A friend once told me about a Christian singer he knew who rented a recording studio. After an extensive setup and sound check, she began performing her first song. The sound technician thought it sounded great, but about halfway through the first verse, she stopped abruptly, threw up her hands, and said, “It’s no use. Turn it off! He’s not here.”
The sound tech said through the studio mike, “Uh . . . Who’s not here?”
“Him,” she said, “the Holy Spirit. His presence — it’s missing.” She called a few friends into the studio, and they commenced to laying their hands on various pieces of equipment, praying for God’s presence and dabbing the equipment with oil.
After a few minutes, she began singing again. About thirty seconds in, she again said: “Stop! He’s not here. Let’s pray again.” Another fifteen-minute session of walking about the room: anointing, shouting, muttering incantations. Again she started . . . and again she stopped. And again in came the prayer posse. By this time, the sound tech was getting annoyed. His equipment was getting greasy.
As she began recording for the fourth time, he noticed that the reverb on her monitor was turned off, so he reached down and turned it up, at which point she put her hands in the air and began to say, “Hallelujah, there he is! He is here!” The sound tech simply did not have the heart to say to her, “Uh . . . no ma’am. That was the reverb.”
Many Christians equate the presence of God with a mysterious, tingly feeling you get when the music crescendos just right at a Christian concert or as the pastor goes on an alliterative roll at the climax of his sermon.
J. D. Greear, Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit inside You Is Better than Jesus beside You(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014).
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