Thursday, March 27, 2008

When God Colours Outside the Lines

A little while ago, there was a post on this blog highlighting some of the more "unusual" signs and wonders that have taken place in recent times. That post attracted a rather forceful comment!

Today, I was reading in Bill Johnson's When Heaven Invades Earth, and I was struck by his comments:

"His [God's] world has been breaking into ours with regularity in salvations, healings, and deliverances. The manifestations of that invasion vary. They are quite fascinating, and too numerous to catalogue. While some are difficult to understand at first glance, we know that God always works redemptively.

On many occasions laughter has filled a room, bringing healing to broken hearts. Gold dust sometimes covers people's faces, hands, or clothing during worship or ministry time. Oil sometimes appears on the hands of His people; and it especially happens among children. A wind has come into a room with no open windows, doors, vents etc. At some locations, believers have seen an actual cloud of His presence appearing over the heads of worshipping people. We've also had the fragrance of heaven fill a room. In my own experience the fragrance of heaven filled our car while Beni and I were worshipping on a short trip. It lasted for about 30 minutes, and was a smell that I could actually taste, similar to granules of sugar sprinkled on my tongue. I have seen the small gems that suddenly appeared in people's hands as they worshipped God. Since early 1998 we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts. But then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. They now fall most anywhere we go - airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like.

I mention this phenomenon because it seems to offend many that fully embrance this move of God. Jerrel Miller, editor of The Remnant, a newspaper whose purpose is to record the events surrounding this revival, took a lot of heat when he reported this unusual manifestation. Those who criticised this report are participants in the revival. It's easy once we've made some adjustments in our belief system about what God can and will do to think that we have stretched far enough. 'Our beliefs now encompass the move of God.' Nothing could be further from the truth.

Like the generations before us they are dangerously close to regulating God's work by a new and revised list of acceptable manifestations. No longer is it just tears during a special song or a time of repentance following a moving sermon. Our new list includes falling, shaking, laughter, etc. The problem is - it is still a list. And God will violate it. He must. We must learn to recognise His move by recognising His presence.

Our lists are only good for revealing our present understanding or experience. While I don't seek to promote strange manifestations, or go after novelty, I do refuse to be embarrassed over what God is doing.

The list that keeps us from certain types of errors also keeps us from certain types of victories.
Of course we are called to exercise discernment, but by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12v10) NOT by means of lists of things that WE deem acceptable. Our God is totally free to do everything apart from change or lie, and He delights to pour out extravagant and even unusual blessings as signs to us of His power and His love and to draw us more and more after Himself. We are not sign worshippers, but we are worshippers of Truth Himself who demonstrates His love and power in all kinds of ways.

So let's not put Him in a box of our own making and so miss His work. He is too wonderful for that!

5 comments:

lydia joy said...

Very cool indeed!

Rob and Bill will be joining forces this very week, how exciting!

Have you had a chance to listen to Bethel's podcast yet? This past Sunday's message was particularly unique, actually it wasn't even a message, anyway, check it out, I think it will truly bless your socks off!!!

Dan Bowen said...

I know - what an AWESOME combo of ministries!! Wow! I do hope that conference is available to hear somewhere and somehow!

SGM Pastors Wife said...

"Since early 1998 we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts. But then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. They now fall most anywhere we go - airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like"/

SGM Pastors Wife said...

Oops sorry I meant to post a comment and got overexcited and posted just the quote!! :D Silly me - never allow a woman to ... no i was about to make a self-derogatory comment abotu being a woman and I remembered which blog I was on! You love and accept and welcome women here and so I won't say anything!! ;)

What I DID Want to ask about this wonderful comment of Bill Johnson's - was WHAT are these feathers?!?! How awesome - but what are they? And why feathers?

Dan Bowen said...

I think they are angel feathers SGM P.W ... :) I really do. I saw a few at the Glory and Grace Conference and like Bill Johnson said - thought some pigeons had got caught in the air vents. But I believe from the prophecy that Ryan Rufus gave about angels that was so releasing to me to see more of my angels, that it is a demonstration that angels are very present with us and occasionaily will break through the thin veil bewteen heaven and earth.

So when you hear about feathers ... think angels! :) Just my opinion - don't know what everyone else thinks?