A Holy Spirit fire was ignited in Nuremberg, Germany, this past week. In a stadium where Hitler once raised up and trained his army, friends from around the world came together for one purpose: at an event called Awakening Europe they came to see people saved and transformed by the love of God.
On July 9-12, 2015, about 25,000 people from more than 20 nations gathered together in Germany to glorify the name of Jesus in Europe. Ben Fitzgerald, Todd White, and others assembled a large family of Jesus lovers to send throughout the world carrying the fire of the Holy Spirit and the love of God. Heidi Baker, Jesus Culture band, Jake Hamilton, and others rearranged their schedules to be a part of what God was doing to re-awaken Europe and to see God’s kingdom come.
Ben Fitzgerald, an Australian born evangelist who was also a pastor at Bethel Church Redding, said that Germany was ripe for what God wanted to do in all the earth. He said, “A great catalytic fire is going to leave Germany and go across Europe and millions of people are going to come back to God in the next few years.” Fitzgerald saw the beginning of his dream come true this weekend in Germany.
At Awakening Europe, there was no other agenda but Jesus. There was no competition, no striving, no trying to get a higher position. If anything, people were trying to get lower still so they could lay down to worship before King Jesus. Awakening Europe appeared to be a fulfillment of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:1-3 of “having the same love, being in unity with one mind,” and of Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that will I seek after—for me to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to see the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
This conference was more like a huge family reunion than anything else. Everyone worshipped Jesus together and sought to invite even more people into the growing family of God. It was such a pure offering unto the Lord.
Faith also marked Awaking Europe. The speakers and leaders seemed to walk in high levels of faith. Fitzgerald and White stepped out in faith to rent a stadium when they didn’t have the funds. Even when the conference started, they were short thousands of dollars. On the final day, however, all the money came in to cover the costs. Awakening Europe was a present-day Nehemiah story coming together.
The conference started with a Thursday night session with no real agenda other than worshipping Jesus. Fitzgerald, White and others gave room for the Holy Spirit to take over the stadium. They simply knelt down on the stage to worship and invited God to come and lead. A chorus that regularly flowed throughout the conference was, “Holy Spirit I surrender, I say yes to You. Jesus, Jesus.”
There was desperation in their cries for more of the Holy Spirit. There was passion in their voices. There was a sacred hunger present.
On Friday, White called for all who had not yet encountered God’s love to stand up. Many people responded. White asked them to run quickly to the end of the stadium where a ministry team was prepared to receive them. Hundreds of people cascaded towards the field so they could give their lives to Jesus. White had the several thousands gathered at the end of the field get down on their knees and repeat a prayer. Following this, he had the rest of those in the stadium extend their hands and ask for a baptism of fire. There was a special presence in the stadium that night. When the Holy Spirit crashed in on them, they could no longer hold back the tears. People were marked by the love of God like never before.
Walter Heidenreich and Heidi Baker spoke on Saturday. At one point, hunger for more increased as a young woman ran onto the field as fast as she could. She wanted more of God. This hunger is similar to what Baker experienced in the late 1990s. At one meeting, she ran up to the front of a church in the middle of Randy Clark’s message because she was so hungry for more of the Holy Spirit. She was marked by Clark’s prayer that day. Hunger attracts the heart of God; those who are hungry shall be filled.
Europe indeed was awakened to hunger for something more this week. Thousands were saved. Many were set free from shame. Multitudes were activated to be Jesus to those around them in their everyday lives. Many in and outside the stadium were physically healed and encountered the love of God like never before. Hope arose in the hearts of those present. A nation was lit on fire by the Holy Spirit. Ripple effects for eternity will come from what God poured out this weekend. Years and even generations from now, stories will continue to be told about how God met hungry people in Nuremberg, Germany at Awakening Europe.
May this conference be a template, a new wine skin for carrying what God wants to pour out in our generation. May releasing the heart of God always come from a place of being united in love as a family. May every conference or church meeting begin with no other agenda than to worship and encounter the living God. May space be made to yield to the spontaneous leading of the Holy Spirit. May a sweet sacrifice of our yielded lives always be poured out before our King. May every single gathering of believers forever be marked and led by seeking the face of Jesus.
I pray that you would receive a fresh impartation of what God did at Europe Awakening, that you would run after Jesus and never look back. May God help you to realize that you need family to fulfill your destiny. May He surround you with kindred spirits who will burn with you. May faith arise so you will have courage to step into the impossible. May hunger increase so that you are so desperate to have more of Jesus that you will take hold of Him at any cost. May everything you do come from a place of deep intimacy with Jesus. May you be undone for anything else but knowing Jesus and making Him known. In Jesus’ name, Amen.