When God Moves
By Richard Spangler
CBN Staff Writer
-- We all pray for God to move in our lives, our families, our cities, our nation, and the world. The question is how we react when God moves. I have found there are four basic reactions to when God moves.
The first reaction is to run the other way. In Exodus 20:18-21, Israel was excited to meet with their God and have Him come and meet with them. But when God moved down the mountain, He moved in an unexpected and powerful way to meet them.
They kept their distance. In fact, they picked up everything they had and moved to the other side of the valley and told Moses to go and speak with the Lord. Many people react the same way today. When the Lord starts to move, they either stay where they are or move away from what the Lord is doing.
Another reaction is rejecting the move of God and even persecuting those who accept it. The classic example of this reaction is the priests, the pharisees, and the sadducees. These people rejected Christ and His followers due to their traditions and preconceived ideas of how God was going to move. This led them to persecute the new move of Christ and His followers. Sadly, they found themselves fighting against the very thing they had been praying for (Acts 5:39). The move of God, the Church, continues to grow today.
The Church has been guilty of this also. In the last century, the Pentecostal movement was rejected by what is called the mainline churches and even by the evangelical churches. The same thing happened with Charismatic move. It was rejected, at first, due to the traditions of man (blue jeans, long hair, and beads were not accepted). Yet, these two moves of God have grown to be the largest and fastest growing part of the Church worldwide.
The world’s reaction is to ignore it and maybe it will go away or demean it or attack it. We have seen this since the 1960s.The press barely acknowledged the charismatic move, the Washington for Jesus rallies, the Toronto Blessing, and the Brownsville moves of God. When these moves were acknowledged, they were demeaned or outright attacked.
This is a logical response from the world’s point of view. For if there is a God that speaks and moves on the earth, and then they must accept Him and follow Him or reject God and bear the consequences.
The final way is the correct way. Just accept what God is doing and move with Him, like a number of people in the Old Testament -- Abraham, Moses, and David to name a few. In the New Testament, the apostles and the disciples of the early church all had one thing in common, no matter how difficult it was for them, they followed the Lord.
It can be as difficult today, as it was then. We all get comfortable, myself included, in where we are at, and how we do things, and the way God has moved in the past. I fought this fight when the Toronto Blessing began. My thinking was that it was nice, but I was happy where I was and how God was moving in my life. That is until God moved, and I accepted what God was doing for me personally.
As I have studied the Word, I found that the Lord never did anything exactly the same way twice. One time, Jesus commanded a demon to leave. Another time, the Lord asked its name and then cast it out. When healing, sometimes He healed through a touch, another by spitting. When raising the dead, once by a touch and a softly spoken word, and another time by a commanding voice into an open tomb.
Today, the Lord is once again breaking out of the boxes we build for Him. We each must decide whether to stay where we are or move with God, when God moves.
Richard Spangler has been in active ministry for 30 years. He has been working for CBN since October 2003 and is currently ministering in the National Counseling Center Partner Service Team.
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