I wrote a sort of snarky post in July about how our pastor taught on the Holy Spirit. And how at the end of the service, he gave an invitation for people to go to the prayer room, to receive prayer for the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit. And how, much to my disappointment, only six or so people showed up.
At the end of that prayer time there in the prayer room, a small group of men asked God to pour out His Holy Spirit upon our congregation in abundant measure. They asked Him, if that offer were to be made again, would He move people to respond with such enthusiasm and in such great numbers we would have logistical problems handling so many. They asked that people would respond in such numbers they would be lined up, with not enough room for them to fit in the prayer room or wherever they were called to assemble.
In that original blog post, I wrote about how, on a normal summer Sunday, after service our church offers free burgers, and there’s a line a mile long, but when offered the Holy Spirit, only six showed up. “How much better is God’s Holy Spirit than a burger?” I wrote. I suppose I was disrespecting my own church family. (If you’re interested, you can read the original post: The Holy Spirit: How to Know if You Have Him)
Well, here’s the part where I eat crow.
Last night our #1 and #2 pastors were unavailable to teach the midweek bible study. So an associate pastor taught the service, and he taught on the Holy Spirit.
He talked about D.L. Moody and how ineffective Moody was before he received the Holy Spirit’s anointing, and how amazing he was after he did. He talked about how the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples in Acts chapter 2, and how, after hearing them speak, 3,000 people “were cut to the heart,” and said, “…what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) He talked about how the Holy Spirit prompted the Ethiopian eunuch to ask Philip, Is there any reason you couldn’t baptize me right now? (Acts 8:36) He talked about how Cornelius’ people came and sought out Peter so they could learn from him about Jesus. (Acts chapter 10) And He talked about how the Philippian jailer fell before Paul and Silas and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
“These people practically gave their own altar call!” the pastor said. “How did this happen?” He asked rhetorically.
It’s the Holy Spirit, it’s the Holy Spirit, it’s the Holy Spirit. He said.
Then he said, Whoever wants a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon their lives, come down to the front of the sanctuary.
So we did, by the hundreds! There wasn’t enough room in the front of the church. People were lined up in the aisles. I was sort of shoved off to the side into a pew. It was a logistical problem and a sight to behold. I confess I was sorely tempted to step back and take a picture with my iPhone.
I would estimate, very conservatively, more than 300 came forward and received prayer for a fresh outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon their lives.
Of course I was thinking back to that blog post, the one where I sort of dishonored my church. That made me feel rather sheepish.
But I was also thinking back to that prayer, the one where that small group of men asked God, if the offer were made again, would he move people to respond in such numbers it would become a logistical problem. He answered.
That made me well up with praise and thanksgiving.
God wants to pour His Holy Spirit out upon you.
He’s just waiting for you to ask…
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” -Jesus Christ (Luke 11:11-13)
[Crow image via the justified sinner. Dove image via knowhimonline. Both Creative Commons]
[HT: Pastor Bryan Fowler was the one the Lord chose to deliver the midweek message a few nights ago, the night hundreds came forward to receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He’s now serving at a church in North Carolina.]
[You might also like: Is Your Christian Blog Missing This 1 Thing, Love Like Jesus–God’s Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit and Warfare, The Holy Spirit: How to Know if You Have Him]
I had heard it say that we are to flow like rivers of living water and not be channels or reservoirs… So if we are flowing we are receiving and giving, giving and receiving and the filling is going on as we speak…. However we can give (out of our self) and that is exhausting and draining. Once coming back from a successful bible study I suddenly had no appetite for the lunch I had just picked up and I remembered Jesus’ words – “I have food you know nothing about.” talking to his disciples after he’d talked to the woman at the well. When we are filled we can flow like the river, when we’re doing it on our own, it can feel like fighting the current. Note to about the move to the room instead of in the same room – isn’t that a call to “action?” They had to actively do their part by going to the other room versus doing nothing. When Moses & Joshua went across the water they had to take the first step before the waters parted – isn’t that correct? An act of faith?
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Moody abandoned his church in Chicago after the fire because he thought Chicago would never prosper again. When he saw the otherwise, he went back. The dollar sign guided him, not holy spirit. I find no credibility in anything with his name.
I would have to say that this kind of “eating crow” would be great…bring it on. What a great story! The Lord ever rises up to the challenge!
Just reading this article makes me smile and gives me thoughts of how great God is!
Blessings to you Kurt
As I read this today, I am reminded that ALL believers should ask for the same periodically. The Holy Spirit reminded me after reading this that when we give out (outflow) virtue/power in prayer and in deed towards the brethren, we need a fresh filling, a fresh anointing to carry on and be effective in His work.
Also, we need to recall our Master’s words: Joh 9:4 “It is necessary for Me to work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day – night is coming, when no one is able to work.
Joh 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Is it not the same for His servants? Night is coming for us also, and while we are here in this world, are we not His light? If there is no outflow, we become as the Dead Sea.
I bow my head/heart in prayer this morning and ask for a fresh outpouring of His Set-apart Spirit! Let it be done Father according to your Word.
Amen Irene!!!!! What a great comment. Your words remind me too of the idea, we need to give out what we receive to avoid “spiritual constipation.”
Thank you for sharing your insight.
Exactly! Constipation always ensues a lack of water (of theWord/Holy Spirit). Further it is the product of sluggishness, inactivity, and slowing down—definitely not a good time for such to occur. Time to wake up and step up to the plate; the games are about to begin and the warfare will tell all.
Amen! That is so awesome Kurt!
You know when you were referring to the first blog post you wrote, I thought to myself, “I wonder why the Pastors told everyone to go to the prayer room to receive prayer instead of doing just right then and there in the sanctuary?”
But then that’s what the #3 pastor did last night and the Lord blessed in a BIG way. I’m not sure about the implications here but I wonder if it has to do with faith on part of the preaching pastor? Maybe…
Seeing that it was two of the most talented and faith filled speakers I know who couldn’t be there that night, I was wondering if God might have orchestrated it this way so He received the glory instead of a man.
Although, I have to qualify that remark by saying our #3 guy is one of the most knowledgeable in theology I know.
Still, if this happens on a night when Jon or Ben are speaking, because they’re such amazing communicators, people might say, “Yea, that Jon, (or Ben) isn’t he something.”
Interesting point, that’s just like the Lord to use the weakest vessels for His glory. I’m thinking of Gideon…
Yes, like the story of Gideon–exactly.