Five Things You Need to Know about California
‘And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.’ (IS 35:8)
Fact number one: I write this as we gather in Malibu Canyon for our first CA Living Waters Training in 11 years. We are wedged in-between two Santa Monica Mountains; Bruce Jenner’s home (won’t call him Cait) rises like a castle on a nearby hill. It would be facile to write off Los Angeles as the seat of gender-bending fantasy, no-fault divorce (every adult’s fault!), and Hollywood’s fallen stars reduced to porn. But God honors the faithful in the land; He answers our prayers by releasing His river of ‘Living Water’ upon 60 west coastal saints. Together, from San Diego to Seattle, we are being mobilized by a Force that is furious in love to reclaim His image in humanity.
Fact number two: God is reclaiming His highway of holiness in CA. Each of us represents a distinct faith community that is declaring ‘enough is enough.’ We are committed to gathering in order to declare throughout our churches that He integrates fractured souls through Almighty Mercy. We are the healed, we are the broken; we are His healers arising in His Church for such a time as this. Get ready for new and revived ‘wells of healing’ in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Central Coast, throughout Los Angeles, Pasadena, Long Beach, Inland Empire, Palm Springs, and San Diego.
We are taking up a baton that saints of old carried up the west coast. Second fact: our conference site this week is just a couple miles from El Camino Real, the Spanish ‘King’s Highway’ that Franciscan missionaries paved over the course of a hundred years beginning in the late 17th century. Led by St. Junipero Serra, these men planted the first CA churches in a series of missions that stretched from San Diego to Sonoma. Still functioning today, these outposts testify to faithful ones who braved unimaginable hardships (including clashes with greedy opportunists) to bring Jesus to the native peoples of CA. Truly, their witness along ‘El Camino’ does not honor the king of Spain, but the King of Kings who saw fit to employ them to pave His highway of holiness along the west coast.
Third fact: we at Living Waters move in the flow of the Spirit that was released mightily in 1906 when one-eyed, African American William Seymour began to hold a series of ‘Spirited’ meetings in downtown Los Angeles. Son of a slave, lit from within by holy fire, he dared to allow the Spirit to do what He had done in the Gospels and book of Acts: to heal, deliver and cleanse the people of God. Remarkable in its diversity, this ‘Azusa Street Revival’ united Christians of all stripes, dissolved racial and economic walls, and empowered women to arise in their full Holy Spirit anointing.
Fourth Fact: God used ‘Azusa Street’ as the source of the modern Pentecostal movement, whose early pioneers included Aimee Sample McPherson and the Four-Square Church movement in nearby Echo Park; that wave of the Spirit inspired Chuck Smith who in the sixties transformed disillusioned hippies into ‘Jesus-people.’ Out of Smith’s Orange County-based Cavalry Chapels emerged the Vineyard movement in the late seventies, the birthplace of Living Waters. Today the Spirit continues to fan lives into flame through Bethel in Redding CA, a youthful ‘station’ in the Spirited highway to holiness that runs up the west coast.
Fifth fact: Did you know that the two leaders of the Catholic Church in San Francisco and Los Angeles are godly men who fight for the true definition of marriage and for chastity for all persons, including those with SSA? Newly appointed Archbishops Salvatore Cordileone (SF) and Jose Gomez (LA) are pillars in God’s CA house. Pray for them! They bear unimaginable burdens for us.
God’s hands are not tied by the disintegration of His image in CA. He liberates His saints with passion for His truth. Each of us is a living stone along ‘El Camino Real.’ Pray that we at Living Waters would do our part ‘on the Way’ with passion and integrity. May many broken ones see and hear and return to trust in the Lord.
‘And the ransom of the Lord will return; they will enter Zion singing. Everlasting joy will crown their heads…and sorrow and sighing will flee away.’ (IS 35:10)