In April 2010, Dennis was scheduled to preach in France and Moscow. On the flight to France, the captain announced that they were being diverted around Iceland. Thinking nothing of it until he arrived in France, he soon found out the delay was more than a slight problem. Nearly the entire European continent had been grounded after a volcano erupted in Iceland.
The ash from the volcano filled the air causing air traffic to come to an abrupt halt. For five days, the skies in most European cities were silent, and Dennis’ assignment in Moscow was at risk. Only God could clear the skies to get air travel moving again.
As I began to pray over this situation, I heard myself say, “I command the wind from the east and the south to blow the ash back to its source.” Suddenly I realized the words “the wind from the east and the south” sounded very familiar. So I picked up my Bible and began thumbing through the pages. I discovered that two weeks prior to this event Psalm 78:26 was part of my morning devotion. This psalm records how God parted the Red Sea so the children of Israel could cross on dry ground: “He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power” (NLT). So I prayed that the Lord would once again release the east wind and guide the south wind to blow the ash back to it’s source so Dennis’ flight could depart for Moscow as scheduled.
That’s exactly what happened. While thousands remained stranded, Dennis flew to Moscow just as he had planned and fulfilled his assignment. God’s Word will always accomplish what we send it to do (Isaiah 55:11).
He taped five days of television with Rick Renner, taught in the Bible school, and finished his ministry trip with a full day of teaching at the church on Sunday. It was reported several days after Dennis returned home that 30,000 people remained stranded all over Europe, but his schedule hadn’t been disrupted at all.
A few days later, I read an article about the volcano in a news magazine. An aerial photograph showed the pattern of the ash that had only migrated east and south of Iceland. God knew exactly what needed to happen to control the situation and clear the entire continent of the dangerous ash so Dennis could complete his assignment. The wind needed to blow from the east and south, sending the ash back in the direction it came.
These are the days in which God is demonstrating His power through believers who will use their God-given authority. But first, we must be confident that disaster is never God’s will. It is His goodness that leads men to repentance, not disaster. Second, we must be confident in the integrity of God’s Word. He will always do what He has promised. Third, we must become skillful in using the authority God has entrusted us with. Fourth, we must keep our hearts and minds free from “static” that would prevent us from discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit. And finally, we must know our God-given assignment and remain on task.
When we continually feed on God’s Word, we strengthen our spirits. Instead of talking about problems when threatened with disaster, we will speak the solution. When we feed on God’s Word, walk in the Word, and listen to the Word, the Word will increase and strengthen our spirits. Our foundation will be built solid and strong, and our lives won’t collapse, even “though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house…” (Matthew 7:25). Instead, we’ll stand boldly on the Rock of Jesus Christ in the midst of the storm, holding back disaster with the power of His Word.