The River is a group of believers whose passion is to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. We have discovered in order to accomplish this mission the saints must be equipped. The equipping is done by teaching others how to walk in a devoted prayer life, worship God for who He is, let the Holy Spirit lead, and most importantly doing everything in love.
By implementing this in every part of our lives, we are crossing denominational and theological lines promoting unity within the Body of Christ. We believe that God is much bigger than what today’s church is allowing Him to be. And today, at this moment, He is doing a new work: calling His church, His bride, to revival and restoration to what we were called to be. Powerful testimonies are being birthed everyday through the power, identity, and purpose Jesus is giving His people by living this way of life.
Friday’s, 7:00PM – 10:00PM
400 Warren Rd Augusta, GA 30907
The first vision of The River:
During prayer I saw myself in a river. It was a fast moving river and I knew it was also very deep so I had no need to worry about hitting any rocks beneath me. I could see that my feet were sticking out of the water, which told me I was relaxed. I had complete peace as I was swiftly being carried downstream wherever the river planned on taking me.
Then I realized that I didn’t know where I was going. I also knew that I could get out of the river and walk the banks and by doing so I could reach the same destination. If I chose to do that I would be able to see where I was headed much easier, but it would take much longer and it would be in my own strength. I was also sure to get tired and thirsty much more quickly and much more often if I did that, than if I remained in the river and trusted where it was taking me.
Then the Lord told me that the river represented the Holy Spirit. I must learn to stay in the river, (trust His guiding me,) if I truly desire to see Him use me for His work here on earth.
The second vision of The River:
Next I saw Ana(my wife) in the river with me. She was fighting against the current. She was afraid of the river and how it was carrying us along so swiftly. She was grabbing me and pleading for me to get to the bank. I stayed relaxed and trusted the river. Soon she realized that her fighting against the current was doing nothing, and that she was being carried along just as fast as me, only she was fighting it. So, she too relaxed and was able to put her feet out of the water and we both were carried on swiftly down the river.
The third vision of The River:
Then I saw hoards of people coming into the river behind us. They formed an island of people. They were trying to stay away from the banks in order to flow down stream. They were trying their best to stay away from the bank and to trust the river wherever it was taking them.
We must learn to trust the Holy Spirit and His leading us even though at times we will not be able to see exactly where we are going. When this happens we will be tempted to try and get out of the river and on to the bank where we have control of where we are going and at what pace we are moving. We must do our best to remain in the river at all times, which means we must do our best to trust the Holy Spirit and where He is taking us. If we do this we will be used much more effectively by the Lord.
“Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who reads it may run.”
The Vision for The River
Here is a list of what “The River” will be focused on accomplishing. We can not do these things in our own strength, we ourselves must remain “in the river” (trusting the Holy Spirit) if we wish to accomplish them.
“Without vision the people perish.”
One year Ana and I took a trip to Niagara Falls. While we were there we learned of the history of the Niagara River. We quickly saw that God was using this river to show us the vision for our gathering “The River”. After arriving in Niagara we were amazed to learn of the zip code, 14302.
Niagara was known because of its river, and our ministry 143 Ministries International Inc., will be known because of its gathering “The River” as well. Here is what we learned about Niagara River and what our gathering will also be known for.
The first railway in North America:
Before the invention of the railway, necessities had to be moved manually by the strength of men and animals. The construction of the railway enabled those same necessities to be moved much faster and with more ease. The railway was also the model that would lead to the railroad which eventually brought our nation together. The railroad also brought great wealth to many who were connected to it and even enabled the Union to overpower the confederacy and help end slavery.
The River will enable people to do much more spiritually than they usually would because they will learn to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power rather than their own. The River will also be a model for others who will eventually bring spiritual blessings (wealth) to all who are connected to our approach, which is total reliance upon the Holy Spirit. This approach will also unify our nation and help defeat the enemy who is enslaving God’s people.
The Underground Railroad’s final stop was in Niagara (14302).
Countless runaway slaves crossed over to freedom at the Niagara River. If those who were running for freedom made it to the Niagara River, they knew they had found freedom. There were men and women in Niagara that opened their homes to them and went to great lengths to help them get into the river and find their long sought freedom.
The River will have men and women who will also go to great lengths to help people who are searching for freedom “get into the river.” By teaching people to trust the Holy Spirit we will be able to help countless people finally find true freedom.
We also must remember that we will not have to go looking for those who truly want freedom. They will have already gone to great lengths to find it and they will be led to us. When they reach us our only job is to help them to trust “The River” (The Holy Spirit) and cross over to gain their freedom. Those who truly desire to be free will take our instruction and “get in the River.”
The first ever suspension bridge was built on the Niagara River:
A suspension bridge on paper looked like an impossible feat. It was hard to find people to believe in the concept because it had never been done. No one had ever dreamed of building a bridge that was literally held up from above. It took faith from everyone involved, from the architect, to the finances, to the laborers.
After it’s completion this first suspension bridge proved the blueprint worked and many others followed suit.
The River’s approach at times may look like it will not work. Relying on power from above to “hold us up” takes much more faith than doing things like they’ve always been done. It will also take faith from everyone involved. If we trust God, we too will build a model for others to follow. We will build a bridge that connects people who are separated, and we will only be able to do this because of our reliance upon the Holy Spirit, and our teaching them to do so as well.
The first time hydroelectricity was ever harnessed on a massive scale was on the Niagara River:
Nicolas Tesla’s crown victory of his AC theory was when he built the first ever hydroelectric power plan on the Niagara River. He used the river to literally bring power and light to thousands of people. Tesla also had to quit his job with Edison and go his own way because he knew Edison’s theory would never work. Had he been too afraid to believe in his own theory he never would’ve accomplished all he did.
The River’s approach will seem impossible to many, but if we trust God and stay the course we will be able to bring power and light to countless people. We must not be afraid of leaving the ideas of the past behind in order to pursue this vision of teaching people to trust the Holy Spirit. The status quo is not working anymore. We don’t need more programs at church, we need God to change people’s hearts. If we want something different, we have to do something different. We have to abandon ourselves to the Holy Spirit and teach others to do the same.
The Niagara Movement: was a movement during the civil rights era that intended to bring social change. Their term “might current of change” was intended to bring change on a social level in the communities throughout the nation.
The River will focus on the importance of being faithful to a devotional life, which in turn will lead people to trusting the Holy Spirit. This “might current of change” will be our commitment to a devotional life. This, in turn, will enable us to trust the Holy Spirit; and that will always lead to change within the individual first, which will then lead to change within the community.
The Niagara River flows north:
When looking at a map of the flow of the Niagara River it will appear wrong because the river flows north. On a one-dimensional map when a river flows north it looks wrong, because a one dimensional map doesn’t show elevation. If we could see the same area on a three-dimensional map, we would see the elevation, and then we would see that although the river is flowing north, it is still flowing correctly which is downhill like all rivers.
The River will at times be criticized for doing things wrong and being in error because people tend to not see things properly. It will appear to some that we are in error because we are “flowing north.” The reason it will seem this way to them is because they are only able to see things on the surface. If they were able to see things “three dimensionally” (in the Spirit) they would be able to see that because of the elevation of the river it is truly flowing naturally, even though it looks unnatural to them. We must not let the opinions of those who can only see “one dimensionally” influence those of us who can see things “three dimensionally”. This will at times prove to be difficult unless we are faithful in our devotional life. If we are faithful in devotion to God, the Holy Spirit will assure us that He is in control, and we will be able to “stay in the River” and trust that He is leading us exactly where we should go.
THE KEY TO BEING ABLE TO TRUST HIM
A successful devotional life is the only way:
Trusting God is nearly impossible unless we know Him personally. In order to know Him personally we must spend time with Him everyday. This is a devotional life. Now by devotional life, I do not mean reading a daily devotional and saying a prayer and reading a passage or two. By devotional life I mean being devoted to spending alone time with God. During that time we must make sure that He is the main focus of that time. Reading devotionals, along with reading scripture, praying, and worshipping are all definitely a part of a successful devotional life, but doing them in and of themselves does not necessarily mean we have a successful devotional life.
If we are more focused on doing those things rather than being in relationship with God Himself, they become tasks. Instead, we must set apart time each day to focus on God Himself, and we must ask Him what He would like us to do during that time. It may be to remain quiet and just listen. He may tell us to play worship music and worship Him. He may tell us to pray or read. The important thing is that we are able to hear and obey Him. If we are not able to do this we will never be able to trust Him. And if we are not able to trust Him, we will never be able to “get in the river” and trust Him leading us in all areas of our lives. Instead, we will live our lives on the banks of the river and watch those who trust Him quickly be carried downstream wherever the Lord desires to take them.