Monday, April 18, 2011

Here I Stand

For such a time as this.  Four hundred ninety years ago today (April 18) Martin Luther stood before the Diet of Worms in Germany and declared "Here I Stand."  The following is a quote from my book, Return of the Priests.

It was late February of 2001, and I was standing on the spot where Martin Luther declared his famous speech before the Diet or court, held in Worms, Germany. I was sobbing uncontrollably as I sensed the power of the Holy Spirit surge through me.  As His words gushed forth, I proclaimed:

I am blowing my wind upon the church. 
I am restoring worship. 
I am restoring the priesthood. 
I will move upon My people in Germany. 
I will move upon My people in the nations. 
I am beginning a new reformation.

I was in Germany on a prayer assignment with Intercessors International (now called Increase International), co-founded by Floyd and Beth Alves.  We were getting acquainted with German businessmen who had invited us to be personal marketplace intercessors for their corporation.  While there, one of the businessmen took another intercessor and me to Worms, the site of Martin Luther's trial.

In April of 1521, Martin Luther was called to make an appearance before the Diet.   Everything he had written and spoken about would be questioned. The Diet was not only a gathering of church officials from the Roman Catholic Church, but involved the Emperor himself. According to Roland H. Bainton in Here I Stand, Martin Luther was “a simple monk, a miner’s son, with nothing to sustain him save his own faith in the Word of God.”

Over a two-day period, Luther underwent an extensive examination of his writings about justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers, among other doctrinal topics.  To the demand of the Diet, that he renounce his heretical beliefs, Luther responded by declaring:

“Since then your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
Now, centuries later on the same location, the Lord was proclaiming a fresh wind of reformation and revival. 

It is time for us to make our stand.  It is time for reformation.  It is time for true revival.  It is a time, even as "simple" people to confess that we are unwilling to move off of the foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord.


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