If You Want to See REVIVAL
Some Personal Observations
When the Holy Ghost
Does Show Up
Send your revival Lord, send your fire Lord, Holy Spirit you are welcome in this place.
These are all 'right' sounding things to confess in our services, but is it really what we mean? Or is it what we think 'sounds' right and therefore has become our mantra.
I have had the opportunity to witness first hand what happens when the Holy Spirit does try to come into our meetings and really do something different. You would think we would fall on our faces and welcome Him with open arms wouldn't you? Sad to say that has not been my experience at all. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be the case. Let me explain some of my own experiences when the Spirit of the Lord actually does show up.
The biggest sign that the Holy Spirit is actually moving is the fact things really do happen. For far too long we have faked what was really happening in our meetings, perhaps in some way trying to ignore our own pitiful state. We have settled for some questionable 'words', have half - heartedly cast out demons (only to have them come back next week), have experienced a few goose bumps and have said what a wonderful spiritual time we are having. How deceived can we be? Satan, whom we boast is beneath our feet, must be laughing his head off.
I will come back to this point later, but it should be established from the beginning, I believe the real issue in our meetings is CONTROL. We say, you are welcome Holy Spirit, come and have your way. But as soon as He takes us at our word and something unusual happens we immediately wonder "is that the devil?". We don't seem to be in control anymore, and that is troublesome for us stiff-necked mortals.
Some of the things I have observed first hand, when the Holy Spirit is allowed to move are as follows:
People Fall Down, I don't know why we find this so difficult to understand. When we, mere mortals are touched by the One Who holds the universe in the palm of His hand, are unable to stand before Him. If He says the Word, all of creation will simply roll up like a finished scroll. So why oh why are we surprised when we 'fall out' under His power? The answer I would put forward is Control, WE want to be in control, and falling down does not demonstrate being in control.
I have seen people 'fall out' several different ways, some people simply get weak in the legs and have no choice but to fall down. Others seen to go completely stiff and almost pass out and do fall over forward or backwards. I have seen other people who look as if the Lord had smacked them with a 2x4 the way they are lifted off of their feet and are thrown backwards. Others simply drop their head and collapse, forward, or backwards like a sack of potatoes.
These are just some of the things I have observed, but there is one constant, and that is I have never seen anyone hurt during these times. I have heard people hit the floor with such force, you would be certain they would be hurt, but they have felt nothing. A curious footnote, quite often Pastors and other leaders, seem to fall forward, far more than us mere sheep. Don't know why and I don't need to know, it is just an observation.
One of my own experiences was during a house meeting. This was the first time I experienced the power of God come on me and while I knew what it was, I definitely resisted in my own strength.. fool that I was. My legs began to shake from the knees down and I fought the urge to simply kneel down with all my might until finally my legs were like a shaking mass of jelly and I had no choice but to simply fall on my knees and then my face. And I can say from personal experience that my own pride and wanting to be in control was central to what was going on. I can make up some lame excuse about not knowing what was happening, but the bottom line is: I wanted to be in control and that is all there was to it. Falling down does not fit into my definition of being in control.
Another thing I believe comes into this is the degree to which we are familiar with the Lords Presence and His Power and the degree to which we truly trust Him. I believe we can actually stop God through the power of our own wills. That is not to say that God can't do as He pleases but rather that He chooses to have our co-operation and is pleased when we surrender our wills to Him.
People Laugh Uncontrollably. I have seen people literally rolling on the floor in uncontrollable laughter as the Lord ministered to their needs. To the 'natural' mind this certainly does seem 'un-natural' but remember that God is SUPERnatural. I personally have been moved to laughter (which is totally out of character for me) and I can't honestly say why. It is not as if God told me a joke or something, but I simply have been overcome with laughter. We sing about the oil of Joy, and say that Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit, we say that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. So why are we surprised when that joy is demonstrated by laughter? I have had a believer say to me " that Holy laughter bugged the H_ _ _ out of me". Imagine, we can actually be offended by laughing in the Presence of the Lord. Methinks that some religious spirits get all stirred up when we don't always act 'churchy'. And laughing certainly isn't 'churchy'.
People bend over and make weird noises I have seen people bend over and make some very peculiar noises as the Power of God comes on them. Sometimes they walk backwards in circles and do all manner of strange things. I have come to believe that this is usually an unholy spirit getting disturbed when his house is being invaded by the Power of God and they simply cannot sit still. We can either co-operate with God and get the devils out of us or we can resist God, listen to the lying devils and keep them. The choice is ours. Any one who says that Christians can't have devils obviously have one, and they are listening to one of his little lies when they say such a thing. I repeat, we can let God get rid of them or we can keep them, it is our choice.
People Go on Fire We ask the Lord to baptize us with His fire, and we say send you fire Lord. Why should we be surprised to discover that Fire is actually HOT. Funny as it sounds but some people are really surprised to learn that the fire of the Holy Spirit really is HOT. I have seen people rub their hands on the floor in an effort to put the fire out. I have seen people take off their socks to cool down. I have seen people use the clothes like a fan to cool off and so on. When the FIRE does fall.... it does GET HOT. It really, actually to your flesh gets down right uncomfortable! At the same time myself and others have felt the wind of the Holy Spirit and guess what, it DOES feel like wind! Imagine that! Wind and fire are not just empty words void of meaning when the Holy Spirit is allowed to move in our meetings. However, we have experienced nothing for so long it is normal, so when something does happen we don't know how to react. We are not as bright as we would like to think we are sometimes. And when it comes to the things of God we can be down right foolish sometimes.
Who is in Control? This really is the point at issue in all of these cases. I have seen other things happen but the previous descriptions gives you some idea of what to expect when the Holy Ghost does show up in Power. Since we are not familiar with His Presence and Power in our meetings we are not certain whether it is the Holy Ghost or the devil, when people begin to act peculiarly. If our leadership and the people present are true to their word when they invite the Holy Spirit to come and have His way, why can't we simply trust Him to do just that? If we do, we need not concern ourselves with whether or not things are of Satan. I read in a book relating to other moves of God in the last century and the early part of the 20th century that people always seem to give Satan more credit for being able to deceive us, than we give God credit for being able to bless us. Sadly, if we adopt that way of thinking we will have another of those self-fulfilling prophecies.
To stiff-necked Pastors etc. The only people Jesus had trouble with were leadership, and there is nothing new under the sun. These 'leaders' who sadly don't know the Holy Spirit from the unholy spirit will immediately want to see in scripture where the exact same thing happened so they will know whether it is of God or not. How sad can it get, when we truly don't know the Holy Spirit from devils? I would ask these people the following : "what do you think that signs and wonders look like anyway?". They do not look like the ordinary or they would neither be a sign or a wonder. What do mighty miracles look like? Do they look normal? I hope I have made my point. If you search scripture you will find many things recorded that certainly don't fall into the category of normal. Talking donkeys for example. The sun standing still. The Red Sea parting. Need I go on? So why are we all bent out of shape when someone falls down or laughs or cries? Perhaps it is because we have been doing 'church' for so long we don't know the Lord when He really does show up, and that is sad indeed!
What Really Happens! Earlier I have listed some of the outward signs I have seen when the Holy Spirit is given freedom to minister. Now let me relate some of the things that really happen when He is free to minister. People are completely healed, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Yokes are broken, eyes are opened, hearts are changed, lives are transformed. Does this happen all at once, in one two hour meeting? It could, but that is not my experience. Consider how many years it has taken us to get into our pitiful condition. Why do we think that our Lord is simply going to completely overhaul us in one evening? If He did, neither we or our family would know us. No I believe it is a gradual, ongoing process and that is how it should be. It keeps us coming back to our Lord again and again. I fear many of us want 'drive-thru' healing. We would like to pull into our nearest fast service church, get what we need and then get on with our lives. I don't think that is the kind of relationship the Lord wants us to develop.
The controversy surrounding these different manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not unlike the battle which has gone on for years regarding speaking in tongues. Those who did not ask for it, nor experience it, don't think we need it. The same things applies with some of these other manifestations, those who have not experienced it, don't want anything to do with it. The problem in both cases is that people are cutting themselves off from a blessing God wants them to have. I believe during these times He is changing us so that we will be better prepared to receive what else He has in store.
I hope we will be able to open up and accept and give full freedom to the Holy Spirit. It is only Him and the Anointing that can change us. Lord may it be so. Amen.