I’m currently working on a video for the celebration of Pentecost for Worship House Media. It got me thinking about the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2.
If you have spent much time with me, you know that I am more than an amateur when it comes to dealing with outward expressions of charismatic worship. I’ve never spoken in tongues. I’ve never prophesied. I’ve certainly never healed anyone. I barely even lift my hands during worship. Now, I don’t have any qualms with these gifts of the Spirit. I’m not one of those Christian “intellectual” types that thinks that we have evolved past these things. I’ve read 1 Corinthians 12 and I believe that those words were meant just as much for us now as they were for them then.
I grew up in a traditional Methodist church. I remember having a “revival” when I was much younger (just think about the fire raining from heaven at a traditional Methodist revival). A woman who came (not from our church) felt led to shout repeatedly during “Victory in Jesus”. She wasn’t speaking in tongues. She wasn’t prophesying. She was just shouting. I was more than perplexed as to why she couldn’t just let everyone else enjoy the music. I wasn’t the only one. My mother later told me that the entire group of children (apparently all the kids in the church were sitting together) turned their heads at the same time when this woman cried out in the Spirit.
Over the years I’ve encountered a lot more charismatics and have seen a lot more demonstrative worshippers. I’ve been with people as they’ve prayed in tongues. I’ve been prophesied over. I’ve heard my share of “words from the Lord”. However, I have never felt personally led to do these things that I’ve always found so strange.
Should I want these gifts? I’ve always been pretty content without spiritual demonstration. I’ve heard people quote 1 Corinthians 21
31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
as evidence that I should desire them, but I’ve never felt any discernible prompting in either direction.