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Resting in the Spirit

This phenomenon occurs quite commonly in charismatic church settings, where praying ministers lay hands on people, and then they fall. The charismatic movement has named these phenomena as  “Resting in the Spirit.” Some people call it “Falling in the Spirit” or “Slain in the Spirit.”

Is this phenomenon really God operating through the power of the Holy Spirit? There are many incidences of such manifestation in the Bible which leads to the opinion as to why we accept it is a true manifestation from the Lord.


Biblical Examples

Here are the main verses from Scripture showing people falling to the ground whenever God would manifest His presence to different people.

  1. “… that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)


  2. Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Then when He said to them. “I am He,” – they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)


  3. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” (Revelation 1:17)


  4. “And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.” But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:6)


  5. “And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:3-4)


  6. “So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 3:23)


  7. “Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.” (Numbers 22:31)


  8. “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw – like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 43:2-3)


  9. “Then He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord; and I fell on my face.” (Ezekiel 44:4)


What is Resting in the Spirit Like?

Resting in the Spirit is simply when the presence and power of God comes directly at us causing us to fall. This power can either come directly through the hands of someone operating under the Lord’s anointing at any given moment, or directly at us by God Himself.

This manifestation of God’s power can either come directly at us very lightly where we just start to lose our balance and then proceed to fall. Or it can come very strongly to the point where we cannot resist it and are literally “blown to the ground”. God decides how strong He will manifest this kind of power when He does decide to manifest it on someone.

So what happens when people are slain in the Spirit? Sometimes just a nice, restful, peaceful, relaxed feeling will come over the person. Sometimes people can receive inner and/or outer healings while resting in the Spirit. Some people can receive visions, instructions or advice from the Lord on a situation that He may want to deal with them on. People can rest anywhere in the Spirit from 1-2 minutes or as long as 4-6 hours if God would choose to go that long with a particular individual.

 
Is Resting in the Spirit a Necessary Manifestation?

It is a fallacy that some people equate an encounter with the Lord with “resting in the Spirit”. There were many other times God manifest His presence and people would not fall to the ground. It has nothing to do with whatever "serious condition" the person prayed over has, the "holiness" of the praying minister or the fluency of the prayer said.

Resting in the Spirit is a manifestation that is completely controlled by God. He and He alone, would decide when people would get knocked to the ground and when they would not whenever He would manifest His presence.

 
In the Spirit or in the Flesh?

Granted, there will always be some people in a pray-over that will be falling out of their own flesh. The power of God is not causing them to fall. They just want to be part of the crowd and they will fall all on their own. However, we cannot “throw out the baby with the bathwater” on this manifestation just because some people chose to act out of their flesh.

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