I marked the planner…]
During the two weeks leading up to this healing service I had repeatedly asked God for the opportunity to pray and fast over it. While He did not open that avenue to me in full, my heart was captivated dwelling on how powerful an evening of prayer and healing could be. Like a kid waiting for his favorite television show, excitement built as the hour approached. I pulled into the church parking lot with anticipation for what God would be bringing to the collected group of people. Maybe there would be twenty of us gathered on this rainy evening. Oh that 50 brave souls might show for prayer and healing. To my amazement and delight the sanctuary was filled with HUNDREDS of worshipers, all singing songs of praise.
As the worship band turned down the volume on our loud jubilee, the Pastor began the service with a reminder that this was a celebration and a time of miracles. The Holy Spirit was in charge, anything can happen.
He then proclaimed of having witnessed mass healing while working alongside Katherine Kuhlman. Spines straightened, tumors falling off and disease cured in an instant. He told of his long wait to have this happen under his own watch; that the wait was over- miracles were going to occur tonight!
At once the band ramped it up into a solid, powerful rave pulse. It was irresistible. My hands hit the sky for what seemed like hours. All around me an explosion of spoken cries rose above the crowd, people wailing in tongues; some dancing with abandon. Next to me a woman started to babble in a language not quite discern-able. As for me and my spirit, simply praising my Savior was enough. Words of praise and song poured from my lips. If others chose to wail and use indistinguishable words, so be it. This time of worship and prayer amidst the dancing throng was between God and i.
What does heaven sound like? It is filled with the songs of praise, voices proclaiming His majesty with cheers and wonder. I once heard it at a David Crowder *Band concert and again in this crowded room.
Unexpected. God brought me revelation and confirmation on a subject that was not even in my thoughts. He shone His light upon it and cemented it as His will. I was only there to praise God and also to pray for those who needed intercession. He spoke into me on a matter previously set aside for the time. God works on multiple levels at the same time, all for His purpose and glory.
People gathered at the stage. Some prayed, some just conversed. The service was unstructured and yet it did not deter anyone from devotion at a personal level.
As it wound down the Pastor spoke these words: “If you had a life-changing transformation, please place an offering into the buckets on your way out”.
When it ended everyone went ‘normal’ and back to handshakes with warm embraces. I spoke with a senior pastor for perhaps 5 minutes on what brought me to this service. Then out and into the parking lot we all walked. God had been present, as He is everywhere regardless if we invite Him or not. Yet I was quiet as if awaiting a recap or overview from the Holy Spirit.
It came as a question in my spirit.
Does God accept out-of-bounds ‘worship’? He is God, and to my understanding worship should have reverence even in the midst of celebration.
This Pastor proclaimed from the stage of having seen backs made straight, tumors falling off and total healing while working with Katherine Kuhlman as a teen.
In the grand sweep of emotionally-charged moments people can believe the fervor of mass healing.
But how is God edified in it? Faith-healing evangelists such as Ms. Kuhlman, Mr. Hinn and so many more have been taken to court over false claims, suspect financial record keeping, overbearing business practices and deceitfully preselected ‘healing’.
Why would any man or woman of God bring the stain of these practitioners into a room of worshipers? Let alone bringing the subject up twice in the service as if telling the crowd again would somehow make it more plausible or valid.
It hurt my spirit deeply.
It was also proclaimed by this Pastor while on stage that someone in the crowd had seen angels. He told us that the walls were secured by angels locked arm-in-arm to keep the enemy out. This Pastor went on to explain that these angels had also spoken to the person, giving their reason for being there.
I do not dispute angels.
These spiritual beings have been used by God to bring Word, offer comfort and to usher in change. Prophets and disciples have seen them. Angels have appeared in times of great turmoil. Angels are also the Harvesters, armed with swords; strong and not ones to contend with. Why would they be on stage and around the walls? Again, I believe that angels exist as written testimony states, but even in times of deepest prayer with fasting I have not seen one. Nor would I desire to see a being of such power in the same place that I am standing!
LORD, please help me understand this Pastor and his claims.
Ten Years Ago…
I went to a worship service as prompted by the Holy Spirit. My role and purpose was to go and await Him. A ‘helper’ would join me in prayer.
In the sanctuary people blew loudly through rams horns, cried out in a babble of random spoken words, proclaimed angels, shrieked and wildly wailed while others danced freely with ribbons before the altar.
As the service was closing I walked up to the altar amidst the dancing and frolic, and knelt face down before my God. He took me into a time of intense prayer. With tears I pleaded for His indwelling Spirit to come upon me. Alone on the floor I waited and prayed for an intercessor, anyone. On opening my eyes I stood up and turned around to notice the room was empty except for a few gathered in the foyer towards the back, talking about where to meet for lunch. Everyone else had gone. Time had passed. Yet not one person out of this crowded room of devoted worshipers came to pray with me, stand alongside of me or bring words of comfort.
This experience hurt like fire. It caused me to question His calling and the prompting to go attend that service. My soul was stung to the core. It took a period of time for my spirit to let go of the bitterness, the feeling of being ‘sold’ a bill of goods. My faith had been rocked and scarred. Weeks passed.
What was THAT all about?
Then one day I broke down and cried out with exasperation to God “What was that all about?”
He then spoke into me… I had done exactly as He asked, followed to the note. That room of people gathered together was nothing more than a self-serving entity. There was no order or reverence in this circus of ‘worship’. No one there ‘heard’ the Holy Spirit speak as they were too busy expressing themselves. This pained my heart.
This revelation was the start of how God began to show me the brokenness of the church worldwide. It has been a heavy understanding to carry. But for this writing I must go back to the matter at hand. We must long for God, for more of His love to permeate us without hindrance. Worship is intimate.
Yes, it can get loud. But even in our moments of highest praise we are to remember WHO it is we worship. That ought to put us in our proper place… at His feet… in reverence of God Most High- the One who owns the universe and all that is in it. Raise your hands in the air, dance with joy for your King, speak in tongues that lift another person, revel in His glory and presence; but do it all with your eyes focused on God.
Worship is about Him and not about us. Amen.