My Response Concerning Lakeland and recent events
Well… since i was so adamant in supporting Todd Bentley and the Lakland Outpouring and my reluctant approval of what went on there for the sake of the healings, I am obligated to make this ‘statement’.
I am no leader or authority in the prophetic movement nor do I claim any responsibility for anything other than my lack of discernment and I seriously doubt that what I have to say is of any importance or will have any lasting effect.
I have 4 friends who went to Lakeland came back ‘on fire’. While God was doing something miraculous in them and in my congregation which I meet with every Sunday, I did not feel right about how they were handling what God was really trying to do with us. There was alot of pride and division around it and it threatened our friendship and our working relationship.
But, I was willing to tolerate it for the sake of the good that was going on even though I was hurt over seeing my friend almost ailenate me because of my concerns. My take on revival has always been to accept the good and overlook the bad for the sake of the good. It is still that way. But, I found myself taking part in that what I didn’t even approve of. In doing that, I sacrificed my discernment.
When the move of God comes, you need to look for fruit. Is this helping you grow in love? Does this focus your eyes on Jesus? Sadly, at Lakeland most were not. Todd was not wise in his scheduling and his marriage is suffering. I’m not saying that God didn’t know what he was doing when he chose Todd to lead the revival at Lakeland. Todd was not wise when he was given what he wanted. Often God gives us what we want if we want it bad enough even though he knows it will hurt us. He did that to Israel when he gave them a king. They wanted a king, he did not and he even warned them what would happen if they did have a king. But, nevertheless they got one and sure enough everything that God said would happen to them under a king happened under Saul’s reign.
I am in no way excusing Todd for his actions. But what happened to him happens to so many people on so much smaller a scale. His focus became more on revival and success than Jesus himself. Me and my friends became more focused on manifestations of the Holy Spirit than Jesus himself. Revival, success, and manifestations are good. But like any blessing such as money and power, they can become a God if we aren’t careful. We must not neglect the reality and the goodness of what happened at Lakeland. Many people got saved and many were healed at Lakeland even though the leader fell into sin.
I call anyone who has sinned ever in their life (Rom. 3:23) to fervently pray for Todd. No matter what he did, no man deserves to go through what he is going through now. He has submitted to restoration under Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, and John Arnott. We need to stand with him especially during this time. I cannot say what i would do if i was in the situation that Todd was in at Lakeland. While I do not approve of his actions at Lakeland, I will stand with Todd and pray for him. Micah 7:18 says that God delights in mercy. I pray that Todd Bentley will be restored and made a trophy of grace and hopefully be used by God in ministry again. I pray for healing and restoration in his life. In Jesus name, Amen.