“When can you come back, When can you come back?” The pastor exclaimed. “I missed God today. I should have asked you to stay. When can you come back, Brother Nolan?” I had been preaching on the north side of the city in another church. Several years earlier I had worked with a Teen Challenge crew to install a full RV hookup in the back of the church. Often missionaries and traveling evangelists have their home on wheels and they had offered to let me stay there any time I wanted.
I finished preaching on a Saturday night. I suggested to the pastor that he pray to see if God would have me speak there that next morning. He reluctantly agreed to have me preach. He then very apologetically said; “I’m sorry Brother Nolan I won’t be able to give you much time. It is Missionary Sunday, there are a ton of announcements, and a special presentation today.” I said; “That’s alright Pastor, let’s just give it to God. I have seen him say more in a thirty second prophesy than the best preacher can say in an hour anyway! He is God. Let’s just trust Him.”
The pastor opened the morning service in prayer. He then gave a brief explanation of the reason for me being with them that day. Somewhere in the middle of the worship service, God by His Holy Spirit showed up in a powerful way. I have heard the Holy Spirit’s presence described as being like “invisible water”. That day there was a deluge coming down. Some people began to weep and cry, some shouted loud praises to God. Many came spontaneously to the altar and began to pray. It was one of the most glorious outpourings I have ever been in.
Then something very surprising happened while His powerful anointing continued to be poured out. The Pastor approached the pulpit and said; “God has sent Brother Nolan here today with a special message for this church. All the things we had planned for today’s service are put on hold. Brother Nolan come now and preach what God has for us.” As the Holy Spirit delivered the message, God moved upon many hearts. The altars were full and many people were powerfully touched by God’s Spirit.
Following the service, I talked with the Pastor and we both agreed that something totally awesome had just happened. I encouraged him to consider continuing meetings nightly that week but at that point he just didn’t see how he could. We shook hands blessing each other, and I returned to my RV for the trip home.
I had barely pulled in my driveway when the phone rang. It was the pastor calling me to see how soon I could come back. He had spent some time in prayer after the service and felt strongly he had missed God by not having me stay. At that point I had already made some other calls, and other things were already in place, but I told him I could be back there in two weeks. “Praise God, Praise God”, he said excitedly. So two weeks later after much concentrated prayer, I arrived back at the church, anticipating God would do something incredible.
God was so good! That Sunday morning we experienced the same wonderful outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Then Sunday night, another awesome presence of God was experienced. People had been interceding for revival in that area for some time, so I knew God would confirm His Word with signs following.
Monday night God did not disappoint, but I was saddened to notice the numbers of the church folk were down. I sought the Lord about this but He assured me that I was to just move ahead as planned.
Often when I was on the road, preaching at churches around the Northeast, I would rise for prayer at 5:30 AM. Then I would try to get the pastors to agree to meet with me sometime during the day for prayer together in the sanctuary. This pastor and I had agreed to meet at 7:00 AM. As I heard the alarm go off and I rose to begin to pray that morning, the Spirit of God spoke to my heart these shocking words: “Nolan you are going home today. The revival is over.” I am not kidding you, the first words that came out of my mouth were, “I rebuke that thought in Jesus Name”! I was just sure that still small voice had to be a deception from the enemy, so I gave it very little thought and continued to intercede as I always did.
When I went in the church and down the steps to the Pastor’s office what I found as I walked through the door was sadly shocking. The pastor was sitting across his desk with tears rolling down both cheeks. He said; “Brother Nolan, the Board met over the phone last night and have informed me that the special meetings have to end for now. They told me that If I want to have revival services that they should be planned six months in advance so the families of the church could make plans around their calendar. They said that right now at this time of year they have very busy schedules due to softball and family outings.” My heart sank. With great sadness I said what was on my heart to say. “Pastor, please tell your people that this deeply grieves the Spirit of God. That no man or woman should ever expect God to fit into their schedule. This has been an awesome time of experiencing God’s overflowing presence. Tell them however, His presence is about to go right back down to a trickle due to their rejection of His timing.”
Within a short season, that church which had been open for over forty years closed its doors because of infighting and declining attendance. We must never-never take Gods Holy Spirit for granted. Ever!
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