"He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. 'Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?' he aked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over." 2 Kings 2:14 "The days of Elijah are gone, but the God of Elijah lives today." Vance Havner
A few years ago, Francis Chan wrote a book titled "Forgotten God," dealing with the seeming absence and ministry of the Holy Spirit within His Church. A generation ago A.W. Tozer one titled, "Tragedy In The Church: The Missing Gifts," lamenting the loss of His Church moving and ministering in the giftings and power of His Holy Spirit. I fear that we are only growing more and more in the direction these two men, many decades apart, warn us of.
If you spend any time at all reading these "Thoughts," you know that I do a good bit of reading, and I try to keep abreast of what books are currently being offered. There is a thread through many of them that seems to be a common one. It's that we, working in His name, can so impact the culture, that we can convert that culture, or at least a significant portion of it, and so usher in the Kingdom. It's not this concept that I have a problem with nearly so much as the means, or lack, that I see in the process. What I see, at least from my admitted imperfect perception, is an emphasis on OUR effort, and a lack of His miracle working presence and manifestation. There is much writing on how to meet and impact our culture, but I don't see a lot of mention of Him "showing up" in the midst of His people, His Church, and being the center of all that is happening. I have studied a great deal concerning those periods of "revival" in the life of the Church, and how the surrounding culture was impacted. Manifestations of His Life were real. Miracles did take place. There was an overwhelming, nearly irresistable presence of God. When the Temple of God was first dedicated, His Presence so filled it that the priests were unable to minister, to do anything. When God shows up, all we can do is fall speechless before Him. My question is, is there any real expectation anymore that He will...show up? Or are we depending more on our models of ministry, or what the church needs to be in this current culture? We have to have understanding of our culture, I get that, but God is a God who transcends culture. The God of Elijah's time is the God of our time. He still comes with overwhelming power. He still does miraculous works. His Holy Spirit still seeks to fall upon His Church, and through His Church, do wonders in the culture and cultures it ministers to. Yes, we need to prayerful consider, plan, and minister, but all the while, we should have a continuous expectation of and dependency upon His Holy Spirit power manifesting in ways beyond all of our prayers and plans. I'm not sure that we're praying, planning, and ministering with such expectation today. We expect God to help, but do we expect Him to show up in such ways as to just behold His wonder and work?
I am longing and have been longing to see the God of Elijah today. I want to minister in constant expectation that He will come in ways beyond my greatest expectations, and as I minister, I want to do so in the fullness of all His spiritual giftings. I want His presence to so fill His Church that all we can do is fall to our knees in wonder as we behold Him, the mighty God of Elijah, of Pentecost, explode upon His Church and it's culture. Where is the God of Elijah? He is among us. Can we lay down all of our agendas, plans, and methods, and be swept up in His? Elisha, who was Elijah's successor, didn't look for a new plan after the Father took Elijah "home." He looked for the God of Elijah Himself, and found Him. All of Him. We will too. All we need do is seek Him. Do you seek Him?