Towards the end of the prayer meeting on Tuesday morning (23 October 2018) a picture formed in my mind. I saw a huge blast furnace – like one of those great cooling towers you see in power stations, but red hot, incandescent, a mass of fire, with fire roaring up the centre, and fire, flames and sparks roaring out of the top. “It’s our church, Derby City Church”, I said to myself. “It’s the fire of revival. and the fire, flames and sparks shooting out of the top are its members on fire with the Spirit fanning out in all directions and carrying with them the fire of Holy Spirit revival”.
As I did my prayer walks later that day, the picture developed and I realised that there were other roaring furnaces in Derby. “It’s the other churches”, I thought. “Revival is coming to us all”. And then the whole of Derby became one single gigantic blast furnace. Then I saw a map of Great Britain and there were roaring furnaces up and down and all over the land. Then I saw that Great Britain had become one gigantic blast furnace. Then I saw a map of the world and roaring furnaces in every country. The revival had become world-wide. And finally it seemed that the whole world was one gigantic blazing blast furnace.
Two scriptures came to my mind. The first was Joel 2.28, as quoted in Acts 2.17: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people”. The second is less well-known: it is Isa 31.9, “ . . declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, whose furnace is in Jerusalem”. I looked up the verse. It concludes a prophecy that “Assyria will fall by a sword that is not of man; a sword, not of mortals, will devour them. They will flee before the sword . . Their stronghold will fall because of terror; at sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic” (vv 8f). Assyria was the dominant power in the Middle East and the feared enemy of God’s people in Isaiah’s day. Historically, this prophecy was fulfilled by the miraculous destruction of the Assyrian army threatening Jerusalem in 701 BC, recounted in Isa 37.36, then by the destruction of the Assyrian capital Nineveh by the Medes and Babylonians in 612 BC. But I sensed that it is also a prophetic message for us in 2018: that as the Lord’s furnace of revival roars in Zion – wherever He is enthroned among his people – the demons and the powers of darkness will flee in terror before “the sword of the Spirit, the word of God” (Eph 6.17).
Let us pray in the Holy Spirit revival that is on the way, and rise in faith into all that the Lord is calling us to do.
JIM SHAW (Member of Derby City Church)