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!