The message in Sunday School came from Psalms 8:1-8. 1. “O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory upon the heavens.” The lesson covered the many meanings of the word Lord in the Bible. Interesting, informative. (I love History!) Every adult class in the church was covering the same verses. Somewhere in the church a spark was being lit and it would be an epic flame.
The service began with the old hymn “To God be the Glory”. The choir sang beautifully and the people of the church were filling their souls with the spirit. The pastor welcomed the congregation and guests and talked briefly about his own Sunday School experience. “Our Lord. Our Lord, he is our Lord.” The music director led the congregation in singing “Victory in Jesus” and before the song was over, he was visibly shaking. He gave his interpretation of the verses from Sunday School. He was in tears, his voice was strained. Again, “Our Lord. He is OUR Lord”. “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” brought praises from several members of the church about how good and merciful our God really is. By the time the offertory hymn began, the church was full of people saying Amen and raising their hands to God, inspired by the powerful words in the old hymns. When the music director began “Amazing Grace”, the altar began filling up. The pastor smiled to the his flock and opened his arms. Whether people were praying at the altar for Jesus to come into their hearts, for forgiveness, for help, or for loved ones, we will never know. What I can tell you is that the spirit of the Lord was so heavy in the church that morning that it was palpable. There were no dry eyes. “Amazing Grace” was sang in it’s entirety three times. Still people were kneeling before God.
The pastor didn’t take the pulpit until 11:45 that morning. He could barely speak he was so humbled before his congregation and before God. His prepared sermon was now all too prepared. God had taken over the church this morning and God had led the service. Before closing the service the pastor merely said, “If you didn’t feel the spirit of God here today, I want you to ask yourself why.” As the church sang “I Surrender All”, I thought about that and what I had witnessed that morning. There is no doubt that I felt the spirit of the Lord. I was crying and couldn’t control the tears for the entire service. I could feel God’s love pouring into me and from the people around me.
Later that night, I posted about my wonderful experience on Facebook. Words could barely describe what I was feeling at that time as I was still very much processing it all. A sweet relative of mine totally got it and replied with this: “I think the reason we don’t see more of that, is because a lot of people aren’t in tune with God like we need to be. I love it when there is a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and people start praising God, and don’t care what others think of them, just obey the direction of God, and praise Him…”. It was at that moment that I understood what had made this so different of a church service. EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the church submitted themselves unto the LORD. Every. Single. Person. Let that sink in for a moment.
James 4:7 tells us “Submit yourselves, the to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” For this old sinner the message here is clear! When I gave in and submitted my whole heart and soul to God during the service, I was able to rid myself of all the earthly cares and concerns and focus only on my God. My Lord. I think the members of this little church received that great blessing that as well. Surrender All. Submission is not so bad folks, it’s really pretty awesome.