Last night I woke up with a strolling minstrel on my mind--a worshiping minstrel. I could see this minstrel travelling through Waterford worshiping the Lord and bringing the presence of the Lord as he went. Today, instead of going to church, Tim and I drove around Waterford praying. I guess we were like strolling minstrels, travelling through the township breathing out words of prayer and praise. We drove by many of the churches and pulled into the parking lots of some of them. We prayed, we worshiped, we watched people coming and going into the churches and we sought the Lord. I could feel the love of the Lord for the people. He really does love everyone.
At one point the Lord showed me something quite interesting. I saw a "prick," something like a thorn, under a person's skin. This prick was the conviction of the Holy Spirit. (The Lord used this word when speaking to Saul. He said, "It is hard for you to kick against the pricks." Some translations say goads instead of pricks). What I saw was this thing inside of a person and he was resisting it--the conviction of the Holy Spirit. As he resisted the Holy Spirit, the prick became overlaid with guilt. Like the body was trying to encapsulate the object as a form of protection. The person imposed his own feeling of guilt on himself rather than facing the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But he wouldn't be at rest until the prick was out of there. There will always be inner irritation when one resists the Holy Spirit. This is true of a sinner who resists the Holy Spirit drawing to Jesus, and it's also true of a saint who is resisting His guidance.
When we live our lives from a guilt motivation rather than from the leading of the Holy Spirit, we end up religious people who try and find peace through good works. We will try and earn our salvation and either take pride in our accomplishments, or condemn ourselves for not living up to the standards of our self-imposed work-based religion. This is how people have a form of godliness yet deny the power. There can be no power as long as a person resists the Holy Spirit.
Father God, I pray all forms of religious, self-righteousness be removed from Your Waterford Church. Show us how we have resisted You, not willing to surrender to You completely. Let us be a people who yield to Your Holy Spirit in every way and in every situation. I pray Your people realize how great Your love is and that You can be trusted with every area of their lives, and that Your judgments are true and right. You cause everything to work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. We yield to Your Spirit and do not trust in our own efforts to save us!
Acts 26:14; John 16:7-15; 2 Timothy 3:5; Romans 8:14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:28
Re-prayer December 24, 2011