It has not been that long ago when I attended a Church service where several people fell out or were slain in the spirit. For those of you who do not know what that is; when the minister prayed for someone, they were so touched by the overwhelming intensity of the presence of the Holy Spirit, they fell back onto the floor, and they laid there until the presence of the Holy Spirit lifted off of them.
When I was a young boy we attended Church services where this was a common occurrence, and consequently when I was growing up I never thought to question or doubt its validity until I was much older and more spiritually mature. Through the years I have attended services where this has taken place and even though I have been around it all of my life and have been prayed for so many times I cannot count, I myself have never fallen out or been slain in the spirit. To be upfront with you, even though I know it to be a real experience for some folks, I never saw its spiritual value, except maybe to be a spiritual blessing to the person who had fallen out in the Spirit. I myself had often seen people shoved to the floor by spiritual pretenders laying hands on them and I was determined that that was not going to happen to me.
During this Church service, there were several young people in attendance, as well as some older folks, who had never participated in or experienced personally this kind of activity. As usual, in a meeting like this, there are always those who love to draw attention to themselves by coming up to be prayed for over and over so they can fall out in the spirit. But also, as usual, there are always those who genuinely want to feel the presence of God in their lives, or maybe receive a word from God, or maybe are seeking healing, or have a desire to be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and experience God for themselves, or just plain have a desire to be loved upon by a Church body that cares. For me, since I was only an invited guest minister and it was not my meeting, I asked the Lord to remove any preconceived opinions, mindsets, and motivations from me so I could yield my spirit totally to be led by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit and focus on fulfilling the purpose for which I was sent without distraction and allow him to use me however measure he would and in whatever way I would allow him. It became very clear to me that I was not there to satisfy my own needs, but as a self-identified mature Christian in unison with other mature Christians, to reach out to comfort the abused, speak clarity to the confused, minister healing to the hurting, mend the wounds of the wounded, open the blind eyes, unlock the prison bars, comfort the widows, reveal the presence of the Holy Father, and give glory to his name by testifying through my actions that he is an awesome loving God.
Many of those who attended the meetings came to me for prayer, asking for a word from the Lord. There were some there who were searching for personal answers for questions they did not even know how to ask or even form in their heart. Two young men wanted to know how to pray and turn their lives over to the Lord, another wanted to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in his own heart, and one was spiritually hungry and seeking for understanding and has the heart to be a missionary. One man, who had been filled with bitterness and the hardness that comes with it from past experiences, was set free from its hold upon him, and all his past was washed away in one moment of time. By the end of the meeting, he was weeping before the Lord, basking in the presence of the Holy Spirit, enjoying his newfound freedom from the bondage that had held him captivated in its grip for so long.
One young lady, whose husband had been killed, leaving her with three young babies, was experiencing a depth of unimaginable pain and grief, not knowing where to go or what to do. It took time to break through into her heart, as she was blaming God for her loss and was angry with him, but by the end of the service, she was upfront with raised hands seeking for the comforting presence of God that only the Holy Spirit can bring. She still had questions unanswered when the service was over, but the anger was no longer present within her heart and the door was opened to bring inner healing.
There were so many good things that happened during that meeting, and many prayers were answered for those seeking after them. At one time during the meeting there were six teenagers up front shoulder to shoulder, with me in the middle, swaying to the music, praising and singing to the Lord. By the time we were through there were five more teenagers, several adults and the whole place was worshiping and praising the Lord, several of the teenagers laying out on the floor and one laying there speaking in tongues praising the Lord, oblivious to everything going on around him. I had so much fun and enjoyed every minute of it. I will say though, once again I did not fall out in the Spirit, but for those who did, at least in my presence, were blessed beyond measure by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I have been in the ministry long enough to know that anywhere there is a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, there will also be lots of visible flesh mixed in creating a distraction if one chooses to focus upon it. I determined for myself to keep my heart in tune with the moving of the Holy Spirit and my eyes focused upon the Lord and not on what is going on around me.