Have you ever asked yourself why Pentecostals or Charismatics are “experience” or “emotion” driven? Many do and I think it is a good question. A quick survey of our historical and present behavior shows that many within these groups chase the next great feeling or rate a service, sermon, or preacher on how often their ears were tickled or how worked up everyone got. Did feathers rain down? That must have been God. Did someone get gold feelings in their teeth? God. Did someone prophecy over them telling them how great and wonderful they are? Definitely a God thing! Or….is it? For an unfortunate multitude the tickle of the ear or the latest greatest Revival trump sound teaching of the word. And, don’t bother asking if these experience seekers are studying their Bibles at home! Why should they? They live by and for the Experience not God!

“An Encounter” with the Holy can and should come in the quiet of our homes, our cars, our hearts, and our churches. Encounters should not be dependent on a set time one day a week with a prescribed number of songs and a prescribed start and stop time. And, the Overflow of the Spirit is not dependent on an overflow outside the set bounds of a service. An Encounter can be as awe inspiring as a quiet whisper into one’s soul that brings peace to a troubled mind; or, it can be as wild as the undignified dancing before the Lord as worshippers break down their inhibitions and freely express the overflow they feel in their hearts.

Worshippers in China and Africa and Guatemala don’t fret about a start or stop time – they gather and they go for hours at a time. They don’t worry about “propriety” or getting to the lunch buffet at the Golden Corral before 12:30pm. Preachers should preach until they feel they’ve said what the Holy Spirit wanted them to say be that 20 minutes or 4 hours (though usually more the latter than the former). Worship should go as long as the worshippers want to worship. And, something even pentecostal/charismatics in America are forgetting about these days, we should be willing to tarry to hear from God. Tarry in our pews in silence. Tarry at the altar on our knees or prostrate on our faces. Tarry with each other in prayer. Sometimes, we just need to shut up and listen!

True Seekers will study their Bibles and meditation on the Word and pray and wait silently for God to speak to them. They will serve others rather than wait to be served. They will worship with passion, repentance, and awe. They will worship in silence, in dance, with a shout or a wail, and never worry about who is watching because all that matters is whether God sees and hears them. True seekers are less concerned about what God can do for them and more about having a relationship with God.