It’s 11 o’clock, but I don’t think I should go home yet.
Saturday was a long day. I woke up for breakfast with the family and came straight over to the church with my keys to let in the last of the Songs of Praise team. Once he had cleared out, our team got started setting up the stage, sound system and the room for the Sunday Service. After that, I edited together the morning broadcast and finished up around 7pm. Uploading it would take over an hour so I went home for dinner and decided I’d come back later to finish publishing it and turn the computer off.
Now I’m here. Outside, the street lamps prop up a black, starless sky. I’m dimly lit by fairy lights, staring up at the silhouette of the organ that towers over me. Moments like these remind me of bodyboarding as a kid in Australia. I remember my Dad teaching me to watch the horizon and feel the water pulling against me; to feel the coming wave.
I felt my spirit pulling then; the Holy Spirit inviting me: “come sit with me.” I could feel a holy moment rolling in.
I sit in the middle of the room, cross legged, turning my heart and my attention to what Holy Spirit wants to do in that moment. I feel His presence fill the room but also an awkwardness in the atmosphere; there’s an elephant in the room. I sit silently at first, sensing that I’m not free to speak yet. Eventually, I begin to sing. I’m trying to be led by Holy Spirit because I want to sing the song that He wants to hear in that moment. I flit from Hillsong classics, to the new Maverick City album, to old hymns. I’ll sing anything if it catches His heart.
I get up and begin to move around to room, I’m singing in the spirit now and I’m beginning to feel a shift. I’ve always noticed a difference between when His Presence fills the room and when His Holy Spirit begins to stir in the room. God is prone to visit rooms but He inhabits the praises of His people. When our worship catches His heart, then He begins to move.
Finding myself on the stage, standing in front of empty chairs I feel a weird request: “preach to me.” Holy Spirit directs me to Luke 13: the parable of the barren fig tree. I read it aloud and marvelled at how patient the gardener was with the tree that didn’t even bear fruit. I started praying that the Father would minister His patience to us as a church. Verse 8 stuck out to me. “Thank you Father, that when we fail to bear fruit you don’t cut us down.. you give us ‘special attention’. You are so patient with us.”
From the stage I begin to sing: “there is a pillar of fire over Swansea” and whatever awkwardness is in the air begins to crack open. I keep singing, “Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams!”
“Today this scripture is fulfilled in your midst.” Things are coming out of my mouth now that puzzled me. I realise I am actually prophesying (which is new for me). Holy Spirit is speaking and I’ve become a spectator.
The last thing I remember saying was: “All the angels surround the building! There’s a fire in the room!” I sang it over and over until Holy Spirit broke in: “Now. Go home.”
After checking the clock (it had been 40 minutes) I turned the lights off and left. Driving home I wondered what Holy Spirit was up to; and if I was in the building prophesying then who was at home having dreams?
Church, our God is alive and kicking in Swansea. Look out for the pull of the Spirit because, if you let Him, He might just hijack your night.