2 Challenges for Churches Still Playing Games

(Pexels/Thibault Trillet)

Editor's Note: This is part 2 of a two-part series. For part 1, click here.

When God moves powerfully and His undeniable, tangible presence, His anointing, His manifestation, hits you, and you can't stand, you are undone, you are wrecked, you are flowing with love and power, you can barely speak, you are shaking, groaning ... would you really suggest a demonic spirit is behind it?

And, another question: Who in the world wouldn't want God to encounter them like that? The answer: Only those who have not experienced God at that level or those who disbelieve that a supernatural, invisible God can manifest in people's lives.

God's glory is real! Millions of people have experienced it. Millions more have not. Tragically, many reject it. When asked to describe what it feels like to be overcome by the Holy Spirit, I received many replies. Here are some of them:

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I shrank to the ground on my knees with weeping, unable to stand. It was glorious, light and heavy all at the same time. My skin felt like fire, but it was beautiful.

It feels like I can't stop shaking ...

I felt like I went into a bubble. I could see but couldn't really hear or process what all was going on around me. I was speaking in tongues and had never felt so much love in all my life.

It's almost like a cool fire burning right in the center of me.

This weekend, at the APC Summit, I had my first fully immersive experience in the Spirit, where I was entirely consumed. It kind of felt like sleeping; however, from pictures and videos posted throughout the Summit, I was actually worshipipng and waving flags. I could hear the Father roaring inside of my head. It was the most amazing experience of my entire existence.

I was just recently baptized in the Holy Spirit, and I screamed and cried for an hour. It was one of the most supernatural experiences of my life!

After singing, praising and praying to the Lord for a good while, Holy Spirit overwhelmed me. The fiery weight of His presence felt like a sustained electrical jolt, like touching an electric fence, just without the pain. I had to pull off the road, lay my seat back and allow Him to do His work. His presence felt like it washed over me again and again. I have no idea how long I was there really but was never the same afterwards.

And I simply had to include the following testimony from Brittany. It's a bit long, but please read through it. It will absolutely rock you and drive you to tears of joy. It's true stories like this that keep me contending for freedom in people's lives. Wow!

The first service Saturday was nothing like I had ever experienced, I danced, sang, waved a flag and ran all over the sanctuary. The most unabandoned worship I had ever done! Then all of a sudden, as we are listening to our pastor become overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit, drunk on the Spirit, we started to laugh—everyone! I mean everyone was laughing!! It was said after crying, being sad and angry for so long that laughter was the best medicine. Guess what? It was!

Then we prayed and worshipped. A man named Jonathan came up to me, grabbed my hand and said, "That relationship that wasn't supposed to happen, you have to let it go." I had never once seen this man, talked to him; he did not know me and I did not know him! He was telling me what God wanted me to know! I crumbled to the floor and began to weep the tears that I had been holding onto for the fact that I was so ashamed that I had been in a relationship with a woman.

Saturday night now was yet again another beast all its own! Hearing prophetic words over our state and the state of Kentucky. Listening to women speak of their states and becoming on fire for revival in our area! Then came John Burton. He was the wake-up call I needed; yes, I've only been going to church for seven months; yes, my past had always been something I held onto; yes, I still have so much to learn. But I have learned so much from the short amount of time I listened to him. That's why I bought the master collection, because I want to fully submerge my life in Jesus. That's why I also took on John's challenge, and the next 30 days will be nothing but worship music, and I'm just cutting out TV altogether unless it is faith-based.

Now on to Saturday night. Once John was done speaking, he asked if there was anyone who hadn't been baptized in the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues. I hadn't. I went forward and honestly don't remember too much from it other than screaming and crying for an hour! It was the most intense, supernatural experience of my life! When I finally did semi-come to, I was so intoxicated with the Holy Spirit that I could barely walk, I felt weightless and when I began to think about my life before that moment it's like it's a blur. Like it really didn't happen, no anger, no sadness, no pain! I can think coherent thoughts, and I'm so excited to tell my testimony so I can help others went through similar things and know that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel I was living in!

Sunday morning comes, we pray, we worship, we lay on our faces, we dance, we kneel, we intercede, we pray for each other. We listened to yet another word from John and then we prayed, we worshipped, we lay on our faces, we danced, we kneeled, we interceded, we prayed for each other! You could tell that no one in the room wanted it to end. We had just spent the most amazing four days together in the presence of the Lord! Of course no one wanted it to end!

I figured up roughly 35 hours of worship, pray, given words, and interceding for me! It was the most exhausting, exciting, life changing, life-altering event of my life! I couldn't speak or barely move after it was over, but if I had been told I could have four more days, I would have jumped right in! There was also so much more, so much more happen. I wish everyone could experience this!

But now that it is over we had to go back to "normal" life right?! No! These past two days I have been just as on fire as it was this past weekend, we are forever changed! We are firebrands! And guess what?

The Summit never ends for firebrands! —Brittany

As we have a resounding "yes" in our spirits, as Brittany and so many others do, for anything and everything that God wants to do in and through us, we will be eager participants in the pursuit of revival. God's glory will overwhelm us. The above testimonies cannot be refuted.

The supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit will displace a tepid, natural church experience. Ichabod will be replaced by kabod. Freedom will reign. Fire will rage. Intercession will pierce atmospheres. Holiness will become a cherished gift.

With holiness in mind, I delivered a challenge during a powerful time of ministry at the altar this weekend in West Virginia:

  1. Listen to no music but anointed worship music for the next 30 days.
  2. Watch no media with foul language, coarse jesting, sexual jokes, nudity and so on for the next 30 days.

I believe a commitment to holiness like that can launch revival. Many would argue that such a commitment should be obvious for any lover of Jesus; however, it's extremely common for professing Christians to fill their lives with sitcoms, movies, YouTube videos, music and other media that is defiling, and they wonder why they aren't experiencing the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit.

No More Church Games

I burn with a critical message in this end-time season. There is no more time for church games. There is a desperate need for awakening and activation, and I desire to be a part of that. However, I have no desire to leave my family and travel to various churches if those churches aren't ready for the deposit I'm called to leave. I'm done with nice Sunday services where the people resist the depths, are reluctant to contend and they are more interested in getting out on time than allowing the Holy Spirit to brood over them. I'm done.

I address this awakening in my books, specifically The Coming Church. I encourage you to grab it. Even better, The Master Collection gets you all of my books, several e-books, over 100 audio teachings and more. Get equipped in fire!

I'm so glad I bought the whole collection of John Burton's books and audio recordings! They are blowing my mind! —Brittany

Pastors, train your people to groan in the Spirit. Turn Sundays into prayer meetings. Blaze the trail toward revival. A quick, shallow, predictable sermon just won't cut it. A service with a little worship and a nice prayer is laughable. Cultivate services where people never want to leave! Where are the revivalists? The intercessors?

I'm done with church as usual. I have no desire to minister in dead churches, unless they are ready for awakening. So, yes, I'll go where God says go. I'm thankful beyond words that a door opened to link arms with fiery zealots in West Virginia. "Normal church" is over, and I have no desire to come to your region to preach if you are still trying to prop up an old wineskin.

Where is my tribe? Where are the burning ones? I'm ready to find those pillars of revival fire and contend together for an outpouring. If you are hungry for this, get ready. God is about to blow up your church. If you'd like, book me, and I'll serve your church with passion.

John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored ten books, is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. A large and growing library of audio and video teachings, articles, books and other resources can be found on his website at www.burton.tv. John, his wife Amy and their five children live in Branson, Missouri.

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