Mike Pilavachi from Soul Survivor tells a great story about when he was learning to hear God speak. His senior minister had organised a gathering of ministers and their partners for a conference. As part of that, they were invited to come and be prayed for. As part of this Mike’s colleague shared with them what he thought God was saying. Much to Mike’s surprise, part way through he turned around to Mike and declared when they were praying with one woman that it was now his turn.
‘What should I do?’ Mike asked.
‘Ask God to tell you what you want to say to the person you’re praying for, and then tell them.’ With more than a little fear and trembling, Mike did just that. Feeling the pressure of the expectation from those around him he waited for God to reveal something to him. Something. Anything. But all that he could think of was a song from Abba which kept going around and around in his head and wouldn’t go.
‘Go on then Mike, what’s God saying?’ Reluctantly he turned to the woman, wishing that the ground would open up beneath him.
‘I feel the Lord is telling me to tell you that you can dance, you can sing, having the time of your lives…’ Oh the embarrassment! Then it got worse as the woman began to laugh! But then she explained that she’d started a dance ministry in her church but on the way over to the conference had been wondering whether or not she should stop it.
At the Church Meeting on Wednesday we talked about how to respond to what I believe is a prompting from God to move into worship in a deeper way as we seek to respond to and engage with him. I passionately believe that we have a God who is active and alive today who wants a dynamic relationship with his people. Think of some of the stories we’ve heard over the last few months about how he has led us in our engaging with people on our frontlines and maybe you’ll see evidence of that. To go further, especially together in our services, we’re going to have to take a few risks as Mike did, to take a chance on hearing him and sharing that, aware that we might get it wrong, but believing that God does want to speak and wants us to respond. So if you think God is speaking to you, have the courage to act, if he has something for you to pray about, pray out loud, a story to tell, tell it, an encouragement to share, share it. If we all take a risk, the fear and embarrassment factor is decreased and faith increased. Then we can learn and laugh together when we get it wrong, and celebrate if we get it right! Perhaps then we will dance and sing, having the time of our lives.