Last week he was again involved as a translator in the There is More conference. The Evangelisch Werkverband (renewal movement in the PKN) had invited Randy Clark for these days of renewal for the second time. In addition to Randy, Calvinist Sam Storms was asked to speak this time.
The first edition of There is More was already historic because of the unique mix between traditional and evangelical church leaders. But it was also a special experience for myself. In addition to beautiful teaching and beautiful stories, there was visible power of the Spirit at work. During a sermon by Randy Clark, I was overcome with a huge heavenly fit of laughter. Just like that. I sat in the front row, roaring, as hundreds of conference attendees listened intently to Randy’s teaching. In fact, the laughing got so bad that I slid off my chair and continued on the floor.
As I sat on the ground screaming, God started talking to me. He spoke to me lovingly but sternly. God reminded me of the times I had judged people based on the expressions and manifestations I saw. I had often labeled those events as human work and attention seeking. I defended myself by saying that it is true that people sometimes let themselves go and initiate things themselves and that as a leader I have to keep an eye on that. “That’s right,” God said, “but you still shouldn’t condemn them.” When I write it down again now, tears run down my face because it was such a moving conversation.
Do I have Biblical grounds for such an experience? Few! Perhaps Psalm 2, in which God himself laughs, but otherwise the Biblical support for this is very thin. Fortunately, I know that God’s Word is exemplary and not exhaustive. It contains examples of how God’s power is manifested, but it is not a limiting checklist. God is greater than the Bible. My fit of laughter is not really described in it, but the fruit in my life is that I have become more in awe of Jesus and God’s love for people has increased.
Back to last week. Once again there was the special mix between education and experiences. Sam mainly took on the role of teacher. His strong speech on ‘the marriage between Word and Spirit’ was appreciated by everyone. Randy has told countless stories and examples about God’s miraculous power and the lack of miracles.
Once again I have had an experience to which I used to react with detachment. God’s Spirit gripped me so violently that I started to shake. When Randy touched me and said, “Electrocute him Lord,” I bounced a few feet and ended up sprawled on the ground. I lay there for over an hour. In that hour God showed me and reminded me so much that I woke up a different person.
I realize these are different stories. I agree. But I am more convinced than ever that God can intervene mightily and unusually, if we long for Him unconditionally and intensely. Each revival story describes peculiar and overwhelming events: Intense crying, lying motionless for hours, spontaneous laughter, rolling back and forth, being unable to move or suddenly falling.
Are we looking for those expressions? No, we seek God’s presence, more of His control over our lives and a mighty breakthrough in our country. And apparently God first wants to surprise our minds and eliminate our will. Because that creates more room for God’s Spirit to work. Would you like to join me in longing for ‘more of God’? May God overwhelm you so that you lose control and He gains it more than ever? I say yes!!
PS In 10 days I will be on a plane to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I get to shadow Randy Clark for 2 weeks during healing services and conferences. Will you pray that I will be gripped even more than ever by the God who is far beyond me?