“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” – Joel 2:12-13
In Old Testament times we see the act of morning and supplication to be, very often, just that… an act. It was common practice to scream and wail, ware special garments, rip your clothes, throw ashes on your face and head, and draw a lot of attention to yourself. Though sometimes a genuine sign of grief it was more often a sign of vanity from those seeking the praises and attention of men for themselves. These practices got so bad that, for a price you could even hire professional “mourners” to scream, wail, and make a scene, putting on a big show and commotion for all to hear and see. This might draw a lot of attention to you and make you feel or seem important to men but how does it make you look to God? What does He think of it?
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:16-18 KJV
Jesus had to address this issue many times in His ministry, making the point abundantly clear that if we do anything in a manner that we seek the attention or notoriety of men, then that notoriety alone will be our reward and He will not bless it. This applies to everything from shouting, singing, public prayer, tongues, fasting, weeping, offerings, speaking, alms, anything that we claim to do for God but really in our hearts we are doing it to draw attention to ourselves.
This does not negate the validity of all public actions done in the Name of God or the Holy Spirit. However, the motive behind what is being done is what is in question here. If God causes a public manifestation of His Holy Spirit or calls someone to speak, sing, pray, morn, travail, or take any other action in His Name, there will always be a purpose for it that Glorifies God and bares good fruit. They will selflessly bring forth the word and will of God in truth and clarity.
This is why Scripture says that true manifestations and operations of the Holy Spirit are always done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40), because they are never without purpose or confirmation. The Holy Spirit will never contradict nor disrupt itself. When all or being led of the same spirit, the Holy Spirit, they will all be in one accord and there will be no disruption or distraction. Just as the church was in the book of acts.
When claiming to be an action done for, or led by, the Spirit of God, if the outward action does not reflect an inward humility and reverence for God, it is not the Holy Spirit but rather, is a mockery of it. When we draw attention onto ourselves, pulling it away from God, what we are really doing is making ourselves into an idol in the very house of God. We are seeking self worship rather then God’s worship, which was the sin a Satan himself. Therefor, the desire for self attention is always demonic in nature. This is why Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:24, to “deny thyself, pick up your cross, and follow me.” Remember that God only honors humble selfless obedience, never pride, vanity, or a desire for vain glory. Therefore examine your motives in all things, being sure always to “rend your heart (that which is not seen), rather then your garment (that which is seen)”.
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:1-6
“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God…” – John 12:43-44
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory…” – Galatians 5:25-26
“…Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6