DELIBERATELY PURSUING GOD
THE UPPER ROOM CHURCH
We recently had an evangelist come to our church that laid hands and prophesied to most everyone, not trying to promote his ministry but to take his time with the people and simply relay God’s thoughts. His ministry style was maybe a little different but his emphasis was focused on the deeper spiritual message that; God is trying to remind us how important it is to remember the church are the people and the people need personal attention as much as corporate ministry. I agree with his Kingdom message that the Lord is sounding a wake up call. A wind of “change” is blowing within the body of Christ that is stirring pastors and ministry leaders to listen intently to what God wants to do in this last hour. The Lord is pouring out His Spirit and concentrating on His disciples because they are the Holy Bride of Christ. God desires to ignite their passion, increase their anointing and fill them with His joy as He leads them to build HIS Kingdom. Those who are hungry for His presence and power are being nourished NOT with the traditional ceremonies of religious church but are reaching out to Him with more vision, freedom and intimacy of a deeper spiritual reality.
I personally do not see why our services cannot be glorious every time we come together and I have no problem believing that God feels the same way. There is no such thing in God’s Kingdom as a laid back, mundane, low key service. The first thing that comes to me is that it would be our highest priority and personal responsibility to find the “key” that releases His presence to fill the temple with His glory – every time! The days of boring programs and flesh “led” agendas must come to an end. People who love God and desire to progress with Him are starving to soak in His power and love. The traditional church must shelve its worn out ceremonies and allow the true church to come alive. God’s people who are listening can hear the sound of triumph and are drawing near to His Kingdom message of faith, fervent prayer and anointed worship.
It is difficult to find the balance between organization and freedom. The structure is necessary but the power seems to come as we allow God to have His way. I believe every service He knows what He wants to do but it is common for church leaders to not really know His specific plans. We work on our presentation all week and come prepared and even have faith expectation but most of the times have not been given a vision of everything that is going to happen. Many times it is the split second decisions while in the “heat of the battle” so to speak, where we find God’s mind in the service. This is why it is crucial to be super-sensitive in His Spirit and that comes from praying before the service. It is the only way we can flow with God’s decisions, like knowing how long to sing, how much to teach, who to call on to share and when to pray for needs.
Preparing for the service is like preparing for a journey that we know will be good but when we get there we must listen carefully to what we are to do in order for it to be a successful trip. If we choose to do it our way everyone leaves with a sense of mediocrity, dryness, distance and melancholy. This feeling of heaviness is many times blamed on the leaders not being able to hear clearly what God was saying. And of course leaders many times blame the people for not receiving or their lack of spiritual preparation. But whoever is to blame, one thing we know for sure; it is not God’s fault in forgetting to arrive or choosing not to appear. If miracles and blessings happen we know it is from God. If we try to perform without the anointing of Holy Spirit it will be painfully powerless and “humanly” flat.
Another aspect that is very hard to learn; it is not the quantity of our program because a lengthy service filled with everything we can think of is not necessarily always better. Being short and straight to the point can be better because many times it is simplicity that carries the power punch. It has been said that most people have a short attention span and can only retain a certain amount of content at one sitting. Of course under the power of the anointing I believe we can absorb more revelation but there again it is crucial to know when you are anointed to minister and when God wants to do something else. The Lord knows every heart and how to touch them and what is the most effective approach and if He whispers to change direction we need to obey. How effective we are is a direct result of laying down our agenda and yielding to release HIS ability.
I have noticed something very basic yet important about church members; they need to know that ministry leaders care about them. They are thirsty for attention and affection and want to be listened to when they talk. It is a basic human need that we all love to be loved. The relationships we are developing in the church is what God wants us to continue pressing toward. As we band together in love we will grow strong in our commitment to the church and our personal mission. God has called each of us to fulfill His destiny – in His Spirit of unity and love. The church has grown cold because they have built walls of false security. People come in and leave without getting to really know each other. A spectator mentality has developed in many churches which causes the assembly to stay in a neutral gear. It is time to change the way we do church! It is time we spend more time with one another, going to each others houses, helping each other, working together, praying together. How can we be a light to the community if we do not even have a vision for ministry – and are comfortable with that? How can we reach out to the lost and win souls if we do not even associate with one another? How can we believe and seek God’s glory and presence in the church if we do not seek Him in our personal life? How can we pray and intercede for one another if we do not even like each other?
It is time that we stop and think a minute about what the church is supposed to be and what we are now. The “normal” church has two meanings; what is normal to God and what is normal to us. Our concept of normal church is steeped in tradition and religion and for too long people have thought that attending an assembly would counter balance living in sin. God is not going to allow this false sense of “comfort” to happen in His true churches as more distance is coming between the cold and the hot. The power and anointing will become so strong in God’s last day church that people who are playing games will not be able to stand in the glory of God. People will either run to the alters or run out the back door. The separation will continue to grow wider as God continues to pour out His Spirit. What does all this have to do with worship? Anyone who is called and involved with worship is presently being held accountable for leading God’s people to His throne – not a rock concert or performance. All leaders including the “Psalm singers” will choose which church they will help build – God’s or mans.
We notice in Acts chapter one, after Jesus was crucified that evidently some of his followers drifted away because they believed the revival was over. The upper room was one of the places where Jesus appeared after His resurrection because that was the core of the church. With feeding and teaching thousands in His short ministry but having only one hundred and twenty remaining faithful, we can see that there has always been a difference between the talkers and the walkers. This “church” within a church revelation is a spiritual truth today and as the government continues to harass I believe we will be forced to return to the underground simplicity of God’s foundational bond of love and trust with each other. The government will continue to bend toward the one world system of anti-christ and will become stronger against the truth of the church. This hostility will cause the true believers to assemble with an “upper room” identity and lifestyle that depends completely on God and each other. Our faith must become stronger because it will be the source of our survival. The fruit of the Spirit will become more than a Bible study or a part of our religious jargon – it will be the way we live and effectively minister. When all the lights and amplifiers are turned off and the beautiful buildings have padlocks on them, will we still gather together? Will we love each other enough to go to each others houses and sing worship songs, pray, study the word and break bread together? Now is the time to bond in our relationships. Now is the time to prepare for the changes that are coming. He desires for us to let go of our idols and treasures, our fears and worries, so that we might become totally dedicated to walking with Him. He will never leave or forsake us and as we gather in His name – He will be there.
We are reminded In John chapter 20 after the third day of Christ’s death how Mary Magdalene went to the sepulcher and found the stone had been rolled away. She brought Peter and John to see and when they left she remained to weep at the tomb. She looked in and saw two angels standing at the foot and head where the body of Jesus had lain. She asked them where Jesus was and when she turned around Jesus himself in His resurrected form appears to her and talks with her. Verses18-21, “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her.” Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the DISCIPLES were assembled for fear of the Jews, came JESUS and stood in the midst, and said unto them, peace be unto you. And when He had said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father has sent me, even so send I you.” Teaching God’s word will educate us, The Holy Spirit will empower us, and worship can lead us into His presence but building relationships is how God will build, purify and unify HIS glorious church.