The four gospels and Acts give us a picture of what the move of God should look like. Jesus has given us a perfect model.
As I’ve traveled to different parts of the country, I’ve gotten to meet all sorts of people who are hungry for God and who are seeking the things of the Spirit. Some of us have developed a lifestyle that looks more and more like Jesus; others have developed a subculture that includes a lot of mysterious activity we call “prophetic” and which doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible. I want to give a few examples of both lifestyles.
1. Some people prophesy that God is going to start moving in power; others step into the power. JoAnn and I just spent a week at Dunamis Resources, a school of the Spirit in Las Vegas NV. During our week there, we heard several testimonies from people who had ministered healing and salvation to people outside the church.
We have also heard many testimonies of healing at the Santa Maria Valley Healing Rooms not far from our home. These aren’t just testimonies of healings in third world countries; spectacular healings have been happening here in America.
I’m sure there are many other places in the USA where these things are happening – I’ve heard that Bethel Church in Redding CA hired a full-time scribe to record testimonies of what God was doing; the workload became unmanageable for just one person.
It’s good to prophesy that God is going to start moving in power. It’s good to do all we can to encourage one another to reach for more of God. But don’t overlook the fact that God is ready to release His power today. The early church didn’t prophesy that power was coming; they simply moved in it. We can do the same.
2. Everywhere I go, people are holding on to prophecies that revival is going to begin here. I hope it does; there’s no reason that it shouldn’t.
But I have to wonder: why didn’t Jesus ever prophesy anything like that? Why didn’t the early church?
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we simply believed the gospel – it’s no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us. And I wonder what would happen if we took this new creation identity and invested it as Jesus did, abandoning ourselves totally to the will of the Father and doing and saying whatever matches what we see Him doing and hear from Him.
It would be ironic if we who are waiting for God to move one day discover that He has been trying to move us.
3. Jesus and the early church seemed to take scripture much more literally than we do; we tend to bog down in symbolism. I don’t doubt for a minute that God will use symbols to speak to us. Jesus talked to the woman at the well about living water; He promised a river of living water to those who believe Him.
But when an angel warned Joseph in a dream to flee into Egypt, it appears Joseph left that night – it didn’t take weeks of prayer, meditation, and consultation to figure out what the dream meant.
I won’t go into apocalyptic literature here – the books of Daniel or Revelation – because that’s too big a subject for now. But as for hearing from God for your own life, do you expect God to speak to you clearly, or do you expect Him to speak to you with puzzles and riddles?
I find that the people who give themselves to the works of Jesus – taking the gospel to the lost, binding up broken hearts, laying hands on the sick – tend to hear literal things that direct them clearly, showing them how to release the power of God.
That can be your lifestyle. Expect the best. Expect Christ who lives in you to do the same kind of things He did in Bible days. Why should you settle for less?