Psalm 24:7-10—Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory. Selah
In March of 2008 I ministered at the Embracing God’s Glory conference in Temple, Texas. The first night I spoke briefly with a woman at the conference from Austin, which was approximately an hour south of Temple. I was scheduled to minister at the main session Friday night and Saturday morning.
While preaching Saturday morning, the Holy Spirit suddenly directed me in the middle of my message to declare the following to the woman from Austin I had met briefly the first night: “The King of glory is coming to Austin, the King of Glory is coming to Austin, the King of Glory is coming to Austin!” Each time I declared it, it came forth with greater authority. It was a prophetic declaration that was from the very heart of God—never before had I felt any inclination to pray such a thing concerning Austin. Immediately following this prophetic declaration, God’s tangible presence permeated the meeting room. Silence filled the room as hearts were fixated upon the King of Glory. This session that was intended to only be for 90 minutes, went on for almost four hours.
Obviously Austin is on God’s heart in this hour.
Two days later on March 17th I had the opportunity to minister at Luke 4:18 Ministries (under the leadership of Barb Bucklin) in Austin. There was a word stirring in my heart for the church in Austin concerning apostolic passion—yet I did not sense it was time to release it then. Instead the Lord moved powerfully upon those in attendance as I ministered prophetically to roughly 30 different people. It was an intense time in the Lord as lives were touched and changed.
Afterwards as I was riding back to Temple, I knew that I had to release the word on apostolic passion before flying out of Austin on March 20. I contacted Barb Bucklin to set up a time to meet at the Capital building in Austin to prophetically declare this word over the city as a whole: The King of Glory is coming to Austin as apostolic passion is restored to the Church.
What is apostolic passion? My definition-in-progress is as followed: An undying steadfastness to glorify God by fulfilling the “original mandate” for which one has been sent to accomplish. Hence this needs to be further delineated in order to fully comprehend the framework of this Spirit-cultivated motivation within the heart. It is one whose heart is fully congruent (i.e., submitted, surrendered, pliable, fashionable, obedient) to the heart of God. It seeks the glory of God above all else, at all cost—to the demise of the praise of man.
In order to better understand what I mean by apostolic passion for the glory of God, I want to share a story with you.
During October of 2004, my wife and I (along with Jerry and Shara Phillips from Texas) visited the historic home of James and Dolly Madison called Montpelier, located in Virginia. This is approximately an hour from our home. James Madison is one of the Founding Fathers of our Nation and was the principal draftsman of the Constitution, thus the namesake, “Father of the Constitution.” Henceforth his influence is indelibly imprinted upon the formation of the United States of America.
Unknowingly to us, this historic home was under a work of restoration, which commenced in December of 2003. Although we were able to walk through parts of it, it was all under heavy construction. The DuPont family had recently given the home to the Montpelier Foundation with instructions to renovate it; therefore the objective was to restore the mansion to the one originally inhabited by the Madison family during the 1820s.
We learned that during an in-depth, meticulous architectural and archaeological examination of the home, it was determined that the expanded DuPont home still contained much of the original parts of the Madison era home. Little did I know that I was about to undergo an intensely personal lesson on the apostolic passion that the Father desires to be evident today in apostolic men and women. This life-changing lesson was epitomized by the tour guide—indeed, a man who was passionate about uncovering anything that was an original Madison. I was fascinated by the absolute passion of the tour guide. He would take us to various parts of the home to show us where they had discovered an original Madison pattern, material, wallpaper, wood, window, or painting. In doing so, he emanated such commitment, dedication, and determination.
The home had been modified over the years as subsequent owners built additional rooms to the original Madison structure. During the early part of the 20th century, the wealthy DuPont family added massive wings to the original Madison home; therefore the deconstruction phase reduced the sprawling mansion from 55 rooms to 22 rooms. This restoration project was purposed to remove everything that had been added on so that it was the exact representation of what James and Dolly Madison lived in. However, as stated earlier, they had to painstakingly ensure each room that was deconstructed didn’t contain any valuable originals of the Madison home. This required commitment. Nothing could be glossed over or eliminated without the utmost care to ensure nothing valuable (i.e., a Madison original) was discarded.
The tour guide was exhilarated about anything that was an original Madison—I was dumbfounded and awestruck at the same time. I couldn’t help but reflect on the reality that if this tour guide was this passionate concerning Montpelier, how much more passionate should I be concerning my Heavenly Father’s house—the glorious Church.
My heart was stirred that day.
I could no longer be comfortable with my own comfortableness concerning my lack of “passion” for the things on God’s own heart. Immediately following this visit to Montpelier, the tour guide’s passion served as a benchmark to me of the passion of apostolic ministry to restore the church to God’s original intentions as revealed in the Scriptures. Our passion for anything in this world should be pale compared for our passion for Christ Jesus and the Church. This is the hour that the Lord is bringing forth apostolic leaders who are passionate about God restoring the Church to its original mandate!
THE KING OF GLORY IS COMING TO AUSTIN
As I stood on the steps of the Capital in Austin, I shared this story with this band of committed believers who continually long to see the King of Glory come to Austin. I exhorted this group to persevere in prayer to become an apostolic company of men and women who obeyed the original intent of God’s heart as revealed in the Scriptures. Together we welcomed the King of Glory to Austin. And we consecrated our hearts afresh to the Lord in unity that no man would take any credit for what was His alone to glory in. Therefore the thrust of apostolic passion is wholehearted concern with the original intent of God’s heart—God is glorified as mankind extends His kingdom throughout the earth.
So what does this look like for the church in Austin and beyond?
More to come….