11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) Prov. 7:11-12
The segment that caught my attention in this portion of scripture is: “She is loud…”
The flesh is loud. The flesh loves making noises. It loves dramatics. It loves bombastics. Now, I am not saying that anyone who talks in a loud voice is carnal; no. We cannot interpret scripture in such a physical manner. Scripture is spiritual, and I am talking in the Spirit here.
Notice, “(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
We could paraphrase this scripture in the following manner: ‘She is loud, but there is no change in her character. She is proud, unfaithful and disobedient. She is full of the flesh. She is full of sin.’
This scripture is talking about a carnal, worldly church.
Many years ago, I attended an open-air evangelistic meeting in our town of Musoma. I had just arrived in town and I did not know any pastor, save the one whose church I had begun to attend.
During the meeting, all the pastors from the town were called to introduce themselves. They all stood on the large podium and began introducing themselves one by one.
It is many years ago, but I can never forget this particular pastor who took the microphone and, with a voice like thunder, sounded the loudest “Hallelujah!” I have ever heard in the history of my life.
This preacher was a tall, strong man, and he looked extremely lively and energetic.
“Halleloooooooooooooooooooooooojah!” he roared in a voice that seemed it would end in eternity.
The response from the crowd was like the Niagara Falls. They roared back an almighty “AAAAAAAmen!!” accompanied by shrieks, screams and ululations from the hundreds of women gathered there.
I was new in salvation, and I had never heard anything like it. The power of that noise overwhelmed me. As I stood there I felt a tingling in my body, a tingling that began at the soles of my feet and washed its way up my body, caressed the nape of my neck, and ended with every hair on my head standing on end, like a needle.
That was power!! I thought.
The pastor appeared larger-than-life to me and I remember thinking, “This man’s church is the church I want to attend!” I wondered how anyone could attend any other church.
At that particular time I was working in a certain company and I never got around to making good my resolve to begin attending this pastor’s church. But with time, however, I came to meet and to know this man much better. It would be unfair to go into details here, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized that his “Hallelujah!” was more a gimmick than they reality of his own life.
As I grew more in my salvation, I began getting very suspicious with dramatics in church. And many experiences down the road have proved this belief to be true.
I believe that no force on earth or in heaven can raise as much dust as the Holy Spirit, when He deems it fit to do so. But when the Holy Spirit conducts dramatics in church, the church is edified. In other words, God’s people grow in grace.
On the other hand, the dramatics of the flesh are merely manifestations of the flesh, and they effect no change in one’s character. Actually, all they accomplish is that they puff up the flesh.
When the Jerusalem church received the Holy Spirit, there was much noise broadcast abroad, and much ‘manifestation’; so much so, in fact, that the whole city was stirred. But pray, what was the fruit of that Holy Ghost-inspired ‘drama’?
The fruit was that the disciples’ lives were changed, the Word of God went forth mightily, and the Church was born. The Holy Spirit’s ‘noise’ brought about the fruit of the Spirit in people’s lives – obedience to the gospel.
But today, it is a slightly different story. Not every manifestation brings edification, simply because not every manifestation in church today is of the Holy Spirit. People sway to and from in church but they are not spiritual on the inside.
That is why I cannot understand why someone in church begins shaking and tossing about their heads when someone is on the pulpit and making a big noise over practically nothing. American Pentecostal churches are particularly hard-hit by this phenomenon.
You will find, for example, some preacher proclaiming in the pulpit: “I have been chosen! I have been hand-picked! I will not fail you!” – whatever that means – and there are people in this man’s congregation swaying to and fro ostensibly “under the power” as if what this man is saying is the greatest spiritual experience these people have ever undergone!
But the important question that we need to ask ourselves is: What has all this shaking and swaying and teeth-chattering effected in our lives? Have we grown more spiritual? Have we changed? Are we carrying more and more bowels of mercies within us? Are we becoming more forgiving? Are we getting more humble in character? Is the joy of the Lord increasing in our lives? Are our hearts more and more becoming carriers of peace?
If the shaking/dramatics that we are experiencing in church are not bringing us to this state of affairs in our character, then we ought to know that all this shaking is a work of the flesh. The Bible makes it clear that all this lust after dramatics comes from the flesh.
We should therefore stop all this useless shaking and drama in church and instead concentrate on seeking after the true gospel, the gospel that will effect a work of the cross upon our lives, to change us.
The Bible does not say that anyone in the early church began shaking upon hearing the gospel. But it does say they changed.
[Below: A street in Musoma Town]