Burning for Jesus
In the last year Jesus' words to his disciples have been ringing out to us as a church at Catch The Fire Raleigh:
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24 NASB)
Jesus showed His team of disciples that His Father was really looking for those that love to worship Him in the Spirit and in His truth. To us, this can sometimes seem like a diversion from 'doing the stuff' for His Kingdom - healing the sick, outreaches etc. Those are good things, but Jesus revealed here that He wants Spirit led disciples and not just robots who are programmed to bring the Kingdom.
"We have been challenged to get back to the essence of worship."
As a church, we realised that we're in a season where we could have so many activities going on; programmes for church growth, equipping in signs and wonders, miracles, yet end up missing the point of what a church community should be like.We don't want to miss or forget the fact that the church is a bride, being prepared for the son of God. We don't want to forget that we are called to manifest the presence and person of God in a spirit of worship! This is the season!
The Father has been challenging us to get back to the essence of worship - letting 'let the main thing remain the main thing'! Worship, true worship needed to become our 'raison d’être' and not an add-on or just singing the latest trendy songs on Sunday. We realised that it must move from a rote habit to an attitude of the heart. Worship must become a lifestyle. This meant that we needed people to be inspired to live their lives as a sacrifice of praise and an offering of worship to our beautiful Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. Instead of feeling a sense of obligation, lovers of God will joyfully move onto doing the Fatherʼs business of extending the kingdom from a spirit of worship and adoration to Jesus.
Jesus wants us to do our best for him driven and motivated by love and not a sense of duty.
Many years ago, Carol Arnott had an encounter with God where the Lord told her that He had many servants but few lovers. This word has had a profound effect on our movement and direction into revival. In fact, I have realised that this word is timeless and will always be profound to those that have ears to hear.
"I can spend my life learning and growing in His love."
Mike Bickle from the International House of Prayer (IHOP), Kansas City preaches, “God wants voluntary lovers for His Son. The most powerful heart response is voluntary sacrifice and love.” Such a sacrifice is the truest form of worship (Romans 12:1). Wow! Take a pause and think on that! God doesnʼt want us to love, adore and worship Him because we have our arms twisted. He wants our love to be genuine and true; a love that sustains and compels us into everything He has for us.
Understanding thishas lead me to start crying out to God to ﬁll me with His love in such a way that I can learn and become the lover that would make Jesus proud, bringing Him glory in the deepest and most profound way. I was aware of my lack of ability to love Him, let alone my husband, my children and the teams we work with. I needed the spirit of Love himself to grace me with the gift of love. Then I realised that Jesus had already given his spirit to me when I was born again and that I can spend the rest of my life learning and growing in His love that was planted within me. Love is like any seed that will grow and develop in the right conditions.
Back to our story in Raleigh... God said that itʼs time to be more intentional with worship. From there we conceived the idea of 'Burning Worship' nights. We decided that for six hours we would give ourselves to developing our corporate love affair with Jesus. Six hours is a long time but with different expressions of worship, involving several worship teams, dance, prayer for the city and soaking prayer, time passes quickly. People gather and worship Jesus together in His presence, dipping in and out during the six hours. Our main intent is to press in, bringing a fragrant offering to Jesus with our lives and voices! We needed more time than 40 minutes on a Sunday morning to wait on God. We want to be more hungry and thirsty than ever before.
When Godʼs worshipers come to Him in spirit and truth, the atmosphere changes and brings breakthrough. In the 11 months we have held these nights of radical worship we have seen a release of the prophetic and prophetic art, new visions, and physical and emotional healings.
"The fruit of these regular Burning Worship nights has been amazing."
Thom Moore loves the presence of God and regularly brings his whole family to the Burning Worship nights. He told me how he got healed at our first Burning conference in June this year. “I had had asthma since I was about four years old and remember spending more time in the hospital than I did in kindergarten class. Once an adult I only experienced flare-ups of the asthma every other year or so while living in South Dakota, but when I and my family relocated to North Carolina the humidity triggered flare-ups at least three times a week. The asthma was acting up again on the Friday of the Burning conference. Before going to the meeting, I had to stop at the pharmacy to get something for my particularly scratchy throat. In the meeting, Duncan Smith called out a word of knowledge for asthma. As soon as the word was called out I remember physically feeling the presence of the Lord and something lifting off of my chest enabling me to breathe freely and normally. God's presence came on me, and I felt the asthma lift off me," Thom went on to say "and it hasn't come back since!"
“Burning nights are great times to connect with people, to connect with God, and to go deeper in worship together,” says Lise Barth, who often paints prophetically during worship.
We are finding that the presence of the Lord comes very strong by the end of the six hours. Very often the hungry and thirsty ones donʼt want to leave but would prefer to sleep in His presence!
As Stacy Long our Catch The Fire US coordinator said, “What other opportunity do you have to spend six hours straight in worship with other believers, in a collective setting?”
Even on the Sundays following our Burning Worship nights, the thick presence of the Lord can be felt as the anointing lingers. The fruit of these regular Burning Worship nights and our annual conference (the next one is in May 2012) has been amazing. We have seen individuals becoming more hungry and thirsty for the presence and the person of God. An expectation for the wonders of God is increasing and a sense of God's pleasure and joy has been released. People are beginning to travel from out of town to come to the Burning Worship nights and are looking forward to the next gathering. I rejoice in seeing our Father heal His kids and delight in His presence. We are connecting with our Fatherʼs passion for his lost and hurting children and are calling out for our city to be transformed by His love.
We thoroughly recommend you to join with us in burning more and more for Him.