ENGAGE was good today. We watched a video from something called the Catalyst conference. The speaker was a guy by the name of Francis Chan. It was excellent. He used Paul's introduction to the Galatians and the first chapter of Jeremiah to show that, as pastors, we were called by Christ and prepared before we were born to bare the message He has given us. This message would be difficult and, most of the time, nobody would like us; however, God will be with us and if we are not faithful to His calling, because of fear, he would give us much more to be afraid of. Also, something I got out of it, was that we need to be more bold and faithful with our message, not worrying so much about making people mad, because, on the judgment day, it will be better for us to present a few faithful believers that it will be to present many that He will just spit out of His mouth.
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The evening worship service was more of the same thing as the day before. There were many good elements to begin with. We were supposed to enter the auditorium in silence and were supposed to be meditating and focusing of the holiness of God. There was various scripture, mostly from the Psalms, out loud declaring the wonders of God. There was this low, droning mood music that was being played that I didn't really care for, mostly because I thought the declaration of God's Word should have been sufficient. Before there was any other music, another man (Bill something, I think) came and preached a brief sermon on Isaiah 6. It was perfect; they should have left it at that. Then the band, they came out, started playing (this time without the sheet covering them) and were doing the same thing that I described from the day before. The front man said that it was because they were just so excited about God that they couldn't help but act the way they were. They kept on playing, and I could tell everyone in the room was getting excited, but all I felt was bored. Eventually Matt came out and said that he had intended to talk about how we cannot separate obedience from worship, but that he and the leadership could feel the Holy Spirit moving in the place. People started to get emotional, there was yelling, there was crying, there was all kinds of stuff.
I was off against a wall praying over the room and seeing all of this, but I did not feel Spirit moving, all I felt was saddened. Saddened because there were so many that were getting worked up over this. To me it seemed so forced and artificial. Why did we need all the gimmicks to get the Spirit to move? Why can't it be enough that someone just stand up and declare the message of the Lord. Even as I am writing this, I am getting worked just thinking about it. Not about what is going on here, but worked up over my desire to hear someone declare the Word with power apart from all the showboating and gimmicks.
Nights like last night make me question my salvation sometimes. There were so many that were declaring that they felt God working in that place, but I felt nothing. Is there something wrong with me? If I am truly saved, shouldn't I be tuned in so that I could feel the Spirit moving? Am I the one that is wrong or are they, but how could so many be wrong about this? My depression deepens, though the spark of conviction is growing. I pray for God's moving, I pray that there would be lives that are changed. I pray that my own cold heart would be set aflame with a passion for God that is unextinguishable.