Monday, April 14, 2008


Let His Light Shine!

By Ramone - April 13, 2008
This little light of mine—
I'm going to let it shine!

Hide it under a bush, oh no—
I'm going to let it shine!

Won't let Satan blow it out—
I'm going to let it shine!

All around the neighborhood—
I'm going to let it shine!

Let it shine 'til Jesus comes—
I'm going to let it shine!
This picture came the same night that I finished "The Body is Christ!" and the meaning of this one is part of the same burden of God's heart for us to come into His freedom, into His light. The children's song "This little light of mine" kept playing in my head and He began to speak to my spirit...
What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church... And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.

- 1 Corinthians 14:26-31 NIV

How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification... But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.

- 1 Corinthians 14:26-31
Simply put, God wants to speak in His church and through His church. Not through just one "preacher" or one speaker. The Holy Spirit is inside us each, and God has purposefully put Himself into each of us to bless the whole.

Honestly and bluntly speaking, this is not allowed "in church". We have maintained and tightened a tradition where only one person is speaking, and because of this many people in churches are growing weak and cold, and need the warming of the Holy Spirit who reveals Himself even through little children. Each of us needs to let the Holy Spirit exercise His gifts through us in "church". Church was not meant to be "a sermon", a "ritual ceremony" or a "program". It is the community of the Spirit, and the Spirit must be allowed to speak through whomever He chooses so that all will be blessed. If the Spirit is constrained by our traditions, then we are not allowing everyone to be blessed as He desires.

It is surprising and humbling to realize that the ancient synagogues seemed to have more freedom and openness than we do today:
Jesus went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And He stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me,
because He has anointed Me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him, and He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

- Luke 4:16-21
Today, even if someone had grown up in our church, would we just let them get up there and say something unscripted? We might let them do the "Scripture reading", but the sermon is planned, the songs chosen, the people who will pray are already selected, and maybe even the time of dismissal is already decided, etc.

In amazing contrast, the ancient synagogue of Pisidian Antioch was open enough to invite visitors to speak--
In Pisidian Antioch, Paul and his companions entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak."

Acts 13:14-15
Today we must learn leave room for the unexpected. In fact, we must get used to laying down our whole agenda. The Scriptures must be read and everything must be in submission to the Scriptures. But as Martin Luther once said, without the Spirit the Scriptures are not understood even though they are read.

Making small open-mic moments in our "service" doesn't count, either. God is not meant to be the side-dish or a supporting act; He wants to be our main dish, the main act. He wants to give His word to us Himself. He has worked through our systems and pre-planned programs wonderfully in the past, but as new generations of His children come into His freedom, the constraints are being felt. The fire of the Holy Spirit is growing as we draw closer to the end, and if we truly desire for the fire of His Spirit and the message of His passionate love to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, then we must allow Him out of our programmed boxes. We must learn to welcome His fire and gather around it like campers around a bonfire at night!

Even in our most free-flowing "Spirit-filled" charismatic churches, this is very rare. Space may be given for messages in tongues, and the mic may be open for occasional short prophesying, but the "pulpit" is still fixed in place, and that means that you (the congregation) know your place---that you need to sit down and not interrupt. The "program" is still in place; the tradition of men is still dominant; the Holy Spirit is not allowed to freely flow through each member. The sermon is the center -- not seeking the Holy Spirit and His word and heart for us. We may "invite" Him to an extent, but we still take offense when He does something that we don't expect or interrupts our "flow" or planned words and events. Our invitation is only warm to Him if He cooperates with our program.

Yet in 1st Corinthians 14:30, Paul said that "if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop." Paul would only give this instruction if it were actually something that the Holy Spirit would, did, and does do! In other words, Paul said that the Holy Spirit is going to give revelation to people who are sitting down, and when this happens, the person who's speaking needs to recognize it and give way to the Holy Spirit! (The whole body must then "carefully weigh what is said" and each one must judge for themselves whether it is the Lord that has spoken or not).

This is a picture of the church at large today -- cold, dark, diseased (sickly green) and in desperate need of the warmth of the Spirit expressed as Paul instructed in 1st Corinthians 14:26-31, flowing through each person. In the picture the sevenfold Spirit of God is seen lighting His fire in certain people sitting down, waiting to be released through their mouths & lives so that the whole church may be warmed.

But it's not happening here because seeking the Spirit presence and waiting on Him to speak are not "part of the program". Someone filled with the Spirit has realized it, and is heading for the door. This person represents countless thousands who are all "heading for the door" today because they are being filled with the Spirit and cannot contain it "in church" any longer. God is sending many, many of them out of the pew and into the world to light up others with His fire, with His Holy Spirit. And outside, through the windows, we see the fire of His Spirit is burning more and more.

Can you hear His heart crying out to us, longing to heal us and provide us desperately needed warmth, passion and strength?
"Let it shine! Let My light shine in the church and in the world! I have put My light in each of you and My light is meant to shine through each of you!"
Will we welcome Him in? Will we let Him speak so that the church may be edified and strengthened? It's going to break our traditions. Is His fire worth it? Is hearing the passion of His heart spoken worth it? Dare we make waiting on the unseen, unprogrammed invisible Holy Spirit the center of our gathering? I pray that we do dare! In Jesus' name, amen!

This picture, this message is a call to intercession, that His fire may be shared, that we may be warmed, that our churches may be "set aflame" with His healing warmth where we all so desperately need Him. And the world, too. In Jesus' name, amen.
As I put up the tatami index thumbnail to a new picture, Let Him Who Has Ears..., it occured to me that the new picture is God's heart for us in response and holy passionate reformation to His breaking heart in this picture here! Thank You, God! Move us in Your heart to center around You in our meeting, Holy Spirit, as You long to speak to us of Jesus and Father's love! In Jesus' name, amen!

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Be blessed in His heart today! His heart is for you!

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