I remember in college the first time I attended a symphony. My chemistry professor Dr. Katz gave us the opportunity to get bonus points, which she said I really needed, if we would attend the symphony which she was playing. We arrived at the symphony with the attitude you might have to get free points on a chemistry test from a source of great boredom. The musicians were all warming up at the same time which had a sound of chaos which fed into our restlessness. As the conductor came to the front of the individual melody of chaos, they shifted to strict form an attention bringing myself to much the same pose. I remember the first sound that came from this masterpiece written by some great composer such as Mozart or Beethoven that for the life of me I can not remember or probably would not have know at the time, resounded with such precision and beauty that I was captivated to the point of tears. From this point forward, I sat with anticipation and excitement at every crescendo and solo performance of different instruments as they pulled my very emotions. Dr. Katz was the smartest person I had ever met and even in her peculiar ways I never looked at her the same again. It was a sound that was more than I had ever heard which brought me to some sort of spiritual experience.
I have been blessed to have parents who were Pastors and open to change. It was this ability on their part that in the chaos of church life to always listen for the sound or symphony of heaven in the form of revival. From the glory days of the Laughing Revival with Rodney Howard Browne and some radical South Africans, to the powerful sound of the Toronto Blessing, from Lindel Cooley singing We Will Ride With You at the Brownsville Revival and last but not least the sound of my current tribe with Bill Johnson and the Kingdom Message, we were a part of all of these distinct sounds.
Even in our home town of Webb, Alabama, where there was a population of around 500, we became our own sound that drew many from all over the southeastern United States. Thousand were drawn to this little town with no traffic lights and only two stores that were competing gas stations directly across from each other. In just a few years, thousands would give their heart to Jesus, many would be delivered from the grip of satanic powers and other would be healed of cancer and various diseases and ailments.
Now I find myself in the midst of the most unique city I believe in the United States with what I believe looks more like heaven than the hell that has been portrayed all of my life. It is a beautiful compilation of every tribe and tongue from throughout the world seeking to live in this 7 mile by 7 mile peninsula once thought to be the place of great gold. I can't help but think of the scripture that the Desire of all nations has come to "The City". San Francisco has so many unique sounds, some that are pure and some that are defiled, but it seems to be more receptive to the "spirit realm" of any city I have visited. Could Revive have a sound that shakes a city? I believe so. I believe that Revive's significance is on the horizon and the Giants of San Francisco (not the baseball team) will fall at the sound of our praise.
Revelations 4:1 says "After these things I looked and behold a door was standing open in heaven. And the first voice I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying come up here and I will show you things that must take place after this." As I read this scripture I became excited like my experience at my first symphony that God is calling us to bring a sound to San Francisco.
1. Lets position ourselves for an open heaven.
The Bible speaks of an open heaven in many passages in the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament revealed Jacobs Ladder and this place called Bethel where Heaven touches earth. It opens up the Radiant One of Ezekiel. In the New Testament, we see from the very beginning the Holy Spirit descending on Son of Man like a dove and the open heaven with the revelation of the father. We see the heavens receive the Son of Man after His earthly triumph and the falling of the Holy Spirit on those gathered in the upper room where cloven tongues of fire and a new sound was birthed in tongues. Saul has this transformation encounter as the heavens open and God reveals himself opening his spiritual eyes to heaven. Stephen in his very death as he is martyred for the kingdom sees Jesus stand up in heavenly places. John, the Revelator, has the heavens open and a vision of things that happened and will come are given to ink and paper. What I have found about revival and open heavens is not profound but it is true...GOD BECOMES MORE REAL TO THOSE HE IS REVEALED. Will you intercede with me for an open heaven over our beautiful city? Will you join with me where our spiritual warfare against the dark realm of the enemy is militant but our warfare with the people is love? Lets become so hungry and desperate that the only thing we desire is for the heavens to open and God to be revealed to San Francisco.
2. Heaven has a creative, beautiful and life changing sound "like a trumpet speaking to us".
It's creative; the Word spoke the very world into existence. It was the Word, a sound, that was in the beginning; it was the Word that could calm seas; it was the Word that caused demons to leave; it was the Word that healed every disease; it was the Word that declared "Thy Kingdom Come on earth as it is in heaven. It was the Holy Spirit that came as the sound of a mighty rushing wind and filled the place with cloven tongues of fire and a new language from heaven. Our God is a creative and beautiful sound.
3. Revive has a significant sound for the city of San Francisco and "he will show us what things are to take place next."
He is calling us "up", calling us "higher", calling us to repentance (returning to the penthouse), calling us to the watch tower that Habakuk climbs to see what the Lord is saying. It's in these high places that as Psalms 42 declares when deep calls unto deep and the sound of His waterfalls, all of His waves have gone over us that we began to be changed into the instruments of Heaven. The Conductor covers us with His sound and we become in concert and unity with each other and heaven. The symphony of Heaven only takes place when we are continuously covered by His song. Our unique personal lives are significant instruments in this symphony of Heaven, a unified sound on earth.
Let one thing linger in your spirit today and that is this: "We are instruments of heaven created to resound the nature of our Heavenly Father over San Francisco." It is vital that we contend for an open heaven over our city and that we steward His presence in such a way that He is glorified and our city is saved.