Friday, October 17, 2014
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Let’s contend, Friend!
Way back in the early ‘90s, I was preaching in Syracuse, New York on a blustery January morning. As I came to the platform, the Holy Spirit gave me a prophecy. He said something like, “There is coming a day when even the so-called Word of Faith churches will turn away from the things of the Spirit, Their services will be devoid of power. It will be up to you to contend for the supernatural, or these things will be lost to the church.” Shortly thereafter there came some of the so-called revivals of the decade. There were all sorts of interesting activities attributed to the Holy Spirit. There were laughing meetings, fire meetings, crying meetings, shaking meetings, etc. I thought, “Well, a lot of other folks are doing the supernatural, so I can go on about my business.” Then one day I looked around and found that even the so-called Word churches were amazingly dead. Over 50% of the people in many previously Holy Ghost churches were not even Spirit-filled. Speaking in tongues was forbidden in the Sunday meetings. Services were slick, professional, and short. What happened?
I spoke about this subject with a pastor acquaintance who has “toned down” his Sunday services. He prefaced his comments by the phrase, “Well, we want to win the lost, don’t we? Isn’t that why we are here?” Of course! Who can argue with that? Then he described a service where a visiting minister had a healing line. People fell on the floor. The pastor told me, “There was a Baptist family visiting who got offended and never came back because of this.” Now they don’t have healing lines, not do they speak in tongues on Sunday. Three questions struck me. First, it wasn’t lost people who got offended. It was Baptists. Do I really want to order my service to attract Baptists? Why not refer them to the Baptist Church? Second, the Bible says there may be those in our gatherings who are unbelievers or unlearned. Whose responsibility is it to teach people about the flow of the Spirit in the service, and to correct people if there is excess? Maybe a little pastoral explaining is in order. Third, what is the purpose of our Sunday morning gathering? If it is to win the lost we should order it one way. If it is the gathering of the saints to worship, fellowship, and be refreshed and renewed, then it will be a different flow. These are good and honest questions. Every church and every pastor needs to ask and answer them for themselves.
Somebody Said: “Make your church not only a Word church, but a Holy Ghost church. Put the Word first always. Move in the Holy Ghost in line with the Word. And the glory shall be made manifest. The glory shall even be seen by many. And the blessings of the Lord will flow like a mighty river.” Kenneth E. Hagin, Prophecy 2003.
Scripture Reading: “God set him on high at his side, Prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. And we are witnesses to these things. The Holy Spirit, whom God gives to those who obey him, corroborates every detail." (Act 5:31-32 MSG)
I am convinced that when we have the real move of the Spirit in our services and we explain what is happening to those who don’t know, people will be blessed and helped. Though there has been much foolishness passed off as spirituality, we must not pitch the baby with the bathwater. In an age of multiplying evil, the cost of neutering the church is too high. Let us contend for the supernatural!
Ready to follow the Spirit in your service? Take a look at the online class, “Is There an Interpreter in the House?” It will fire you up!
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