Saturday, July 19, 2008

When the King Releases His Glory and Power

I had the honor and delight of attending some meetings with a few hundred other believers in which a humble and wildly in love with Jesus women of God who has been used mightily by God in some of the most interesting places in the world led us into greater intimacy with God.

The points that follow are areas that need to be considered as a result of this fresh outpouring of God's presence and should lead us to a greater understanding and ability to yield to God's Spirit, whenever God is doing a fresh work or is manifesting Himself and His presence to His people.

1. There was a process over the course of three days.

2. The process led us to a point of a fresh commitment and celebration the likes of which I have experienced only a hand full of times in more than 39 years of being a believer. In fact it was my early days as a believer during the Jesus movement when I first enjoyed such a high time of freedom, joy, commitment and celebration.

3. Many of us have experienced those times of soaring to great heights in God which we cherish and which are intended to lead us deeper and encourage us to go further in God.

4. There are issues that arise out of such experiences and that follow such experiences.

Biblically speaking we can gain the wisdom needed to deal with such high times in God by examining three such experiences in scripture:
A. Israel following the 'Pillar of cloud by day and fire by night.'
B. Isaiah in the Temple, 'In the year that King Uziah died.'
C. Jesus and the Disciples on, 'The mount of transfiguration.'

A study of the principles in these three Biblical examples of God's manifest presence among His people will follow in the next part of this article. For now let's continue our current line of thinking.

5. Throughout history we have been faced with the challenge of what to do when God moves upon His people in power and majesty.
There are dangers that lie in:
A. Trying to repeat in the flesh what God did in the Spirit
B. Not remembering that it took several days and steps to get to the high point or climax of the experience.
C. Establishing a formula based on what occurred or how we felt.
D. Not realizing that the timing, circumstances and events preceding the current work of God can not be duplicated and therefore the resulting work or move of God will be unique and not a clone or repetition of any other previous one.

There are elements of each move or fresh outpouring of God's presence which pertain to the character and nature of God.

6. We should ask ourselves these questions as we reflect on a specific fresh move or outpouring of God's presence:
A. What should our attitude be about what God is doing?
B. What should we have gained from what God was doing?
C. What should we expect now and as we move ahead after the experience?
D. How do we go forward, honoring what the Lord has done while not attempting to build a shrine on the experience or its location?
E. What will you do when God reveals Himself in Power: Are you a Joshua or a Balaam?

Joshua Josh 5:13-15
13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he looked up, and behold, a Man stood near him with His drawn sword in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, Are you for us or for our adversaries?

14 And He said, No [neither], but as Prince of the Lord's host have I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, What says my Lord to His servant?

15 And the Prince of the Lord's host said to Joshua, Loose your shoes from off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy. And Joshua did so. [Ex 3:5.]

Balaam Num 22:21-25
21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot against it. So he beat her again.

The question arises,” What next" and "What are we to do in the meantime or with the results of the work of God both personally and as a group of believers who have shared in the experience?"

Issues We Must face____________________________________

For pastors and leaders these times create a unique set of challenges as well. We must lead others through the high waters of the River of Life, and because of this we face additional challenges as we lead. Among them are:

A. Honoring what God has done without enshrining it into some new FORM. (Or Let’s do this every time we think God is really working)

B. Avoiding the tendency to explain away the parts we do not understand. (Trying to make others or ourselves think we did not buy into everything that happened to protect ourselves from appearing foolish)

C. Making the Apparent Excesses of some who’s responded to the Presence of God in ways we would find unpleasant or extreme and appear to others as not of God.

(It has been said that Revivals can be messy as imperfect people respond to the power of God)
(Church history is full of stories of the extreme actions of people when they encounter the power of God and His Glory)

I believe that many of the answers to these questions are in the three passages listed above and truths that will give us wisdom as we help others navigate the Flood of the River of Life.

Artwork "The Head of God" by Michelangelo Buonarroti

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