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Should we invite G_d / Holy Spirit to be with us?

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by Heber Book List, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    I was in an evangelic, charismatic Church last Sunday, that is very Israel centred in much of what it does, and openly supportive of all things Messianic.

    During a time of worship and prayer we sang a chorus that, in as many words, called upon G_d / Holy Spirit / Jesus to come among us, in much the same way as laziness in prayer causes people to pray for 'G_d to be with' whoever, whatever is on their minds.

    I was quite disturbed about this and spoke to the key musician, asking why we were inviting G_d to come among us - is he not always with us in every situation, circumstance and event in our lives? The musician quoted several evangelical, charismatic conferences where this was being done as a lead into worship, and so his use of that chorus was legitimate. I pointed out a few Scriptures that beg to differ from this view, but I do not know whether he was convinced of the negative view it posited about us having to invite him (G_d) into our worship of him.

    What do you people think?
     
  2. tampasteve

    tampasteve Tampa, Florida, USA, Earth, Sol, Orion arm Supporter

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    Personally, I do not think it is necessary to call G-d to be with or among us, He is always there, always watching and with us. This type of prayer and worship, I feel, is often among people that disdain traditional liturgy (though, theirs is a type of liturgy even though they would likely never call it that) and misunderstand that liturgical prayer is also a very powerful form or prayer and worship of Hashem. I feel they also miss out on the fact that prayer and worship in Judaism and by extension Christianity is and has been primarily a form of liturgy and structured prayer. If I am 100% honest, this type or song and prayer is a real turn-off for me and I personally do not like to attend these types of service, though I can see why people do and I can see why people like them - but it is not for me.
     
  3. PeaceJoyLove

    PeaceJoyLove Well-Known Member

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    He lives within us. We are the temple not made with human hands, the dwelling place of God. To worship in Spirit and in Truth brings this as a to know as fully as we have always been known. To still see/perceive God as something separate and outside (not within) is not taking God at His Word...when that is not perceived, the cry from the heart should be, "God reveal yourself within me...restore my sight, make blind (by Your light) that I might 'see'/perceive...
     
  4. Lotuspetal_uk

    Lotuspetal_uk Say 'CHEESE!!!!'

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    This is a pet grievance with my pastor too. He is very much into studying scripture and so he gets quite worked up when he hears worship songs doing this.
     
  5. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    Yes, it has always been mine, as the congregations I have served have discovered! It might be OK for the Priests of Ba'al to have to wake up their gods, or bring them back from holiday (1 Kings 18), but the lesson there is that our G_d is always available to us, 24/7/365.
     
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  6. chunkofcoal

    chunkofcoal Senior Member

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    Yeshua did mention two or three...

    Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    (Mat 18:19-20)
     
  7. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    In context (v18), that is about when we must judge a brother or sister in their sin and a key reminder that, when we make that judgement in true righteousness - following the Law about witnesses - he is there with us; whatsoever you allow on this earth...whatsover you block on this earth. If we ask in righteousness for forgiveness for the person, or for ourselves, and a new start, it will be granted

    But, of course, it also means we do not have to invite him to come, he is already there :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  8. Dave-W

    Dave-W Our six grandchildren Supporter

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    Loaded question.

    Yes God is always with us via His Holy Spirit.
    At the same time, His MANIFEST (that we can see/feel) presence is NOT with us except on certain occasions. (was that not the whole idea of the pilgrim feasts?)

    I take such songs as calling for His MANIFEST presence.
     
  9. Lulav

    Lulav Congregation and Theology Admin Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hmm, there are two sides of this.

    Firstly just because G-d is Omnipresent does that mean he wouldn't like an invite?

    I'm not sure the song you are referring to but it is common in the States for a song to be sung as an intro to worship called

    Bo Ruach Elohim

    I think it is because as he may already be present it is purposeful recognition that is being done.

    Think of yourself anywhere, a party, a classroom, etc.

    Everyone can see you but no one comes to talk to you or welcome you. Now make yourself invisible, even more-so are you not recognized.

    The lyrics go something like this

    Bo Ruach Elohim
    u'male et nafshi
    Hadrech otanu k'yeladim
    rak b'cha anu chafetzim
    Anachunu mazminim otcha lavo
    Baruch haba, Baruch haba
    Ruach Elohim
    Baruch haba, Baruch haba
    Welcome Spirit of G-d

    Translation is

    Come, Holy Spirit Come,
    Come and fill us now
    For you are welcome in this place
    Show your mercy and your grace
    Come and fill us Holy Spirit come.


    What was the song you heard?
     
  10. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    No, it was not that song :)

    My point was (is) that it must surely be better to thank G_d for being present among us, and so being positive as scripture says, instead of negativism, in which we have to ask him to come in to the building, or our lives etc., and then assume it is he that has entered!

    Yes, he calls us to meet with him at appointed times (Moedim etc) for his pleasure and for our nurture - but he is there as a King would be when calling his subjects to meet him. Does he not call us to meet him at Shul, or Church, at prayer or at some form of worship etc? Why would he call us to worship him if he isn't there to meet us? If he is there to meet us, why are we specifically inviting him in? :)
     
  11. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    To me, and others it is a binary choice - yes he is, or no he isn't. To save me redoing what I have just written following Lulav's post below yours, which has similar questions - please read that, as well. :)
     
  12. Dave-W

    Dave-W Our six grandchildren Supporter

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    Except it is not binary, either / or; it is both/and.
    Either / or is waaaaayyyyyy too Greek an approach.

    Lulav, the English on Bo Ruach is not a translation of the Hebrew. Yeladim = children.
     
  13. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    The Toronto Blessing collapsed because people started using this idea of having to invite G_d in to their meetings in a major way. It didn't take long for other Christians, evangelicals included, to begin to claim that what was happening at those meetings was simply mass hysteria or, at the very least, to be crowd manipulation.

    The debate soon started as to who, or what, came into the meetings - clearly for a large number of the meetings it was not G_d that answered their prayers! There is always a danger when opening ourselves to something none scriptural - ha satan loves to impersonate G_d. Yeshua told us that he is with us at all times, through the work of the Holy Spirit; he didn't say, to believers, I have to be invited, surely it is he who invites us to meet with him (as the Tanach witnesses on so many occasions)?

    I see no problem in asking G_d into our lives, afresh, if we have been lax in our faith, or at conversions, but not every worship time, almost as a matter of course, with so many places using the same manipulative music (rising to a crescendo as a marker for the presence of G_d being confirmed) by a keyboard player. I do wonder what would happen if there was a power cut - I bet it would all suddenly stop, as if G_d had walked out of the meeting, in most cases? I see no problem in welcoming G_d into our meetings, or opening ourselves to his work in our lives. But we cannot beg him to be present - he always is - the problem with all this is that it puts people first and G_d second, we have to meet together and ask him to come to us - that is, surely, a little short of spiritual arrogance, is it not?

    And when things do NOT happen, having invited him in to our meetings, who do we blame - G_d! One hears things such as, well, he does say 'no' or 'it is not for you at this time' or 'you lack faith' (which is really ridiculous as there was no faith that G_d was there without being invited in the first place) or whatever. How rarely do we examine ourselves in that situation and note our reversal of scripture in our 'worship', of whichever sort?

    How richer it might all be if we started by thanking him for being among us, for the privilege of being able to join together in his presence, and wanting to open our hearts and lives for him to work through in this fallen and broken world etc etc?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  14. chunkofcoal

    chunkofcoal Senior Member

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    So if you pray for someone going through a difficult time is it also wrong to ask God to be with them?
     
  15. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    Yes, especially if it is a fellow believer. What we really mean is that they will be assured that he is with them through whatever experience they are going through, so that they can lean on him. He is with them anyway, but in the world we live in life can be tough, and it is then that we need a very positive assurance that he is there, with us, not that he has to be invited to be with us by someone else. :)

    We might, more correctly, say: you know that G_d is with you through all this, don't you? Or, Lord, help them to see that you are with them through this situation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  16. Open Heart

    Open Heart Messianic Jewish Catholic

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    I think the answer is in multi-dimensional thinking. God/Messiah is present with us in many ways. Each way is unique and special, and no way diminishes or overlaps the other ways. God/Messiah is with us:
    1. he is omniscient
    2. he lives in our hearts
    3. he is there whenever two or three are gathered in his name (we invoke him when we worship)
    4. he is in the breaking of the bread
     
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  17. Open Heart

    Open Heart Messianic Jewish Catholic

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    What we are praying for is that He be with them in a special way that his presence be known to them and the grace they need to get through it be shown to them.

    Sometimes even Christians lack faith. I tend to be very skeptical. I once had congestive heart failure. I believed that God healed others, but I never believed that he would heal me -- I just didn't think I was important enough. But I asked the church ladies to pray for me anyhow, just because that's what you did. They had faith for me. The doctor insisted that the hospital must have mixed up the X-ray, because my heart was fine, it was not at all the heart in the X-ray. I never had swelling ankles again, ever. God had been with me.
     
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  18. Open Heart

    Open Heart Messianic Jewish Catholic

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    Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst. Matthew 18:20
     
  19. Open Heart

    Open Heart Messianic Jewish Catholic

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  20. Heber Book List

    Heber Book List Theologian [Applied Theology]

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    That is, in context, about the judgement of fellow believers, about witnesses, righteous judgement, it is about what we permit on earth and what is permitted in heaven, as seen in the verses immediately prior to the one you quote, even though it is constantly used to justify small congregations or other meetings. But it does make the point I have been making - that he is always with us: when we lie down, when we get up, when we go out and when we come in. The whole of scripture is about G_d with us at all times as we are reminded at this time of year: emanu El. He cannot, not, be with us, and he invites us to meet with him in our worship times - it cannot be the other way round. He shows no favouritism so he is not with people in a 'special way' - he is just there, in all his might, power and majesty, whether we are sick or well, poor or rich, free or slave, Jew or Gentile, male or female.

    What we actually mean is that we want to encourage the person who is sick / in trouble / in need / unbeliever or apostate, to be able to know (ie to fully experience) that he is there, that they are not alone, that the King of kings and Lord of lords, El Shaddai, is tending to their situation. Anything less than that is surely the opposite of what he says about himself in scripture.
     
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