deemed within the annals of church history as “the father of the Charismatic Movement.” I was, from 1982 to 1984 privileged to have sat under his tutelage repeatedly, in the area of Inner Healing and Deliverance.
It was in 1960, that from the pulpit of his 2600-member congregation in Van Nuys California, he freely shared of he and his wife Rita having recently experienced an explosive baptism in the Holy Spirit, followed by an immediate experience with speaking in tongues and moving in the revelatory gifts. Shortly after this service in 1960, Dennis was excommunicated from the Episcopal Church.
Dennis and Rita would go on to write several Charismatic Christian classics including Nine O’Clock in the Morning, and The Holy Spirit and You.
Two of the countless things which Dennis shared with me remain with me foremost. The first is that of his repeated encouragement to approach Father God as “Pappa” or “Daddy,” and in doing so to picture ones’ self sitting on “Pappa” or “Daddy’s” lap. This was the greatest challenge for me of all, and one that I struggle with, still.
Dennis was onto something in this. It would be several years later that I would experience the object of Dennis’ goal, while I meditated in the Psalms, and while re-reading Psalm 131:2, which reads: “Surly I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me.”
It is this very picture, a picture of a child in the lap of a mother, which Dennis sought to impart to his students—a model for daily intimacy with Father God.
I would go on to submit myself to countless Inner Healing and Deliverance ministry models over many years, and ultimately begin to facilitate such for others; which is what I do now very often.
The second of the two things which are chief among that imparted to me by Dennis so long ago, is that which he whispered into my ear after teaching a 2-day seminar/mini-conference based in his book, The Holy Spirit and You. After sharing a truly heart-gripping message about the ways and means; the ebb and flow of the Holy Spirit; Dennis walked very softly over to me, leaned very close to me, and whispered in my ear: “The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, David. He will never force His way into your affairs. Rather, He will very gently, and very subtly, speak as a ‘still, small voice,’ so subtle that if you are not attuned to Him at the moment, you will completely miss Him.”
Thirty years have passed since that day with Dennis in 1982; one of many days spent with him over a period of a few years. And throughout the course of 3 decades I have callously ignored “the Gentlemen” on countless occasions. Granted, there equally has been many times when I have heard Him clearly, but far more in which I have chosen to ignore Him—to my dismal demise.
This is perhaps the fourth occasion in which I’ve fasted at this length since 1981. And with each experience I am reminded of how we are so much more keenly attuned to the “still, small voice” of the Holy Spirit, while fasting. I have long used an analogy of “spiritual antennae,” in that when we are not fasting, our antennae are often in the retracted position—barely picking up heavenly transmissions from day to day. Whereas as we fast, the antennae become fully protracted, and we receive a much clearer “signal,” not unlike the behavior of radio waves and a common radio (perhaps not so common anymore).
One of the more pressing issues addressed in prayer during my fast, is that of a neurological issue with which I have battled for 12 years; a condition which has equated to the trial of my life. It has been with fully protracted “antennae” that I have more clearly heard the sound of Y’shua’s voice—in the midst of my suffering.
I have been reminded in recent days of a fitting analogy within the dynamics of one emerging from a dark room—into bright sunshine. The initial shock to the eye pupils prompts many to cup their hands over their eyes momentarily. Conversely, as we fast, we grow so much more accustomed to the “light of life,” Y’shua Himself, that when we approach darkness we experience the same shock to our spiritual pupils. In this vein I have largely avoided national news for 14 days at this stage, as the deception behind such news; especially that related to activities within the White House; emanates so much deception that it is a shock to my spiritual eyes. I have rather opted to spend more time observing the spirit-realm—which is where our focus should be hereafter.
It was in 2005 that I released an article entitled, The Eagle Has Landed. Within the article, which was published by a few prophetic periodicals at the time, I spoke of a demonic assault upon the minds of the masses, in the form of audio-visual system-overload—a condition which spawns the perpetual hunger to have some form of audio-visual stimulation in front of the eyes and in the ears around the clock. I also spoke to the demonic assault of prescription drug programming—a programming which includes the diabolical connection between the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry, characterized by the alarming speed and precision with which millions of physicians write-out prescriptions within minutes of seeing a given patient; as well as the art with which the same number of physicians sell their patients on “lifestyle drugs”—drugs which are to be taken for life. Chief among these are psychotropic medications of all sorts—many of which physicians have tried to convince me to take as I battle the hideous effects of a neurological condition (Catastrophic Tinnitus).
But you must know, friends, that for 12 years I have denied the pharmaceutical industry such satisfaction. The pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar a year industry. And I have refrained from such programming for one reason—that I might more clearly hear from the Lord—for others.
To dissuade would-be antagonists; allow me to grant that for many you I understand your medication to be necessary. Do let that one rest, I implore you.
The race, in which we find ourselves as Believers, can be reduced to but two simple objectives: being Spirit-formed…and Spirit-led. It’s that simple. As we grow in our sensitivity to yield to both dynamics, all else meets with relative harmony—and peace.
I wish to thank each of you; friends who span the globe, and who are in varied places in your pilgrimages; for tarrying with my musings during this fast. This is the first time that I have felt compelled not only to share that I am fasting, but to share what I glean while doing so—so as to spawn a broad and renewed hunger for such (pun intended) among friends. For it is fasting and prayer, adopted as a lifestyle hereafter, that is going to enable us to fully navigate the turbulent waters before us as 2013 continues to unfold. Without such, we may very well “faint with fear” (Luke 21:26) over what is forthcoming about us. The United States that our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought-for, is quickly fading into memory.
A profoundly redemptive element of this alarming national metamorphosis however, is this: we are being called to supplant our national patriotism with a much larger allegiance—an allegiance to the Kingdom of God Universal.
As saddening as the fall of the U.S. is—a notion which is particularly painful for me as a Navy veteran—it must now be relegated to context in the light of a much larger mandate—that to expand the Kingdom of God on earth. Soon we will no longer look at the world about us as Americans, but as Believers. The “American Dream” must be replaced by the Apostle John’s dream of the “New Jerusalem” (in literal Israel)—a vision far exceeding our present narcissistic orbits.
This is our hour to shine like “a light upon a hill” (Isaiah 60:1), as we fix our gaze upon the Lamb from sunrise to sunset.
As you ponder what I’ve shared with you this evening, equally ponder the path you might take toward becoming further knitted into a congregation of Believers (whether that be in a formal setting in public, or an informal setting in a home). For it is the community of the Saints, a collective strength, which will sustain you as you continue to submit yourself to being Spirit-formed…and Spirit-led in the midst of the raging battle about us.