“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.”
(Revelation 22:16-17, NIV)
I had the pleasure of watching the movie Jesus Revolution with my Sunday Funday group that I co-lead at Gateway Church. This movie is based on the true-life story of a man that was raised by a single mother who battled alcoholism and was married and divorced seven times. His name is Greg Laurie, who today is Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship based in Riverside, California. Greg Laurie was not raised in the church—he was not a Christian until he was 17 years old—when he had an encounter in 1970 with a hippie named Lonnie Frisbee. Lonnie was a catalyst of the Jesus movement in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s; a Christian movement which began in Newport Beach, California. He was a preacher to the hippies and helped spark the rise of Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel and Vineyard Movement that spread worldwide. Lonnie believed and preached on the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit and was sometimes harshly criticized for his beliefs by members of his own church. He believed in an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit to all who believe in and follow Jesus. Some of these abilities or “charismatic gifts” are: the gifts of healing, the gift of prophecy, the discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues. These gifts are given by the Holy Spirit to people with the purpose of building up the church; the body of Christ.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11, NIV)
I had a similar encounter when I was reborn in the Spirit in 2011. I was not led there by a hippie, but by a woman that I met amid my personal storms. I was homeless and lost everything after my second divorce. This woman’s faith and prayers planted a seed that caused me to thirst for the water of life, Jesus. It was when I was down on my knees crying out for help that He put out His hand and said, Follow Me. Like the woman at the well, in my despair, He introduced Himself and asked me if I was ready to surrender and submit to Him. In essence, he wanted me to surrender to Him my controlling spirit and trust Him in all areas of my life. I was a believer but, until that moment, I never heard Him speak to me. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” In 2011, I made the decision to not only believe, but to follow Him. It’s not been an easy decision—it comes with its share of challenges—but every morning since that day I wake up realizing I am not perfect, I am human and I am loved. I let go of fear, shame, guilt and all the other lying spirits that I had allowed to attach to me. This was my moment of truth when I realized that by being a follower—not just a believer—I can walk with Him and be in His presence daily.
By making this decision, I received the supernatural gifts of the Spirit that are promised to every follower of Christ. I use these gifts at the grocery store, at work, and when I am among non-believers. I want every person I encounter to see the love of Jesus within me. This is why the movie Jesus Revolution and all the other Jesus Movements are spreading like wildfire. The world needs the love, kindness, and humility of Jesus. In Jesus Revolution, Lonnie says there is an entire generation of people who are seeking God through drugs. Psychedelic spiritual experience is a lie that truth seekers are believing in their pursuit of God. Some truth seekers are searching for all the right things in all the wrong places. The only Truth—Jesus and the Word of God—is where you will find all the answers.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
(Romans 12:3-8, NIV)