At the end of last year, as the House of Prayer closed its official doors for a season the Lord sent me to a church on Sydney’s north shore called, Catch the Fire. Catch the Fire is a global movement coming out of the Toronto blessing of 1994/5. The Lord said to me, “Go. Learn, love, serve, stand.” Carol Arnott spoke this past Sunday at church and Holy Spirit hovered over that room so tangibly.

Anointing is such a mystery to me – how God chooses to show up tangibly in a room in response to one particular person being there. And the interesting part is He shows up tangibly in a certain way for that certain person. Meaning, the character trait He expresses tangibly to the congregation differs from one anointed leader to another (or at least does so in my experience to this point).

The character trait of Holy Spirit that came with Carol was peace and rest. I stood receiving a long drink of refreshment for many minutes in that still, joyful presence. It was like leaning back into the arms of one you know is so much stronger and bigger than you and has your back no matter what. That’s what my heart experienced.

Many people were there – 150 or more. Most from different congregations around Sydney. The place was packed and almost the entire congregation lined up to be prayed for after Carol’s message. It was such an encouraging experience!

But whenever I attend a service or a conference like this I always come away with a deep, holy longing and hunger as well. I feel longing because I want to see the Aussie’s arise who will carry an anointing from the Lord that will change a nation. I feel hunger because I’m not content with the Holy Spirit moving so tangibly in only one service or at one conference. I’m longing for an overwhelming and ongoing outpouring. I feel the same longing when I hear about people travelling to IHOP, Bethel and Catch the Fire in the US and Canada to have an encounter with God. Why not here?

Throughout the Word it is clear that God looks for people to partner with in His plans for the earth. God chooses unexpected people to fulfil His plans. Think David, the youngest, despised son of a farmer, chosen to be king. Think Ruth, a woman of a despised people, chosen to be in the lineage of Jesus. Think Moses, a stuttering, washed up ex-prince, chosen to lead God’s people into the promised land.

1 Corinthians 1:26-28 says, “For you see your calling brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.”

And 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

God’s not looking for perfect people who have everything together. He’s looking for people with a yes in their heart and a will to do whatever He calls them to. Weak people, broken people, people who don’t seem to fit – He’s not looking at that. He’s looking for fiery love in our hearts.

John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” This is another way to put what I outlined above. To partner with the Lord in transforming this nation God’s looking for those have been pierced so deeply with love (for God and Australians) that they would give their lives for His will to be done here in Australia as it is in heaven.

Carol Arnott’s message this last Sunday was actually about God choosing the unexpected ones. She too was calling us in our nation and time to ask God for more. We can’t stop at the spiritual high of a conference (though they’re significant and an incredible time of encouragement, breakthrough and fuel for the journey). We’ve got to go on to set our lives and expectations for more – for not only an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in one city or region but a true great awakening of every soul – man, woman and child – and for a church filled a mile wide with people who are a mile deep in His love and truth. Surely, it’s in the Father’s heart for this in the coming decades.

I know I’m not alone in this holy longing. I know there are many of you out there in this city of Sydney and the cities of Australia and so I pray that this post would encourage you that you’re not alone as well as call others of you to the place of longing for the fullness of all God has in His heart to give. It is available, it is coming and He wants to work through ordinary people who would say yes.

Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Joel Ratcliffe

Leave a Reply