Dear friends, this really has been a very busy week as we get ready for the start of the PROMESA school next week. Although I should be working on lesson plans and creative classroom props, I'm going to take a moment to reflect on something that has been going around in my heart and head.
How can we really define a move of God? Does it have to look a certain way? Does it need certain parameters from our experience in order to fit into a "move of God" box? We have the model of the Bible which talks about how God moved among His people in Israel, how the Son of God moved among the sons of men and how the Spirit of God moved among those who followed His ways. Can we fit those experiences in a box? Can we look at all the ways that God has worked and say: "God works this, this, this, this and this way"?? We as humans long for simple formulas, we want the 12 step program, we want the quick fix. Often times we'll look at an example in the Bible and say: "oh, that's how God works!" and then we package it in a nifty book or on a beautiful bookmark. :0)
Yet that doesn't jive with the reality of life. The reality is that we are all different and that the same God who worked in a myriad of ways throughout history (as we see in His Word), still works in a myriad of ways in our lives. The danger is when we look at something God is doing in a church or individual's life and try to box in that experience. We can fall into the danger of looking at something an saying "God is not at work here!" or "That's exactly what God's work looks like all the time!"
I have been thinking about this recently because one of the churches in the Mennonite network here in the Cusco area is experiencing a move of God. I say a "move of God" because I don't really know whether to define it as spiritual revival or what. People are being touched by God during the church services: some are being set free from demons, others are forgiving their families, and others are understanding God's deep love for them. Some are operating in spiritual gifts like discernment of spirits and are ministering to others in the congregation. And some of these people were never even taught that these gifts existed. Talk about a mind-boggling concept!
It really is amazing and I have been thinking about my reaction. My reaction could be: "I've never seen anything like this, how could God be at work?!" Or I could conclude "That's what a move of God looks like!" and determine that God is not moving in any of the other Mennonite churches here. Or I could look at my church back in PA and think that God is not doing anything. That is the danger but that is not the truth! God is working; it just looks different! People are coming to know the Lord, people are growing in their faith and God is moving. Who am I to box in God's work? I cannot see what God is working under the surface! Just because one move of God is out in the open and another is not visible does not measure God's involvement. The evidence of a move of God is changed lives and the process can look however He wants it too.
We must be very careful at how we react! Will we let pride, lack of faith or preconceived notions guide or view of God's work or will we trust that our heavenly Father knows us His children and knows exactly what we need? I for one don't want to be one who resists what the Spirit is doing because it doesn't fit into a comfy box but I also don't want to lack the faith to believe that God is at work when I cannot see it visibly.
God is so great and He IS at work in our world in so many ways! AMEN