He Showed Up & Showed Off
Last week God showed up and showed off during our revival services. One night Rev. Dr. Madeline spoke and the presence of the Holy Spirit rained on us! Our band was phenomenal as we sang ole’ fashioned gospel hymns like, “Washed In The Blood,” “He Walks With Me,” “His Name Is Wonderful” and my favorite, “How Great Thou Art”! I could have gone home after that but I am so glad there was more! God was showing off!
Rev. Dr. Madeline reminded us that we were all there because we are hungry for God and the fellowship with believers. I listened as she prayed for God’s words to pierce the hearts of His children. She invited the Holy Spirit, telling Him we need Him desperately! I knew these prayers would be answered but I had no idea how quick. I have felt God leading, gently nudging, clearing the way for me to do some things that I never felt I could do. The ultimate “out of my comfort zone!” God has been constantly stirring me the past six months. I began using the phrase, “expect great things” in my talking with God and in my writings. When I sat down I saw the name of her sermon, on the screen, “Great Expectations!” The other weekend I gave a talk about how I know not to put God in a box because He always has a bigger and better plan - better than anything we can imagine! These things have been heavy on my heart.
Dr. Madeline began with, “whatever box you have God in - it’s too small! Whatever box you have put around you with God’s power is too small!” WOW! God pierced my heart with the first sentence! I know not to put God in a box but I never thought about putting myself, WITH His power, in a box! I have power! You have power! Through Jesus Christ, we have been given power! God has so much more to unleash in our lives! John 14: 12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” It says, “even greater things”. That is from God’s Word - the Truth! Isn’t that amazing?!
We learned a lot about the Holy Spirit and that God IS NOT stingy with the Holy Spirit! The problem is with us - we have low expectations of the Holy Spirit! Matthew 15: 30-31, “Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” The crowd was amazed. Wouldn’t we be? God is still in the same business - if He did that for them, He will do it for us. We have been given authority, given from God to heal. We do not have to beg Jesus…. He already wants to heal. Dr. Madeline reminded us that it is shameful on us that we have such low expectations and have laid down our weapons that God gave us. He sent us the Holy Spirit, specifically, to be our power!
One thing that I had never thought of is when church people (me) say, “I am a sinner.” I think we say it to let people know we are a sinner - we are not holier than thou because we go to church. But she said, “you are cursing your identity! That is a defeated statement!” In the future, I will say, “I am redeemed!” Or “I am a sinner saved by the grace of God.” God is so full of grace for us! Let’s start speaking and claiming victory!
If you feel you wasted a lot of time, that is the enemy trying to stifle what God is doing. Moses was 80! There are specific people that God has in your path. When you meet them, do not meet them with low expectations! Let’s blow these boxes wide open! Let’s say, “yes, Lord. Not because of me but because of You!”
Dr. Madeline wants us to live like God is real - not a theory. She shared many testimonies that were touching but here is one of my favorites. There was a person, with very high expectations, in Africa. They had cooked a pot of chili for a family of four. All of a sudden a bunch of hungry children came - had walked for miles. They offered the children chilli and began to ladle the chili out. They kept ladling out chili until all of the children had been fed. There were over 40 children! God is still in the miracle business! Let’s expect great things!
We ended with “"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
As I left, I told Dr. Madeline about the phrase, “expect great things” and not wanting to put God in a box had been laid on my heart for a while. She said, “that is your affirmation from God! That is His Word tonight, for you! He is speaking to you!” Great is His faithfulness!