I had a very stirring dream last night. It was a Sunday morning and I was leading worship. It was worship such as I don’t think I have ever experienced in the real world. It was incredibly dynamic and powerful. Although there was familiar songs coming up on the screen, and the keyboard players were people that I knew – there was a kind of reckless indulgence in God. We just knew that we were there not to sings songs that flowed, but that we were there to worship God and to usher in His presence.
There were lots of familiar faces and lots of unfamiliar ones too. One of the unfamiliar faces was an older woman sitting on the front row. As we worshipped, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully and she was just knocked off her feet.
Some of the familiar faces were people who had moved to another church in the city a number of years ago. Although we keep in touch, the connection is always tenuous and never the spiritual bond it used to be. Part way through this meeting, one of these people, a man, started to sing prophetically. I can’t remember any of the words of the song just that it was powerful stuff. It felt like we were enacting the passage in Corinthians that relates to worship – everyone coming with something to share.
At the end of the meeting, a rota sheet was being circulated among the worship team. Included among the names were some of the moved-away crowd.
I woke up. I was still there for a while, surrounded by a group of people simply focused on God. I could sense that all those thoughts like “What will people think if I say this?” or “Have I really got this right?” were just put aside. Honouring God was at the forefront of our hearts and minds. I thought about church unity and although to some extent I can understand how different denominations have grown out of one body of people – it just seemed so sad. It is sad that many people, myself included, are unwilling to dismantle differences. People leave one church to go to another and take with them grievances and hurts. People will always get hurt by other people, but sometimes those hurts become the directing force in our lives. God takes second place to our comfort.
The biggest thing though about the dream was the sense of shame that it provoked. There was a corporate shame in the church being so disunited – but there was also a personal shame involved for me. That kind of worship meeting should be a reality and not a dream. I should be an every Sunday experience – not a once in a while, or a Spring Harvest occasion – but every Sunday. Why limit it to a Sunday? Every encounter with God should be dynamic and powerful – and yet, speaking personally, my encounters with God are pale in comparison.
It’s more than whether I am prepared on a Sunday to bring my contribution. Whether I lead worship or not, I still participate. I think it is about where, not just one a Sunday, but every single moment of every day, God is placed in my life.
I am ashamed to admit that too often I am at the centre of everything I do. If I do something, it’s because I want to do it, or I enjoy doing it, or I get something out if it. I am ashamed that my heart is a lot cooler than I realised.
The “me” I saw in the dream was simply sold out for God and making the assumption that everyone else was just as sold out as I was. The “me” in the dream was not “me-conscious” but totally God conscious. The “me” in the dream was not hesitant or cautious but out on a limb. I liked the “me” in the dream.
I think that all God has got to say on the subject is “Be that ‘me’!”