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Summary: No business as usual services - There must be an atmosphere of unified Expectancy. Every time the doors open it should be a cant’ miss opportunity.

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TITLE: SHIFTING THE ATMOSPHERE

SCRIPTURE: II CHRONICLES 5:13-14

It was around the end of last year that a few great songs hit the airwaves and are still very popular and being sung in many of our churches. There is one in particular that I am sure most if not all of us have listened to and enjoyed. The song is entitled Shifting the Atmosphere– it was written and performed by a Senior Pastor by the name of PASTOR JASON NELSON, the proud pastor of GREATER BETHLEHEM TEMPLE. The success he has experienced with this his second album has not changed his focus. When asked about how he came up with the song he really impressed me by stating – “MUSIC FROM A BIBLICAL CONTEXT HAS ALWAYS BEEN USED TO CHANGE THE DYNAMICS OF AN ATMOSPHERE.”

• Such a refreshing statement in light of some of the songs out there today

• Many songs in the Gospel genre have nothing to do with the Gospel at all

• Too many cross-over songs

• When we really sing about the Gospel, the World cannot handle it

• Bible says the Carnal Mind is Enmity with God

• Pastor Nelson extracted events from the Bible

• That’s why it touches us the way it does

I want to spend a few minutes this morning examining this thought Shifting the Atmosphere. Almost two weeks ago, Oklahoma tragically suffered Six (6) deaths in WOODWARD, OK when a devastating Tornado swept through that small town. The subsequent ELECTRICAL Storm and Window Shacking THUNDER kept many of us up overnight, too nervous to go to sleep. TORNADO SIRENS went off in the middle of the night locally, and that is never a good sign.

It was sixteen (16) years ago that we relocated from New Jersey to Oklahoma. We are now officially considered OKIES. I recall how nervous we used to become when we first moved to this state. We don’t have Tornados in NJ. But after 16 years, we no longer are as nervous as we used to be. It is not that we are no longer cautious or don’t pay proper attention to the weather casters, it is quite the opposite.

• Forecasters are able to predict these wall clouds days in advance

• Forecasters can tell us exactly where the Tornados are forming

• Forecasters can tell us exactly what streets the Tornados are moving

• We have learned how to become Weather Aware

• We did not understand that 16 years ago

• Tornados were 100 miles away moving in opposite direction and we used to run and hide take Tornado Precautions back then

Weather Forecasters are able to track the JET STREAM and based upon that are able to determine what movement will happen in the ATMOSPHERE causing ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE at the Earth's surface - that’s one of the keys to weather, which is one reason weather maps feature H's and L's, representing areas of HIGH and LOW air pressure. High and low pressure areas are important because they affect the weather.

• What happens in the atmosphere

• Although we cannot see or feel it

• Affects our weather conditions

• Based upon the highs and lows of the Atmosphere

• Causes a Shift in our Weather

There is always one thing that causes a shift in our Weather Pattern - it is dependent upon what is taking place in the Atmosphere. Atmosphere speaks of a PERVADING or SURROUNDING INFLUENCE or SPIRIT. We can apply that same principle in our effort to understand the importance of Shifting the Atmosphere.

• Atmosphere for us can be our general environment or mood or even a spirit

• Maybe even our own spirit

• Not only do we deal with atmospheric changes directly affecting the weather and our individual lives

• But the atmosphere we create also has a direct affect on the life and movement of the church

This is why we can experience such dramatic changes or differences in various worship opportunities in the sanctuary. Some particular Sundays and Wednesdays the Spirit of God is flowing so heavy that we can’t help but to SHOUT – JUMP – DANCE. Other Sunday’s and Wednesdays it is somewhat Quite and even difficult to get into the Worship experience. Not only here but it happens all over the land until we learn the importance of Shifting the Atmosphere.

There must be no spiritual hindrances. This sets the Atmosphere for the Heavens being Opened.

• We all have seasons when we are pressed on every side

• When darkness seems to abound, and the heavens seem as brass

• Sometimes we let our circumstances dictate our mood

• When we come to church we are coming to worship

• But if we let our problems and the situations that we are dealing with, hinder our spirit - then there is no true worship

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