I’ve been in Lakeland Florida since Monday morning. For those that are unaware, during a scheduled ministry time at Ignited Church in April, Todd Bentley was ministering and the Holy Spirit began to manifest. Now, 70 days later, the meetings have moved to a “tent,” a temporary building set up at the airport in the city. Thousands from all over the world meet there nightly at 7 PM to experience the Glory of God in manifestation. I’m here to check out for myself what’s going on.
People begin lining up outside the building (which is on the backside of the airport in the middle of nowhere) at around 4:30 PM. The doors open for pastors who have a wrist band for identity at 5:00. The doors open for everyone else at 6:00 PM. The meeting begins at 7:00 PM with some pretty wired praise and worship. People gather at the front altar area and dance, sing, kneel, shout, and worship for a couple of hours.
It’s a really laid back atmosphere. People who come are simply hungry for God. Many are in need of healing. After the prolonged praise and worship, the Holy Spirit manifests t he Presence.
Last night the gifts of healings manifested in a really strong way with many receiving their healing. Then Todd Bentley preached on how to work with the anointing. Then he laid hand on the whole crowd for an impartation of this wonderful anointing for the people to take back to their cities. After the internet feed stopped, Todd and his team stood up front and ushered the whole crowd according to their seating arrangement up front and he anointed each person with oil and believed for this anointing to transfer to them. The atmosphere was electric and expectant. I got back to my hotel room at about 12:30 AM.
Meetings are held at Ignited church at 10 AM each morning for pastors and church leaders. Really, anyone can go to these meetings. On Tuesday morning Steven Strader, the pastor of Ignited church, spoke for about an hour or so after about an hour and a half of worship.
Pastor Strader gave an overview of the history of Ignited Church and its relationship with moves of God over its history as a church. He related how he has had to deal with friends and ministry acquaintances who have misunderstood what the Lord is up to with this “revival.” His delivery was passionate, real, and down to earth. He said the main theme of this move of God is Jesus and His Presence. It’s an out of the box manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Many who have not been here to experience it have been critical. He gave a moving appeal to love those who don’t understand.
Here’s my assessment of what I’m experiencing. All that is said and done centers around being hungry for Jesus and spending time in His Presence in heartfelt, intimate worship. The ministry centers around sensing what God is saying at the moment and flowing as the Holy Sprit gives direction to the meeting. Each night is different. I’ve not seen or heard anything that makes me uncomfortable or that disagrees with scripture and the central theme of Jesus through the Word by His Spirit ruling our lives.
Being here makes me hungry for more of God. As I write the anointing is literally rising up in me right now. It’s just a desire to know Him that is really strong. Any desire to compromise the Presence is pushed out of mind by this sense to seek God more fully. I’ll comment more tomorrow. I’m going to spend some more time in His Presence!