Sunday, April 05, 2009

Seeking the Manifestor not the Manifestations?

It's become quite cliche particularly in cautious charismatic circles to come out with a rather pious phrase. "I don't seek manifestations - I seek Jesus". Or one that was quite popular when I was in Dunstable was; "I seek the Giver NOT the gifts!" - there was even a song that went along with that phrase. It always bothered me and I never quite knew why. I think it conjoured up an image of Christmas when my gorgeous mum gave me a present that she had thought about and spent money on and I ignored it with the wrappings and said; "I don't seek your gift - I just seek you". That would hurt her! And I would never ever do it.

So I was really glad when Rob Rufus addressed this issue in his sermon from Sunday 29th March; "Increasing in the Anointing". And as usual his logic made wonderful and perfect sense;

"I will never understand why people doubt and want to be suspicious about manifestations of God. God dwells in the invisible realm and we live in the visible world. If God doesn't manifest into the visible world then you can't know God.

Romans 1 says we can know Him by the invisible qualities seen in creation and Romans 1 is very clear. But it is talking about those who know God by seeing Him in the invisible realm - still don't worship Him but worship the creation.

You can know there is a God by what He has created and you can know something about His invisible nature by what He has created but if He doesn't manifest who He is in a tangible way that you can experience and encounter God then you will never know God and walk God and you will never see miracles like this.

People are leaving the Church by the millions across the Western world because they are tired of going to a building on a Sunday morning and God is not there. "Ah but He is present everywhere!". Yes that's true - but He is not manifest there.

I feel literally nauseous when I hear Christians say; "I don't seek manifestations - if they come then I celebrate them but I don't see them". Why would you not seek something that heals and replaces hips? Why would you not seek something that can move over a whole city and cause millions to be aware of the goodness of God and the glory of God and the Presence of God? Why wouldn't you seek that?

What have you got to eagerly desire? MANIFESTATIONS! The Greek word for desire is "with intense, strong yearnings and cravings and burning longings - DESIRE manifestations of Almighty God!".

I hear leaders get up and say; "Well I don't see manifestations". When they say it there is a level of aloofness and pride - "I am over that childish thing of people who experience manifestations. I am now into good theology". They are NOT into good theology! Good theology says "Eagerly DESIRE!". What they are into is a mixture of reformed theology that didn't just keep on reforming and has got a built-in "anti" the supernatural, a subtle, manipulative content to it. We need to seek manifestations because really it is a manifestation of God!",

That has sealed the deal for me! Any in-bred guilt I had left over from my two former churches about feeling guilty about loving and hungering for the manifestations of God is gone, gone, gone! It makes such utter sense! God is an invisible God and heaven is an invisible realm. When He and it touch earth - there is GOING to be results!


Nick Cameron said...

I am so grateful for you addressing this one Dan - thanks this was such a helpful post! Nick x

Dan Bowen said...

Pleasure Nick! Good isn't it what he said?

Bet you remember the song too!

"I seek the Giver not the gifts, my one desire is to lift you high above all earthly things - to bring you pleasure Lord".

Good words! But the fact is that the Giver GIVES gifts! And they are GOOD gifts! And they are GOOD manifestations!

Peter Day said...

"Good theology says "Eagerly DESIRE!"."

Absolutely awesome again!

jul said...

I think this is the same mentality that has people afraid to prosper by God's blessing... I've even used a similar analogy as you, except from the parent's perspective: I would be heartbroken if any of my children refused to open and recieve the gifts I got them at Christmas, even if they said it was because they were satisfied with having me as a mother and didn't want anything else. It would not be much fun for me! So if God wants to give us gifts of all sorts, then let's get excited and enjoy them all!

Perhaps there's something to be said for the few that want the gifts without the giver, but I hope that's rare...

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

You can see why Satan is called by that name...which means opposer/obstructor.
First of all in the natural.Every natural function in life he seeks to stick his oar in: sleep- he disrupts sleep patterns..either too much or too little.Food:either too much or too little. Sex: either nothing at all like Catholic priests (apart from one verse by the apostle Paul where did they come up with that??And the perversions it has caused!)Or too much or out of context.Immorality.
Reading and knowledge.Either too much and no time for anything else...or too little and people stuck in absolute ignorance!
Satan opposes the right use of the legitimate. And nowhere more so than on the spiritual plane, since these are some of the most powerful tools against his Kingdom.Spiritual gifts.
I am glad that I've had a period where I've been able to investigate Christ living as me in a normal life context. It was an antidote to the bizarre slightly unhinged Pentecostalism that so valued meetings above all else...that somehow holding down a job was not kosher..and life was all about waiting for the next meeting.Well 10 years chucked out of a church certainly sorted me out there! And I notice Jesus didn't do anything freaky for 30 years!!! The disciples got stuck straight in and learned on the job so to speak. So obviously both methods of training have their place.
But I AM SUPER excited these days because I have the firm impression that this next outbreak of miracles will be in a much more wholesome context. Jesus meant for us to move in miracles. It was His idea! He decided this was how His Church operates and sent His Holy Spirit accordingly. Who are we to argue?

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Oh and Dan..I thought it was amazing that you did a post on Song of Solomon as I was telling you about Frank Viola on Facebook.

Dan Bowen said...

It was an awesome coincidence wasn't it Chris!? I think that your post on Covenant love really fits in with this all too. Time that we stop tabooing the Song of Songs and realise that the Father's intimate love for us knows no bounds!

Ursula Kuba said...

All I have time to say is...LOVE IT!!! And I do love it!