Test all things; hold fast what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
I’m in the Tampa airport this morning on the way home from Lakeland, Florida. I’ve just spent three days at the “revival” there. I came to see firsthand what’s happening here. The meetings are being broadcast worldwide via the internet and have the potential for broad impact.
As I mentioned yesterday, I found the meetings filled with people basically hungry for more of Jesus. The worship was passionate and exuberant. And the music was LOUD! The age range here was a good mixture from young to the elderly. People from all over the world gathered last night for another meeting. The leaders of the meetings were congenial and pleasant.
After almost two hours of worship, Todd Bentley ministered 1 Samuel 30 and 2 Samuel 5. He said the Lord ministered to him tonight that the meetings would begin to change and that the working of miracles would become prominent. He was passionate about people taking what the Lord was doing here back to their cities. He encouraged the audience to take God out of the box and allow Him to do what He desires to do. Don’t think that in church services everything has to be the same all the time. Expect God to do more.
I have left these meetings encouraged to be open for the Holy Spirit to manifest in our church services; to move our church to more passionate worship; and to expect the Father to watch over His word to perform it!
When I go to meetings like this, I am aware of the fact that the majority of the people attending have traveled long distances to come and to receive. So their mindset is to give it all they’ve got so to speak. Because of this, time is not an issue. The meetings last for over four hours, and if you include pre-service time; over seven. The people enter the room expecting God to show up!
In a local church the dynamics are different. We meet from week to week in the context of work, school, raising children, and dealing with the daily grind of life. On Sundays we have newcomers from the community who are seeking new relationships and seeking to receive from the Lord. Because the attendees are so varied, we usually limit the time of our Sunday morning services. This is our time to reach out to our community. On Wednesdays, we’ve come from work and school, and come together to seek the Lord and receive from the Word, as well as to minister to our kids, teenagers, and college and career folk.
I think we at times need some special services for those who want to seek God and linger in His presence. These services would be separate from our weekly meetings. And I believe that we should prepare ourselves for our regular weekly meetings by praying and asking the Father to manifest Himself as we worship. We should come expecting the Holy Spirit to manifest in spiritual gifts, and we should open ourselves up to receive fresh manna from heaven. We get what we expect.
To me, these meetings in Florida are encouraging the body of Christ at large to open up and expect God to do more! He’s able to do more than we can ask or think! Let’s take God out of the “box” we sometimes place Him in and expect the Holy Spirit to minister to us when we meet together and through us as we interact with other in daily life. It’s harvest time! I’m looking forward to coming home today!