Is it absolutely necessary to speak out your spiritual warfare for it to be effective?
There has been a lot of theological debate about that, specifically centered around the question of whether the devil can hear our thoughts. I will bypass the whole theological issue and simply say that in my life, there are a LOT of measurable, verifiable, sustained demonic movements produced through my silently resisting the enemy that is outside me.
Having said that, I would quickly add that verbalizing my opposition to a demon seems to work a whole lot better, faster.
I feel the same about celebrating God. I do a LOT in my mind. I see things all day long that cause a spike of emotion which qualifies as worship. In addition, I use a lot of written words. I fill e-mail after e-mail with observations of God’s fingerprints on someone’s life. I am proudly the Chief Celebrant of the beauty of God in you.
However, at the end of the day, the evidence is that verbalized, shared celebration of God is more powerful than either of the above. Thus our lunch time conversations where we share the goodies from the morning are highly potent worship.
So at any given time, we have a spectrum we can operate on, from silent joy to verbal expressive sharing with others. All points are legitimate, but some are more powerful than others.
Now let’s move from the medium to the worshiper. At the end of the day, we also have a spectrum. There are those who are highly in touch with their emotions and are able to express their joy publicly with ease. And there are those who by design and/or woundedness are much less able to feel joy, or are inhibited in expressing it publicly.
I am in the later group. Probably 80% of my worship is silent savoring with God. Another 17% is in writing. The rest is verbal. And to celebrate wildly on stage in front of other people is harder than hard for me. Just can’t let it go like some people can, even when I feel it deeply inside.
The two recent Practicums were classic illustrations of that. God did some IMMENSE things there. Inside I was having a wild party. Outside I was calmly analyzing what God did, teaching you and moving on to the next problem to solve.
Now, bring that construct to Facebook. It is an Exhorter platform. While I am certainly aware of the battle raging in the spiritual realm over the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at Facebook, on the surface, it is a platform for people to share their joy over the new things in their lives, whether puppies or pay raises.
And I believe that there is a stupendous cloud of spiritual activity generated by Facebook every hour over what is celebrated – good or otherwise.
Consider our page. Engagement levels vary but there is some rough similarity to the proportions. At the present moment, one post has generated 1,258 views, with 59 likes and eight comments. The audio from the Warfare Communion Service has 525 views, nine likes and two comments.
This blog is comparable. From inception we have 845,081 views, and 5,269 comments.
So we have different classes of engagement. I personally know a number of people who never miss a blog or Facebook post but have never commented a single time. Some are absolutely anonymous. Others write me privately to celebrate things from either platform but they would not even consider commenting there. A few write comments in public view with ease.
Each is welcome, and I am not doing this blog to put pressure on anyone to comment. But I do believe there is great power in the fingers of those of you who are emotionally vibrant and enjoy celebrating.
Right now we have two unofficial cheerleaders: Janis in the US and Joan in Australia. One in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern. And they are in widely differing time zones, so both day and night there is a celebrant awake, monitoring our Facebook page. By design, they each have a deep well of emotion and they enjoy celebrating in full view of the world the things about God that excite them.
I could not do what they do. My emotions are quite a bit more modulated, but I rejoice in the ability they have to rejoice at the level they do.
And I believe that their articulating their joy over the things God does adds a lot of spiritual vitality to our Facebook page and enriches the spiritual environment somewhat, in a broader context that ranges from banality to abominations.
Both God and I value the millions of silent celebrations that go on every time you see the fingerprints of God on our tribe. This is the backbone of our culture of worship. You are a treasure. There is plenty to do on any given day. You don’t have to keep coming back to social media to celebrate with us, but you do. That is a statement of how you value this playing field for God’s beauty and power. Kudos to the amazing army of silent celebrants.
And kudos to the tiny group of specialist in the Kingdom who were made to write out the passion of their perspective. You are small in numbers but add amazing flavor to the bouquet of worship we offer God each day.
Copyright July 2016 by Arthur Burk
From home, at 3:30 a.m. since I couldn’t get back to sleep after a demonic visitation. So there, critters!