I went to my first Charismatic church last night. It was an incredibly moving experience. Don't get me wrong, whispering tongues was a little strange for me because I have never actually been in the midst of it like that before, but you could almost feel the tangibility of the Holy Spirit moving amongst this small group of people.
So this is a small church in Joshua that is about the same size as CJ. No one was afraid to call out to the Lord (and there was a lot of that.) No one was afraid to raise their hands in worship. No one was afraid to clap or cry or just "be" with the Lord. Everyone did something a little different. There was complete joy in the Lord. Wow.
The worship team was incredible. The lead singers were sisters. One was sixteen and the other was probably 20ish. Their voices were, well, I can't quite explain it. They were awesome, almost bringing me to tears. You know the girl who sings the Revelation Song, well like that, times 2. They weren't singing to lead the singing, they were singing because they loved the Lord. It was like we weren't even there. One of the songs was written by one of the girls and her husband. It was called Who Do You Think That I Am? I wish I would have written down all the words because it was moving. It talks about who God is, beauty, sovereign, savior, then it talks about what God is, Now, right Now. During the song, the older sister went and picked up her newborn baby and stood in front of the church singing the song with all her heart, tears streaming down her face. When the song was over, she took the baby back to her mom. My friend leaned over to me and told me that the baby was not supposed to be here. She said that in her 4th month, she started miscarrying the baby. The doctors and nurses told her that there was nothing they could do to stop it and they needed to be prepared for the loss. That night, she got up in the middle of the night and was praying and took communion and asking God for a miracle to save His child. She said that God came down and she felt His presence. She said that she felt a touch on her head that sent chills down her and a voice that said, "Who touched me?" When she went to the doctor the next week the doctors were astounded and couldn't figure it out, but everything was fine and normal. She said that the doctors asked her, "Who touched you?" She and her husband wrote the song to give God the glory for the miracle He gave them.
I feel like I need to say something about the preaching, but I wasn't there for a preacher, it was a guest speaker. He spoke about his travels and the miracles he has seen and there were some big ones. He talked about how God's church has fallen away from signs and wonders, but they are still very real and can happen. He said that when God performs a miracle in your life, He marks you as His. He is tangibly claiming you as His own. He said that when it happens, it is a token of His reality. It is a manifestation of who He is, perfect in every way. I never thought of it like that, but it's true.
When I left, I felt like I was glowing from being in the presence of the Lord. I felt warm all over, walking on air. I think that there is something to say for an unadulterated love and passion for the Lord. There is something in being able to show it and not feeling like you are crazy or everyone is staring. There is something to say for just being able to "soak in His presence" with other people. I was fired up for God when I left. I was ready to start preaching the gospel and I think had I had a chance to run out and talk to the lost, boy, there would have been some savin last night. But, I should be on fire like that all the time. I think if people could bottle that feeling and flow in it all the time, wow, how awesome life would be. Praisin and preachin baby!
So, I say all this to say, we should be in a constant relationship with God. We should be constantly looking for the Hand of God. We should be looking to keep the fire flaming, not just sparked. God wants us to live like that. He wants us to be on fire for Him. He has soooo many blessings waiting for us, that they are overflowing because we aren't where we need to be or aren't even asking for them.
So today, I challenge you to turn inward and upward and let God fan your flame and start a bonfire. Ask Him to pour out your blessings and look for opportunities to pour out some on someone else. If you share, He will increase yours and you can share more. Be faithful. Stay in His word. He will keep all the promises that he gives. He is faithful.
Until we read again...