“And when it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.” -1 Kins 8:10-11
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come… they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” -Acts 2:1, 4
What makes the difference between an “ordinary” church service and a spectacular one? According to much of the modern church growth movement, it depends on the lighting, the style (and volume) of music, the approach to the sermon, and the work of the greeters and ushers. All of these are important aspects of planning a worship service but none are the key factor that determines when a worship service is great. That is left to the discretion of the Holy Spirit.
God blesses excellence, so we ought to plan well and execute our plan to the best of our ability. We ought to think big and dream big, but even more we ought to pray for the Holy Spirit to overpower and overwhelm us. It is His presence that makes the difference.
In the Old Testament, during the days of the tabernacle, the Holy Spirit would come down and visit the holy place with a visible sign of His presence. It was obvious to all who were close by that God’s presence was setting the agenda for worship. In the New Testament, particularly on the Day of Pentecost, another manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s presence came with the sound of wind, the apostles’ speaking in languages they had never learned, and in over 3,000 souls being saved.
I hunger to have the powerful presence of God to dominate every worship service, to make Himself known by visible reminders of His ability. I thirst to see lives radically changed and impacted by His convicting voice, His healing touch, and His contagious zeal. We cannot physically be with the Lord on earth today, but oh how much I long to feel the warmth of His company through the Spirit’s presence. Won’t you pray with me for God to visit us in a special way this Sunday?