The following is provided by the Foursquare president, Pastor Jack Hayford, as a response to the many inquiries that have been received regarding the “Lakeland Revival.” This response is being sent with the confirmation of the board of directon.
It is understandable that the reports of what may be a breakthrough of divine grace are raising questions regarding the veracity of the reports. Some ask what official stance the Foursquare movement will take toward this phenomenon.
First, by any standard of biblical wisdom, it is far too early to assert anything on any terms. Understandably, the reports of miracle blessing would cause rejoicing in anyone who believes that God does, indeed, work miracles in our time. But equally understandable are the questions raised by experienced pastoral leaders who have dealt with “revival” situations that have proven deceptive and that have ultimately deterred sincere souls from an understanding of God’s Word and relationship with His Son.
Second, it has not been the practice of The Foursquare Church to draw conclusions hastily in such situations. Our own history as a movement is marked by miracle visitations, both in the United States and in many nations around the world where our ministry extends. We have seen pure, wise, and trustworthy leaders scorned by cynics—at times, even scorned by church leaders who oppose miracles in our time on any terms. That is one reason our general response is to be “slow to speak,” as the Bible instructs (James 1:19). It is for that same reason that we tend to position ourselves as Gamaliel did (Acts 5:34-41)—the rabbi whose influence is reported by the Apostle Paul as having shaped his own thinking in significant regards (Acts 22:3).
As president of our fellowship, and in conjunction with the elders serving on our board and the executives serving in our offices, I recommend that we all give ourselves to prayer for God’s grace upon us as a fellowship of churches. We want to be available to His Spirit, instructed by His Word, open to His will, and humbly slow to pass judgment on things that are outside our purview. We are not called to answer for any other ministry or its report; our responsibility is to seek to serve our flock, teach our people God’s Word and wisdom, and keep ourselves open to to the precious workings of His Spirit.
For the time being, our desire is to live in hope, believe for God’s best in our day, and counsel our leaders and our people to be filled with the Spirit of God. We ask the Spirit to give us humility in discernment and to guard our souls from being either gullible, doubt-prone, or resistant to whatever God may seek to do that proves Christ-exalting, Word-verifying, and enduring beyond sensation or mere excitement. With time, whatever is taking place in Lakeland and through activities issuing from its happenings will either verify or discredit the source of the manifestations.
We are in an hour of history, both nationally and internationally, that calls us to prayer and fasting. Let us give ourselves to seeking God, and let us give place to His visitation in ways that please His heart, seek His glory, and honor His Son, our Savior, Healer, Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, and Soon Coming King.