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    I Was Wondering

    I know you love the Lord with all your heart, soul (mind, will & emotions) and strength. This is not what I've been wondering for the last several days now. We go to church services and enjoy the worship and the messages given but my question is this, would you notice if the Holy Spirit was no longer in the service?

    How would you know? What are the signs that would indicate to you that He was not there? Could you tell? Is He there now as you go to your church? Again, how can you tell?

    I've been to churches over the years where the Spirit of the Lord has long left but the people never noticed. They continue to sing their songs, listen to the messages to whomever is speaking, they lift their hands in worship and even gyrate and make motions as if the Spirit of the Lord has control of their bodies, but there is no Holy Spirit actively working in that church.

    You may ask me, how do YOU know. I'm glad you asked me this question. There are certain characteristics I look for. These are found in the lives of those in attendance. You can find those characteristics in the following two verses:
    2 Corinthians 7:10-11
    For GODLY SORROW produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What DILIGENCE it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what INDIGNATION, what FEAR, what VEHEMENT DESIRE, what ZEAL, what VINDICATION! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    Godly sorrow for sin produces a major change in the hearts of those affected. Everything about them changes. They become DILIGENT in their obedience to the Spirit of the Lord as they've found that before, they were focused only on their own pleasures. Godly sorrow produced something in them that only God can produce, a strong awareness that everything they've ever done was selfishly motivated. This comes through a revelation of Jesus Christ that reveals His heart and motive of love from the Father and this love is never selfishly oriented but always focused on the Father's love towards others. Consequently, everything Jesus did while in this life, was selfLESS while our motivations are a stark CONTRAST to His.

    Another proof that Godly sorrow has worked in the life of a person is a great ZEAL for all things God. No longer are they seeking after what pleases themselves but seek DILIGENTLY for what pleases the Father. A NEW STANDARD has been established in them that "wipes out" the selfishness that has always ruled over them. There is a NEW RULER in their life and this ruler is Jesus Christ. Now, when they lift their hands, it is not to show others they are part of the whole or to prove they too love God but they lift their hands in SURRENDER to His will and are showing HIM they are ready to do whatever He wills and instructs them to do.

    Also, the FEAR of the LORD has become very prominent in all they think, say or do. They know that God is not only a JUST God but also a HOLY God. Nothing they do will be initiated from their own will but have yielded their will entirely to His will. They "dare not" do or say anything outside of what they "see" Him doing and "hear" His saying. This attitude literally PERMEATES the atmosphere as HUMILITY of mind and spirit is clearly evident. It can easily be seen as they converse with one another and how they treat newcomers and strangers in their midst.

    Another aspect is there is another, nearly equally powerful and impactful attitude in the midst of the people and that is a VEHEMENT DESIRE for God and His Word. It is an insatiable hunger and thirst for God and all He wants. Nothing else seems to matter, only God and what God wants...what pleases God. This "desire" is not something "intangible" but it can be "felt". This "desire" for God and His Spirit creates an atmosphere of "expectation" and "worship" that does not start when the music is playing. It is there as they gather together in expectancy to see what the Lord will be doing in their midst, what truth will be expounded upon, what spirit inspired word will be spoken. Yes, this is an expectancy that can be FELT and SEEN. The atmosphere is permeated with this attitude of VEHEMENT DESIRE.

    These all are the most pronounced indications that the Holy Spirit is working in the midst of the people. Here are another 3 critical indications of whether the Holy Spirit is actively working in the midst of a people:
    John 16:8-11
    And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
    When the Holy Spirit is allowed to work among a gathering of believers, ONE THING becomes quickly evident of His presence and work, CONVICTION! His purpose, besides leading us and guiding us into all truth is to bring upon the hearts of all who have ears to hear, "conviction" of sin, righteousness and judgment. If these are not evident, then where IS the Holy Spirit? If the message given does not produce these "fruits", how can one say that God was in THIS house? If there is no brokenness for sin, repentance for a life that is living selfishly instead of according to obedience to the Holy Spirit's direction, how can it be said that God is in our midst?

    Now, I have to ask that question again? What CRITERIA do YOU use to determine if God is in the midst of YOUR church? Is ICHABOD (the Spirit has departed) on the door to your church? Or is the Holy Spirit actively working and the "proofs" are all around you? Are these proofs working IN YOU? Does YOUR life fit the "standards" shown in the scriptures I've shared with you? Even if YOU do not see it, others will. What will they see? Do you have a name of being alive but the Spirit has departed (Ichabod)?


    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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