Recently some members of our church and the students from our ministry school (Kingdom Life School NZ) combined with a group of students from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding California and combined forces for 10 days to spread revival around the north of NZ. As a team we saw God touch peoples lives in some of the most incredible ways. We ministered in schools, government buildings, markets, communities, churches, and a prison. Many came into relationship with God for the first time, deaf ears opened, broken bones were knit back together, unwanted lumps dissolved, body parts were recreated in front of our eyes, and many people experienced the presence and the goodness of God in undeniably tangible ways. The trip was an absolute blast!
Over and over during the trip I was personally deeply moved by something that I have come to call “the healed face”. The healed face is the shocked, slightly perplexed, astonished, pleasantly surprised expression on someone’s face as they are suddenly pulled into an overwhelming awareness of the love, closeness, and reality of God for them. It often happens when someone is miraculously healed, hence the name. It is a similar look to a possum caught in headlights. During the trip, and for the last many years of my life, seeing this expression has become both highly addictive and deeply satisfying.
One occasion that comes to mind from the recent trip is an instance where a young 14 year old boy at a school in Auckland manifested “the healed face”. I was in the drama class and he approached me with a look of disappointment on his face and asked me to pray for his back. He went on to tell me that he’d been in 9 - 10 out of 10 pain in his lower back since he was 4 years old. That’s 10 years, more than 2/3rds of his life! We prayed for him and he was instantly, totally healed! Tears began streaming down his face, his eyes filled with wonder and astonishment at the goodness and the nearness of God. In that moment I heard God whisper, “Matt that is the look of awakening, it is what I spoke to you about at the beginning of the year”.
During the first week of January this year God spoke to me in my car whilst driving to Auckland and said, “Matt this is the year of waking up and smelling the roses, it is a year of awakening”. From my perspective much of the church has been asleep and unconscious to the wonderful reality of the gospel, the closeness and awesomeness of God, and the beauty and abundance of the life He has prepared for each of us to walk in. But this is changing! I believe that God is awakening awakeners and whole communities of “woken up people” to release awakening to our nation. The face of that young 14-year-old man was the face of someone being abruptly and gloriously woken up into a whole new awareness of God and a whole new reality of life. That face is something that God wants to reproduce onto every face on the planet until the whole world wakes up into the glory of His reality.
In Gen 28 Jacob falls asleep with his head on a rock in a place named Luz. He wakes up in the morning after having a life changing, awakening, healed face, encounter with God and declares something that I find to be an absolutely profound truth. He says, “surely God was in this place and I knew it not”. God can be with us, intricately involved in our lives, and - in His fullness - closer to us than the air we breath and all the while we can be unaware of Him, asleep to His goodness, His closeness, and His Kingdom! It is only what you are aware of, what you have woken up to, and stay awake to that you can have access to and communion with. It’s like a man frantically searching for a few extra bucks to scrape together enough to pay his rent, or put a few crumbs on the table for his family when all the while he has a million dollars cash in his back pocket but doesn’t know it. Even though he has more than what he needs, he is living as though he has nothing. Why? Because he is unconscious to what he has.
God is waking people up to His beauty, His closeness, His love, His power, His provision etc. As people wake up to what they have in Him, His reality and the fact He has chosen to walk with us it will be overwhelming. The “healed face” and occasions like the young 14-year-old’s will become more and more common as awoken people begin to carry the reality of what they have woken up to into the lives of those still asleep. The reality of life as most know it is taking quantum leaps from glory to glory as Heaven floods the earth through those who have tasted and seen His love, closeness, and reality for them and choose to live out of that reality.