John and Carol Arnott are the Founding Pastors and Presidents of Catch the Fire (formerly known as the Toronto...
"John, you’ve got gold on your face," Beni Johnson said as the Bethel team prayed for us. Little did she know, gold was already on my mind.
Earlier that night, Carol told me about a girl who came up to her after worship with tears flowing down her face. The Lord instructed her to give Carol her gold toned watch. "It's time," God whispered in Carol's ear.
"It's time for us to press in to intimacy with God."
As I preached that night about claiming the city for God, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me forget about the message of ‘gold’. I asked, "Who needs a dental miracle tonight?" People were miraculously given dental crowns! God wants to deal with the simplest situation as much as he deals with the impossible. God's glimmering presence did not end there. At 11:15 pm, when we were just about to close the meeting and move into fire tunnels, shouts erupted.
"It's the gold, it's the glory!" a person shouted.
I looked up, and the ceiling became radiant. It was like tiny little fire flies, explosively flickering their shimmering light. The cloud began to thicken in our midst with more golden flecks appearing. It burst and engulfed us with golden mist. People were trying to roll in it, grasping it and bathing in the glory.
“Lord, what does this mean?” I asked. God reminded me that the Bridegroom is coming. It's time for us to press in to intimacy with God. "We’re gearing everything we’re doing [in Bethel] for God's glory" Bill Johnson said. We continued to worship God with all our hearts in the midst of the Glory Cloud.
The next day we were with Russ and Jo Smith, Pastors of a Partners in Harvest Church in Victoria B.C. We were in a Victorian auditorium with rows of windows along the wall. Suddenly, a buck strutted up fearlessly and looked through the window. The buck stopped window-by-window, peering inside without missing a glance. Then it began approaching Carol. Despite the buck’s confident demeanor and obvious strength, love radiated from the gentleness in its eyes. He didn’t just stand there for seconds, but for a whole minute, just enough for God to tell Carol, "Look up stag in the Bible on your phone".
The result was Song of Solomon 2:9: "My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice." God made his presence known, but he would finish this message the next day.
"We must prepare and gear up everything for his glory."
We were in a wedding rehearsal the next day, and we were blessed by the couple’s passion for God. They wrote a special wedding invitation to God and the bridal party dedicated a special time for worship. We asked the Holy Spirit to come in the meeting. The glory fell and we were enveloped with divine love and joy. We also did an altar call and people experienced God. We prayed for the wedding party and God's presence rained down, flowing freely.
Again I asked, "God what does this mean?" He answered, telling me that Jesus is coming for his Bride.
Over the whole weekend, God was sending us a message, telling us to prepare for our Groom, Jesus. Like Bill Johnson and Bethel Church, we must prepare and gear up everything for his glory. We must be ready like a buck, with confidence and unwavering clarity of where we need to be: in God's presence. We are the wedding party!
Let's invite God's presence and make time to worship him. Man's golden age might have faded, but God's presence glitters eternally.