DEEP CALLS UNTO DEEP

Understanding the Gift of Spiritual Hunger

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Have you ever experienced a significant breakthrough in the supernatural? Perhaps it was an experience, an event, a teaching, or some other process that God used to suddenly launch you from one manner of living into a completely new realm? Breakthroughs can be the resulting harvest of a seed sown long ago, but they always have a way of seeming to occur “suddenly” (Acts 2:2), and they always produce a quantum leap forward in the things of God.

To help you understand what I mean, I want to tell you a story about a breakthrough in my own life. In 1994, I was serving as an associate pastor at a church near Tacoma, Washington. My senior pastor had announced a special season of prayer and fasting in the church and, as a part of the various prayer gatherings that were taking place at the church, a weekly early morning prayer meeting was scheduled exclusively for the pastoral staff.

Each time we gathered, I would pray in a corner of the balcony in the church sanctuary. To me, it seemed like a place where I could pray free from distraction and also without disturbing others. Little did I realize, the corner in which I was praying formed a kind of echo chamber, and although I was praying quietly, everyone could hear my prayers.

Deep Spiritual Hunger

 

For several months, I had been experiencing a deep spiritual hunger for greater manifestations of the power of God in my ministry. As a result, I was praying the scriptures that describe signs, wonders, and healings being an essential part of gospel ministry. I had highlighted and chain referenced them in my Bible and would simply start in the book of Matthew and pray each verse successively throughout the New Testament. One of my favorite passages was Acts 4:29-30, and based on that passage I would pray, “Now, LORD, grant unto me Your servant, BOLDNESS to speak Your Word by stretching forth Your hand to heal and to perform signs and wonders by the Name of Your Holy Child Jesus.”

I prayed that way for nine months and saw nothing change in my ministry, but I was determined to see a breakthrough, and I refused to quit praying what I had come to call “the power passages” until I saw what I was longing for.

One week, my senior pastor was traveling out of town and asked me to preach at the church on a Sunday night.  While preparing for the sermon, one of the other associate pastors walked into my office and tossed a videotape on my desk. He said, “Hey, I think you would like this preacher. He reminds me of you. Maybe you can watch this tape and get some good preaching material for this Sunday.” I looked at the tape and the label said, “BOLDNESS”.

I can tell you I wasn’t thinking about watching the tape to get preaching material (although I did get some great material). My first thought was, This is what I’ve been praying for: BOLDNESS to speak God’s Word. I immediately had a TV/VCR brought into my office and while I was watching the video, something just dropped on me—maybe a better way of explaining it is that SOMEONE dropped on me (Acts 10:44). There are no English words to fully describe what happened, but through the video, there was a tangible impartation of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit—it seemed like a mantle or a cloak was laid upon my shoulders.

The manifest presence of God completely filled my office. Tears began to stream down my face and I thought, I must have what this man has. On the video I was watching, the preacher was not only preaching, but, at the same time as he was preaching, he was also operating in the word of knowledge and people were being healed and touched by the power of God.

Breakthrough Happens

 

That Sunday night, while I was preaching, I began to hear words of knowledge in the middle of my sermon. I didn’t wait until the end of the sermon to give them. I stopped my sermon, gave the word, ministered to the person that the word was for, and then just kept on preaching without missing a beat. It was just like what I had seen on the video. With each word of knowledge given, the atmosphere of faith in the room kept increasing and it wasn’t too long before the service just broke out into a Holy Ghost meeting.

I called the sick to the front to receive prayer. In the line of people who came forward stood a father holding his little 3-year-old girl. He explained that his daughter had been born with one leg about 3 inches shorter than the other and that when she walked she had to walk on the tiptoe of the short leg. He said she could not run and play with the other children. I gently held her little feet in my hands and commanded the leg to grow out in the Name of Jesus. The short leg instantly shot out three inches and became even with the other leg.

One of the other associate pastors in the church was walking alongside of me in the line while I was ministering to the sick. When he saw the leg grow out, his eyes became very large and he exclaimed, “It worked! What you’ve been praying for the last nine months actually worked! God heard your prayers!”

In the same service, a woman with a cancerous tumor on her neck approximately the size of a golf ball came forward asking for prayer. I took the tumor in my hand and heard these words coming out of my mouth, “I command this tumor to explode and disintegrate in the Name of Jesus!” Later, the doctors could find no trace of the cancer and told her that they had no explanation other than that the cancerous tumor had appeared to “explode and disintegrate”—the exact words I had used when I prayed.

Another man came forward that had been diagnosed with having a tumor about the size of a large egg attached to the inside wall of his lung. Again, it seemed like I heard myself saying, “I command this tumor to shrivel and die in the Name of Jesus!” When I said it, I struck him in the chest! When I realized what I’d just done, I was completely shocked at myself. That’s something I never would have normally done. For one thing, the man was huge—he’d even played as the center for an NFL football team, and here I was punching him in the chest. If you’re going to punch an NFL center, you’d better know that you’ve heard from God and they’d better get healed of whatever it was they came for!

He went to the doctor for further testing. After performing five different x-rays and scans, because they could not find the tumor, the doctors told him that the tumor had fallen off the wall of his lung and had “shriveled up” (exactly what I had declared) to about the size of a raisin and was lying in the bottom of his lung. The doctors said they had no explanation and that he would probably cough it out at some point.

I’d experienced a breakthrough! In fact, from that point forward, signs, wonders, healings, and miracles increased in my ministry more and more. Why had the breakthrough happened?

The Upper and Lower Waters

 

I’d like to answer that question from the book of Psalms. In describing his longing to worship God in His temple, and to experience more of God’s manifest presence, the psalmist declares, “Deep calleth unto deep” (Psalm 42:1-7). What does the phrase “Deep calleth unto deep” mean?

According to the Targum, which is the Aramaic translation of the Old Testament, it means, “The upper (celestial) waters call to the lower (terrestrial) waters,” and it refers to the precipitation cycle in the earth. This is the cycle: precipitation falls to the earth in the form of snow and rain; when the precipitation evaporates from groundwater and when it transpires from plants, it returns to the atmosphere where it eventually condenses into clouds, and then returns to water the earth again in the form of more snow and rain.

The psalmist credited his deep desire to experience God’s manifest presence as originating from God. He compared it to the earth’s precipitation cycle. His spiritual hunger was like water that Heaven had rained down within him. God’s Spirit had placed this spiritual desire within him, and it was now evaporating back to Heaven in the form of prayer, only to condense and be returned again as more and more of the manifest presence of God. With each cycle of spiritual hunger comes more and more of the manifested presence of God.

True spiritual hunger is a gift from God because it’s a desire that grants true spiritual gratification. It’s not designed to create a void; it’s designed to create a fulfillment. It’s a gift that keeps on giving and giving endlessly. God never gives you a desire to frustrate you, but to fulfill you.

That’s what happened to me in the story you just read.  God placed a longing within me for more of His power to be demonstrated in my ministry. He originated the desire to begin with, and then deep began to call out to deep. He made sure that the “Boldness” video came into my life. God used the video as a catalyst for impartation and to show me a pattern of boldness and power in gospel ministry.

You can have what I’m describing today. In fact, God is using what you’re reading now to rain down spiritual desires within you. It’s already happening—deep is calling to deep!

Please keep praying for our ministry.  Until next time, may you have more kingdom reality, the joy-life of fellowshipping in the family of God, and “MAS FUEGO!” (MORE FIRE!”)

Your Apostolic Revivalists & Equippers,

Nathanael & Michelle Wolf

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