Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Folks, I’ve seen a crippled man get up and walk. I’ve seen barren wombs spring forth with new life. I’ve seen my own child brought back from his deathbed in response to a cry out to God! I’ve even seen God miraculously set a broken bone as I held a little girl in my arms and prayed. And the healings and miracles I’ve heard about and read about go far beyond the great things I’ve personally witnessed.
We used to see the Shekinah Glory of God roll across the sanctuary…
To deny the presence of God would be akin to denying the existence of… well, of life itself! So you can imagine the excitement I felt a few weeks ago when I visited a local church on a Sunday morning and saw the presence of God rolling into the praise service. The Shekinah – that’s what it’s called. In the Bible, when God came on the scene it was often in the form of a cloud. It’s known as the Glory Cloud, and I suppose it could best be described as a fog rolling across the room. Even in the modern age people have seen the Glory Cloud – the Shekinah presence of God roll across a church as his people entered into newer and deeper realms of worship.
We used to see the Shekinah Glory of God roll across the sanctuary with some regularity, but it’s been a while. And I was a bit confused by it, since when it’s happened in the past it was in the midst of an incredible worship service. At the risk of sounding rude or sanctimonious, let me just say, “This was not that!”
Then Stephanie leaned over and whispered, “That fog machine is messing with my sinuses.”
The New Testament church of the 21st century scarcely resembles the New Testament church of the New Testament. We have the advantage of modern technology that they did not. Colored lights radiate on cue, controlled by a central panel so they can be made to glow in red or blue or yellow… whatever works to evoke the desired mood… and the desired result!
Oh, I recognize the mindset – new methods to attract a new generation. And to a degree I understand it – even appreciate it. In fact, a church close to my house recently ripped out dozens of cushioned pews to replace them with theater seating! I guess the pews weren’t cushiony enough? And they probably couldn’t think of anything else to spend that money on… like missions work or feeding the hungry.
It really doesn’t matter. I’m sure God doesn’t care what you’re sitting on when you’re learning his Word. You can decorate a church building any way you wish. You can even hang plastic bananas from the chandeliers (real ones would go bad too quickly). Then you could say your church is full of the Fruit of the Spirit without having to really walk the walk.
Fancy seating – sparkly lights – casino carpeting… none of it really matters. But when you put in a fog machine to replicate the Shekinah Glory of God… well my friends, in my book that’s gone too far!
My first thought is, “Apparently they aren’t expecting the real Shekinah if they’re generating a counterfeit shekinah.”
My second thought is, “They wouldn’t even recognize the Shekinah Glory if it rolled in… ‘Look there, Pastor. That fog machine’s a blowin’ extra heavy this mornin’!”
My third thought is, “I don’t expect the Shekinah Glory will be rolling in there any time soon.” Hey, don’t judge me for that observation. Obviously they aren’t expecting it either!
If we could draw closer to God and see the REAL Shekinah Glory again – if we could see blind eyes opened and lame men walk again – I’m convinced even this new generation would sit on buckets in the musty basement of a rundown building to see a REAL move of God!
If you don’t agree with me – fine. If you think I’m judgmental – ok. If you’re just down right angry with me – so be it! You see, I’ve experienced the Shekinah Glory. I’ve tasted the Heavenly things. Fake fog and plastic fruit don’t even come close.
Folks, people are hungry for a move of God. They’ve been hoodwinked at the carnival. They deserve better from their church.