We ARE the Worship
In the “Command the Foreword” dream, the Lord descended upon thousands of intercessors and leaders with His fiery presence. Gina Gholston, who had this dream, shared in yesterday’s post that she feels Holy Spirit wants to literally send this “baptism of fire.” I agree that He wants to do so, preparing us for the future. How will this occur? Are there things we can do to prepare? I believe there are.
First, as simple as it seems, we must choose to receive this impartation. Gina made this point yesterday, pointing out that the 120 people on the Day of Pentecost had to first make the choice to obey Christ (Acts 1:8), waiting in the Upper Room until Holy Spirit came with fire and power (Acts 2:1-4). Engage your will; make the decision that you will do whatever is necessary to receive the impartation God wants to give. This is the starting line.
Secondly, position yourself. We cannot force, generate, or earn an encounter of this nature with the Lord. We can, however, prepare our hearts and minds to receive it. “Business as usual” produces the usual results, which is often good. There is certainly something to be said for consistency; discipline is one of the keys to success in our lives. At other times, however, adjustments are needed. When this is the case, routines can become ruts.
When God was about to take Israel across the Jordan, He told them to prepare for this by consecrating themselves (Joshua 3:5). This Hebrew word (qadash)(1) means dedicated or set apart for a specific purpose; it is separation unto, not from. To be separate from, as in “don’t do this” or “don’t touch that,” is a different Hebrew word (nazir)(2). Nazir is about rules, qadash is about relationship; nazir relates to outward actions, qadash is related to inward purpose. To qadash ourselves is to draw near TO God, not separate ourselves FROM things or activities. We do this through worship, prayer, solitude, extended times in His Word, communion, fasting, etc. - any biblical method of seeking and drawing near to the Lord.
Positioning ourselves properly should also include a spiritual checkup, making certain our hearts are pure. Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive” others (Matthew 6:12). Before Elijah asked for fire to fall on the altar, he first had to repair/rebuild the altar and prepare the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:30-35). We should ask the Holy Spirit periodically to show us anything in our lives that displeases Him, any part of the altar - our hearts - that needs repair. Don’t become overly introspective; just allow Holy Spirit to convict where necessary. And never accept condemnation; Holy Spirit doesn’t condemn, He convicts.
Thirdly, ask Him for this impartation! Even though God knows our needs before we ask, He still requires us to ask (Matthew 6:8). We often “have not because we ask not!” (James 4:2). Why does He require us to ask? Because He wants communication with us.
In Acts 4, the persecuted church asked God for boldness and power, something He no doubt knew they needed and already wanted to give them. God responded by sending Holy Spirit with a fresh outpouring, so strong that the building shook (4:23-35). In this season, ask Him for fresh fire - for another filling of Holy Spirit.
Fourthly, worship. Remember, however, it isn’t the praise itself, that God needs or wants. He is not insecure, needing our affirmation. Nor is He arrogant or conceited, wanting to hear how great He is. John 4:23 tells us God is looking for, actually “seeking” worshippers, not worship. It’s the person, you and me - His kids! - that God loves and wants - not the song, but the singer. We ARE the worship.
Quiet contemplation can be worship. Actions can be worship. Obedience is worship. Work, when done for His glory, is worship. Giving, reading God’s Word, serving another - all of these things can be considered as worship when done with worshipful hearts.
Having said this, there is a magnifying of His presence, a multiplying of His power when we pray or worship together. Corporate worship gatherings are important. If I were pastoring a church now, I would turn some of my services primarily into drawing near to Him in corporate worship. If more pastors only understood the incredible power of this, it would happen much more frequently. Proclaiming the Word of God in our gatherings is very important. However, don’t assume that He only speaks through sermons. God can speak His words directly to the hearts of people in our worship gatherings, not just through our sermons! And He can more effectively draw close to individuals as His presence intensifies in our corporate gatherings, imparting directly to them. This happens through lingering, deeper worship, however, not 15 minutes of praise. Don’t forget, David’s Tabernacle contained 24/7 worship, not preaching.
Fifthly and lastly, wait. The 120 in the Upper Room waited ten days for the outpouring of Holy Spirit’s fire and power to fall. We must patiently await God’s timing for all of His actions, not try to force Him into our schedule.
However, there are other important aspects to biblical waiting. Several words are used in Scripture for waiting on the Lord, with different and important nuances of meaning. In chapter 10 of my book, The Pleasure of His Company, I teach on these words. After defining them, I combine their meanings into one succinct summary: “Quietly waiting with a strong, calm trust; longing for His presence and eagerly expecting Him, for you know He’ll come; and knowing that as He does, you and He will experience an increased oneness, a braiding together, as your hearts and lives become more entwined.”(3)
“Waiting” on the Lord is drawing near to Him, through the activities mentioned above in the fourth point. The “oneness” that comes from this, the increased manifestation of His presence, prepares us to receive. Do this. “Learn to wait. In this hectic world of microwaves, bullet trains, and air travel - there are some things that still take time. Slow down. If only for a few minutes a day—slow down and find Him.”(4)
I believe the Lord does want to bring a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit to us in this season. It may look different for each of us, but let’s ask for it, regardless of what it ends up looking like for you. Of one thing, I have absolutely no doubt - that doing these five things will be time well spent, drawing you closer to God. Let’s believe for this together.
Pray with me:
Father, You came near to us through the Cross of Christ. Now, through His shed blood and the covenant it produced for us, we can draw near to You. As we take extra time in this season to do so, with even more intentionality and regularity, we ask You to come to us in powerful ways. Come with Your presence, love, fire, power, gifts, healing, cleansing, and revelation. We have been made one with You through Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19), now cause that oneness to manifest in new ways.
May our love and devotion toward You increase in this season, causing us to minister - not just from responsibility or our gifts - but from Your very heart and compassion within us. We want to be able to say, just as Paul did, that Your love constrains us. We want to say, as Jesus did, that You in us, do the works. We want to be so like Christ that it is said of us, as it was of the early church, “They have been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
We continue to release our faith and declarations that America is being saved. You are shaking loose and shaking down evil structures and strongholds. You are enabling us to destroy the giants that have ruled our land. You are freeing a generation from deception and evil, and coming to save millions upon millions of people here and around the world. The greatest-ever influx of young people, here and around the world, is beginning. This harvest will NOT be stopped.
We ask and declare all of these things in the matchless name of Jesus. Amen.
We know that our heavenly Father loves us and wants us to draw near to Him. As we do so, He will draw near to us.
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James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 6942.
Ibid. Ref. no. 5139.
Dutch Sheets, The Pleasure of His Company (Bethany House Publishers, Grand Rapids, MI) p. 85.
Ibid, p. 87.