Sustaining a Move of the Spirit

Posted: May 29, 2013 in church, holy spirit, renewal, revival, worship

The Ark

2 Samuel’s sixth chapter reports a funeral in the middle of a renewal. This tragic event, namely Uzzah is struck dead simply because he tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant (verses 1-8), has something to teach us about how to handle a move of the Holy Spirit today. Uzzah’s error was not so much that he ‘touched’ the Ark, but more fundamentally that he neglected to know and/or obey the requirements of the Word of God, even during a wonderful revival. The Law was clear: the Ark had to be particularly handled (Exodus 37:5; Numbers 4:6,15); but in the midst of ecstatic worship and anointed celebration, it is still possible to neglect the principles of the Word. Perhaps David was just as responsible as Uzzah, having not taught Uzzah the appropriate way to deal with the Ark. This should be a sobering thought for all of us today, especially leaders, who wholeheartedly love the Lord’s Presence, as represented by the Ark, and want it to come to our city.

I serve in a church where we value the moving of the Holy Spirit, and, yes, the adrenaline rush when experiencing the undeniable activity of a powerful God. But if we forget about obedience to the Word, applying its principles in reverent and holy fear, then a time of renewal can very easily become a funeral. To be sure, God’s goodness is to be thoroughly enjoyed. We’ll no doubt be criticised for our foolish abandonment to Him. It’s not a ‘cool look’ for the Michal’s in today’s church to see the passionate receive the touch of God (2 Samuel 6:20-23). But obedience to God’s Word will not be suspended during a revival; not then, not now.

So what is the key to handling the move of the Spirit well? Perhaps this is best represented by what happens in 2 Samuel 6:10-12. David wanted the Ark, the Presence, to go directly to his city. A noble and pure ambition. But, first, it had to go home (in this case, to the home of Obed-Edom). For the Lord of revival to take root in a church, He must first go home with all His hungry seekers. Revival can’t go directly to the city – to the places of influence and power, to the estates, to the schools, to the streets and marketplaces – not without first going home after Sunday service. Jesus is the Lord of the believer in his or her private place, on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons, as they enjoy God and know and obey His Word. That’s good soil for something very special – a fountain flowing deep and wide!

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