Two Winds Blowing Against the Church

Some time ago a prophetic word gained wide acceptance, justly I think, that the Lord would send two strong winds upon the Church. The first was to be a wind of purification. those who received that word would be prepared to receive the second, but those who refused it would be blown away by the power of the second. Along with this word came many prophecies that the Lord would shake everything that could be shaken. The second wind was to be a wind of glory and power, in which the Lord would manifest Himself through many signs and miracles. Above all, it was to be a wind of the Lord's own presence, love and power.

I believe the first wind has been upon us for some time and is now increasing to a gale. The second is being released even in these days.

No one presumed to spell out precisely what the Lord meant to purge from us - though I suppose most of us thought we had some pretty good ideas - and not knowing was probably the Lord's wisdom at the time. But now that the intensity of it is upon us, I think it would be wise of us to identify at least some of the areas of purging, lest we hang on to what the Lord would shake, and suffer needlessly in the process.

Of course, the obvious is He is purging our character. We who minister inner healing have latched on to this prophecy with great gratitude - "At last! It's our time; no longer lonely scouts out ahead, trying to get an unwilling Church to listen, struggling to break through denial systems, but riding the very crest of what God is doing as He prepares His Church for the end time." This is true; more and more within the Church are waking up to the tasks of sanctification and transformation.

But the wind of purification of character only begins with the inner man. God also wants to strip us of pride and ambition, of fleshy zealousness and dead works. the hot desert winds of the Spirit are to burn away whatever in us would first respond to our needs, or great causes, or visions of service, or grandeur of doing something great for the Lord (see Jer 23, Ezek 13, Heb 6:1, and Jas 4:1-6). We are to be moved first by the present prompting of the Holy Spirit, from which flows our concern for needs, causes, visions, and take into submission our fleshly desires and ambitions to serve. God is crashing many servants and ministries against stone walls - frustration galore - to break and to make humble. The word? Let Him smash hopes and crush you. Stop deifying your struggles as being "opposed by the Devil because we're doing a great work," and let humiliation and frustration write into your heart the lessons of death to self the Lord intends. Only the dead shall rise to stand in the second wind (Gal 2:20 and 5:24).

God wants to resurrect a dogged steadfastness from the ashes of our burning. He wants a people upon whom He can depend, who will not grow weary of well-doing- which translates to constant, daily, momentary death of self to do only His will. He wants a people who will not stop to congratulate themselves because they're doing pretty well, and then let down to do their own thing. He wants dead soldiers who know their only life is to live His character, no matter what the cost. the Lord has allowed me to share only the smallest fraction of His grief over the many whose character is flaccid, whose lack of morality drives more nails in His hands, whose emotions are undisciplined and self-indulgent. However, the little He has let me carry has almost crushed my heart with His grief. God wants a people who utterly refuse to disgrace His name (see Prov. 23:15,16, 24-28). His purging is His search to find those who will stand and not disgrace the second wind.

The first wind is to purge us from spiritual hubris, that pride of caste that claims our church has more truth than any other. More and more, as the second wind increases, the Father wants to answer His Son's prayer in John 17 for unity, until we move from the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4:3) to the unity of the faith (vs.13).God wants His first wind to blow down every dividing wall until- even if we are sure our doctrines are more right than our brother's-we know all the way through our hearts that love and mercy call us to work hand in hand, unafraid of defilement, sure of God's will for unity. The judgement will be simple: for those whose love id for pharisaic "rightness" more than for the Lord and His people be wont even know there is a second wind, much less join in the happy chorus of the thousands who shall enjoy what God is doing. They will denounce the glorious banquet God will be serving as garbage, even as some do now.

The howl of the gale is now sounding the cry of God's Spirit for repentance and reconciliation. Right now the second wind has begun. The Lord Jesus Himself is coming back to His Church, recalling His people to first love. In all my years since being Spirit-baptised in 1958, I have never been so filled with love from and to the Lord. His love floods over me-in quiet times, worship services, times of ministry, in unlooked for moments, like just driving down the street, or standing in the shower, or between bites at the table. The result has been indescribable blessing-but also I have never before walked continually under such a sense of unworthiness and sinfulness-I understand why Peter cried out, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8). When we act on our own, even when trying to repent and working to bring reconciliation, these are nothing but dead works, leading only to the pride of striving. However, reconciliation and repentance happen naturally and easily when God's love overflows the heart.

The heart wafted by the second wind hungers for reconciliation-between self and others, individuals, groups, tribes and nations. It drifts naturally into intercession, mediation and forgiveness. Jesus' love has become so precious one can't stand any unforgiveness that might block its renewing flow.

The wind of purification can only complete it's work as the wind of His love makes it possible. But those who have not set their sails to catch the wind of His purification won't catch the wind of His fullness.

Finally, to many of us the combination of the two winds has been revealing we have thought we were Spirit-filled when in truth we've only contained a trickle! We've used that term "Holy Spirit filled" for so long we've too often come to believe what we've said. An earlier saint of this century, Rufus Mosely, used to say in his country vernacular, "He who thinks he's arrived ain't likely t' git there." I've come to see there is so much more to being filled with His Spirit than we've had any inkling of. The coming fullness of the second wind is for that purpose, to fill the Church. We shall see the Shekinah glory return upon the Church (see Isaiah 4:2-6). We shall see the baptism of fire as in Acts 2- and, in the light of the wind of purification, see Malachi 3:1-7 and 4:1-3, as well.

But I believe we must all come to see there is a difference between believing on and about the Lord Jesus, as opposed to being "in Christ." Being in Christ is the consummation of the first wind that leads into the second. Being in Christ requires death to all that we are. It's one thing to have Christ in you-it's entirely another for us to be in Christ. Ponder this, friends. It is the gate in the road where the second wind will flow more and more. And what a blessing it will be-and already is.

John Sandford, Elijah House, Spokane, WA.

from StormHarvest

Undated word, posted February 2008