Worshiping in the Spirit “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day…” Revelation 1:10
Service as usual. Isn’t that a problem in the church? In his book, When God Comes to Church, Pastor Steve Gaines says, “I am convinced that one of the reasons so many people are turned off from the idea of church these days is that it is all so explainable...I want a church where at least some things can be explained only by the presence of God.” I’ve told our folks many times that we have been so long with out the manifest presence of God that we’ve gotten used to not having Him around. We’ve become dependent on other things. A pastor friend of mine says we need to unplug the respirator that we think is keeping the church alive. The church definitely needs a visit from the Great Physician.
In light of this allow me to ask you a question. How much of what you do, whether at church or outside church, is done in the Spirit? For many of us this seems like a strange question. The apostle John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). What happened next was extraordinary. He heard the voice of the Lord and he saw a vision of the risen glorified Christ. It would seem that unusual things happen when we are in the Spirit. Then...we would have an unusual service!
To be “in the Spirit” would seem to mean that we are under the Holy Spirit’s influence. We have given Him free reign and He is now in control. He then enables and empowers us to do things that transform a church service into a worship service. Consider some of the things we can do in the Spirit when we gather for corporate worship.
We can pray in the Spirit “...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit...” Ephesians 6:18
We can sing in the Spirit “Be filled with the Spirit...speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19
We can speak in the Spirit “...and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
Our church services move from the usual to the unusual when we gather and worship in the Spirit. I’m not sure I can explain the difference between singing and singing in the Spirit or the difference between praying and praying in the Spirit or the difference between speaking and speaking in the Spirit. All I know is that when we sing, or pray or speak in the Spirit we are able to tell the difference. The atmosphere in our corporate worship will change. We will see God’s hand prints on everything being done. That’s when a church service becomes a worship service.
If we are to pray...sing...speak in the Spirit when we gather for worship then we must “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), and “live in the Spirit” (1 Peter 4:6) as a lifestyle, Monday through Saturday. The Holy Spirit is ready to step into our lives and take control. Our part is to surrender to Him. We can’t live independent of Him all week and then come to church expecting an unusual service.
When we make a place for the Lord in our hearts...when we sincerely invite His presence...when we make a place for Him among us where He feels comfortable to dwell HE WILL COME. And when He comes we will all know it. No more service as usual but now an unusual service.