TO THE YOUNG (And the Child of God in Us All)
You are never too young (or too old) to enter in the Kingdom of God and do God’s work. These stories are about the youth of Azusa Street. These are the children who gave up playing after school to go to the mission and witness and perform miracles, the teenagers who not only healed hundreds but who also went on to start some of the most significant religious movements of our time. Are you young? Or old? God wants to use you, right here, right now. Get ready!
most likely you are already familiar with the Azusa Street Revival. But for those who are not, 312 Azusa Street, Los Angeles, California, was God’s earthly address from April 1906 until November 1909. What do I mean? The glory of God inhabited this former warehouse and stable in the early years of the twentieth century, releasing creative miracles of healing twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for three-and-a-half years. Missing limbs grew out where there were none, eyeballs filled in empty sockets, cancerous growths fell off and lives were restored as the Shekinah Glory filled the building. To some, shekinah is an unfamiliar term. According to rabbinical teaching, the word means “God tents here.” The word itself is not biblical, but the Shekinah Glory is found in Scripture. A “cloud” is described throughout Exodus. In Exodus 13: 21, “The LORD went before them [the Israelites] by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way…” (NKJV). Later in Exodus 24: 15-17, a cloud covered the mountain and “… the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai” (NIV). In Second Chronicles 5: 13-14, when Solomon’s Temple was being dedicated, “… the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud… for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God” (NKJV). This same glory cloud dwelled within the walls of the Azusa Street mission and even hovered around the outside of the building during the revival, every day and night for three-and-a-half years. On certain nights, flames could be seen shooting from the rooftop of the mission converging with flames shooting from the sky into the mission. This, too, is the Shekinah Glory described in Exodus 13 as the “pillar of fire” that led the Israelites by night. Also, in Exodus 24: 17, “… the glory of the LORD appeared at the summit [of Mount Sinai] like a consuming fire.”
No one was too young or too old. All were rejoicing children of Abba Father. It was a Divine party, a beautiful, celestial collision of heaven and earth. To re-quote Pastor Bill Johnson, Azusa was a prime example of “heaven invading earth.” The Azusa Street Revival ended in the early part of the twentieth century. However, our God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13: 8). For this reason and this hope, we are not to park in the past and wistfully look upon that outpouring as something that only belonged to yesteryear . We are to live expectantly of how God is going to bathe us in His blessings in this day and time. I like the way Tommy puts it: “We can’t get by on what happened at Azusa. We can remember what happened there and know that the same thing is for us.”