There is great darkness increasing upon the nations of the earth. Consequently there is an even more desperate need for the light and hope of Jesus to arise and spread like wildfire, just as it once did in the Book of Acts.
Yet this didn’t happen because there were miracles or anointed speakers, though they are a core part of the Commission of Jesus and even though supernatural healings and deliverances did have a profoundly important impact on the explosion of the Gospel in the early church.
Rather these unprecedented miracles and”signs and wonders”> followed the believers because a sincere, practical, Jesus kind of love had overtaken the way they treated one another. Then more and more people wanted to be Christians because they could see with their very own eyes what was taking place and they ached for that same love to happen for them.
That’s why we need to find our way back to this radically new truth that Jesus lived and died to teach us:
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35 NASB
Otherwise much of Christianity is tragically futile to the world and utterly meaningless to God’s own children.
This is the amazing story of how this truth radically caught fire on a remote mountain in Africa.
We only spent time with the people on Mt. Elgon once when we ministered in Pastor Stephen’s church in 2001. Now it was 2005 and finally we were able to return to the Mountain.
When the meetings began, people arrived from all over the Mountain. But they weren’t united at all. They didn’t even want to be near each other and had to force themselves to even be friendly. We preached a hard word about worship, unity and loving one another being the most important things to God. But this message was a big problem for most of the Christians. They were visibly uncomfortable and resistant. Yet there were others who were excited and as soon as the service ended they went far and wide to tell many others what was happening.
The next morning the same message was taught firmly again. We clearly explained that it’s impossible to worship “in spirit and in truth” if we don’t love one another. When the next session began, there was a brokenness that swept across the people. So when we invited them to come up front, they immediately came close together and put their arms around each other. Never had the people on the Mountain seen such a sight when just moments before so many clearly despised one another.
Suddenly, everyone began to warmly hug each other.
Such an outpouring of love had never happened before on Mt. Elgon.
By now, news was spreading all over the Mountain that God was doing something unheard of in a humble church in Sipi Village.
So on Sunday, as far as the eye could see, all roads that led to the church were filled with vehicles coming to where we were meeting. Hundreds of people were also on foot, carrying benches and chairs. Unsaved villagers were even coming because of the shocking love that they had heard was taking place among the Christians.
Shortly after the meeting began, they were so deeply affected by the kinds of things Christians do to one another to destroy any possibility of among them that all over the Mountain side where we were gathered people began repenting.
They began weeping. Many were so overcome by what was taking place that they wailed in a torrent of tears.
Nothing meant more to them than to see the horrible divisions and damaging lack of love among them have this chance to be healed.
Everyone began to worship from the depths of their souls. Even the unbelievers were so overcome by what was taking place that they also were crying and lifting their faces to heaven.
When the meeting ended, we sat with Pastor Stephen in front of his humble church. His eyes were red from crying, as he told us:
“What we witnessed taking place this night has never happened before on this mountain. This move of God has changed these people.
This love they’ve seen has gone so deep into their hearts that word of what happened tonight will spread all over Mt Elgon.
This night of deep brokenness before God is exactly what we needed. Each person was so affected by what took place they will never be the same.
This mountain will never be the same.”
The following day, streams of people came to our tents to say goodbye.
Several asked how to be born again and the team prayed with them. And Stephen excitedly came to tell us:
“Everywhere we go, believers and even the unsaved are celebrating in the streets because of what has happened. This has already caused a great unity among the churches. All over the Mountain the unsaved are asking how to be saved. Such joy we’ve never seen before on this mountain.”
Surely heaven had touched earth on the Mountain.