Sometime ago I was contemplating what freedom is. As I looked back on my journey I realised I was a very different man to when the Lord first spoke to me about freedom. As I meditated I remembered the Lord calling me as a young man in August 1973, “Wayne, you are going to be free completely free, set my people free.” As the Holy Spirit spoke to me, my heart pondered those words so powerfully interrupting my grief and utter sense of profound shame.
As I contemplated the interuption I recalled an impression I received three months previously, graphically portrayed before my eyes at the National Conference of the Assemblies of God in Australia at Burleigh Heads on Queensland’s tourist playground, the Gold Coast.
I don’t know if it was a vision or not but it was so compelling in my spirit. I have never forgotten it. Allow me to share with you its details.
As I was standing on the left side of the National Conference hall of the assembled delegates from across Australia; a word came to me. Behind the podium a map of Australia was super-imposed over a flame of fire. As I looked at the map whether it was the Spirit of God or my fanciful imagination I don’t know but I received a compelling message in my spirit. At the time I had the sense that the Holy Spirit was wanting to speak to the conference that was deadlocked over a theological issue. Unfortunately I was too afraid to give what I had in my spirit. However the impression I received that day has stayed with me for nearly forty years.That message burns deep within me. For many years it has provided direction to my life.
God has something to say to His people and those who call themselves leaders, especially the assembled leaders at that time.
The impression I received was the Lord was going to refine His Church; then I saw a body covered in the muck and mire of the nation arise out of the map. As the Body arose I became aware it was made of pure gold. Then I noticed the muck and the mire of the nation began to sliver down the length of the body as the Body rose and the fire burnt like a furnace. The Body stood as pure gold refined and radiant in the midst of the land.
As I have pondered this message for nearly forty years I understand the enormity of the impossibility of it ever happening. Yet I believe with God all things are possible because of who He is; not because of who we are. Through the years I have only shared the message with a couple of people who I trust. For whatever reason the Holy Spirit has ‘compelled’ me to share this message now.
I was at the conference because three pastors had asked me to drive them from Brisbane to the conference on the Gold Coast at Burleigh Heads Convention Centre. Particularly I did not share with these three wonderful brothers who I drove to the conference. Today I wish I had. I think they would have been gracious to me, encouraging and redemptive. Simply I was in such a dark hole, in a well of my own making; I was covered in the muck and mire of the pit I had fallen into – I felt less than perfect (to say the least). How could I be any different in the midst of such successful brothers and sisters (as the years progressed I learnt my assessment was not the fair dinkum truth – if only they had been open, honest and transparent about their condition I could have dealt with my stuff easier).
These two events are part of a journey God has used to form me these forty plus years. It has been a long journey and an uncomfortable one.
I leave this with you to make of it what you will before the Lord. I will be sharing other interludes in a long history from the Wilderness. I trust they will encourage you.