Guys, today we have an excerpt from my new book, I Will Awaken The Dawn. This is the second book in the Heaven Now trilogy. All three books are a game plan for experiencing heaven right now and making everything around us like heaven. As scripture says, the kingdoms of the world are becoming the kingdom of our God!
I dedicated my life to missions when I was a teenager, and I immersed myself in books about prayer and spiritual warfare. Some of the things I learned helped me, but I had to un-learn other things.
My first solo missions trip was to Belize, when I was 18 years old. The Lord had showed me that the whole earth is full of his glory, but it will be full of the “knowledge of his glory.” As I read scripture, I realized that being filled with the “knowledge of God’s glory” corresponds to being like heaven. Praise, thanksgiving, and proclamation play a big part in bringing this about. When I connected the dawn of Isaiah 60 to Psalm 108, so many things in scripture started to come together in my understanding!
Psalm 108:1-4 (NRSV) My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
This is what happened when I put the truths God was teaching me into practice. I visited a small town in Belize called “Orange Walk.” I declared God’s praise until Orange Walk became heaven to me. I declared what I saw, and heaven manifested in Orange Walk.
Orange Walk Town
I remember riding from the west part of the country to the northern part in the back of a pickup truck. The pastor who invited me had recently planted a church in a town called Orange Walk.
I’d heard about Orange Walk. People told me it was dangerous. A lot of gang members operated there. To a person seeing with only human eyes, it looked like a dark place.
I met a young man whose upper body was covered with scars. He had been walking in Orange Walk and met some guys who made fun of his girlfriend. When he said “Hey guys, leave her alone,” they attacked him with knives and machetes. They stabbed him multiple times, and he had slash marks from machetes going all the way across his back.
He was left on the ground and cried out to God to help him and save his life. He told the Lord that if his life was saved, he would repent from his rebellion and stop using drugs. Then, finding strength to get to someone who could help him, he collapsed on the ground in front of their door.
Within three days he had recovered enough strength to play volleyball. I was amazed! I saw the scars covering his back and stomach. Such a recovery could be nothing less than miraculous!
Orange Walk seemed like a dark and dangerous place, but I knew it was filled with God’s glory. The back of the pickup truck was a great place to pray and sing to the Lord. Going 60 miles an hour down the highway, the wind was so loud that nobody heard me.
I remembered every time the Lord had saved me, helped me, and delivered me. I wept as I began to thank him, and truly began to feel like I was in heaven. My heart was bursting with power. I wanted to shout. I felt like rivers of God’s love were flowing through me, and that love was so powerful that nothing was impossible.
When I arrived at Orange Walk, I had a good time hanging out and talking with people. Yet I felt that I couldn’t stop thanking the Lord. The whole time, I quietly gave thanks and praise to God. I was singing in tongues without even thinking about it.
Psalm 34:1 (NRSV) I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
The love I felt for everybody around me overwhelmed me. I didn’t just love the people, but I even loved the trees and everything else. It felt like everything around me was vibrating with God’s goodness.
A Heavenly Perspective
There was a church meeting that night, under a tarp in the open air. About 30 people gathered. As the worship team practiced, I sat in the back singing to the Lord and talking to people. I felt like my face had become radiant, glowing with the light of the Lord’s glory which I saw.
As we sang and gave thanks to God during the meeting, I began to shout. It was almost involuntary, coming from the very depths of my being. The joy and thankfulness I felt towards the Lord for saving me could not be expressed in words.
Psalm 32:7 (NRSV) You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 32:11 (NRSV) Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
I knew about the drug dealing, the violence, and the crime in Orange Walk. But I now saw that it was filled with the glory of God, and it was heaven. As I came into the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, I began to feel my body physically vibrating with God’s goodness. It felt like a weight over me and a love so strong it was tangible. I could barely stand on my feet.
In that moment, I realized that nothing was impossible. I saw the Lord, and he was so much bigger than anything else that had captured my attention. He was so much more impressive than any evil spirit which had caused destruction in Orange Walk.
I began to declare what I saw. I proclaimed that the people in Orange Walk would encounter God and be delivered. I pronounced that the veil which kept people from seeing the glory of God in the face of Christ, would be removed. Orange Walk would no longer be covered in thick darkness, but the people would sing God’s praise on the streets! Orange Walk and Belize would be filled with shouts of joy and glad cries of deliverance!
By the end of that meeting, I had a radically different perspective. I couldn’t see any difference from a natural viewpoint, but the eyes of my heart had been opened and Orange Walk was now heaven to me. I saw that Orange Walk was filled with God’s glory. I knew it.
Revival In Orange Walk!
About two months after I returned from that trip to Belize, I talked with a pastor who had just returned from his own trip there. He told me “Revival broke out in Orange Walk! The church has more than doubled, and it’s almost all people who just got saved!”
This was what had happened since my experience in Orange Walk! I couldn’t prove this had anything to do with my experience. But I was convinced that truths which I felt the Lord was showing me in scripture, about praise and thanksgiving, had just been practically demonstrated. Orange Walk began to be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory.
Most of these new believers in Orange Walk were teenagers or young adults in their twenties. I got to know many of them during later trips to Belize. They were so new to the Lord, and in need of discipleship! But they were so passionate! Since then, many of them have become evangelists, sharing the gospel in different parts of their country with evangelistic skits, Christian rap, dance, and other means.
All of Belize, and all of the earth, is filled with the glory of the Lord. Many people are still blind to that fact. But Belize, and every nation, will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the waters cover the seas! The veil, the thick darkness that has covered the nations, is being removed!
I believe that cities and nations can be saved! Will Awaken The Dawn is full of revelation on praise, thanksgiving, and proclamation. It also includes many more testimonies, including the story of my grandmother’s trip to heaven, various healing testimonies, experiences with angels, supernatural rain in my house, and stories of supernatural multiplication, provision, and deliverance. I believe it will encourage you and help you to grow in faith and in God’s grace.
Meanwhile, for more of the principles highlighted in I Will Awaken The Dawn, check out my article I Will Sing Your Praise Before The “Gods”