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Glory: When Heaven Invades Earth [Sorge Bob] (Paperback)

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Oasis House/Bob Sorge Min / Christian Living
isbn: 0962118591, isbn13: 9780962118593
sku: 328591, code: B-Glory

Glory: When Heaven Invades Earth [Sorge Bob] (Paperback)

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Released in November, 2000, this book points to the coming invasion of Glory that the prophets have foretold. There is a mighty demonstration of Holy Spirit Glory that has not yet touched this planet, and must happen in order for Scripture to be fulfilled. When it comes, EVERYTHING will change.

It?s inevitable! It?s coming!

It?s so easy for us to settle for less than Glory in our corporate worship services. Written especially with practical application for worship leading ministries, this book exposes some of the common techniques we employ in our natural selves when God?s Glory is not manifest among us as we desire.

Discover the difference between the Presence of God and the Glory of God. You love the Presence of God, but you?ll never be satisifed until you see the Glory of God.

The purpose of this book is to fuel your fire for a full-blown, no-holds-barred invasion of Glory in this generation.

Chapter SixThe Five Deadly D?s When There?s No Glory
Many of us have conceived of God?s Presence as the ultimate attainment in
our worship gatherings. We have thought that by having God?s Presence in the
midst of the community of faith we have uncovered New Testament Christianity.
But I am saying God?s Presence is not enough. It?s possible to have His
Presence without His Pleasure (His smile). His Presence is great, but
there?s more. There?s Glory. Most of us have known His Presence in our
midst as we worship, but few of us have truly entered the Glory realm. His
Presence is His promise; His Glory is His pleasure. We are assured the kiss
of His Presence but not necessarily the smile of His Glory. The Glory realm
is somewhat elusive. We desire it but rarely seem to experience it. And yet
it?s the fullness Jesus died to grant us.
Most Christian churches throughout the world experience the Presence of
God (to some degree) when they gather together for corporate worship. God?s
Presence may not be discernable at the outset of the meeting, but as the
incense of worship begins to arise, an awareness of God begins to grow in the
room. As the hearts of God?s people begin to lift in faith and praise, the
gentle Presence of God begins to distill quietly in the room as He inhabits
the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Point Of Decision
However, it?s precisely at this point that something critical often
begins to happen. Although we sense God?s Presence, we also sense a certain
lack of fullness. We know we haven?t experienced the breakthrough in the
Spirit that we desire. We know we are in the Presence of Immanuel ("God With
Us") and yet we know there?s more. While the atmosphere is sweet, there?s a
clear awareness that we have not yet touched the Glory realm. Here?s the
distinction: We have Presence, but not Glory.
This syndrome has been experienced in virtually every Christian church
around the world, in all generations. It?s absolutely universal. I am
emphasizing that point because I want you to understand that this chapter is
in no way intended to poke at certain kinds of churches. I am not
criticizing a certain style of worship, nor am I setting any one tribe of
Israel (e.g. denomination) above another. Almost every single church has
come to that point where they have Presence but not Glory. The only excepti
on would be those churches which have not known even the Presence of God.
When we come to that place of having Presence without Glory, we have
arrived at what I am calling "the point of decision." We are at a spiritual
crossroads. How we respond to the Holy Spirit at this point of decision will
determine our future destiny. The critical question is this: What will you
do when you have Presence but not Glory? Your response will carry serious
ramifications for the spiritual inheritance of your local church family.
If you have ever been responsible for conducting a corporate worship
service, then it?s most likely that you can connect implicitly with what I?m
saying. Chances are you know the feeling of being in front of the people,
being in charge of the worship service, and having this lead-ball feeling in
the pit of your stomach because you realize the worship service is in serious
trouble. There?s no Glory and you know it. In some cases, there?s not even
Presence. There are few things more uncomfortable than being the leader of a
worship service where there?s no Glory and even the sense of Presence is
questionable. You just want the platform to open and swallow you alive. But
what you do in that moment carries significant implications for the worship
life of your church.Five Common Responses
When our worship services have no Glory, there are at least five possible
responses common to church leaders. As an alliterative device, these five
all start with the letter "D."1. Delight
It?s a rare but yet sad fact that some churches respond to the absence of
Glory with delight. They don?t want Glory, and they?re quite happy when it
leaves them alone.
Some leaders have looked at other churches where small manifestations of
Glory have erupted and have cynically discarded what they?ve observed as
undesirable and distasteful. They?ve looked at Glory and decided they don?t
want it. Because Glory has a way of annihilating all decorum and protocol,
it usually comes with great controversy and opposition. Tommy Tenney has
pointed out 0that the Presence of God will enable our flesh, but Glory will
disable our flesh. When Presence comes, we are strengthened and empowered;
when Glory comes, priests are no longer able to stand and perform their
duties (2 Chronicles 5:14). And when people start to collapse on the floor,
many will judge the meetings as "indecent" or "out of order." The furor that
attends Glory is too costly for some leaders, and they?re quite delighted
when this Glory leaves them alone.
The truth is God?s Glory is disruptive. It?s untamed, uncontrollable,
unstoppable, and dangerously all-consuming. It destroys agendas, calendars,
service orders, songlists, and carefully devised plans. It frustrates,
exposes, confounds, and renders powerless the controlling mechanisms of
church leaders. Glory is dangerous and revolutionary. It?s explosive,
undomesticated, volatile, divisive, and invasive. Glory smashes in like a
tidal wave, washing away the safety nets and lines of familiarity that have
helped us feel secure. The clock might help to establish when the meeting
starts, but it?s useless in determining when the meeting might stop.
Buildings become overcrowded, restrooms can hardly be kept clean enough,
children seem to be everywhere, critics abound, the neighbors complain, cars
are parked sideways, businesses bawk, mayors try to mediate, and other
pastors are secretly envious that it?s not happening at their place.
And people will do the weirdest things in response to Glory. Some will
shout; some will dance; some will weep; some will clap; some will fall to
the ground; some will kneel; others will shake uncontrollably. They will
make strange sounds and weird bodily movements. They will miss meals and
keep strange hours. And they won?t have the slightest reservation about
telling every single soul they meet in the grocery store about all the
unconventional things happening in the meetings.
"No," some will say, "We don?t want that. If that?s what Glory means,
then we don?t want it." The pricetag is too steep. They refuse to
relinquish control. The Lord never imposes Glory on those who don?t desire
it, and they?re just as happy that that?s so.2. Despair
Now here?s the other end of the spectrum. While some are delighted that
Glory hasn?t touched them, others are despairing because they?re convinced
they?ll never see Glory in their lifetime. Some churches have given up.
They no longer contend for Glory. It?s been so long since they?ve had Glory
that no one can even remember it. They?re only contending for Presence now;
they?ve given up all hope of seeing Glory. In fact, there are some churches
that have even given up on Presence.
Some churches are profoundly grateful if they can have just a dusting of
Presence. They go through their typical program (a.k.a. rut), and the entire
time the worship leader is silently begging God for a breakthrough, "Please,
please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please!"
Every once in a while something will begin to stir. About 25 minutes into
the service a faint breeze will gently begin to waft into the auditorium, and
chins will be lifted slightly for just a moment as the hungry say, "Ah, what
was that? Ah yes, I sense it now, there it is. It?s the Presence of God."
And quickly, so as not to ruin the delightful effect of the moment with
an anticlimactic nosedive, the leader steps in hastily to announce with great
relief, "You may be seated." And all are satisfied that now we can move
forward with the service order and then go out to eat, because we have once
again tasted of the Presence.
Some churches are relieved when they?re able to touch just a little bit
of Presence; they?ve given up all hope of ever touching Glory. Don?t forget
what we said earlier: You can have the Presence and the shout and still lose
the war. God?s Presence isn?t enough. Some churches have just enough
Christianity to inoculate people against the real thing.
Some groups no longer even expect or try to touch Presence. In despair,
the leaders shrug and slip into a passivity that basically says, "There?s
nothing we can do about it. Live and let live." Their gatherings are so far
from touching the Father?s heart that they never give the Lord a chance to
manifest His Presence. It?s been so long since God showed up, they?ve
developed a ministry philosophy that no longer cultivates a desire in the
people for the Presence of God.
Some groups no longer even expect or try to touch Glory. In despair, the
leaders shrug and slip into a passivity that basically says, "There?s nothing
we can do about it. Live and let live." Other churches don?t even have any
Presence anymore. Their gatherings are so far from touching the Father?s
heart that they don?t even expect or contend for Presence. It?s been so
long since God showed up, they?ve developed a ministry philosophy that
doesn?t even include the expectation to experience the Presence of God.
It?s tempting for some to look down condescendingly upon churches that
have lost the Glory and the Presence. But the truth is, if your church had
been around as long as their church has been around, you would be struggling
with the very same issues. These dynamics eventually affect every church,
given enough time.3. Default
With the first two categories of "Delight" and "Despair," chances are I
didn?t describe your church situation. But get ready, we?re about to hit
close to home. As you read the next three categories, it might be helpful if
you let your first response be laughter. Laugh first, then you can weep.
What do you do when you?ve got Presence but not Glory? Some are
delighted; others are despairing. Now here?s our third response: Some hit
the Default Button. Let me explain.
You get into the worship service, and you realize it isn?t going in the
right direction. It?s obvious the congregation has not yet touched the heart
of the Father and has not caught any upward surges of the Spirit?s winds.
Something is clearly wrong, but you have no idea what it is, and you don?t
know what to do about it.
In that moment of pain and uncertainty, many leaders hit the default
button (to use computer language). There is a default button many leaders
will revert to when they don?t know what else to do. "When you don?t know
what to do, hit the default." What is this default button? It?s simply
this: Go to the next song. We default to the next thing in the service
order. When you don?t know what to do (so goes this logic), sing another song
. You have enough experience in this thing to know good and well that the
solution to a floundering service is not always the right song, but you?re
willing to give it another try anyways.
Like the Israelite elders in the battle with the Philistines, you start
to experiment. You go "fishing" for the right song. "Maybe this song will
do it." "Well, that one didn?t work, let?s try this one." Now you can
begin to feel the sweat running down your back. "Wow, this service is really
in trouble. Let me see, let?s try this song because it worked really great
last week!"
Sometimes we relate to our songs like the elders related to the ark. We
treat our songs like fetishes, like lucky charms that have power within
themselves to effect change. We default by pulling out another song, hoping
that we?ll hit upon the right song to "magically" pull the service out of its
nosedive. We ascribe to our songs a magical property they don?t possess.
For the Israelites the power to overcome was not in the piece of furniture
called the ark, and the power to gain victory over the spiritual battles we
encounter in worship services does not reside inherently within our songs.
The ark was but a vehicle for releasing God?s grace to His people?a vehicle
which could be abused. Similarly, our songs are vehicles that God can use to
dispense grace?"singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians
3:16). But they can also be abused when they are used in a way that is
almost superstitious.
Many churches have developed what I would call a "song-dependent
liturgy." (Although my upbringing and experience is primarily in Pentecostal
and Charismatic traditions, what I am describing is not limited to those
circles, this is relevant for virtually all denominations and streams.) I
have been asking myself why so many churches depend so heavily on songs to
unlock the spirit of worship they desire. Songs are powerful tools for
releasing worship, but when we look to them in an imbalanced way, the Lord
will sometimes cause them to be as powerless as the ark was for the
Israelites on the battlefield. I love songs and singing, but the singing of
songs is not the only way to worship. And songs are not the only means of
grace God has given us to help touch His heart.
There are other "touchpoints of grace"?means whereby God?s grace is
released to us?besides the singing of songs. Grace can also be released in
our worship services through such things as the Eucharist, anointing with
oil, washing of one another?s feet, the laying on of hands, Scripture
reading, agreeing prayer, prophetic utterances, giving, confession and
repentance, altar response, exhortations, preaching, etc. In other words,
our worship services are comprised of so much more than just songs.
When we are seeking to unlock Glory in our worship services, leaders will
be more effective if they are released and empowered to lead in more than
just songs. When worship leaders are limited to the singing of songs, they
may be hindered from employing the means of grace intended by the Holy Spirit
to unlock the atmosphere of the meeting. When a worship leader is released
to do more than just sing songs, that leader will need to walk very closely
with the pastor, and in the case of lesser experienced worship leaders, will
need extra instructional input from the pastor. But really, aren?t the risks
worth it? Because what we cry for is Glory! We should not default to songs
as though they can accomplish what only the Glory will accomplish. I would
also add here that pastors should take a proactive role in standing alongside
their worship leaders to contend for Glory together. The most effective
leadership will be given when a team spirit of cooperative unity exists
between the pastor and the worship leader.
Instead of defaulting to another song, what would happen if the worship
leader just STOPPED EVERYTHING and said, "We?re missing it"? What would
happen if we stopped and consulted God? "God, what is in Your heart in this
moment? Your smile is obviously not upon our songs up to this point. How
can we touch Your heart right now?" An inexperienced worship leader would
need to be careful that he or she didn?t employ this device as an escape from
the weight of growing up into their responsibility before God and the people.
But when a capable worship leader, with a contrite heart and a trembling
spirit for God?s Glory, is willing to get out of the rut of just singing
another song, and take the rist of expressing his or her cry for God, I
believe the Lord notices this kind of faith and passion.
"Wait a minute!" I can hear worship leaders remonstrating. "Are you
suggesting, Bob, that as the worship leader I should stop right in the middle
of the worship service, and confess that I don?t know where the meeting is
going? Isn?t that vocational suicide? Surely you?re not suggesting that we
stop and consult God!" I?m saying, "Why not?"
"No way! Not me! I?m not going to stick my neck out like that." After
all, there are few things as intimidating as admitting before an entire
congregation that you don?t know where to go with the meeting. Such a
posture makes us feel vulnerable, naked, inept, and out of control. In other
words, it makes us feel like what we really are.
The alternative is to default. Just play it safe; sing the next song.
Stay in the comfort zone. And miss the possibilities of touching the
Father?s heart and unlocking new dimensions of Glory.4. Dial Up
This is a very common response of many worship leaders when they realize
the gathering is not touching the Glory realm of God. They know something
needs to change in order to have a breakthrough in the meeting, so they begin
to "dial up" their intensity level. They revert to the arm of flesh and
begin to stir the meeting up in their own strength.
"I can?t hear you! Come on, people, lift your voices!"
Then, they give a signal to the musicians, "Give us a key change, one
step higher." (A higher key will get everyone singing louder.)
"Let?s all stand and praise the Lord! Don?t let the rocks praise in
your place!" (When people stand, it feels like they?re more into it.)
"Everyone lift your hands!" (Now it really looks like something?s
happening.) A little signal to the drummer: "Faster!"
"Put your hands together, let?s make a clap offering."
"Be free. Dance before the Lord!"
A little thumbs-up to the lead guitarist means, "Turn it up a little bit."
Another signal to the dance and tambourine troupe gets them mobilized in
the front altar area.
"If you?ve got the victory, then shout unto God with the voice of triumph!"
Faster, higher, louder, stronger, tighter. If God?s not sending his
Glory, well, we?ll just do enough stuff to convince everybody that we?ve
actually touched the Glory.
The efforts of worship leaders to produce a breakthrough are usually very
sincere, but it?s a common pitfall to mistake human activity and
participation for a spiritual breakthrough. Just because everything is
faster and higher and louder and more demonstrative does not necessarily mean
that we?ve stepped closer to Glory. In fact, it?s possible for such
efforts, when motivated from the flesh rather than the Spirit, to actually
work against God?s purposes for the gathering. Those with accurate
discernment will realize the leader isn?t moving in the Spirit, and they will
sometimes find their soul resisting the leader?s exhortations. When a
resistant spirit grips a meeting, it?s certain we?re not going to touch Glory.
Many worship leaders get up-tight because of the resistance of the flock.
Their exhortations to praise are tainted with a tinge of frustration. In my
own personal history as a worship leader, there were times I got so mad at
the people while leading worship that I could have kicked them. (They are
called "sheep" you know, and sheep are stupid!) Inside I?m thinking, "I?m
giving this service my best shot, and all you people can do is sit out there
like a bunch of blobs and do nothing to stir up your soul and bless the
Lord!" Some worship leaders, in their zeal for God?s house, have even
slapped the bride with their words of frustration and anger.
Before I move to the next point, I want to make an observation about
something I?ve noticed in the church in this present hour. There are two
basic elements to worship: initiation and response. In the present move of
the Spirit, it seems to me in a general sense that the Spirit is honoring
"response first, initiation second" (as opposed to initiation first, response
second). Let me explain.
In initiation, we rise up in our souls to make His praise glorious, to praise
Him with all our being according to the measure of His excellent greatness.
It?s our initiating toward Him. In response, we are being carried up on the
impetus of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to initiate toward us. As He
initiates, we respond. Many worship leaders have a mental model of getting
the people to initiate their praise, hoping that God will then come into the
meeting and empower us to respond to His Presence. But the Lord is honoring
the exact opposite. He is honoring those leaders who are coming carefully
into His Presence, waiting upon Him to initiate toward us, and then helping
the people to respond back to the Lord with their reciprocating initiative.
In this model there is much less of a tendency toward hype because the Holy
Spirit is seen as the one responsible for moving the people to worship?not
the worship leader or musicians.
Thanks for taking that quick detour with me. Now back to the fifth way
that we can respond when we are not seeing the Glory of God in our worship
times.5. Denial
We gather for worship, and about 25 minutes into it there comes a clear
sense of connectedness in the Spirit, and the Presence of God begins to fall
like dew in the room. There?s a collective response as the congregation
opens to the Presence of the Lord. The worship leader is not just a little
relieved. "Maybe they won?t fire me after all," he muses. Everyone sits
back for the sermon, satisfied that God is still in the midst.
"So what do you think?" we ask each other after the service. "Wasn?t it
good today?"
"Oh, yes!" comes the reply. "It was real good. What a worship service!"
"I mean, did we have church or what?!"
"Yessirree! We sure had church today!"
"And His Presence, wasn?t it sweet?"
"Sweet? Yes, that?s the word for it, it certainly was sweet today."
And nobody will admit that the Emperor has no clothes. Nobody will
admit, "We have His Presence, but we don?t have His Glory." We have the
Presence and the shout, and we?re losing the war. But we?re all convincing
each other that everything is as it should be.
Some of you reading this book are struggling right now in your attitudes
toward your local church leadership, and you?re thinking, "Boy, I wish my
worship leader would read this and get the message!" Others of you are
worship leaders, and you?re thinking, "I wonder if people perceive me as in
denial, or dialing it up."
I?m not writing this to fuel criticism or to surface insecurity in
worship leaders. I?m writing this to be absolutely transparent about
dynamics that are universal in the church but not always acknowledged. Don?t
let my words become ammunition for your discontentment. Rather, let?s
realize that we?re all in this together because, I think I can safely say for
most church leaders, we?re all doing the best we know to do. When we
struggle with our insecurities as leaders, or see the shortfall of others, we
should commit ourselves anew to prayer. That?s the direction I want this to
point you?toward God?which leads me to my final point.
Desperation: The Right Response
So what should we do when we have Presence but not Glory? If the answer
is not Delight, nor Despair, nor Default, nor Dial Up, nor Denial, then what
is the answer? In one word, it?s "Desperation."
This is a response that says, "God, we don?t know why we?re not touching
Your Glory, and we don?t know what to do about it?but we?re desperate for You!"
Desperate people will do anything to achieve their goal. They don?t care
about form, they don?t care about public opinion, and they don?t care about
being in control or playing it safe. They?re desperate!
Every church develops its own "groove" over time, a pattern or style of
worship that becomes comfortably familiar to its congregation. Church
members can almost predict precisely what?s going to happen next because
they?ve come to memorize the service order. This groove becomes a comfort
zone, and anything that would push them out of that rut becomes a threat.
But desperate people no longer have regard for comfort zones. They don?t
care about maintaining the status quo because there?s something they desire
more than smooth services. They have an insatiable cry for Glory!
May the Lord put such a desperation in our hearts that would compel us to
stop the "First Church groove," fall on our faces before God, and seek His
Glory. When you don?t know what?s wrong with a given service, and you don?t
know what to do about it, try this: Consult God. Stop the machinery that so
easily grinds its way right past the Holy Spirit, and let a desperate cry
press you into the face of God. You might even say to the congregation,
"Saints, I don?t believe we have yet touched the heart of God in our worship
service today. I don?t know what to do, but I long to meet with God. Let?s
call upon the name of the Lord together!"
When we consider the possibility of stopping everything and consulting
God, pastors and worship leaders must face some very difficult questions
y "Am I willing to hazard the awkwardness of admitting my poverty and
wretchedness before the congregation?"
y "Am I willing to embrace uncertainty and tentativeness?"
y "Am I willing to lose control?"
This will require leaders to clothe themselves in humility and brokenness
before the entire congregation, but if we?ve truly been made desperate by
God, we won?t care. Even if my uncertainty makes me appear foolish and
inept, it doesn?t matter because above all else I must see His Glory!
Unfortunately, many leaders and worship teams come to worship services to
"do a job." Their job, as they see it, is to pull off a successful worship
service, and they feel they?ve succeeded when the majority of the people
leave the meeting with a sense of satisfaction and completion. This "job
performance" mentality can potentially turn worship leaders into
hirelings?leaders who are not giving their hearts in worship to God, but who
are seeing to it that everyone else gives their love to God. This model of
worship leading is no longer cutting it, it is not pleasing the Father.
Here?s my definition of worship leading: Worship leading is "taking your
private cry and making it public." It involves the vulnerability of taking
your own personal yearning for God and expressing it to God in the presence
of the entire congregation. Where are you really at before God in your
personal walk with Him? Will you allow the people to see your own
desperation for God? If you will come before the people in the authenticity
of your own struggles and joys, and lift your heart to the Lord in simple
transparency, I think you?ll find that the congregation will eagerly follow
you into the Presence of the King.
We haven?t gathered to pull off a meeting; we?ve gathered to meet with
God! Leaders who are desperate to see God will find the flock more than
willing to follow them in that abandoned pursuit of His Glory.

Additional Information

SKU 328591
Manufacturer Oasis House/Bob Sorge Min
Author/Artist Sorge Bob
Publisher Oasis House/Bob Sorge Min
Subject Christian Living
Binding Paperback
ISBN 0962118591
ISBN-13 9780962118593
Manufacturer Code B-Glory
Date Published 11/01/2000
Weight (pounds) 0.2500
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