Bring Him down or take us up?
This fad teaching is a mind-set that leads to numerous errors, and is so subtle it reaches into several streams of modern Christianity, with thousands thinking they are in faith, when in fact they are in error.
Examples - Bring Him down
3,000 gather in a city to ‘bring heaven down’ through screaming at the top of their lungs, intensely pleading with God for our nation. It is followed up by a stadium sized meeting in another state for the same purpose. The same screaming at the top of the lungs at God, impressing the attendees enough as 2 reported to me “We know God heard us and is bringing revival that will change our nation within 30 days (that’s what the leaders prohesied).” They believed the numbers of people and the sincerity of their high-volume prayers surely touched God’s heart.
2 leaders called a convention of ‘breakthrough’ to call down God and break strongholds in another city so revival would come. They told attendees a 40 day fast would do it. I spoke with some a couple weeks later who were fasting 40 days – going lighter on food and no TV for 40 days – and they were convinced at the end of 40 days their city would be transformed by their actions and their prayers during that convention.
Sometimes it’s strictly personal: ‘What must I do to get God to give me an answer/healing/deliverance?’, thinking a fast, a word, attending a particular meeting, or even sending an offering somewhere will do it.
All these demonstrate a good hearts, good motives, but the error is that they need to do something to bring God down to their situation, and that God needs convincing.
Take us up: A lady came forward to ‘go up to God’ during an evening meeting, and was told to yell with all her heart to show God how serious she was while the woman minister was yelling in her face like a Marine drill Sergeant at boot camp.
Numerous ministers have meetings that promise to give ’3rd heaven experiences’ if they will attend, believing we can at our will be as John called it; ‘in the Spirit’. (Revelation 1:10 and 4:2)
In Paul’s day/the Bible: 1st heaven is the atmosphere, 2nd heaven is the stars, 3rd heaven is where God lives – so they are saying if you come to this meeting I’ll show you how to get to heaven/experience heaven.
Let me make it clear, I am not against people praying for revival nor wailing in intensity of prayer nor wanting to go to heaven – I’m not against any of that. What I am pointing out is the error that believes we need to call God down and convince God to bring revival, healing, and so forth to us, or that we can of our own free will go to heaven and/or be caught up in the Spirit.
Spiritual experiences happen across the globe to Christians and non-Christians alike; if you do certain things you can have supernatural experiences, but they may not be of God, sometimes even in Christian meetings. The Holy Spirit agrees with and flows with the Word. If you go beyond God’s Word you go beyond the bounds by which the Holy Spirit Himself goes, and you are therefore on your own, subject to demons and otherworldly experiences not from God.
Much of the underlying belief in praying God down or praying themselves up, is that having one of these experiences will mean a breakthrough or bring answers to life. But sometimes it is quite innocent; in a powerless Christian culture people just want to experience God, which is a right and good desire.
Either way, the Holy Spirit goes only as far as the Word goes. Beyond those bounds you are on your own. Even if a minister has a name, even if the preceding worship was anointed, even if ministry is done ‘in the name of Jesus’ – the Holy Spirit only goes as far as the Word, though others may go beyond.
By contrast, the Word says
“For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, are going about to establish their own righteousness… Righteousness of faith says this: Don’t say in your heart ‘Who will ascend into heaven’. (or to bring Christ down) or ‘Who will descend to the deep’ to bring Christ up from the dead to us again’ (trying to add by our efforts to what Jesus did on the cross). But what does it say? The Word (Christ) is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart.”
This quote from Romans 10:6-8 reveals Paul dealt with the same errors in his day. In Paul’s time in Rome being a Christian meant you were in a life or death situation, so people wanted to experience God to confirm the reality of their faith. People are the same now, whether life or death or pressing circumstances - but some accidentally fall prey to error and fad teachings and end up trying to call Christ down or them ascend up as he mentioned above.
Physician diagnose thyself
Do you believe you need to convince God to act on your behalf?
This originates with the idea God needs to be convinced, so subtly in our thoughts before we realize it, we start thinking of God as our adversary. He is not. If you have fallen into this error a simple repentance and turn of the heart restores that Father/child relationship rather than a master/slave mind-set.
The Father is not the friend asleep at midnight in Luke 11:1-13, that you have to keep pounding on the door and plead until He wakes up enough to hear you. This ignores Jesus’ actual teaching on the subject, where He contrasted how your best friend will barely rise to help you, but your heavenly Father is the exact opposite. He continued:
“But I say to you, ‘Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. If a son asks bread of any of you who is a father, will you give him a stone? If he asks for a fish, will you give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will you offer him a scorpion? If you then being mere men know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (The Holy Spirit being the means by which the prayer is answered/answer comes).
Aware of Christ in you
“Neither shall they say ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There!’, for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” “But you have the mind of Christ.” “What? Don’t you know your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God?” (Lk 17:21,Col 1:27, I Cor 2:16, 6:19)
We need not go up, nor bring Him down. He is within. I direct my prayers within, to where He is, and that is where I hear His voice. I don’t think ‘up’ when praying, I am focused on Christ in me. To me, praying with an ‘up’ thinking is like talking to a person but instead of looking at them in the eyes, talking to an adjacent piece of furniture. I commune with Him who is within, and together we examine my heart and motives and life.
When a person truly gets to know the Father within, dwelling by His Spirit in us, that person will let loose the idea that they need to bring God down or that they need some experience ‘up there’ to validate their faith or bring answers to their lives. In my life, most every miracle I’ve received is a direct result of my intimacy with Him, who lives within.
Can anything we do add to the work of Jesus on the cross? (Can any amount of screaming and pleading?) Can anything you do improve upon Christ in you, the hope of glory? Is there anything we could do on this earth in God or for God or to God that would further convince Him to love the people of the world?
We will each go to heaven in our time, and it is certain we cannot bring Him down again to the cross, so we must stop running to and fro trying to bring Him down or convince Him, or trying to find that one heavenly
experience, and just spend time talking to Him within, to spend time developing our awareness of Him within, of turning our thoughts to the Living Christ who lives in our spirit man.
Live in that, and the kingdom of heaven just opens to you, He becomes like a Father eagerly watching with anticipation as His child opens gift after gift He has prepared – rejoice and know what we have been freely given!
New ‘fad’ next week, blessings,
Please send all personal emails or questions to me at email@example.com