Apr 27

Downplay What You Don’t Want

When I read the book of Acts it always raises questions for me.  When I was younger I used to ask my parents “Why don’t we see this happening in the church today.”  That wasn’t a question they could answer very well.  Now as I have gotten older I am still asking the same question.  You read Acts and the there is a definite change in the disciples from before the day of Pentecost and then afterwards.  Jesus had said that when he leaves he will send the Holy Spirit and power.  Isn’t that power evident in the disciples after that day?  Men who had been cowering followers of this man that was just executed publicly, were now proclaiming him publicly and boldly?  How hard would it have been for people steeped in Jewish tradition to make the leap from the orthodox Jewish lifestyle to the deeds and call after Pentecost.  It might have been about as hard for the Western church to fully embrace a revival move of God today.

I have been on the fringes of movements that have had some interesting manifestations of God.  It is interesting to here what different people in the “Church” say about these movements.  It definately is polarizing.  We had an occasion where we saw some manifestations of the Holy Spirit in our youth.  What was the response, what was my response.  It made me uncomfortable, and jealous.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have the same thing happen to me, because of how it looked, but I was jealous of the obvious intense experience these youth were having in the presence of God.  I heard rumblings of others being uncomfortable with these things as well.  They asked questions like can’t they control their movements?  Wouldn’t it be better if we allowed that to happen at a different place or a different time?  Would God really move like this?  All valid questions, but also revealing ones.

As I was walking today I felt the Lord say to me, you downplay what you don’t want to do.  I downplay the book of Acts because if I take the christian life I lead and compare it to the early church it doesn’t look to good.  Where is the power, where are the people coming to a dynamic meeting with Jesus the creator of the universe.  Here is the deal with me if I can go through some mental jousting with the ideas or events and find out what is wrong and make up rationalizations as to why they shouldn’t be present in my life, then I don’t have to let these realizations rock me to the very core of my being.  I think that the comparison of today’s western church to the early church should grieve us and lead us to intense self examination, and repentance.  What are we going to repent for?  For watering down the gospel and the power of God, because we don’t want to be weird.  If people think we are weird they may not come to our church, or they might talk behind my back.  If we would have met the Apostle Paul, or Peter or John what would we have thought of them.  I sometimes wonder if God doesn’t allow weird manifestations to follow his power because only the humble are willing to accept the whole package.  If we are two worried about how we will look then maybe God withholds his power from our lives.  It is only when I get to a place where I say “I want whatever God has for me, bring it on God, I don’t care how I look or who it will offend if I get more of you.”

A couple of months back I read through the Old Testament prophets.  Man God asked them to do some really weird things.  Would I be willing to walk through town naked if God told me to do it?  How about laying on my side and cooking my food on fires built with my own dung?  When in history had God really moved and there was not some events that polarized people.   So I guess I have to come to a place where I let God have all of me, including my reputation.  There is no room for pride and spiritual arrogance, things I see all to prevalent in my life.  God can’t move where there is pride, he hates pride, he hated arrogance, he uses the simple things of this world to confound the wise.  He taught in parables so that those that were learned and “book smart” dismissed his teaching but simple average folk caught the meaning.  Which one am I?  Do I downplay what God is doing because it makes me uncomfortable.   Do I water down parts of the scripture because I don’t want to use that as a measure of my life?  If I did use that measure what would be my response.  Would I be grieved to tears or would I simply have a pity party.  God wants to rock us to the very core of our being, to shake from us those things that stand in the way of us being fully used by him.  What does that look like in your life?  I am still finding out what that is in mine.  Often I play “hide and seek.”  Sometimes I am hiding from it and sometimes I am truly seeking.  God help me.

1 comment

  1. Micheline Knipping

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