Yesterday I spoke about my reaction to the little I know about what has been going on in meetings run by Todd Bentley in Lakeland, Florida. Today I begin a special report brought to us by my dear friend, Jesse Phillips, who is a Sovereign Grace pastor in the Florida area. He visited the meetings himself one evening. The following is his unabridged report.
The thing I was immediately impressed with as we showed up, and throughout the whole night, was the overwhelming sense of anticipation and faith. This is something that, quite frankly, some of us could use a bit more of, myself included. The people at these meetings expect God to do great things when they gather. Too often I expect God to do nothing. My faith was certainly challenged as I thought about my posture in the gathering of my church each week.
We arrived at the meeting a few minutes late, but managed to catch most of the worship. My father-in-law and I estimated that about 4,000 people were gathered in a large arena. The first song was a medium-paced tune that started, “We are the generation who will stand and fight.” It was a song about being a light in the darkness, carrying the light that is within us to shine as a testimony of the power of Jesus’ name. The second song was about Jesus being the way, the truth, and the light of the world. It started “Prepare the way of the Lord,” and the chorus was a repeat of Jesus’ name eight times or so. I didn’t know the song, although it was easy to learn because of its simplicity.
During worship we were repeatedly encouraged to stir up our passion for Christ, to feel the heart of Christ for his Church, to not do church for the sake of doing church, but for a relationship, to seek the face of God.
One interesting thing I noticed during the worship time was that there were several people throughout the arena who had flags. One of them had the crown of a king on it, another had a heart shape printed on the front. People were very expressively waving flags, an element of worship I can’t say I’ve ever seen before. There were also a couple of people who had loud horns that were blown at various times.
Overall worship was very expressive and repetitious. It was forty-five minutes to an hour and consisted of three songs. The last song was called “Revelation Song” and was the most engaging for me, partly because I recognized it, but also because of its content. Whereas the first song focused on us as a generation, this song focused on God and proclaimed “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.” Then, a particularly moving line, “Jesus, Your name is power, breath and living water. Such a marvelous mystery.”
Continued in part 2 . . .