Feb 12, 2014
How do I know if something is from God? How can I be sure it just isn’t for show, or emotion talking. Good question. The best way to tell is wait and see. But we don’t always have that luxury. You can’t really tell by knowing the person. God is in the people changing business. For me, I don’t look at the person making the decision so much as I look at the decision. I also look at other decisions. Now when seven deacons and the pastor get saved, I’d say that’s a moving of God. For sure the raising of the $25,000 is God’s Spirit talking. But, I may question some of the 50 who are volunteering for missions in the Congo and think they are just excited or following the leader. And everyone getting re-baptized? Must have been one excited squirrel, that’s all I can say.
Seriously though, When God moves among His people, He moves his people. I do know it will not be confusing. Should someone stand and begin Jabbering with words I can’t understand, I do know someone in that congregation understands the speaker and will tell us what was said. If no one can tell us what was said, God did NOT move the speaker. Let me explain and I know this is a bit extreme but it is extreme movements of God that get our attention. I have heard “Speaking in tongues” twice in my lifetime. The first time, the speaker interpreted what he was saying. This isn’t Biblical (If you need an explanation as to why, ask me and I will provide one). The second time, there was no interpreter. This isn’t Biblical either. In either case I still don’t understand why God would provide this gift today. On the day of Pentecost, The apostles were speaking in languages foreign to them AND people were hearing their own language. Looks to me like the Holy Spirit was translating whatever was being said into whatever language the hearer needed to hear.
That brings us to a more common thing we experience in worship… freedom to worship as we see fit. I used to be at the altar almost every Sunday, praying. I may have been praying for me or for someone else or for the church at large, but I was praying. I had a friend who was also there praying. My only problem was that she vocalized her prayers (She prayed out loud, gang). I could not concentrate. Rather than ask her to be quiet, I realized that was how she worshiped in prayer. I began to stay in my pew and pray, sometimes I would sit, sometimes, I would kneel (Haven’t knelt in a long time, but I can kneel now without pain). Anyway, I was making sure she could worship in her way and I was still worshiping in mine. Should I feel the need to use the altar, I will, but I’m usually at my pew. I don’t belong in the “Amen” corner and I’m not a clapper, I’m a head nodder. I don’t usually show my joy or excitement, but that’s me. I can promise one thing though, If I’m in the spirit and I wanna do some hand waving or shouting or running or whatever, I don’t care who sees me or hears me. I’m not “performing” for them. I’m praising God. Should my worship offend someone, they best be getting over it or start voting me out of that church.
To be honest, I don’t get excited enough. WE don’t get excited enough. But let Kentucky win a basketball game and we will be shouting from the rooftops. Now I love my Wildcats as much as the next person, but Coach Cal is not the Messiah (I just spoke blasphemy). BTW, ‘Bama fans, Coach Saban cannot walk on water.
We get so excited about our sports. What we have to really be excited about is the fact that we have a home in a place called Heaven (You know, a mansion just over the hilltop). And we should not worry about who sees us. Think a moment. When we are in a worship mode, we are completely focused on out LORD. No one else should be on our mind. If I’m worried what someone else may think, I’m not focused on God.
I’ve preached on this but let me remind you about David. Now here is a man dedicated to God. The Bible says he was a “Man after God’s own heart.” Now when this guy was in worship mode, he was completely focused on God. No one else existed. Read 2 Samuel 6. “And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod.” (vs. 13). David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He was excited. He wanted to praise God. In human terms, he made a spectacle of himself, but he didn’t care. His wife (Saul’s daughter Michal) was critical of his actions. David responded (Paraphrase by Hoss), “So? I wasn’t dancing for you; I was dancing for the LORD. If you think I embarrassed myself today, You ain’t seen nothing yet!” What I find interesting and also frightening in this story is what happened to Michal. Verse 23 says she has no child to the day she died. I don’t know if David refused to see her any more or if God closed her womb, but either way, its scary.
Let us find God and praise Him freely. Let us not laugh or scorn those who do find that freedom of praise.
Praise Him from the highest heights!