I love to be a part of God moving in miraculous power. It’s incredible to see people healed and set free in whatever way the Lord is leading at the time. Healing conferences in which people all over the room begin rejoicing that whatever issue they’d been dealing with was just healed, are great to be a part of.
The street, back of an ambulance, grocery store, and wherever else carry the same excitement. Hearts are touched and eyes are opened. People are experiencing the mighty love and glory of God displayed supernaturally in a natural world. It turns heads as it should.
• Gold dust, gemstones, and other manifestations
The wow of God is awesome and completely necessary. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3 that to experience the love of God is greater than just mere knowledge. Experience is what makes our theology real; it’s what takes what we think to be true and puts substance underneath. We need experience and God knows it. And before you get all doubting Thomas on me, how many experiences did Thomas have with Jesus before he refused to believe without seeing? At least a couple of years worth. Jesus didn’t ask him to believe without any experience and I don’t think God asks us to either.
But I’m about to switch gears on you in an important way. The wow experiences with God are great but God doesn’t live there. God will elevate himself, so to speak, to encounter us with the wow but it’s not where he lives.
So He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by, and a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, [there was] an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, [there was] a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, [there was] the sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard the sound, he wrapped his face in his mantle (cloak) and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” -1 Kings 19:11-13
Elijah had just come from a handful of wow experiences. He commanded droughts, fire from heaven, and more. So now he has fled out of fear and needs to encounter God. God gives him some wow encounters with a critical difference – God wasn’t in them. Instead, he was in the gentle breeze.
The gentle breeze is where God lives; it’s where intimate relationship is birthed and developed. The place of rest is where we learn how to hear him and begin to understand the character and nature of his heart. Experiencing the wow might let us know that God heals but it won’t help us understand why. The wow will lift our hearts in powerful ways but it won’t give us access into the abundant life Jesus came to… Click To Tweet The heart of God is accessed through intimate relationship and we need the gentle breeze for that.
It’s not easy because we are a culture conditioned to grab as much wow as possible. We are inclined to pursue the wow above all else, even at the expense of relationships which frequently die. But even in the midst of so many amazing miracles, the biblical narrative is one that tells the story of a God who wants to get to know us in the stillness. He wants to go beyond the things that lift our eyebrows and delve into the things that lift our hearts.
Greg Boyd explains that trying to build a relationship with God based on the wow is like building a marriage based on sex. I think that’s pretty accurate.
But here’s the thing – The wow of intimate relationship with God is far greater than the wow of isolated experiences. We can step off of the rollercoaster and onto solid ground. That’s where I want to be. What about you?
Jesse and Kara Birkey
In the, 7 Steps to Come Alive With Jesus Audio Series, Jesse and Kara Birkey fearlessly share from their own lives in an effort to help others find the abundant life Jesus came to bring. Each teaching is packed with transparent revelation as they show us how to overcome some the most destructive obstacles preventing us from reaching the freedom, and change we long for.