Afraid of Missing God

Since the Great Yurt Revival of ’08, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the promise/illusion/hype of revival.  The underlying message that day was if we just want “it” bad enough, that God would bring revival. I wondered how each person in the room would describe “it”. Miracles, manifestations, meetings? How would we know when what we were looking for had arrived?

It seems kind of sacrilegious to suggest that perhaps we aren’t supposed to be chasing after revival. It has been like the carrot always just beyond our reach, demanding our pursuit and zeal, the ultimate experience of God. Is this the life and race that Jesus and Paul described?

Rick Joyner said this

I confess to being afraid of missing God…because I don’t consider anything else happening to be more important than what God is doing, and I don’t want to miss something God is doing.

Presently, to be where God is moving requires that we recognize Him in the people He is using. This is a test because He almost always comes in those who are a stumbling block to all who follow after appearances.

I have trouble with the concept of an elusive, tricky God. I understand that religiosity, hardness of heart, or spiritual pride could cause us to miss what God is doing. However, for those whose hearts are after Him, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that He wants to make Himself known to us, that He isn’t playing some cosmic game of hide and seek?

From Rick Joyner’s latest article concerning Lakeland…

The Lord is moving at a dramatic pace now. This really could be the beginning of the move of God that does not stop moving!

As Bob Jones said, “Lakeland was just a preview of what is to come.” Todd Bentley is called to help begin what the Lord called “The greatest show on earth.”

It will be the greatest demonstration of Who God is that the world has seen since He Himself walked the earth. This is what the body of Christ is being prepared for and what the Lakeland Outpouring began to prepare the way for.

Not to get all prophetic on you, but isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along?

I don’t know. I just don’t think that God is coming to put on a show. Maybe He wants His people to be the greatest demonstration the world has seen of Who He is since Jesus walked the earth. I thought that maybe we were being prepared to love Him, love one another, and love the people in our corner of the world. What if that is “it”?

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15 thoughts on “Afraid of Missing God

  1. Well said, Grace

    I wonder if the church is trying to put on a better “show” than the world to attract sinners to come in. Great tunes, entertaining visuals, eloquent speakers, etc., etc., etc.

    Maybe we should be being the show (or example)–that is, a true demonstration of who Christ is–rather than trying to put on a show. I don’t think we’re going to be able to rival the shows the world puts on, and do we really want to go down that path?

    The irony is that, by pursuing revival, we find a show, but by following Jesus, the world is turned upside down, though we aren’t actively trying to upend it. Spiritual things are seldom to be found by following the obvious path. In this case, the only effective path is the one Jesus is guiding us down.

    Thanks for your blog–I’ve been enjoying it.

    Cindy

  2. I was also struck with the very same passage out of Joyner’s post. As Marsh and I discussed it today he said, “I just don’t see God that way at all anymore. Everything I thought about Him has changed.”

    God is not looking to put on a show. Didn’t Jesus come to show us what God looked like? Was he concerned with anything that resembled this?

    And no, we don’t have to be afraid of missing him. The thing that concerns me about my own life is hearing Him and then deciding I don’t want to listen or obey.

    To always have to be worried that we will miss God will make a person simply crazy.

  3. However, for those whose hearts are after Him, wouldn’t it be safe to assume that He wants to make Himself known to us, that He isn’t playing some cosmic game of hide and seek?

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! It is safe to assume that!

    Raborn and I talked about this fear of “missing it” in our podcast episode about the “purpose driven” mentality. If you haven’t heard it, you might want to take 30 minutes and listen to it. I have a hunch after this post that it will resonate with you quite a bit.

  4. I don’t agree that God ‘almost always comes in a stubling block to all who follow after appearances’ and that to recognize Him in who He is promoting in such ways is a test. I just don’t believe that at all. Whatever happened to drawing near to God and having Him draw near to us??

    Do we really need to stop in our tracks and look to platforms to see who most offends our sensibility then declare (waving a big pointy finger): ‘THAT GUY (or gal!!) is the chosen one!!’

    It’s like God saying…(possibly a poor example)….’here’s my nature, my grace and my power’….now I’m going to hide it and obscure it so that it’s really difficult for you to find or get to grips with.

    I’m fed up with all the prophetic words about everything culminating in an all out blaze of glory – with the ‘manifestations army’ taking the world by storm.

    It’s so deeply rooted in the MSOG doctrine that I certainly no longer subscribe to (I’ll say that I ‘tolerated’ some of it for a while). I’m pretty sure Bob Jones, amongst others, were toting Bentely to be one of the first of ‘the new breed’ and that this ‘outpouring’ was the move of God that would raise up a mighty end-time army moving in the ‘power of God’.

    Why don’t we hear prophets declaring that God would raise up generations (yes, not just one!) that move in the power of humility, or the power of His Love, the power of His Life, the power of servanthood, the power of meekness???

    If there is a show there could only ever be one start: Jesus.

    For me, when the show hits the road these days, it unfortunately seems like Jesus is the stage-hand kept away in the background, where the personality of the ‘man of power for the hour’ fills up the spotlight.

    As my thinking on everything is constantly being reshaped, I’m thinking that your “it” is quite possibly “it”.

  5. At the outset of His earthly ministry, Jesus chose a handful of men to mentor to carry on His mission when He departed in just a few short years. He knew that they would be empowered and cast into the limelight when He left, so one of His first mentoring sessions was to sit with them on a hillside and teach them the fundamentals of His Kingdom. We know it as the Sermon on the Mount. The ‘preface’ to this pithy discourse became what is known as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). In modern terms, we might entitle the Beatitudes as “How to Conduct Yourself When You Become Empowered” The kind of power they would display and attention they would draw could become heady stuff, so Jesus tells them what the true attributes of His followers should be; “poor in spirit, meek, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers” to name a few. When we see this kind of submission and humility displayed in the moves of God’s power, then perhaps we will see true revival. Jesus did all He could to avoid a rock star image, and He calls His followers to have the same attitude. I suspect that this kind of revival will be more like watching bread dough rise as opposed to a “Holy Spirit machine-gun” mowing down the victimized crowds who follow heady revival-pandering rock star evangelists.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with you Grace.Those within the Charismatic movement in it’s more extreme forms (Latter Rain folk) are alays chasing the Goose that lays the Golden egg.It appeared that the Goose had landed in Lakeland so off they went.Where will the goose land next?A misunderstanding on the nature of God and His purposes on earth for those who claim to follow Him opens up a superspiritual marketplace where charitans of all shades can exploit the people of God and discredit the Good News at the same time.No wonder a watching secular society is sceptical.

    Charlie

  7. K.Grace,

    ” don’t know. I just don’t think that God is coming to put on a show. Maybe He wants His people to be the greatest demonstration the world has seen of Who He is since Jesus walked the earth. I thought that maybe we were being prepared to love Him, love one another, and love the people in our corner of the world. What if that is “it”?

    I fully agree with you. When brothers and sisters hop from one giant revival to another, my heart is saddened. They are missing the Person who lives within them, as Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. We don’t have to “go somewhere” to encounter and engage in a relationship with Him that trumps all the so-called “hype” of revivals held in different parts of the world.

    True revival occurs multiple times during the day within the hearts of a Believer in relationship to God.

    Blessings,
    ~Amy :)
    http://amyiswalkinginthespirit.blogspot.com

  8. A big part of the prophetic movement I experienced was the golden carrot always dangled out in front of one’s ‘divine destiny’…

    It was a subtle form of paranoia being peddled. You had to somehow ‘fulfill’ the word by doing so-and-so or it would fall onto the ground unrealized. You were obligated to make it come to pass so that the ‘prophet’ was off the hook for missing the word of the Lord. Manipulation was the method. Fear was the motivation. God was the Impatient One; He would quickly pass you by if you did not comply with the ‘word’…

    I think the uber-prophetic types that state pseudo-spiritual drivel like this: Presently, to be where God is moving requires that we recognize Him in the people He is using. This is a test because He almost always comes in those who are a stumbling block to all who follow after appearances… actually use it as a disclaimer of sorts to let themselves off the hook. They defend the off-the-wall types as if God is not interested in character or self-control or humility or gentleness. The bar is lowered, not raised. They use a measure that even they fit so that they are safe in the current plans of God as they perceive it…

    Just like the heightened expectation in Jesus’ day, the uber-prophetic types none too happy their King arrived on a colt of a donkey instead of the majestic white steed of revival, authority, glory, fanfare, fire, whirlwind & drama…

    They are quick to respond like Peter, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you! You must come in power & glory to show the world just how understated your first entry into Jerusalem was!”

    Jesus’ retort then the same as it is today; “You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men…”

  9. Re: Rick Joyner & those super-prophets & super-apostles like him. They are not unlike modern day versions of Boanerges (Sons of Thunder). They expect to be seated on Jesus’ right & left in their version of a dominionist kingdom where they will wield authority to call down fire on who they wish…

    They are ensnared in their own uber-spiritual self-importance. I believe they are greatly deluded. Blind guides claiming greater light/discernment of God’s secret priorities & motivations…

    And it was right after the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her petition to have these 2 ‘real’ apostles take the coveted places of honor at His side that Jesus made His famous comment about not lording authority over others like the gentiles do…

  10. AS I read what Rick Joyner (I used to follow him, sigh) wrote, this came to mind:

    “Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”” John 4:48 (Message)

  11. It was a time in my christan walk when I read all I could find from guys like Joyner and now I have problem to see anything good coming out of it at all.

    I like the way Grace identifies with the people still within the charismatic movement but jet exposes the errors and problems there.

    Really, how do people like Joyner think? Is it possible to be so close to the Lord (as they claim) and jet still miss so many basic things in the faith. It leaves me confused.

  12. Joachim,religious delusion is one of the most powerful forces in all creation – most people as Tony De Mello says don’t want to wake up to realityespecially religious ones.

    Charlie

  13. Really, how do people like Joyner think? Is it possible to be so close to the Lord (as they claim) and jet still miss so many basic things in the faith. It leaves me confused.

    This truly causes one to wonder. Anyone that does claim to be a gifted/anointed/appointed pr0phet replete with special heavenly visions has to have the ‘word of God’ in greater detail, correct? At least that is what the claim is. Tack on the positional title of Prophet or Apostle & it should be obvious to everyone just how near to God they are. Why would you ever doubt?

    No matter how much Rick Joyner touts his insight it does not ‘feel’ right. His ‘words’ do not represent kingdom reality to me & therefore I pay them no heed. It is not that I despise them, I simply ignore them. I don’t weigh them or test them I simply ignore them. He is not a prophet whose words need to be tested IMHO. They misrepresent the King & His Kingdom as I perceive it so I have no need to be wasting my time thinking he has got it right.

  14. cindy,
    So true. Sometimes I wonder where we come up with these ideas. It’s nice to meet you.

    barb,
    It is good to be free from the drivenness of it all, but I remember what it was like to hang on every word, although I’m starting to have trouble remembering and relating to why we did. ;)

    Thanks for the link Steve. I will listen to it, and it will be a good excuse for me to try to get my mp3 player figured out.

    gxs,
    That kind of language is twisted so that people question or deny their god-given discernment. Rather than listening to the inner witness, they are being told to deny that so they don’t “miss God.”
    There wouldn’t be much left on ElijahList if one eliminated all of the MSOG words. I do believe that there are prophets and apostles in the body, but they aren’t in the limelight or the coalitions.

    ken,
    Speaking of pithy, your last sentence is really something! When the gifted and anointed care enough about the kingdom to walk away from the platforms, perhaps we will see true revival.

    Charlie,
    In the charismatic realm, it seems we have gotten the charlatans we asked for. There is a definite demand for the sensationalism.

    amy,
    I loved your statement about true revival occurring multiple times a day in our hearts.

    joseph,
    I wonder if the prophetic words have recently gotten more extreme or if it is just my perception of them that changed. It reminds me of the OT scriptures about prophets prophesying what the people want to hear. Somewhere along the way, it does seem to have lost the message of the kingdom.

    katherine,
    Sigh, me too.

    joachim,
    I think that part of the error that they are in comes from only hanging out with people in the body who think the same way they do. It would be good for them to be more connected with the rest of the body. But as Charlie said, I don’t think they recognize their need for other perspectives.

  15. Rick Joyner … I’ve heard it ALL before, again and again. All I can say is cut the bull@@@@!!!

    The greatest show on earth arrived quietly, unannounced, in a backwater town, within the shadow of the Roman Empire – a few thousand years … the world didn’t reconise Him them and it still doesn’t.

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