[anzac] The TOWERS or the SHORELINE??

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 10:15:26 -0500
ANDREW STROM:  I would greatly appreciate your prayers, my
friends, as I minister in Europe over the next two weeks. This
weekend I will be in Switzerland, and will then spend the following
week in Southern France then Central France. Thankyou so much 
for your prayers.  God bless you all.  -Andrew Strom.

-by Terry Somerville.

I was thinking about a powerful encounter I had with the Holy Spirit 
back in 1988.  Even though I didn't understand the prophetic 
allegory at the time I set out to try to bring it to pass, BIG 
MISTAKE! As usual with these things, we don't understand what 
we think we do, we then blow it by doing what we shouldn't do, But 
God brings it about in spite of us, and years later we say "OH there 
it is".  (Did you get all that?)  Anyway, I've been having these "Oh
there it is" moments. I've shared bits of this before, but without 
going into detail, here's the story.

I was at a pastors meeting in Niagara Falls. Our denomination had 
decided to ordain homosexuals and many Spirit filled pastors 
were now wrestling over reforming the institution, or starting a new 
one. One evening the Lord called me down to the falls and used it 
as a prophetic illustration of His message to me.  I was walking 
just upriver from the brink, where the sidewalk is right beside the 
water.  The Lord began to give me a prophetic message using the 
various features around me.

The features symbolized:

The Niagara River, upper rapids, and falls represented the course 
of humanity rushing to destruction. The mist represented  "the 
smoke of their burning rises day and night forever." The bank of the 
river represented the church doing the great commission, - God's 
people rescuing the  perishing from the water before they fell to 
destruction. The two towers on the hill above the falls represented 
God's Word and Spirit as beacons to the world. 

Then the Lord said three things to me.  

"My people have gathered around the my Word and my Spirit for 
entertainment. (There are amusement complexes in the base of 
each tower.)  "Call to them to come down from the towers to take 
up their work at the shore" "Walk up and down the shore, 
strengthen and encourage them" . 

I thought I understood these words at the time and we ended up 
leaving that liberal denomination and joining a Spirit-filled 
denomination. I took my calling seriously, and would never have 
believed I was engaged in tower entertainment. Yes, my sermons 
were changed by the passion of my encounter with God, so I now 
taught "the theology of the river" and "the anointing to work on the 
shore".  We even had conferences on the "power of the towers" 
The problem was,  we never actually worked at the shore.  
Sometimes we did rescue people from the river, but the purpose 
was to bring them to the tower!  I couldn't see what God saw. My 
heart was still for the tower, while God's heart was for the shore. 

How could the Lord ever move me out of the tower and down to 
the shore and the great commission?  After all, the towers of the 
Word and the Spirit are from God, and the people inside were 
God's people also.  It's all His, so I thought I was where I should 
be!  But step by step He changed my perspective and lovingly
adjusted me.  Here's some steps we have experienced.

1. Idolatry Exposed
It's a strange thing, but the towers of The Word and The Spirit are 
the setting for a lot of idol worship.  This always happens when 
God's purpose for something is distorted for man's own ends.  
Personally, I had an idol of "ministry". I couldn't see it, and wouldn't 
change, until the Lord revealed it. It's true that I entered the 
ministry because I had a genuine call. But I gradually succumbed 
to the "great vision of tower ministry".  Like the serpent on the pole 
in the wilderness, what started out holy was being perverted.  It 
ended in a real confrontation with God.  He revealed that I was 
living like the priests in the book of Ezekiel and serving an image 
on the walls of my inner room (my heart).  In my case I had moved 
from serving Jesus to serving a graven image or picture, that we 
call "the vision of ministry".  

I couldn't understand how this idolatry was possble until the Lord 
showed me that it was my flesh serving this perverted image of  
ministry - a vision of success, fame, youth, money, position, 
buildings, organization, all coming by revival and the glory of God.  
My heart's motivation was wrapped up in it. I prayed for God to 
bless it, confessed it, and looked for it. I had spiritual warfare 
killing me around it, so I thought it must be right! But I was
unsubmitted to God so the devil wouldn't go!  When ministry went 
according to the image I was happy. When ministry went badly I 
was depressed. This was my flesh serving another god!  How 
revolting! How repulsive! How this revelation broke me. I confessed 
it quickly, but spent years overcoming it by overturning my change 
tables and going beyond the tower walls. Unfortunatley, it also 
moved me outside the circle of acceptance by my colleagues.  

The problem with this idolatry is, others encourage it within the 
great towers of the Spirit and the Word. We can never see it there 
unless the Lord reveals it.

2. Divine Discontent
In the mid 90s I started experiencing a divine discontentment.  We 
had the best "Spirit and Word " meetings my ministry ever had. 
But I would come home vaguely dissatisfied.  There was a longing 
for something I couldn't explain. I kept saying "God, I don't get it, 
what's wrong? Your are here, you are blessing.  We are 
experiencing your power and glory! What's this feeling of 
discontent?"  Like a mother bird taking the feathers out of the nest, 
God Himself was making us increasingly uncomfortable in the nest 
that was once so perfect.

3. From My Ability To His Ability
Next, God shifted me from depending on my ability to spiritually 
perform, to depending on His ability  in me. I call this "the love 
anointing"  Up in the towers, ministry is all about our ability to 
know the word, learn the right method, and have the right spiritual 
experiences. It's all about spiritual performance. Thats why there is 
a constant flow of teaching and conferences. Success goes to 
those who reach the top, or so it appears!   But for my ministry, 
success seemed elusive. I especially wanted to see miracles. But, 
no matter how hard I tried we could not move there. Sometimes 
miracles did happen, (because God loves people) but it was always 
serendipity, not a flow of ministry.  It was like He said "you can get 
this far and no farther. My power is not for the tower"  

Finally I experienced a great shift. God's love for people and His 
ability in me (the love anointing) became the focus, rather than me 
and my spiritual ability. Suddenly miracles opened up in my 
ministry. I found out that God was not obligated to anoint my 
mission, or my work in the tower. But he always anoints His great 
comission. At Niagara Falls, the two towers are there because of 
the river and the falls, not the other way around!  Likewise, when I
found the focus of His heart, His power found me.   

4. The Great Commission Gets In My Face
Finally the Lord connected me to a powerful "on the shore" work 
when we went to India.  It was there that I saw what could happen 
if a team of Christians actually DID the great commission. I saw 
the love and co-operation of believers, genuine apostolic ministry, 
the grace and provision to help the least of people, the healings 
and salvations of the thousands, and real social change wrought 
by the Kingdom of God. I couldn't resist. I finally had to break away 
from where I was. So now I've ended up at the shoreline, walking 
up and down, calling the saints down from the towers and
encouraging those who rescue the perishing.

Life At the Shoreline

So, what is it like laboring at the shore of the river? Hows life just 
above the falls,  where men are rushing  to destruction, and being 
pulled out? 

1. Well, for one thing it's a lot more real  than life in the towers.  
Now we connect to Canadians and their joys and pains. I never 
knew how much of a sub-culture living in the tower creates. People 
look like ants from up there.  

2. The definition of Apostle is different at the shore as well. I never
could figure out out how apostles fit in the tower. It seems that in 
the towers of the Word and Spirit, an apostle is defined by "how 
high" he is. At the shore, it's quite different. An apostle is known 
by how far he goes into the water to rescue someone. Now  I 
question if the tower apostle is genuine.

3. Money. At the shore it becomes painfully obvious that almost all 
the resources go into building up the towers. The shore only has a 
sidewalk. Actually it's been quite astonishing how little the church 
in the tower uses for the great commission. 

Personally, I'm looking for the day when  all that g reat high tech
equipment is permanently moved down to the shoreline and put to 
use where it belongs. The towers are meant to be the beacons of 
the Word of truth, and the power of the Spirit, for the task at hand. 
Let's hope the Lord doesn't have to bulldoze our favorite tower just 
to get us where we belong.

Blessings in Jesus,

Terry Somerville.
~ www.totalchange.org