10 June, 2006

Being Still Before The Lord

This came up on a discussion board where I post and I made this comment there. I thought it was worth bringing to my blog for others to read and hopefully add your two cents about this.
We were discussing speaking in tongues when another minister, Pete Zefo said:
This frustrates me about Pentecostal worship services. There is something powerful about being still (and in awe) before God's presence.

He said this in regard to how when there is silence in a worship service, someone will jump up and shout, or speak in tongues or something, because we have such a tendency to be uncomfortable with silence.

Back in March I was at a "Crossing Over" conference at Trinity Chapel in Powder Springs, Georgia. During one of those worship services, a hush fell over the house that went on for somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.
I mean absolute silence.
There was the most awesome presence of God in that place that I have ever felt. It was just beautiful. After this long silence, almost as if someone flipped a switch, a shout came forth from the people in that room that just roared and this went on for probably another 7 - 10 minutes.
Many of the people I spoke with after that service said they felt like chains that had hindered them in worship were broken during that silence as the Holy Spirit did a work in people as they sat in quiet reverence to the majesty of God.

Pete is so right with his statement.
If we could only learn to still and quiet our souls before the presence of a Holy God, how much more could be done in our midst? But we are so accustomed to noise that the quiet spooks us.

Me... I love the shout. I love the dance.
I just love to worship my God.
But I also love to just sit in silence in His presence.
Sadly, this usually has to take place in my private time with God, because in most church services I have been in, someone has to break that silence because they think that God can only move when we are loud.


Sylvia said...

I feel God is going to move if we are silence or loud.God knows how we are really feeling,he knows if we are putting on a show for others,people worship there way,some in tongues some in silence.People do not always like what they may hear when they are still before the lord and feel they need to be loud.You may hear what you do not want to but need to.

Anonymous said...

Dawg, this is a wonderful post! My life was first exposed to being silent in the presence of the Lord when I first dated my wife. My experience in Pentecost (I am a PK) was the louder the better. If there was no "loudness", the Lord wasn't there.

My first date with my wife was on a Friday night. I arrived at Port Authority Bus station in New York and was picked up by my future brother in law. It was Friday night, and I couldn't wait for the bowling, movie, ice cream, or what ever it was I was expecting. I asked, "where are we going". I was shocked and disappointed when he said, "to Church!"

After a short drive, we entered the Ridgewood Pentecostal Church, in Brooklyn. Boy was I shocked! There was no shouting, no physical manifestations, just a holy hush in the overwhelming presence of God. The Pastor was sitting on the platform with his eyes closed, head tilted back in the presence of God. You could hear the soft muffle of people worshipping the Lord in tongues. I waited for the Pastor to jump to his feet and yell "Praise the Lord, we're going to have Church!!!" But it never happened.

It was an environment, and an experience which shook me. Suddenly I found myself worshipping quietly. I found myself at 18 entering into a place of worship I never knew existed. I understood, "But the Lord was not in the thunder, or the wind, but in a still small voice", for the first time.

As I sat there I heard the words softly being spoken. " I love you", I thought wow, I've got her!! The I heard the rest, "I love you ... Jesus!" I knew then I wanted Marilyn as my wife! (It took some convincing, but that God!! it happened)

"Be still and know that I am God" is a concept which has escaped many of our Churches, and it is a great loss. Oh, just to sit in the presence of the Lord! Just to bask in His Love! Just to sit silently and hear from Him!!

Yes the Lord does move in the shout, but to minimize the quiet. gentleness of the Holy Spirit is to limit His efffect in our lives.

ruthrap said...

somehow,i tend to believe that it's not so much about the manner in which we worship our Lord,be it in silence or a joyous shout, but that we worship Him, plain and simple!!!!

libby said...

I think it's the obedience. To worship with the loud voice and instruments when God calls for the shout and the music, to worship Him in quiet stillness when He requires it, that is true worship. We tend to want to do it the way WE want to do it WHEN we want to. It is not that each of us worships God in OUR own way, but in His!