As we draw closer and closer to this great coming move of God, we can sometimes wonder what it is like when God SUDDENLY pours out His Spirit. There are those that have gone before us, in previous generations, who have experienced such events and movements of God’s Spirit. Charles Simpson, one of the leaders in the Charismatic Renewal Movement, is one of these. He recently sat down with Greg Lancaster and shared what it is like to suddenly be right in the middle of God pouring out His Spirit.
When talking about an outpouring of God’s Spirit, some have described it as an “explosion”. Imagine having all the needed ingredients all together in one place. All it takes is a single match and there will inevitably be an explosion. As Simpson explains, “it’s a dynamic that happens that you have no control over…it’s a wonderful explosion in some regards. But, there’s all kinds of debris in it too.” Simpson continues to explain how differently people perceive things when something is identified as a “movement”. “Once you identify, and you get identified, say, as a movement…once that happens, then anybody associated with the movement becomes you.” Simpson also highlights that it was not in his own doing to label something as a movement, but other people’s decision to do so.
Without this wisdom and life experience, we can become shocked, surprised, or even offended when the same type of situation happens in the next move of God. Simpson also shares about how people will misuse your name in association with anything they consider to be negative press. “You know, they’re not going to make a big deal about somebody’s name they hardly know that was abusive. But, it’s your fault, and then people out there will use your name to create their own thing.” This very reality happened to Jesus Christ and it also happened to Paul, who before coming to Christ, was Saul of Tarsus. In humility, Simpson openly shares that he has made mistakes, and how people continue to misuse your name. “People will use your name for good or bad, and, I’m not saying we never made any mistakes, we certainly did; but they tend to get magnified the further out you go.” It is these moments that highlight the magnitude of importance that we are all rightly related to godly authority. “There are people who never were under any authority that were trying to exercise authority, and that’s not right.”
An important truth to remember in these types of moments is that it is God moving, not ourselves. We should never feel compelled to defend ourselves, even if something is an outright lie. Simpson explains, “God has never let me run around defending myself. Well if you don’t let God defend you, you’re in trouble.” As Isaiah 50:8 reveals, “He who vindicates me is near.” As Simpson recounts his childhood memories from Louisiana, he recalls timeless wisdom that his father passed on to him, “don’t defend yourself. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it”. How very true that is.
In the midst of attacks and accusations, there are also great and mighty things that take place in a move of God. As Simpson has shared, he has witnessed and experienced many negative things, but he has also witnessed the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. “It’s a wonderful thing to have somebody tell you, ‘God used you to change my life’, and that was happening where people would come to one of us, or all of us, and say you know, ‘I was here, but now I’m here thank God’”. As Simpson continues to express the amount of testimonies that were never publicly announced, Greg shares a wonderful point that we must all remember. “Isn’t it amazing, the good things, which were like 98-99%, which was God moving, the glory of God, but people focus on the human frailties where things happen, like the sons of Sceva…you think about that much impact that America shifted in a positive light because of what God was doing, and you guys were a part of; it’s just a powerful thing.”
As Simpson recounts the many wonderful things that God was doing during the Charismatic Renewal Movement, he’s reminded about the urgency for America to experience another move of God’s presence. “I think America is gonna need another [revival] right away. We need to see God move. And I think in some places, He is moving, and He’s preparing the ground, perhaps all the political stuff that’s going on now will help encourage people to seek God.” Considering these realities, Simpson expresses his thoughts on the timing of the next move of God. “We’re due for a visitation from the Lord.” Our faith rises when we remember these wonders of the Lord in past generations knowing that God can do the same great and mighty works in our generation.
These truths are so deeply encouraging and can strengthen us in the days ahead. Be sure to see the whole conversation with Charles Simpson, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: 7 Sons of Sceva, The Jesus whom Paul preaches, Golden Meadow, Louisiana, Baptism of Holy Spirit, The Welsh Revival, The Hebrides Revival, Azusa Street Revival, Charles Seymour, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber.
Image courtesy of Storyblocks.com
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