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Worship started very well. As usual, a group of people were up in the ministry area during worship. The Holy Spirit seemed to be touching people and there was a lot of joy. However, at the end of the second song, Mark Dupont (the guest speaker) took the microphone and invited everyone who likes to dance to come up front, even if it's "weird stuff like country western line dance." He invited us to come and have a party as we worshipped the Lord. Some of the people in the minstry area went back to their seats and others (presumedly dancers) came to fill in their places. I happened to be up front that evening (normally I'm not). I stayed where I was because I happen to have a dance anointing. When the next song started, I danced, along with several others. There was a lot of joy in the Lord.
At the end of the song, Mark Dupont got back up and said that we needed to have a praise procession around the building. He chose a couple of leaders and seemed to be "cranking up the crowd". He suggested that people use their jackets as flags and wave them around. I started feeling uncomfortable with this and took my seat. I had invited Bob (a non-pentacostal friend) to church that evening. Tonight was his first exposure to a renewal meeting, and I didn't want him to get the wrong impression. Bob made a face at me, expressing disapproval at how the speaker was stirring up the crowd.
Mark went on to explain that the Lord wanted julilent and abandoned worship to break a religious spirit over the crowd. He explained how Satan used to be the heavenly worship leader and now could not stand to see people worshipping the Lord with all of their being. This procession had an element of spiritual warfare to it. Mark's explanation matched up with some of the spiritual warfare principles that I've learned over the last few years. Perhaps he was not pumping up the crowd after all.
It seemed like the Lord wanted me to partisipate in the percession. But I knew that Bob disapproved of it and I was concerned about what Bob would think if I joined in. (Also, I still trying to sort out whether this was really the Lord or some type of emotional hype-up.) So I stood there by my seat and held a silent debate with the Lord. I became pretty sure that God wanted me to partisipate, but I did not want to. It was, after all, undignified. And I did not want to make a negative impression on Bob.
The Lord started speaking to me about the importance of prompt obedience. He seemed to be rebuking me for stubborness and disobedience. If I were rebellious, how I could expect the Lord to pour out His blessing on me. I realized that I might be passed by for disobedience. I might not get touched this evening and God might not even let me pray for people. I didn't like that idea at all. So I repented and got ready to join the procession. But by then, it was dieing down and most people had dropped out of it.
So I had another discussion with the Lord about this -- it looked like I had waited too long. So I told the Lord that I'd obey whatever He asked me to do next and not argue with Him. I didn't want the Lord to pass me by this evening because I'd hesitated too long instead of obeying Him.
I silent asked the Lord to forgive me as I partisipated in the rest of the worship. I renewed my commitment to obey Him as soon as He showed me what He wanted. No more holding back because of what others might think of me. (Now Lord, please help me to follow through with this commitment. Amen.)
After the worship, Mark called four people up to give testamonies. I sat and listened to the testamonies. Mark asked us to stretch our hands forward and pray for each person after they finished sharing.
Then, Mark said something interesting, "Don't feel left out if you're not explicitely in any of the groups I call up. The anointing is for the whole body, so you will benefit even if you're not called up explicitely." Then he asked all of the women who were shaking under the power to come up.
Since I was not shaking at the time, I did not go up. Mark said that the shaking was a prophetic anointing. That was something that I was seeking desparately from the Lord. Why had I been left out of this group? I began to beg the Lord to include me. Please don't skip me because of my earlier disobedience. My prayer became very intense, and I started shaking in my seat. By this point, most of the women he called up were on the ground. I wanted to go up and join them, but was worried that it might not be OK for me to do so -- after all, I'd not been shaking when the call was given. So I remained in my seat.
At one point, Mark said "The woman with the blue shirt -- there's an anointing on you for miraculous healings." I found myself silently crying out, "Oh Lord! Me too!" (I also had a blue shirt on. I have no idea which woman that anointing was for because my eyes were closed and the Lord's power was so on me that I was unable to open them. I doubt that Mark was talking about me because I was seated in the front row, not up in the ministry area with them. But the Lord has been speaking to me about that type of anointing for a long time. Was I being passed by or was the Lord including me in this?) The shaking became much more intense.
I was vaguely aware of Bob asking me why I was not up front with the other women. But I was unable to answer it because I was too much under the power. I heard Mark mention that these women would primarily be prophetic intercessors, but that a few of them would be prophets. About that time Desta leaned over to me and told me that I would be leading these woman; the Lord was raising them up as prophetic intercessors, but He was raising me up as their leader and that's why I was shaking under the power with them.
I did NOT want to cause a disruption or make a scene. I wanted to quiet down and stop shaking so violently. I was also troubled in my spirit. I was still trying to sort out why the Lord had not called me up with the other women when He put the prophetic anointing on them. I asked the Lord about that but did not get a clear answer.
I continued to shake under the power as Mark moved into the sermon. He choose 1 Kings 13 as his text, the very chapter that the Lord was currently having me memorize. He talked about how Jereboam was a stereo-type of Christians who choose not to move with the Lord because they are more interesting in establishing and controlling their territory instead of in what the Lord wants to do. The disobedient prophet, on the other hand, was someone who moved in the anointing. But he did not take the anointing seriously enough nor did he understand the responsibility that came along with the anointing. Then Mark said that "right now it was easy to 'jump on the train' with the Lord, but that this favor was not going to continue. If we resist the move of the Lord past 1994 we will miss the train and it will be much harder to come to move under the Lord's anointing." Mark expanded in depth, but I missed a lot of what he was saying because the Lord was dealing so powerfully with me.
I began to wonder if I'd missed the train by being disobedient earlier this evening. Then I had a vision of standing on the platform watching the train pull away. In this vision, I saw myself calling out to the Lord to please give me another chance. The train circled around and made another pass past the platform. It slowed down, but did not stop. I saw myself jump on the train and as it passed the platform. Then the train continued to move away from the station, but with me aboard.
Then I became aware that I was shaking so violently that my chair was rocking back and forth. My chair was attached to the chairs on either side of me, and I noticed that I was rocking them as well -- despite the fact that people were sitting in them. I remember being surprised at the intensity of the manisfestation on me. However, I felt like I had ablsolutely no control over it. In fact, if I could have stopped it, I would have -- I did not want to disrupt the sermon. However, I was only aware of this concern for a brief period. Then my attention refocused on the Lord and what He was doing in me.
My prayer became deep and intense. I determined to obey Him as instantly as possible in the future. I asked Him to please make His will clear to me so I could obey it. I found myself praying for the Lord to work in my heart and give me a proper attitude. I did not want to dispise His anointing or to take it for granted.
At one point, I found myself wishing that I could be on the ground with the intercessors/prophets. But I continued to sit in my chair and shake. I was only mildly aware of the sermon, but from time to time my attention would focus on it. Mark made a statement about the Lord hating it when people spread disunity in His Church. The intensity with which the Holy Spirit moved on me increased dramatically as Mark made that statement. At the same instant, most of the ladies (with the prophetic anointing) who were laying on the floor began thrashing around and whooping and calling out. Mark indicated that this was NOT random but that the Holy Spirit was using them to punctuate what he was saying.
The sermon continued and I continued shaking violently under the Holy Spirit's power. At some point I fell out of my chair and was on the floor. Since I was down there, I laid down. I was somewhat aware of shaking under the power and mildly aware of the sermon. Mostly I was aware of the Lord's presense and of a sense that He indeed had not passed me by. I felt like the Lord had given me a lesson in obedience and I wanted to learn it well.
Suddenly an incredible intensity came over me and I found myself calling out and shaking even more violently. I happened to notice that the other women also started calling out that the same time. I felt like I was in unity with them, even though I could not see any of them. (My eyes were closed.) After a short while, the intensity left me and I quited down. About the same time, it seemed like the other women quieted down as well.
I sort of marveled at this -- certainly calling out like that is totally out of character for me. Yet it seemed so natural at the time and I did not feel at all self conscious. I was surprised and pleased at the unity with the other women. I was not trying to be in synch with them in any way, but I turned out to be totally in synch with them. This happened a few more times. Then the Lord reminded me of what Mark had said about the Holy Spirit useing people under His anointing to accuncuate certain points in the sermon. I already knew that the Lord was doing this with the other women because Mark had commented on it. Now I realized that I had joined them and that the Lord was using me in the same manner.
I breathed a silent prayer of thanks. It seemed like maybe He had not passed me by for the prophetic anointing after all. I was now on the ground with these women. And the Lord was doing the same things in me that He seemed to be doing in them. I remember being greatful for His mercy and grace. Even when we make mistakes, He is the God of a second chance.
The sermon ended and Mark called the leaders up for prayer. He asked the prayer team to go lay hands on them. Since I was part of that team, I wanted to get up and go help. But I was unable to move. I felt like the Lord was telling me to stay down because He was not done with me yet. So I decided to obey and stay put.
At that point, I did not have any concerns at all. I was in the Lord's presense and allowed Him to touch me. It was powerful and wonderful. I guess my body continued to shake fairly violently, but I was only mildly aware of it. It felt so good to bask in the Lord's presense. I must have stayed there for another 20 minutes or so.
After a while, it seemed like the anointing on me was decreasing. I lay there for a little while asking the Lord if He wanted to do anything more. Nothing seemed to happen, so I set up. Right about then, Mark gave another call. This one was for those gifted in the arts. In my mind's eye, I envisioned musicians and painters. So I did not think that this call applied to me. But Mark specifically called out writers and dancers. I fit in both of those categories. So I stood up and walked over to the side of the room he had indicated. Many people were standing there.
Mark prayed for a prophetic anointing on our art. He prayed that the Lord would use us to move into the secular market. He asked for the Lord to increase His power and anointing on us. About then, the Lord's power hit me again. It seemed at least as strong as what I'd experienced earlier that evening. I went down again and stayed there for a while; probably about 45 minutes to an hour. God continued to move powerfully on me. From time to time I became aware of people around me and found myself praying silently for them. But I did not get up to minister to anyone.
Then Bob came up to me and told me he was leaving. I told him I'd be up in a few minutes to say good-bye. He sort of laughed at me and told me that I'd probably be down for a long time yet. But a few minutes later I was up. First I said goodbye to some people. Then I started praying for people. The anointing was very strong and it was quite easy to pray under it. God appeared to be touching people powerfully. There were a lot of people who wanted prayer, so I got to minister for a long time.
About 11:00 PM or so, I decided that I wanted prayer as well. I looked around and found that most of the ministry team was on the floor. However, Micheal Flowers and his wife were standing talking to a small group of people. So I went up and joined them. Eventually Micheal and Liz prayed for me. Liz led the prayer and Micheal was the catcher. Her prayer was very special for me. She thanked the Lord for the gifts that He had put in me and asked the Lord to establish me in this Church so that I could use those gifts to serve this body. She specifically asked the Lord to make me a leader and teacher of intercessors (which matched what Desta had said earlier this evening). She asked the Lord to establish me in leadership here at SF VCF. It was such a blessing to have pastors from my Church praying that over me. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful night.
Eventually I got up and wandered over to where Diana was laying. The Lord was still all over her and she could not yet get up. The Lord was healing her of cancer. I prayed with her for a while. Another girl named Michelle was laying near her laughing. I prayed briefly for Michelle and the Lord began to move very powerfully on her. She was shaking and kicking and laughing. I prayed for her several times. After a while Michelle got up and started praying over me. I ended up down on the floor shaking and kicking and laughing quite a bit myself. She said, "what goes around comes around. Since you prayed for me, I get to pray for you..." I accused her of giving me an arobic workout. She laughed and continued asking the Lord to bless me. We were both powerfully touched and powerfully blessed by the Lord.
After a while, we started talking. It turns out that she knows Denny Cline for Oregon. I knew his as well -- we became friends on my first trip to Toronto -- she is planning to be part of a Church plant in Corevallis. What a small world! The Lord seems to be doing something to tie me to Oregon and people assoicated with Oregon.
Somewhere shortly after midnight they kicked us out of the Church.
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