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May 28, 2012

Creating an Atmosphere of Spiritual Worship

Jesus commanded us to worship God in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Many church services are very big on pageantry and traditional rituals, and very short on spiritual worship. Jesus said, "God is a Spirit, those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth" (St. John 4:24). Jesus made this statement when he was talking to the woman at the well. He also added in that conversation that the spiritual worship of God did not have to be in the temple alone, or on top of the mountain or in a particular physical location. Jesus explained that God was everywhere. This was hard for the religious leaders of the time and it is still hard for some preachers today who do not understand the scriptures and the essence of spiritual worship. Spiritual worship is very important because man cannot connect with God through the flesh, but only through the spirit.

What is an Atmosphere of Spiritual Worship?

Worshiping God is not about dancing, preaching, praying or even reading the Word of God. All those activities just mentioned can lead us into the worship realm. These rituals by themselves are not worship. In the church today, we go through the list of programs as Sunday rituals. Once the list is completed, we assumed that we have worshipped God. What is the difference in going to an opera, a concert, a movie theatre, or a ball game? There is no difference because those four activities are based on entertainment. Some people attend church services on Sunday as spectators. Why? Some preachers made the congregation to believe that everything in the church leads to the preaching of the Word of God. This is a big problem today especially with many mega churches because of the theatrical demonstration of the scripture during preaching which is often confused with the spiritual worship of God. Such process tends to ignite human emotions instead of leading people to a spiritual worship. After all the emotional excitements in the church, the members go home and feel empty because they failed to connect with the Spirit of God during the Sunday service.

Worshipping of God happens in an atmosphere we create with the help of the Holy Spirit that is conducive to the opening of the Portals of Heaven. Spiritual worship is the product of learning to walk in the Spirit of God. Without a walk in the Spirit of God, creating an atmosphere of spiritual worship is very difficult if not impossible. An atmosphere of spiritual worship allows the "Shikinah Glory" of God to manifest in the midst of the people. This atmosphere can happen anywhere, and not in churches alone. In the presence of such atmosphere we learn to ride the waves of the serenity, love, peace and joy as the fruit product of the Spirit of God. This is not the level of praying and asking God for anything. The level of prayer is a level behind the Holy of the Holiest. At this level, the cloud breaks up and falls down, only God is speaking. Let ALL flesh be silent in his presence (Habakkuk 2:20). At this critical moment, the Spirit of Christ connects with the Holy Spirit within us, and the human spirit is sandwiched between. As Christians, the human soul already sits inside the encasement of the Holy Spirit once we surrender our will to God. The human soul together with the Holy Spirit encasement enjoys the spiritual communion that takes place between God and man. "In his presence is the fullness of joy, and in his right hand are pleasures for ever more" (Psalm 16:11). In the presence of God we experience spiritual communion, not physical excitements, although some of this can be manifested in the physical as well. We experience spiritual levitation known as ascension, while we can temporarily be detached from the physical world.

Jesus described this spiritual communion with human soul when he said;

"If anyone loves me, he will keep my Word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him" (St. John 14:23).

"Behold I stand at the door and knock. Whosoever hears my voice and open the door, I will come to him and dine with him and he with me" (Rev 3:20).

During a spiritual worship, personal devotion, Bible study, or prayer, the clouds above us will break open giving us access to the Spirit realm of God. This is the moment when spiritual ascension takes place. We are already indwelling with the Holy Spirit of God. Once the cloud drops, the Spirit of Christ connects with the Holy Spirit encasement inside a believer. At that moment we experience the beauty of the presence of the Holiness of God. We must be very careful at this stage not to either quench or hurt the Spirit of God. I have experienced chastening when I got angry when Jesus visited me. And I heard this statement loud and clear, "Don’t you ever get angry with me again!" Immediately, I must have smashed my knee into a metal cabinet with intense pain. Instantly I repented, and the pain disappeared. I knew it was supernatural! Do not get angry or complain when you experience the presence of God. Otherwise, you are going to be smashed instantly with physical pain. This was what I had experienced and I do not know about other people. Perhaps the Lord has different ways of dealing with different people. The reason for Jesus anger was because he did not want to hear any complaint during worship. When he comes, he wants to enjoy a spiritual communion with us. I did not understand this until many times during my devotion, I will experience this unusual joy and peace transcending the ordinary. I also heard his voice speaking to me during the period of this peace and serenity. Later, I realize this atmosphere defines the presence of the Lord during his visitation. Yes, Jesus loves our company when he comes on unannounced visits. Just don’t grieve his Spirit. I have learned my lesson. Preachers love to preach about end-time when Jesus will appear to take his people home. However, we seldom hear about Jesus’ visit to each believer especially on the mission field. The same way God used to visit with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the same way Jesus loves to enjoy his visit with those serving on the mission field (St. Luke 12:37-38). Many people tend to confuse this with the Second Coming of Jesus referring to the end-time. This visitation is different. Jesus talked about another visitation besides the end-time. "Behold I stand at the door and knock, whosoever hears my voice and open the door, I will come to him and dine with him and he with me" (Rev 3:20).

Jesus alluded to about seven visitations prior to the end of time visitation based on his teachings and in guiding his disciples in the Book of Acts, and perhaps more. The first is an instructional visit when he gives a command or an assignment to those serving him. This visit may be the first visit to call a person to the ministry. It is a visit of giving an assignment. The second is a visit in response to a prayer request. The third is a visit of correction when Jesus sees that a person is about to go astray. He will appear to make a correction. The fourth is a visit of confirmation when we are not sure of something and Jesus comes to confirm a message. This is a visit of confirmation. The fifth is a visit where Jesus comes to check us out on the mission field to see how we are doing. The sixth is the visit when Jesus comes to have a spiritual communion with us. The prolong joy we feel during this visit is caused by dining in the spirit with Jesus. The seventh is the training visit where he stays with you and camps for a period of time and gives you instructions. This visit is usually a tough one because of the drilling involved. The last is the end-time visit. I have experienced all of the first seven visitations. We are all waiting for the rapture. If a person is serving the Lord and walking more in the spirit than in the flesh, the time of Jesus visitations are easily discernible.

Preparation for a Spiritual Worship

When a wife wants to enjoy a romantic evening with her husband, she starts with a preparation. She sends her kids away to grandparents house. She cleans the house and cooks a nice meal for her husband still at work. She turns off her cell-phone as soon as her husband gets home. She puts on a nice and appealing outfit to capture the romantic attention of her husband with beautiful aroma of her cologne or flowers. She lowers the bright light in the dinning room and replaces it with a dim and cool color of romance. She lights the candles and sets the table ready for a romantic dinner. In this process, she is working to create an atmosphere conducive to a romantic evening with her husband. The worst thing her husband can do is to destroy the romantic atmosphere with a spirit of contention carried from work into the house, or some bad news. Similarly, when we want to create an atmosphere of spiritual worship, the critical factor is to start with preparation.

1. Worship of God can take place anywhere. However, we must be prepared for such atmosphere to drop with intense prayer and meditation on the Word. Otherwise our Sunday service is just like another ball game with spectators and actors while pushing the Holy Spirit to the sidelines. When God instructed Moses to bring the children of Israel to him, he instructed Moses to prepare the people (Exodus 19:9-10).

2. Preparation for worship on Sunday starts from home on Saturday evening. The process starts when we pull back the flesh to accentuate the manifestations of the Spirit of God within us. Reading the Bible, meditation of the Word, praying constantly, and fasting if possible will take our mind off of the physical things of the world and keep our mind on the things of the Spirit. Gradually, this will propel us to the Spirit atmosphere of God called ascension. When we walk in the Spirit of God to the extent of being propelled to the spirit realm, it becomes easier for the cloud to drop, and the Portals of Heaven open up.

3. The pastor of any church must be prepared for worship before coming to service on Sunday. The worst thing a pastor can do before service is to be intoxicated. Having sex without purification before coming into the sanctuary is an abomination to God (Exodus 19:14-15). Anybody who does this, or comes inside the sanctuary of God with unclean body places curses upon himself or herself. The presence of God must be kept clean and Holy just like Psalm 24 says, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall stand at his Holy Place? He who has a clean hand and a pure heart" (Psalm 24:3-4).

How can a person lead the congregation into a spiritual worship while the person is wearing the outfit of the devil inside God’s sanctuary?

4. An atmosphere of spiritual worship does not happen by accident although it may happen from time to time. In reality, we must be prepared to create the atmosphere of a spiritual worship. A pastor must realize he is always going to war anytime he comes inside the church. The war is not with flesh and blood, but with demonic and perverted spirits. If he is not prepared, he will tumble in the spirit. When a preacher starts yelling at people, or getting angry during service, he already tumbled in the spirit. Establishing an atmosphere conducive to a spiritual worship cannot happen when the church service starts with a fight between leaders, Deacons cursing each other out, or the preacher is shouting insults at the congregation because he is angry with somebody. This type of behavior tends to disrupt the atmosphere of spiritual worship. Many people come to church with different spirits. Some come with demonic spirits, others may come with human perverted spirits. Better still, some will come enshrouded with the power and the person of the Holy Spirit. Negative spirits do not allow the creation of the atmosphere of worship. They tend to suppress and dominate the atmosphere, by preventing spiritual worship, and perverting the souls of the people.

The first thing a pastor MUST do on Sunday is to enter the sanctuary in a flame of spiritual fire, and rebuke all the negative spirits taking shelter in the house of God. Following this, a pastor must cast them all out! Usually, as soon as the preacher comes inside the sanctuary, negative spirits will leave. I used to experience this each time I entered the sanctuary for the first time on Sundays before worship. Other times they may not leave, and they have to be blasted off by a command, or by a psalm of dedication (Psalm 24). Once the bad spirits leave, then the sanctuary must be blessed, cleansed, and consecrated. After consecrating the sanctuary, is the time for prayer of dedication. One of the important prayers is to pray for the Holy Spirit to descend and come into the midst of the congregation during service. The next prayer is for the Holy Spirit to connect with each of the church members and manifest through them as well as the preachers. Following this is the prayer for the Holy Spirit to control the atmosphere of service and speak through each person going to be speaking during service. After this is the prayer for those coming to the church service particularly those traveling through the highways that they may arrive safely for worship service. The last important prayer for preparing the sanctuary for worship is to order the Cherubim angels with the swords of fire and that of lightening to stand at each door people are coming through. The Cherubim’s is like a spiritual police officer. He will break and deter the enemy. He breaks off any demonic spirit hanging around any of the intended worshippers. If worshippers bring demons inside the sanctuary, there is going to be chaos and disruption of the atmosphere of worship. No spiritual worship will take place. These prayers do not have to be said in the same order as presented here, but they must be said to prepare the sanctuary of God for a spiritual worship.

5. Both the Pastor and the lead worshippers must avoid the distractions of the enemy. Once the enemy has seen the preparation for worship, he will be able to read the glory of God radiating through the preacher, leader worshippers, or some of the leaders of the church. Consequently, he will not be able to use them, but he will go to another person who has not prepared for service and use that person to disrupt the atmosphere of worship. If the pastor has not prepared for worship, he becomes an easy target for the enemy to use for the disruption of spiritual worship. Shortly before or during service, watch out for people carrying negative spirits, like spirit quenchers, bubble busters, wrench throwers, and those people with the intention to destabilize the spiritual atmosphere of worship. Position your Deacons in strategic places inside the church as spirit warriors and ghost busters on alert during service. Do not allow them to sit in one location as a group of powerless and defanged warriors on display. There is nothing wrong with physical security inside the church, but we tend to forget the spiritual warriors during service. Satan can only use people willingly to sabotage the worship of God because the devil is using them as his allies against the desires of God. If you allow the enemy to distract you, he will cause chaos and prevent the establishment of an atmosphere of worship. By so doing, they will not only steal people’s blessings for the day, they will also steal their joy. Always remembers, "The enemy comes but to steal, kill, and destroy. But, I come so they can have life more abundantly" (St. John 10:10). That was Jesus speaking, warning the church.

6. During service, avoid the announcement of bad news prior to the songs of dedication leading to worship moment. If possible, leave such announcements in the bulletin for people to read and ask questions later. Just like we do not announce the death of church members on Saturday’s wedding, why should we use the negative news to destabilize the atmosphere of the worship of God on Sunday? Watch out for some people in the Sunday School with the spirit of bitterness. They may start a fire during the Sunday School and bring such fire into the sanctuary and ignite an emotional fireball. They do so by binging on negative emotions regarding their misfortune or personal loss. Put out the fire before going into the sanctuary by praying with such a person after the class is over. There is nothing wrong if you hear complaints from time to time during the Bible class. However, there are people who love to infect the atmosphere of peace and joy with poison from their hearts. Each negative human emotion has a demonic component to it especially when it drags on for a long time. Many of such people are in spiritual bondage. The energy that fires up negative emotion is from the devil. Some people ride on the roller coaster of negative emotions. Without such ride they tend to be depressed people. I have seen them in the secular world as well as inside the church. These people are usually stuck in their life, or got caught up in the storm and unable to come out of the wilderness. They have made the wilderness a dwelling place and they are looking for people to drag along with them because misery loves company. Every conversation is always about how miserable they are or how miserably somebody caused them pain. They love to gossip about bad things happening to others because negative emotions tend to empower them while they are lost in such unpleasant waves. Their empowerment is through negative spirits. Do not make a mistake of starting a group therapy for a member during Sunday School hour. Tell the person with the horror story you will talk to him or her after the Sunday School. There are people who come to church and continue to tell the painful stories of their lives so people can feel sorry for them. However, they do not realize how they poison the atmosphere of worship. Try to help them and see how they will put up a fight against your help. Such people will stay in misery because they love binging on negative spirits that empower negative emotions. These people need intense prayer for deliverance.

7. Watch out for spirit predators inside the church. They love to place you under their control to oppress your spirit and your divine gifts. These people are the most dangerous in the house of God, because they practice witchcraft to control the spirit of people for their own personal gains. For example, a person looking for a business opportunity may befriend you. They do so, not because they want to help your ministry, but are out for themselves. Many of them possess critical and dominating spirits. If you notice them very carefully, they tend to bad-mouth other people to gain your trust. They place you in a position to appease them by either giving you a large donation, or presenting themselves as friends. Other times they will share a fake secret with you about themselves so you can share your genuine secret with them. It’s about manipulative spirit. There is nothing wrong with a friend who wants to help. Their ulterior motive is about what they can get from you. Sadly, some of them do damage after they rip you off. Many of your projects start to fail and you start hitting roadblocks in your ministry initiatives. These people tend to operate with demonic or perverted spirits. Usually, they do not say nice things behind your back. The closer you get to them, the easier such negative spirits will leap on you. The physical proximity is not the problem as much as opening the window of your heart to such people leading to unhealthy soul ties. You do not have to engage in a physical sex with a person to initiate a soul tie. We tend to soul tie with friends that we trust. Once we open the window of our soul to a person, they gain access to manipulate us. All of a sudden you start to have nightmares about their perverted lifestyles. Once you experience this from a person, immediately break the relationship and physically separate yourself from that person. They are going to come after you in the spirit through spiritual warfare and throwing spirit grenades. Be ready, because such battle is quietly waged in the spirit since they are angry with you for breaking from under their control. Jesus said, "He that the son of man set free is free indeed" (St. John 8:36).

 Ride the Shekinah Glory with Humility

When the atmosphere breaks before you, Shekinah glory of God will radiate through you. Miracles and supernatural events may take place around you. In most of the cases, you may not see the glory, but others will perceive the glory of God around you. Shekinah glory is like a cloud of energy that enshrouds you. People can see it, but you can feel it inside as a form of heaviness around you, or heat from inside out. Children are attracted to you because they can easily sense the glory of God and are attracted to spirit manifestations than adults. People walking in the spirit of demons are going to be repulsed by your glory, even some people inside the church. They may even attack your ministry initiatives because they do not receive the credit. Do not be shocked when you see those Christians with indwelling of the Holy Spirit being used by the devil to sabotage your project. It happens all the time! Just pray for them and swallow the cool water of patience. Please do not wish anybody evil who has offended you. The same way you can use your anointing to bless, you can also use the same power to place a curse on somebody. Remember the story of Balaam (Number 22:1-35).

Be careful how you carry yourself. Under such atmosphere of God’s manifestations healing may take place. Do not take credit for such healing. Instead, give glory to God who is the one responsible for such healing. We are just the point of contact God uses for the manifestations of his glory. You cannot heal anybody, only God does. Many people will be attracted to you, especially the opposite sex. Do not use this as an opportunity for indiscretion. If you do, you can lose the anointing as fast as you received it. In the worst situation, you can destroy your ministry. As a male pastor, also watch out for women who will sexualize spiritual energy as an invitation to play. Such misuse of spiritual power is very common today in Christianity. You will not lose your salvation because you have sinned against God, but you can lose your anointing, rewards, and receive a lot of whipping. There are some angels that specialize in whipping people who have offended God (Exodus 23:20-22). They will chasten you with love. Regardless, it’s still going to hurt! Remember what happened to Samson when he lost his anointing at the feet of his lustful desires. Similarly, King Nebuchadnezzar lost his anointing and he was stripped down to nothing. He was driven into the jungle for years, until he learned to give God the glory. There is always a good chance you can receive your anointing back. Some messengers never receive their anointing back. We need to be careful so that sin does not destroy the glory of God that enshrouds us while we serve him. The easiest way for people to lose their anointing is to continuously engage in a behavior that either blasphemes God, or brings shame to his name through our indiscretions. When King David offended God this way, God sent Prophet Nathan to confront him and pronounce judgment.

Spirit of Excess Inside the Church

There is a neglected enemy that rains on Christians everyday, but at the same time becomes invisible. Its elusiveness is not because he hides. We make an enemy into a friend because of the cravings he ignites inside us. This destructive enemy walks with us everyday in open daylight and also in darkness. He creates unquenchable cravings within while shouting at us. "Bigger is always better!" Both Christians, non-Christians, and even Christian leaders love to adore and embrace this enemy by justifying his daily worship. The enemy is man’s relentless quest for unlimited physical pleasure. The process of seeking pleasure has hindered and sometimes destroyed man’s spiritual closeness to God. Today’s unspoken slogan inside some churches is, "Feed the flesh and forget the Holy Spirit." We embrace the life of excess no different from those in the secular world and especially those thieves legally robbing the Wall Street blind while bringing many people to tears. This enemy was one of the reasons for the fall of man from the original sin when the forbidden apple was good for food as it pleasured the body. God knew what he was doing when he placed a naked woman in the Garden of Eden and allow the devil access. God wanted to test the will power of man, the crown of his creation. Man failed the test. She was somebody else’s wife, but I just have to get her in bed. Wow! What a victory for the devil? He was somebody else’s husband, but I just want to have a little taste of him and give him back, like a borrowed knife. Then think about the consequences later. Should I justify ripping off the senior citizens in the name of Jesus so I can sustain my affluent lifestyle in the ministry?

The demon in the flesh was the first enemy Jesus conquered in the wilderness after he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights when the devil tempted him. The first Adam failed that test. The second Adam passed the test in flying colors. The last enemy Jesus defeated on the cross was the death of the physical body from the consequence of the indulgence of the flesh. That was why all our sins were nailed to the cross. If at this time both Christians and their leaders have not recognized this enemy with its intimate association with money, power and fame, we have lost the gospel of Jesus on the shrine of the idolatry of physical pleasure. This was part of the major reasons why Jesus told the rich young man to go and sell all what he had, give the money to the poor, and Jesus invited him to the ministry. But the lure of physical pleasure was too great. The depravation of pleasure was too painful. The deceptiveness of riches was too intense. He walked away from a piece of gold Jesus offered him and embraced a piece of trash. Christians speaking about this rich young man, and preaching about him during Sunday service is very fashionable in churches. However, we forget to realize that the same idolatry of money this young man had is no different from the idolatry of seeking uncontrollable pleasure inside the church. Some Christians seeking unlimited pleasure through their continuous acquisition of money at the expense of Jesus, is no different from those seeking pleasure enmeshed in sexual perversion.

All these idolatries are no different from each other because they all continue to feed man’s desire for unlimited pleasure, at the expense of placing the physical body in danger, even within the church leadership. How much money do you need to live a decent life as a preacher for goodness sake? How much money do you want to reserve for your children and grand kids? Down the street from your home, and along the way to the church are many naked, hungry and homeless people crying out daily for help. Christians have lost the value of contentment in the physical, and the Spirit of an abundant life within the ministry for God. If acquiring the riches of this world was why Jesus came to die on the cross, then his death was in vain. As Christians, we sanction that statement by our illicit affair with pleasure and a life of excess, especially for those in the ministry. Instead of humble servants of God, we now have celebrity driven ministries. There is a difference between poverty and a life of contentment. You do not need to live a life of poverty if you choose not to. However, how many million dollars do you need to live a life of contentment? Why does a millionaire become a beggar on Christian television programs? Super-affluent lifestyle at the expense of the ministry of Christ is a life driven by the demonic machine of excess and that of the enemy of God.

This demonic machine is the same spirit killing many of the recording artists today. Yet, some mega church leaders are unable to make such connection because the lure for a life of excess is just too great! Most of recording artists started from inside the church as gospel singers until they allow the demon of excess to capture them. This is a sin that is ravaging the leadership of the church today. We not only embraced the sin, we also justify it! It is no different from the lure of the flesh and the poison injected into the human soul by the devil in the Garden of Eden. We should have gotten over the Eden complex by now. That was why Jesus came. He came on a rescue mission with the purpose of deliverance from the bondage of the enemy. Jesus said it in his mission statement; he came to set the captives free (St. Luke 4:8). Some Christians prefer to remain in bondage with lust. The disciples of Jesus, not only gave up their families to follow Jesus; they also gave up their professions to serve in the ministry. Most of them became penniless. All of them suffered greatly for Christ and most of them were martyred. Sell your private jet, give the money to help the poor, and you will have more riches in Heaven. You may keep your private jet and worldly riches and face the Lazarus and the rich man’s ordeal when you get to Heaven. You can’t have it both ways. Your super-affluent lifestyle in the ministry guarantees you a horse stable in Heaven for your housing. I’m not kidding! Just consider this, a horse stable in Heaven is far more beautiful than any mansion on earth. There is a moving company that will ship your earthly riches to Heaven. The devil is such a great deceiver!

Jesus said, "Deny yourself, take your cross and follow me" (St. Matthew 16:24). This slogan of Jesus had been erased from the Bible of some church leaders today. Perhaps many have ignored it. The ministry of Jesus is now a moneymaking machine – the mass marketing spirituality! "Send me your money, God wants to bless you." This slogan is very common today on the airways. "Empty your pocket, so I can fly a private jet. A delay obedience is a disobedience!" Yet, God is my witness and may Heavens bear me witness also, this was the verse Jesus quoted to me a couple of years ago when I asked God for a million dollars. Jesus appeared in person to deliver this message because it was very important. He asked me to deny myself, and follow him. One time he asked me to strip myself of everything I had. I wept for days because I could not understand his parable to me. If you have spiritual ears, listen to the warning of the Spirit from the heart of Our Savior.

Church Attendance is not for Entertainment

The most important reason why people attend church is to experience a spiritual worship. During a spiritual worship, people do not pray, but enjoy the preciousness of the presence of God in silence. They do not have to come to church to experience this. Spiritual worship can be experienced anywhere, even at home. Corporate worship is also important as well so members can strengthen each other. To experience a spiritual worship, we have to go through a process of preparation otherwise it will not happen.

I remember when I was in the high school and a preacher was going to conduct a revival service from Wednesday to Friday. He asked the entire church to pray for him as he went into a lockdown fasting and praying to God for seven days. I could not understand what he was trying to accomplish until the first day of the revival when the preacher came out of seclusion. The first song started as he entered the church with the rest of the apostles surrounding him like a flame of fire. The atmosphere was spiritual charged with music blasting with drums and the entire church was fired up with the Spirit of God. He changed the atmosphere and prepared the entire congregation for a spiritual worship. That day and throughout the revival, it was like Heaven opens up and the services were energized through the power of the Holy Spirit more than anyone person could take credit. The presence of God was deeply felt and the Holy Spirit came down during each day of the revival and new people were baptized by the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues. I learned a lesson from that revival that a pastor coming to a revival or a Sunday service is like preparing for war because of the power of opposition of the enemy. The spiritual atmosphere of worship was created during the revival, and we had a breakthrough in the Spirit realm over the church in those three days of the revival.

I watched CBN News May 16, 2012 while this news organization interviewed Kim Burrell, a preacher who was a closer friend of Whitney Houston. Kim narrated the story some news organizations missed about Whitney. She said when Whitney came out of the drug rehabilitation and returned home, despite the presence of many flowers and many cards from well-wishers, as they entered the house, Kim felt the presence of unclean spirits. She immediately asked Whitney for them to pray. What the people might not realize was, drug did not kill Whitney. The enemy was in the spirit realm. When she came back from the hospital, the enemy was waiting for her at home. The demonic machine of the music industry was waiting. Drug addiction like any form of addiction was what the enemy used to hold Whitney in spiritual bondage. Anybody is vulnerable to the attack of the devil including preachers. Of course, Jesus came and claimed her soul at the time she stepped out of that body. The enemy could no longer do any more harm to Whitney the moment she came out of that body. A few hours prior to her death, Whitney was singing that she wanted to go be with Jesus. I’m sure she already found a resting place in his bosom. Kim Burrell also talked about how Whitney was dancing and preaching inside the church during service. She talked about one occasion when the Holy Spirit hit Whitney during church service, and she hit the floor and started speaking in tongues. But, when Whitney got back on the plane, sad to say, other spirits took control and the result was tragic.

Finally, spiritual worship is the product of learning to walk in the Spirit of God. We have to create an atmosphere of worship with the help of the Holy Spirit. Once the cloud breaks and we started to experience the presence of God, people will perceive unspeakable joy and unexplained peace and serenity. This is what many people are searching for when attending church on Sunday. If a pastor fails to establish an atmosphere of spiritual worship, he will start to lose members. Many churches today tend to keep members because of fiery sermons, wonderful Sunday music, or entertainment, devoid of God’s spirituality. In the presence of God, "Let all the mortal flesh keep silent" (Liturgy of St. James, 4th Century).

"The Lord is in his Holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him" (Habakkuk 2:20).

Worship is the time of spiritual communion with God in subdued humility. It is the time Jesus enjoys his visitation with us. I have experienced many of such visitations. Glory to God! One of the most remarkable experiences is the intensity of spiritual joy that accompanies the presence of God transcending anything ordinary.

"Oh taste it and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who trusts in him" (Psalm 34:8).

Yinka Vidal, author, Closer Walk With Jesus