Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Need for God's Presence

There is such a need in the United States for the presence of God. The raw, powerful, compassionate and loving presence of the Living God. Not only is there a need for God's presence, there is a need for the power of His presence. Throughout the Old Testament we see God's power on display. Elijah calling down fire from heaven. Moses petitioning Pharoah to let the Israelites go, and bringing plagues onto the earth to display the authority and power of the God he serves. Manna from heaven. Daniel in the blazing furnace. Gideon and his army. The walls of Jericho crumbling with a shout. Continuing on to the New Testament, Jesus displays power from on high by healing the sick. Raising the dead. Casting out demons. Speaking words to the woman at the well that no one could have known but someone in tune with the Father. These are all displays not just of God's presence, but of His power.

The Christians in the United States have watered the almighty and powerful God down to a few comfort-bringing theological principles and a handful of self-help formulas to turn to in time of need. Christians in the US are not walking in the power that Jesus said we possess. Most Christians do not realize that we are no longer sinners! We have the mind of Christ. We have a completely new nature. We are princes and princesses. Children of the King. We have been given victory over the darkness...always. How much more of an impact could we have on the world if we really BELIEVED in our identity? That the same power that rose Jesus from the dead, healed every sick person, and kept Daniel from burning in the furnace is in us. We can rebuke the darkness. We can declare and proclaim the presence of the Kingdom. We can heal. We can speak Truth. We can prophecy. We can speak in tongues. We can speak to the dead and say 'Get up and walk!' We can tell the blind to see. We can literally 'bring heaven to earth.' What a radical change in the atmosphere it would bring if all Christians wrapped their mind around their identity as children of God! a royal priesthood.

God has already declared that we would do "greater things" than Jesus (John 14:12). GREATER THINGS! That means there will be times when we won't even know what it looks like or what to expect. Who wants to serve a God that we know everything about? I am expecting Him to do new things in this generation. Things never before seen. Miracles never heard of. Join me in that.

And I want to challenge us not to gauge God and the possibility of what He can do based on our own experience. We would rather expect what we know can happen rather than expecting the unexpected. the impossible. the abnormal. the supernatural. It's hard and uncomfortable to let God do something we know nothing about. It takes a lot more faith than we're used to. He has already declared that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to us, and that He wants to do greater things than He did in the life of Jesus. What a HUGE declaration! Why would we want to walk in anything but the power He has already given us?

Originally, the Church went to the streets to heal the sick and to raise the dead. They didn't bring people to church. Church was a place where believers were encouraged, sharpened and edified. People would come to Christ on the streets and then come to church. Wouldn't it be cool to heal someone who has been paralyzed for years and be able to tell them to get up and walk? How much more would they want to know about the God we serve then? Demonstrating the love of God for us through Jesus, and that we carry a power that is beyond ourselves is essential to the Gospel. That person would then have proof in the natural that God is real. He is powerful. and He loves him.

I want to see our generation arise and shine, for the glory of the Lord rises upon us (Is. 60). God has called us to step out on faith. To believe Him for incredible things. To pray impossible prayers. To dream dreams that would only be possible if God shows up. Dreams that are so big they would take more than a lifetime to come to fruition. We have the heart. We have the Spirit. But are we ready to step into the Promised Land so that we can live and dwell in uncharted territory? Uncharted territory that is consumed by the Presence and fire of God? I'm already walking and I hope you'll join me on this journey.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I'll join you, Murray. :)

Very well written.