I sometimes get confused, bamboozled, frustrated – even lost. Maybe I listen to to many voices calling me this way and that – to follow this vision or that revelation – telling me this or that way is the way to live the Christian life – and that if only I will read this book, attend that conference, pay $40.00 for this series of Podcasts – I will undergo personal revival and be set for a life of power and victory – flowing in the gifs and success God really has for me. Maybe in my confusion I’m just tired of it all!
Today I read a recommended ministry Web Site where, according to the introduction, the evangelist travels – “Extensively preaching and imparting the joy and wildfire of God across the nations.”. I’m really sorry but I don’t quite know what that means. On another “Power” Christian ministry website I looked at the founder tells us – “God has blessed me and is doing great things in my Ministry”. I always thought the ministry was His not ours – but never mind. I do not doubt the sincerity, commitment of passion of either or any of those involved in such ministries – but I am not there.
If I’m to be totally honest though I really do wonder what The Power and The Fire really look like? I know what the Bible says about the power of God and the fire of God – but in the upside down Kingdom which is the Kingdom of God – is is possible we may have got it slightly wrong sometimes?
In my very limited experience of what I personally have known of The True Power – He comes in the silence – with no fuss or fanfare. He waits until the preaching and the shouting are over. Then gently, quietly, silently He sweeps through the atmosphere in waves of grace and healing. Sadly though these are, for me at least, very rare experiences – but always, always impregnated with true power and lasting consequences!
Might I be so bold as to suggest, for I am no expert here and do not live on the spiritual level of those who are, that this very experience is how God dealt and deals with many of his people? We may, like Elijah [1 Kings 19:11-13], expect him in the earthquake – the big impressive worship time and the deafening music [I love that by the way – and no doubt He is there] – or in the fire of the miraculous – but the truth is although Elijah looked for God there – he did not find him. I suspect he may have been crushed, disappointed – even broken – again. But then he heard it! The Still Small Voice! And it was through the Still Small Voice – that the power came – and the inner fire was rekindled! Power for the journey, power for future ministry, power to see it through! His power – working through a wrecked, damaged, tired vessel!
I am encouraged by Elijah’s story! Because even if I am not in the place I would like to be – God’s true Power can still be at work in me – and in you – despite all our imperfections, failure and confusion! Listen out for The Still Small Voice!
Then He [God]said [to Elijah], “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
1 Kings 19:11-12 (NKJV)