(This is part one in a five-part article about the “H.O.P.² E.” acronym taken from the book, “They Told Me Their Stories,” where the environment of faith was described that attracted God's healing power to the Azusa Street revival. This article deals the first letter in the acronym – humility. )
One hundred years ago a profound revival visited a livery stable in Los Angeles on a street called Azusa. People from the far corners of the globe visited this old rundown building to witness the healing power of God demonstrated in startling and unusual ways. Arms grew back, cancers left bodies and tumors fell off. Thousands were healed.
The revival was characterized by the visible manifestation of God's glory. God's glory lay in the building like a fog. Little kids would play in it. The glory of God was manifested in the building and also in the surrounding neighborhood. People getting off at the central train station in Los Angeles, unaware that the revival was taking place, would step onto the platform and fall under the power of God. The fire department was called because the fire of heaven was visible on top of the building and people thought the building was burning down. God was making Himself known in a powerful way.
The leader of this revival was a black man. His name was William Seymour. At the start of each service Seymour would put a box on his head and stay under the box sometimes for ten minutes and other times up to an hour. He would then get up, take off the box and walk over to a section of chairs and tell everyone in that section that they were healed – and they would be! Some people struggled with Seymour and his box. The really sick people didn't mind the box on Seymour's head because they left the building healed.
This revival birthed churches that many of us are familiar with today – The Church of the Nazarene, Assemblies of God, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Foursquare, Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard Churches. Just about anyone who moves in the Gifts of the Spirit today can trace their spiritual DNA back to the meetings on Azusa Street.
In the great Azusa Street Revival the prophets who were in those meetings prophesied that 100 years in the future, in the years of 2009 - 2010, a greater outpouring of God's glory would take place upon the earth. We are living in that prophesied time today.
As some have studied this world-changing revival several things have been discovered about the people who gathered in those meetings on Azusa Street. It is called the Azusa Code. An acronym was created for this code - “H.O.P(2).E.” This acronym is defined by the words - humility, obedience, prayer, purity and expectation. These five elements were in the atmosphere of this revival and other revivals in church history. God was attracted to this atmosphere and history reveals what happened.
The word humble means, “to press down.” It is a word picture of someone taking their hand and pushing something down. Humility is not a demeanor or a certain way of speaking. Humility is an action. Humility pushes one thing down so that something else can rise up.
When someone is humble, in the way the Word defines humility, they are someone who pushes down those things that bring dishonor to God. As they push down what dishonors God, God is able to raise up what honors Him.
I Peter 5:6 says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
As we choose to live in this place of humility the power of God is attracted to that choice and supernatural things begin to take place. Humility lives under the mighty power of God. When the Church is positioned in humility under God's power, He will raise us up to new places of honor because He can trust us to carry out His agenda.
When we live as humble people, God is able to go to work for us to accomplish things that are beyond human ingenuity and strength.
James 4:6-7 tells us, “God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.” 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1. Humility releases God's supernatural favor.
Favor is what opens the doors that are closed in our lives. Favor turns a business deal around. Favor causes a wayward child to hear and respect a parent. Favor is used by God to make the impossible possible.
2. Humility becomes a weapon of supernatural warfare.
As we humble ourselves before the Lord, we live in the resisting presence of God that causes hell to flee from our lives. Humility is connected to heaven's power. Humility scares darkness and makes it run away.
Today, as you and I seek a greater outpouring of God's presence, we will welcome the Holy Spirit to identify those things that would raise themselves up against the knowledge of God. The presence and power of God will then come bringing supernatural change that will affect the very atmosphere of our lives and our communities.