Although 20 years have passed, I still tingle when I think about that moment. It has stored in my psyche as a mountaintop experience, when my psyche and my spirit were in tune for a change with God’s Spirit. I was blessed to be able to enter in.
I had been to a conference some months before, where someone shared about “Praying the Tabernacle.” It turns out within God’s Tabernacle pattern He gave Moses, there exists an amazing model of praying that can give us insights into truly deep fellowship with God and one another through prayer. I decided to try it out on our house-church fellowship. I felt inspired to write down my own insights for The Next Step Training Program so that students could get a picture of what I was seeing. I titled the course “What I Saw in the Tabernacle: A Look at Prayer Based on God’s Tabernacle Pattern.” My first lesson was on “The Altar of Sacrifice.”
The Spirit had directed me how to conduct the meeting in which I would test it out: I was first to explain about the “Outer Court” of the Tabernacle, how the Altar worked, and to share about how it parallels to things in our life that YAHWEH is showing us need to be surrendered before we can go further with Him. As I understood, Holy Spirit wanted me to explain this, show the Scripture, turn off the lights, open up with prayer, and invite all who wished to lay anything on that Altar God was showing them to feel free to do so.
I arrived to see our usual varied group of individuals of ages ranging pre-teen to older adults sitting somewhat packed into a medium-sized living room. Added into the mix were a couple of guys who had graduated the addiction program where I worked, and were staying on in the extended phase. After enjoying some good food and church family fellowship time, we got down to the serious matter of God’s message.
Growing up in traditional church, my experience had always been that something has to constantly be happening during the worship service. God forbid that things suddenly become silent!!! Yet, after I explained about the Altar, turned the lights off, opened the corridor to the Altar through prayer, and ended my prayer with an invitation to anyone who wished to lay something down on the Altar…complete silence. “That must not have been God telling you to do it this way because it’s not working!” moaned the voice inside my head of my emotions. “Do something! Say something!” it continued. “This is not going to work!” my flesh-nature screamed out within.
It seemed like an eternity went by. However, it was probably only about 45 seconds.
Suddenly, one lady jumped up and started confessing attitudes she knew were coming between her and God! Another person opened up anxiously. Soon, it was like a torrent of voices crying out to God! Then, two teenage girls jumped up and each said, “I need to be saved!” It was simply incredible! Finally, 30 minutes later, Holy Spirit said, “Close it out.” And I did just that.
Even writing about it after all these years, my mind’s eye can still see, hear, and feel what the Lord did!
The very next day, back at work at the addiction recovery program, one of two men who were there in the extended program approached me. He was there at the meeting visiting with another extended resident. They were sitting on a couch at the back of the living room as all of the move of God unfolded and had witnessed everything. Joe was dumbfounded by what he saw. He was amazed by it. He wanted to partake of it. But, he didn’t move. I will never forget what he said to me. “You know, we were going to come forward last night, but then you closed it out.” I was the one dumbfounded now: half an hour had passed and neither had stirred, sitting there in the darkness like two spectators as people were cleansing their souls through fellowship directly with God and one another! Yet, they flattered themselves to think they were almost ready to participate?
I shared with him that unforgettable saying of Evangelist Leonard Ravenhill:
If you want to know more, listen to my message to Parkway on the subject of the Altar of Sacrifice here on MartinBritt.com! Link below…