So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.
“I was skeptical”, the words of Rick Shelton, pastor from St. Louis, when he heard about the outpouring in 1994. He was not alone, I too, was skeptical. Who could blame us, we felt like we had seen it all. There had been so many strange side journeys in the charismatic Christian world, this seemed like another one. Now they were laughing, running, falling on the ground, and displaying symptoms of public drunkenness. To me, this was the worst of all the weird charismatic side journeys of all. That was my attitude when I first met Rick. We were both attending a Sunday night service in Maui, Hawaii. Someone introduced us and told Rick to tell me what had recently happened to him. Rick had just been touched powerfully by God in a Rodney Howard Browne revival service. When Rick began to tell me what had happened, I was caught totally by surprise. All, he said was, “Jesus touched me and I have been changed”. His wife Donna was standing there with tears of joy in her eyes nodding her approval. His words haunted me as I returned to New Orleans. Waiting for me at my office was the famous “I was skeptical video”. After watching it, I found myself in Dallas at the revival meetings. My life was about to be changed; suddenly, dramatically, and permanently.
Seventeen years have past and I am still enjoying the fruit of the outpouring I experienced that week in Dallas, Texas. Recently, the Lord began to visit our church again in an unusual way, the young people in our church have begun to experience an extreme, pentecostal outpouring. Many of them were just small children when the Lord visited us in 1994. With all of the controversy associated with the outpouring, many of them had become quite skeptical themselves. It’s not that we don’t want to believe, we just don’t want to be hurt. Just like the disciple Thomas, everything inside of him wanted to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. He just didn’t want to be a religious flake, he didn’t want to be hurt. What changed everything for Thomas? He was changed when he saw Jesus, he heard Jesus, and he touched Jesus for himself. That’s what it took for me in 1994, that’s what it will take for you, that’s what it always takes. Jesus will walk into the room like He did for Thomas, like He did for me in 1994, like He has been doing for the last two thousand years for all of His sons and daughters.
So if you are a little skeptical about the recent rumors of revival at Victory Fellowship, that is okay. Come check it out for yourself, maybe you will hear the Lord say to you, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing”.