I want to tell you a story today of a time that Shulamite Ministries was asked to come minister to a church. We had genuine relationships with the pastor and his wife, and Martha was asked to come in and speak. We had such love for this couple, and so looked forward to coming to their church. They met us at the train and took us to have an amazing meal at a beautiful restaurant on the coast. We felt as if we were embraced, and in essence, there was a red carpet rolled out for us.
The morning Martha was to speak, we looked forward to an amazing message and for what the Spirit of God was going to do. Funny enough, at the beginning of Martha’s message the Spirit of God hit me in the sound booth. It was the most amazing presence of holiness I have ever experienced in my life. I literally couldn’t get down onto the ground low enough. The sound booth was up in a crow’s nest, so I literally came stumbling down ladder-type stairs to plant my face on the foyer floor. I just wept. I could’ve no more controlled that response than the man in the moon. I was experiencing the heavy weight of God’s glory, and the level of His Holiness was frightening to me.
If there had been a trap door in that foyer’s floor, I would’ve slipped down through it. I just couldn’t get low enough in the weight of that amazing glory. I wept (actually I sobbed) in His holy presence. Now, I’m not going to make up a visitation of God. As I’ve stated in other posts, I looked for the manifest presence of God pretty regularly. But this was it in actuality!
Yet this was all too much of a disturbance for the pastor’s wife. So she came back to put a stop to it. She demanded that I stop without actually speaking a word. Have you ever had someone speak loudly to you without using their voice? This was one such time. What followed shocked me so much that I’ve not recovered from it to this day. The heavy weight of God’s glory, the presence of His Holiness, and the manifestation of the Spirit all ceased. It was almost like a garage door lifting. It literally just rolled up and was put away. Afterwards, I got myself together and went outside to talk to the Lord. I begged Him to come back and to fill this church. And how He responded to me was amazing. Though I believe the move of God was intended for that whole church, He said to me, “I have given her the authority of this church, she can bring Me in or send Me away at her will.” Wow, I thought. That is so much power!
Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.
Ezekiel 10:18 NASB
This was many years ago, but I’ve never recovered from the encounter. God has applied this object lesson to many things in my life. The biggest lesson is that God is a gentleman, and He comes where He is invited. We have the ability to invite Him in or send Him away at will. Where He gives us authority, He also gives us the power of entrance. We can use our free will to banish Him or to invite Him. And the shocking thing is that the Creator of the Universe – the Owner of everything – abides by the rule of authority He bestows on us. Yes, even the areas where He Himself has made us stewards. Can you imagine? He doesn’t violate our wills with His own even though all is His!
Well, this lesson applies globally, not just in that church situation. As a gentleman, He doesn’t violate boundaries. The Word itself speaks about violated boundaries. ‘Cursed be anyone who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen’” (Deut 27:17).
God abides by these rules. He limits Himself to His own structure. And it applies to our very life. He will not violate our boundaries, even when they are against Him. But have no fear, there is a loophole!
In my next post, I will write on how this affects our daily lives.