This past Wednesday night I shared my heart about a longing the Father has placed in me for a deepening of His presence in our local church services. I related that over 30 years ago we had powerful meeting where the Holy Spirit just filled the room with Himself. The oppressed were set free. The saints were overjoyed. Jesus was central to all we did.
Now, the Charismatic movement has spread worldwide, and many parts of the world are experiencing a genuine spiritual awakening. Here in America, we now have Christian TV, radio, thousands of books, DVD’s, CD’s, and thousands of churches that were started resulting from the Charismatic movement.
In some ways, as a whole, we’ve grown complacent in our spiritual walk, perhaps because of the saturation and availability of spiritual resources. I sense that the Father wants us to begin asking Him for a deeper moving of His Spirit in our personal lives, and in our churches. And I believe that if we do, He will grant us the rain of His Spirit in a fresh way. Ask the Lord for rain in the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone (Zechariah 10:1). Include this scripture in your prayer life.
Here are some things to guard against if you are really wanting a fresh manifestation of the Holy Spirit in your life and in your church. First of all, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t criticize your local church and your pastor. That’s a sure way to quench the Spirit in your own life. Pray for your local assembly and your pastor, that the leaders and the saints will follow His plan and direction for the church. Pray for wisdom for your pastor as he seeks to her from God and move in wisdom.
Secondly, realize that in a local church there are all kinds of people that the Father really loves. Some are not ready for all that God has. It would be easy for the more spiritually attuned folk in a church to push and do things in such a way that the less zealous and informed just don’t get it, and simply leave. So in a local church, there are services geared to touch the less inclined spiritually and at the same time feed the whole flock. That service is generally Sunday mornings in most churches. I’m personally seeking the Lord about what changes I need to make in our Sunday services to draw the presence of the Father and the people who need Him.
Thirdly, be careful with how you talk about wanting more of God with others. Don’t criticize and murmur if you’re not satisfied, pray! If you’ll read through the book of Acts, you’ll see that the moving of the Holy Spirit paralleled the unity among the believers. Frequently being in one accord in one place was mentioned.
In your own person, foster a love and care for others. If you have anything against anyone, go before God and make it right. And if necessary, go to the person and reconcile. A lack of unity will drive the Holy Spirit away from a church! Ask yourself the question, Is there anyone that I could not sit with and have a comfortable conversation? Do I hold anything against anyone? Let’s cry out for more of God and let’s love one another unconditionally!