How many times have you heard it said, "you must step out of your comfort zone, if you want to see a miracle"?
This testimony is a very real example of exactly this.
This happened 24 years and 7 months ago. I had a farm, of 100 acres, upon which I grew my organic fruit orchards and I worked in surrounding orchards as an orchard hand, with regular work, as I am by nature a hard worker and was on the "gun" crew, about 12 of us who were the best at what we did.
I had a wife and a young, 2 year old daughter and I was very busy building our house, from timber I had milled from our property.
One day, the Lord told me He wanted me to go to a particular town, about 2 hours away, up north. It was a hippy, new-age place, with people who had all sorts of different spiritual beliefs and was pretty much like a wild-west town, in that it was to a large degree, quite lawless.
I had some serious doubts about it of course and reasoned that I had enough on my plate with my work. I would rise at 4:30 every morning, be at work in the commercial orchards at sunup and work until about 2:30pm, then head home and work until sundown on my own property. Plus, I had my family to think of. But God was persistent and when I told my wife, she thought I was crazy. There was no way she was coming with me and she would not support me with this "crazy notion".
So, I stayed and kept on at my work, but God kept pressing it upon me and I was getting quite irritable. Eventually, my wife couldn't take it anymore and told me to get out and go. So I packed a small bag, with a change of clothes and wandered off. I had very little money on me and hitched a ride north. I had no idea what I was in for. God had just told me that He wanted me to go there.
When I arrived, I had no idea what step to take. Then I saw "The Rainbow Cafe", which was the most popular cafe in town and "felt" to go there. I was dressed all in white, as I always was and when I entered the cafe, it was dark and dingy, with people all dressed in black, sitting in the shadows at large, round tables.
As I stood in the doorway, the holy spirit said to me, "I want you to come in here, dressed in white overalls and paint the place white. I don't care if paint is dripping in their coffee, that's what I want you to do."
Crazy! I know! I thought, "Lord, how am I going to do that?"
Somehow, I can't remember how, I did manage to get hold of a pair of white overalls and a few days later, I was sitting at one of the tables, at the front of the cafe, with a group of people. As it turned out, the woman I was sitting next to, was the owner of the cafe and she told everyone, that the cafe was going to be closed for three days, in the coming week, for renovations. I asked her, "what renovations?"
Now this was one of those big, old buildings with high ceilings. She said, "we're going to strip everything back and give it a new paint job," and of course, when I asked her what color, she replied, "slightly off-white."
Well, I actually jumped in the air and said, "count me in, I'm there!"
The morning that I first walked in to start work, there was one man, on a scaffold, scraping away at the ceiling, with about four others sitting around a table, getting "stoned". I jumped up on the scaffold and said, "OK, let's get on with it then." The owner just looked at me and said, "don't bust a gut, it'll take a miracle to get this place done in three days." I replied, "well, lucky I work for someone who can do miracles in three days."
I worked day and night, for the whole three days and whenever I started to feel tired, the holy spirit would come and refresh me. So, on the morning after the three days, as the normal cleaners came in to do the general cleanup before the business day, we were just finishing the last sweep up. Word spread around town, that a small miracle had happened and people started coming to the cafe in large numbers, so that it was always busy.
One afternoon, I was sitting at one of the tables, talking to some of the Aboriginal elders that lived in the community. We were talking about the Aboriginal Dreamtime, which is their "religion". I was able to meet them where they were at and take them higher and they came to the realization that I was a man sent by God and lowered their eyes, which is a mark of respect in their culture. The spirit gave me the words to say and at the end of our conversation, I told them that a great fire was coming and others in the cafe overheard it.
Now this part of the country was one of the most luscious and greenest parts of Australia, and it was the middle of winter. That very night, a strong, searing hot wind blew through the valley and it was filled with smoke. The wind was so strong and so burning hot, that you couldn't stand in it, and the smoke was so thick, you couldn't see.
Revival broke out in the town after that, and all sorts of signs and wonders happened.
Not long after it all began, I was sitting out in the street one night, around midnight, talking to a group of young people and a middle-aged woman came and sat down and listened for a while. When the conversation ended, she told me that she felt God wanted her to invite me to stay at her place, for the remainder of the time and asked if I would like that. She let me sleep on her daybed, in her living room.
The moment I stepped into her house, I sensed the presence of the holy spirit very strongly and then began to have visions. Now I'd had many visions before, but nothing like these. They were so intense and beyond anything I could ever imagine, that I trembled from the intensity the whole time and they went on for about a week or so. The whole time however, the holy spirit would keep gently telling me, "trust the process."
One evening, there was a lapse in the visions and I lay down on the daybed to rest. I hadn't been laying there long, when I saw what looked like a ghost, come down through the ceiling and into me, very gently, nudging itself in. It was the spirit of Elijah and He said to me, "Now, we've got some work to do in giving you a new paint job." I saw what looked like scales all over me and Elijah said, "these are the scales that are formed from all the shadows of doubt, pride and sin and I need to work from the inside out, to get rid of them."
At that point, I felt to sit up and as I did so, it was like a mighty waterfall began rushing through the top of my head and began to flow through me. It was the river of God's absolute love and it flowed with such unrelenting, unreserved and unadulterated power, that it fountained through every pore of my body and I felt it!
Now this part is the most difficult to describe. At the same time, my awareness was taken "out of my mind" and I experienced floating in what felt like a universe within me. My eyes were like windows and I was "sitting" at the back of my head. In front of me, I saw my mind. Now also at the same time, I experienced the absolute virtuousness of God. In particular, His absolute nobility, dignity, graciousness, humility and holiness. My entire stature was transformed and when the woman entered the room, she fell to her knees and gasped, "it's you!" Now she wasn't talking about me.
I then saw a thought rise up from my mind, like a puff of smoke. It wasn't a conscious thought, but just rose up of it's own accord, from my subconscious. That thought was, "what I could do with this!"
God then said to me, "I have chosen you to be the vessel for Elijah and you need to be made absolutely humble and brought into the full knowledge and understanding of the truth, the way and the life, so that no thought like that will arise, before you are able to walk in my presence, 24/7."
I can't begin to describe God's grace. It was like being on cloud nine. His grace is absolutely graceful and gracious. The peace was absolute and truly can't be described, except to say, that it is the peace that comes from not being in your mind and connected to the nervous system in any way.
After a short while, His presence left, though His grace lingered for a few days and it felt like I was as light as a feather, dancing in the breeze.
I said to God, "Lord, whatever it takes, make me ready." I knew what I was asking for and I have been through the mill and the winepress, to make me ready, willing and able to walk in His presence and I'll tell you, it is like a drug, that has you so hooked, you will do whatever it takes, to experience it again. I can totally relate to the scripture, "For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven" - 2 Corinthians 5:2
Now all this is amazing right? And many amazing things were happening, but the thing that God drew my attention to, at the end of it all, was that throughout the whole time, a Christian tent ministry had been set up in the town domain, a park just on the edge of town. They had put up flyers around town, to come to their "revival meeting". Not once did I see any of them ministering in the streets, they just sat in their tent, waiting for people to come to them, and needless to say, no-one attended "their" revival and they missed out on the real one. I hope this testimony, will help you to see, the importance of stepping out and leaving the world behind, to serve the LIVING God of absolute love.