Guest Commentary: Honoring the Presence of God

I ran across an interesting commentary at the forum for Charisma magazine. I asked the author if I could post it on my blog and he agreed. I found this article thought provoking and challenging perspective. The author is Sean Steckbeck. He is serving Jesus in Israel and being used by God to lead others into following Jesus as Messiah and entering the Kingdom of God.

Here is the article:

My wife and I were weeping over the state of the church in the past couple days.
We were also talking about the word for the glory of the Lord and reminscing about our days at Brownsville and the glory of the Lord falling so strong there.
My wife and I speak to each other in Hebrew, not in English, this needs to be understood to understand the nature of our conversation.
The word for glory is “kavod” which is from the same root as “k’ved” which means weighty. The presence of God is weighty.
However, we were discussing that the glory of the Lord (kavod) also needs to be honored. For “kavod” is a double meaning- glory and honor. Kavod also is the word for honor.
We then realized that today’s woes with the charismatic church is a lack of honor for the glory of the Lord.

I then saw a picture of a King who came out on a red carpet.
Many were prostrated and shaking in awe (ecstasis in Greek for you River folks) and honor.
Many others were in awe (ecstasis), but took it very lightly and even nearly mocking.

I then asked myself why would these guys do this, don’t they know they could get their heads chopped off by the king.
I then realize they didn’t realize this was dishonoring to the King, but that it was.

My wife got immediately this verse:

Exo 20:7 You shall not take the name of Jehovah your God in vain. For Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.

Exo 20:7 לא תשׂא את־שׁם־יהוה אלהיך לשׁוא כי לא ינקה יהוה את אשׁר־ישׂא את־שׁמו לשׁוא׃

Transliteration by me- Lo tisa et shem adonay elohecha l’shav, ci lo yinka adonay asher yisa et shmo l’shav

Notice the word “shav” here which is translater “vain”.

In Hebrew, shav is used for the following:

1.) A dud for a firework
2.) A bullet that is a dud when shot.
3.) Sperm that does not impregnate.
4.) Something that has a substance, but does not have the reality.

So what can we draw from this in taking the Lord’s name in vain?

1.) A powerless faith— having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. Not having the fruit of a walk in the Holy Spirit while taking on the name of God.

2.) Not living the life—- the word “tisa” and “yisa” means to take on, or to dress yourself with. Interesting it does not even come close to the word “speak” which is usually spoken about this particular scripture. Although it also means this among other things, but is only a tiny part (to not give you a reason to say GD). This scripture is referred to almost immediately after it talks about not taking on other gods and keeping the commandments. God is speaking to Israel as a nation that is His representative nation on the earth collectively and who carries His name, and is speaking to each one’s personal responsibility within this. If we say we represent God or Messiah, and do not live the life of discipleship, we are taking His name in vain. Because we are God’s gun to change the world, and we should not fire duds. Thank God for grace, however, we should also fear. “Lo Yinkeh” means to not ever be found clean. Yeshua broke the curse of the law (lo yinkeh), however, it does not take away from the fact that this is the only commandment with such a severe punishment. One would almost think the unforgiveable punishment in the OT. This talks of how serious and grievous this is to God, even though our sins are washed clean, we don’t want to grieve God with one of the most despicable sins. The law still describes God’s character and order, even though we are relieved from the punishment and curse. Does the church and Israel (God’s two representatives on earth) today shoot blanks? Do we represent the nature and awe of God?

3.) Prophecy—- this might get a bit sticky now. 1 Cor 13-14 is clear that we prophesy in part, all should prophesy, we should desire prophecy, and that it is to be part of the regular house congregation. It is clear we should both judge and love one another concerning this issue. We should be in mutual submission and accountability over this issue. However, what about when it goes public away from the context of the typical house congregation whose responsibility is to produce disciples and growth (with one of the fruits as hearing the voice of God). Public prophecy is different than the incubus of prophecy within a house congregation. There are different standards! Why, prophecy within discipleship is for the growth of the individuals. Prophecy that goes public has a role to represent the words of God on the earth. Ok, here is where we get into shooting “duds” in God’s name. I have heard in the prophetic movement that public prophets can only hope to be 60% accurate at most. If we are talking within the house congregation where prophecies are immediately judged in love, I would be happy to be the first to emphatically state “Yes, but lets aim for higher”, even though we do “prophesy in part.” However, when we step up to the plate to represent God’s words on the earth to the public or to the worldwide church, we better be only 100% accurate. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut and go back to the house congregation incubus.
The Bible is clear that we should not listen to such prophets that publically prophesy like this. Warnings such as God being hurt that prophets as saying “thus says the Lord” when the “Lord hath not said.” They prophesy from their vain imaginations, etc. Believers can be guilty of prophesying from their vain imaginations, I am just as guilty. However, it better not be public. In a ways, God provided the mutual accountability and judgement of 1 Cor 14 as a ways to learn how to tune in to the voice of God, and grace to sometimes miss it. Even grace for learning not to get too wacky. However, God does not provide such a grace for His public representation. God’s public representation is a holy place that angels fear to tread (my slang about the angels, not my theology). There has to be a holiness about the public representation of God, including the purity of the prophetic (aka 100% accurate). We should fear when we go into that place, unless we love the limelight. However, those who love the $$$$ of those who go goo-goo and ga-ga over detailed 20-60% accuracy because those who give the money don’t know how to hear God for themselves is absolutely pathetic! They have traded the honor of the name of God for popularity and limelight. Those who make light of “missing it” in public don’t honor the name of the Lord. They are shooting duds (with sometimes real bullets granted) in public. This disgraces the name of the Lord.

4.) The anointing and the glory—– Taking on the name of God does have proper mannerisms. The fruit of taking on the name of God (fruit of the Spirit) is also self-control. How will the world react if when we are in His presence we act like complete idiots smoking dope and baby Jesus dolls? What will they think about the honor of the name of the Lord? How will they see Him as King? Yes, he is our friend. Yes, there is freedom. But, He is also King. As sons in the kingdom, we should honor Him as King. We should also honor His presence (outpouring of the Spirit). The spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets, so no “God made me do it.” While our bodies may react to the presence of God and this may be very natural (laughing, shaking, falling, etc.), let us remember that we should compose ourselves and honor the presence of the Lord. Smoking joints, snorting the Word, smoking baby Jesus, drinking from the breasts of El Shaddai (figuratively acting it out), eating a doughnut for the Lord’s body and getting ecstatic bliss from the sugar, dancing like a drugged up rave party, etc. is not honoring the Lord’s presence. Yes there is room for celebration and joy. Just as a King’s banquet has room for this. Yes there is room for dancing before the King. However, what would you dance? A beautiful ballot’s dance or a prostitutes dance? David did dance before the Ark in glorious procession, however, I am sure it was an honoring dance. Probably a “davidic dance.” Just like it would be absurd to dance a belly dance in an English ballroom.

These people do take God’s name in vain, because they represent a sinful culture to the world (rave dance, joint smoking, etc.) as reprenting the work of the Holy Spirit and even enter into ecstatic supposedly Holy Spirit filled places while doing blasphemous works. My problem is not with the ecstatic (which is biblical), but the fruit of it not being any fruits of the Spirit. This takes God’s name in vain. It adds new levels to blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

In all:

I honor the move of God. I have been the revival meetings where His glory felt like a wave of His presence filling me. I have been to meetings where it seemed like all were seeing visions and prophesying because His presence was sooo thick. I honor this… I honor this…I honor this….

I honor this, because I honor the name of God.

Therefore, I will not act like a complete bafoon because I honor the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.