The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace--as in all the congregations of the saints.
Thoughts for Today:I remember the first time I was in Nepal and attended a home church in a village high in the Annapurna Mountain range. Following the message, the pastor instructed us to stand, and then told us we were all going to pray Nepali-style. Everyone began to pray out loud and at the same time. It was quite noisy and I had some difficulty concentrating. At the time, I wondered if they had read our passage today: "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." Yet, in retrospect it worked for them. Why? Because there was order in the disorder -- it was the "free-praise" time of the service.
When born-again young people enter our churches, they too want more free-flow in worship. They grow bored with traditional and overly-orderly services. They want the Spirit to be encouraged to influence and express Himself through each person individually. I completely support this point of view. In fact, at my home church, we have several services which allow and permit more freedom of expression. For example: stand, sit, or dance while we sing; come forward to kneel and pray; or say "Amen" or speak other words of agreement as the Word is being preached. It's not for everyone -- which is one reason we offer multiple styles of worship.
However, some people will try to justify their odd behavior by saying, "I was overwhelmed by the Spirit." In our passage today, Paul tells us this is not to be the case. Even while ministering in the Spirit, a person is never to be out of control. And as this teaching applies to the worship assembly, the Lord is not going to interrupt Himself with some sort of prophetic outburst. Why? Because the Lord is not the author of confusion or disorder.
Questions to Ponder:Neither prophets nor anyone else should be compelled to speak or act as if they cannot control themselves. This is true of every gift of God. We alone choose to use or abuse our gifts. Have you chosen to use your gift? Do you allow God to influence where you go, and what you say and do? Have you retained control over your gift so it does not become corrupted?