My husband and I, along with about eighteen other friends were invited to attend a function whose purpose was to honor men and women of God for their activism and community service. The individuals that gathered were members of churches from the several states of America and from countries outside of America. This was an august body of high leaders of great churches, many with PhDs and DDs. They were well dressed, well-nourished and many were well known. The organizers ended their Annual conference with a banquet and an Awards Ceremony. What followed the tasty, well prepared and well-presented meal was astounding.
Participants at the Banquet listened to the sweet strains of a well-known and inspiring church song, skillfully played by amazingly talented musicians when suddenly the music changed and evolved into music that was more appropriate for a club than a church setting. Those at my table were astounded at what we saw next. Around the room people began to shake and gyrate to the music as though they were in a club. From throughout the banquet hall people began to leave their seats and to gather for a dance called the “Electric Slide”. They hooped and hollered in a true ghetto fashion and for several minutes, they absolutely “partied”. It was an astounding sight. True, we were in a fine hotel and not in a church building, but were we not the church? This event occurred just minutes before a preacher was slated to preach. As the minister rose to share the Word of God, the hearts of the saved ones in the group went out to him. He started with these words: “I have to preach after the Electric Slide. There is a spirit in this place, but I can’t discern what it is.” His words, though spoken in a diplomatic manner, rebuked the people for their ungodly behavior.
This entire experience was shocking and utterly unbelievable to me…that some people would turn a church event into a party. God reminded me that this was not just a local assembly of people, but leaders and ministers from across the nation, as well as some from other countries of the world. This then was a snap shot of the people that He has to work with. Though there were those of us who were saved and truly lived for God, there were others who were naming the name of Christ, but who apparently did not even know Him.
As I was on my knees in prayer this morning, the Lord began to move upon me to travail in intercession for the perpetrators of the “Electric Slide” faux pas that occurred last night. I cried out fervently in repentance for their souls. I prayed that His judgment upon their ungodly behavior would be stayed and that the souls of the perpetrators would be saved. According to 1 Peter 4: 16 judgment must first begin at the House of God.
1 Peter 4:17 (KJV)
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Following my time in prayer, the Lord took me to the Book of Numbers, Chapters 13 and 14. The lesson of these chapters presents the children of Israel as they are at the point of preparing to move into the land that God had provided for them. Twelve spies were sent to spy out the land but only two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, brought back worthy reports, saying that they were well able to take the land. The anger of God was kindled against the children of Israel because they chose to believe the ten negative reports. God threatened to kill this group and to raise up another people who would move in victory. Moses went to God in intercession and in Numbers 14: 20 and 21 God pardoned the people.
Numbers 14:13-21 (KJV)
13 And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
16 Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
18 The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
20 And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Although the perpetrators themselves would be punished for their unbelief and murmurings, the children of Israel as a nation were not destroyed. The same principle can be applied to our people today. I believe in the power of intercessory prayer because the Word of God tells us to pray for one another. We also have to believe that when we obey God, He will honor our prayers.
James 5:16 (KJV)
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
John 15:16-17 (KJV)
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
I believe that the perpetrators of the “Electric slide” event will be forgiven because of intercession on their behalf. I further believe that many will repent and be saved as a result of the conviction that God will bring upon them. I say these things in love, not in condemnation or judgment. We must pray and seek the face of God for our fellow man. Many are doing the wrong things that they do in ignorance; if they knew better they would do better. I cry out to the true people of God to pray in an intercessory manner for our brothers and sisters. If we pray and intercede for the “church world” God will intervene, truly pardon and save the lost. When God shows us the spirit of the people we cannot love them one bit less. We show our love for them by praying for them. If we pray, God will change things. Holiness is still right!