The thoughts below are not given as a framework for the gatherings, but rather as a perspective on relating to the Lord that has the potential to affect our spiritual DNA.
In 1985 I was struck by a most unusual thought. With all the time and energy believers spend working in the Kingdom, Father felt neglected. I had no sense that He wanted us to stop working, or that the work was not important to Him. But something was missing. It was about God’s feelings. For nearly five years what I saw in that moment remained tucked away inside. Then in 1989, at a regional ministers meeting I met three brothers that had had the same revelation. We all had a desire to simply bless the Lord. More than declaring our love, appreciation and thankfulness, we wanted to touch His heart. So we started by asking Him how we might prepare a space in which He would be comfortable. We thought about what would give the time an eternal quality. The Spirit showed us things we did contrary to His way and nature that we were totally unaware of. We ended up with a number of insights and understandings that became the guidelines for our times together. For six months, the four of us gathered once a week for five hours to be alone with God together. What happened was truly amazing. Looking back, it is almost hard to believe that every time, twenty-six weeks in a row, the Holy Spirit visited us in such a tangible way that we could hardly move or speak. It may sound a bit strange, but we found that God visiting us in the way he did had more to do with what we didn’t do than what we did. What follows for your consideration are the thoughts and perspectives that guided us in those days.
If God were visibly in the room –
All attention would be fixed on Him;
There would essentially be no horizontal communication;
We would not turn and talk to one another;
No one would tell anyone else what to do;
We would not pray for one another;
No one would get up and “thank the Lord” for being with us;
No one would get up and say, “Isn’t God wonderful?”;
No one would sing about God.
When we are alone with God –
If we want to read a scripture, we do not cite chapter and verse;
If we want to sing…we just sing;
We are free to do whatever we feel motivated to do;
It’s not a “silent” time…but silence is fine;
We do not talk about God…only to Him.
In eternity –
There are no more needs to pray for…all is finished;
There is nothing we need ask for;
The atmosphere is like the sea of glass before the Throne.
There is no sense of separation between God and us.
Worship in Spirit and Truth –
Worship is the response to who He is and what He has already done;
It is not something we do to get something;
We do not expect anything from God;
We accept that He has already given everything;
We relate to Him from a place of fullness;
We offer ourselves…not a gift…not a prayer…not a thing;
We are there for whatever He wants — to be used, touched, spoken to…or not;
We are as living sacrifices (Rom.12:1-2);
We are poured out…even wasted (Matt. 26:6-13);
The time is meaningful — even more so — if nothing happens.
We come before the Lord with:
no needs…no agenda…no requests…no questions…no expectations…no human leadership…as children with our Father.
This way of being will…
Give God a “landing strip”;
Increase our intimacy with God and each other;
Change the spiritual atmosphere;
Build transparency and emotional integrity in the Body;
Train us to listen to and to hear the Lord;
A high point of King David’s life was when he returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. His expression of worship at that time, his dancing in particular, is an example that speaks to us about true worship. In that moment, in the midst of the whole nation, he was alone with God. To be alone with God in the presence of others builds and proves us in a special way.
When the Holy Spirit was first poured out on Shavuot, two conditions or dynamics were present. They had been waiting without plan or agenda and they came to the place of being of one heart. I believe we can relate to these elements as defining the environment necessary for God to be fully released in our midst. The disciples were instructed to wait until something happened that they would recognize as the thing they were waiting for. Giving themselves to wait without agenda, without plan or program, without a designated leader, and without knowing for how long, was and is a part of preparing the way for the Lord. For most of us, it is practically impossible, given life as it is, to wait until. But something of the essence of the principle can be achieved. They had spent ten days coming to the place where everyone was clear with everyone else and everyone knew it. No one had anything hidden in his or her heart about anyone else. How sensitive is the Father to His children honoring one another! God’s Presence cannot abide where we His children do not love, honor, and receive one another from the depths of our hearts. Perhaps, if we can learn to open our hearts with a few, we will be able to open our hearts to the many.
We don’t really need a special sign to know that the world is about to experience a dramatic shift…sooner rather than later. What is coming will be so very different from anything we’ve known. Does it seem logical or even possible that continuing to do what we have been doing will prepare us for the days ahead? The Prophet Daniel alludes to the difficulties and tribulations of the very hour we are approaching and says, “The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits.” (11:32)
For the Glory of His Name,