Last night I attended a church service in which the guest speaker was billed as a “prophet”. As I had never attended a non-pentecostal church that would host a “prophet”, I was naturally eager to attend. I’ll admit it – my motives were mixed. Of course I desire a life and a manner that reflect the work of the Spirit; but I also was dying to see how the priest would handle it if things got wild.
I am into the Spirit, but I’m all OVER the topic of leadership, and I figured this might turn out to be a demonstration of how a good leader can rein in a rogue speaker. It’s a skill that could come in handy sometime. At work, I present trainings with other speakers and I’ve dealt with a few colleagues who stray a bit from my carefully scripted and time-detailed agenda. But to have the courage to hand over the podium to someone who might not only start a rabbit chase of a story, but shout it in an unknown tongue, or who might approach an audience member and demand that the demon leave his body, well, that’s freaky courageous in my book. I absolutely couldn’t wait to see how it would be handled in this staid place.
The speaker was like others with similar beliefs to whom I’ve listened, meaning that the filling of the Spirit, in my experience, can make one “rough around the edges”. It seems the Spirit is not James Bond smooth, but rather a cross between Homer Simpson and Andy Griffith. For example, when she got to the part of the evening to start calling people forward to pray or prophesy over them, she didn’t point and call them; she said “Sister Yellow Shirt, come on up here, quickly”! or “Brother Beard, come here”! I found that a bit irreverent. It didn’t help that some people apparently display the filling of the Spirit by laughing, and Sister Yellow Shirt and Young Man Directly Behind Me were chuckling from the get go. I didn’t know if they were laughing *at* her or *with* her, but it didn’t seem to matter to Sister Prophet.
By the way,when Sister Yellow Shirt went forward and received prayer, she ended up lying on the floor and stayed there the entire 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was thinking SYS was one smart cookie. Or very filled with a restful spirit. Either of which made me admire her. I am not the one to laugh out loud at a speaker in church and then lie on the floor and take a nap; I’m the one who got in trouble, along with my mom and brother, for getting a case of the giggles in church, thereby making my dad angry all through lunch – and yes, I remember it 35 years later. I get away with NOTHING! But not SYS; she was cozy as could be; they put a blanket over her, while I sat there cold but trying not to cross my arms across my chest and thereby send out a negative vibe to either Sister Prophet or the Spirit. I want to believe, Lord help my unbelief!
The speaker sang a bit, and her voice was beautiful, but then she let it drop that the CD we were listening to was one she recorded on a studio visit where God had given her and the band all the music and songs the day they showed up to record. She didn’t even know the words, she had to learn them afterwards. Okaayy, but hey, that melody sounds just like one of the Disney princess ballads, and I wonder if she was watching The Little Mermaid or Pocahantas before she left for the studio? Is it wrong of me to sit here and think that if God is going to provide you with music and lyrics, He would create something completely new? And if not, and He uses Disney themes sometimes to provide a melody, how does He feel about some Christian groups who have denounced Disney for providing benefits to gay couples? I am so easily distracted, it saddens me.
Since the priest chose to let things ride and there was to be no sudden clever tide change, I spent the time torn between trying to keep my mind pried open long enough to acknowledge the beauty in some concepts presented (speak life into your family, speak Jesus into your children) on the one hand, and on the other hand, thinking how some of the prophecies were so general as to remind me of people who say they get messages from the dead and then proceed to tell you something very generic like “I see a loss”, when we all know good and well any woman over 15 has had some kind of loss that just about killed her or felt like it would.
I hate that I am so analytical sometimes and I sit and wonder what I’ll do if she calls on me and wondering if she does, how she’ll do it. Please oh please God don’t let it be “Sister Needs to Lose 50 Lbs, Come Here”!. Unless she can speak weight loss into me……but she’s not thin; she’s bigger than me. So I don’t think that’s an option.
I wonder, does the fact that I would sit here and ponder whether this lady could say something in an unknown language over me like “God take away all her fat and make her never want to eat one bite more than her body needs AMEN!” and it could work mean that I need serious therapy? Or is that the beam of my little bitty faith shining through? I can’t say for sure, but I trust the Spirit will eventually tell me. With an original melody and lyric. Please.