Given August 12, 2018
I was standing for praise and worship in my church, Zion Family Ministries, this Sunday morning and since my wife and I sit in the back, I can see all the people in front of us. I’ve noticed before that our people display different postures during this time; hand positions, clapping, moving to the music and, of course, singing. Now, we have a great variety of folks in our congregation and even though we are considered to be a Pentecostal church, we have members who have come from all kinds of different church backgrounds. So we’re free to do anything the Spirit leads us to do as we worship our Lord and Savior. I, for instance, was raised and saved in a Baptist church which was, as I remember, pretty calm and reserved during the service. So as I look over our congregation, I see people with their hands raised all the way up, palms facing forward or in, I see folks with hands raised half way up, I see some clapping, some moving their feet with their hands up and so forth. But I also see some who just stand there; no hands raised, no movement. Now, let me be clear; I do not condemn those who are not emotional and free because I don’t know what kind of praise and worship they have in their heart. And some people are just uncomfortable expressing themselves in public; they may just be shy. So I am not faulting anyone here. “Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:9)
But here’s the thought I had this day. We were singing a song asking for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and I noticed several people who had their hands up in a receiving stance like an open vessel wanting to be filled. And I saw others with hands down to their sides. Again, I’m not judging but the thought came to me, if the Spirit was being poured out like rain, would some be willing to be soaked without reservation and would there be any who would put up an umbrella? I think, in our church, no one would raise an umbrella! We want to be filled and soaked with the Holy Spirit!
Then, another thought came to me. In the day of the Great Flood in Noah’s time, the Bible says in Genesis 7:11, “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” The water that caused the flood came from the ground AND the heavens; there was a ground swell and an outpouring. This is what I saw this day in church; an outpouring of God’s Spirit from above and a ground swell of the Spirit from below. When this happened, the people could not help but be soaked! Since that day, I have been praying this for every service; that God would pour out His Spirit on us from above and soak our feet and legs from below. We need to be soaked and anointed by God’s Spirit so we can more effectively do the work we have all been called and gifted to do. #picturethis