Posted by Rich Murphy on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Sometimes, during prayer for people at the altar, they will fall down. Many charismatics refer to this as “being slain in the Spirit.” However, I don’t like that term. Ananias and Sapphira were “slain in (or by) the Spirit in Acts chapter 5. They didn’t get back up though, and the young men carried them out and buried them. Let’s just say that these people “fell out” in the power of the Spirit.
So, back to our original question, why does it happen? The Bible doesn’t exactly talk about this particular manifestation of the Spirit, so we can’t quote chapter and verse about it. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong though, because Jesus said we’d do thing that He hadn’t (John 14:12). However, we can look at the experiences of people who have fallen down, and derive some conclusions from it.
Many who have fallen under the power of God have said it felt like a “giant pillow” was pushing them back. They didn’t fall, the power of God pushed them. So, the first sign of a real manifestation would be that the person didn’t fall on their own.
When God knocks someone down, something else should happen. There should be some change in them when they get back up. It doesn’t have to be a major change, it could be just a refreshing, or a peace that they didn’t have before, but there should be a change. As far as I know, God doesn’t put people on the floor just for the fun of it, He does it to minister to them. The second sign should be that there has been change.
Does God have to knock people down in order to minister to them? No, He doesn’t. He can do the work any way He wants to. I look at it like surgery. If you’re a doctor, you don’t have someone stand up on the operating table, you lay them down, and put them out. That way, the patient isn’t getting in the way of the doctor’s work.
God is the great physician. His greatest feats of surgery happen in our hearts. Yes, physical healings are great, but they aren’t the greatest. I get more excited about a changed heart, where bitterness, or strife, or hurts are removed than I do about a physical healing. Why? Because it’s a greater work. Doctors can perform great physical healings. But only God can perform a healing on a heart.
God doesn’t necessarily put you out when He puts you down. Quite often, someone on the floor will be totally coherent, hearing everything that’s going on around them.
Do people fake it? Yes, unfortunately they do. Either because they think it is expected of them, or because they think people will see them as less spiritual if they don’t, or because they want to make the minister feel good. But, for whatever reason, faking it is still wrong.
Don’t try and figure out who’s faking it, and who’s not. Jesus admonished us to not judge others (Matt 7:1-2). Besides, there isn’t any real way of telling who’s real and who’s the fake.
The amount of time someone spends on the floor isn’t any indication of whether the manifestation was real, or faked. Sometimes, God will have a person on the floor for hours, ministering to them. Others will only be down for a minute, needing only a touch from God. Is one real, and the other false? No. God is just ministering to each in their own need.
Do ministers fake it? Yes, even more unfortunately they do too. In Acts chapter 8, a magician or sorcerer named Simon offered money to Peter so that he could have the power to do this (Acts 8:18-19).
Obviously he was wrong, and Peter rebuked him sternly (Acts 20-23). Simon didn’t want to develop the personal relationship with God that would allow him to have this gift freely, he just wanted to pay for it, so that people would be impressed by him. Wrong motivation, wrong actions, wrong attitude.
We still have ministers today who are trying to receive, or mimic this power without developing the relationship with God that brings it. They will push people down, use great theatrics, or verbally browbeat them about how they’re blocking God until they fall down. Why? So that they will look good. Is it right? No! But unfortunately, it’s happening, and it reflects poorly upon the name of our Lord.
Realize this, any time God has a real manifestation of His power in progress, others will imitate it in the flesh. Satan will also try and imitate it. We must have Spiritual discernment in order to accept the real move, and shun the false.
Let’s not ignore the real move of God because of the imitators. If God wants to move in a particular way, let’s let Him. Let the decision be His as to how He will work in you. If that means He’s going to put you down on the floor, then let Him. But, if He doesn’t put you down, don’t fake it. Let God do the work however He desires.