I got kinda frustrated today… I looked at some of the folk that I trained with in my platform skills course, and looked at how successful they had become… the houses, the cars, the holidays… and wondered what it was that had stopped me doing that. Why hadn’t I made it big? Why hadn’t I produced the results that the courses said?
Now, I’m not actually envious – sure, I’d love to have some of the trappings of success, I’d even love to be a little bit financially free. But there’s a reason why it’s not happened for me yet.
Ages ago, when I was part of the Praise Community charismatic church, the leadership team recognised my prophetic gifts… and along with that went a warning – that for those called to be visionaries, to be pioneers, to truly lead God’s people… they would find it really hard. And I struggled through a painful marriage that eventually fell apart… and I found myself far from my God, lost in a wasteland…
Later on, I found the echoes of that voice from my teacher, who told me that if I demanded to grow – then a storm would start. I’ve said that I want it all, to be alive, to be humble, to be grateful, to be overwhelmed – and God would answer that prayer. I set my stall out to want God at the deepest level – and God would answer that prayer – but it would hurt.
And she was right. It’s been painful, not just because of what I have been through, but because of the gap – because I have been waiting for something to happen… longing for it, longing to see what my place in the world was. Longing to see a bit of success, a little bit of light in the painful process.
I’ve been wondering why things haven’t been happening in my life – why, despite a new connection to God, a new understanding of what the Christ means in my life, and a new openness to what I don’t understand, that nothing seems to be moving for me.
And I think it’s this. Throughout the history of God’s dealings with men, there have been wilderness experiences. Moses was in the wilderness, a humble shepherd in the service of Jethro the priest when God came to him in the burning bush. Jonah fled from God and found himself in the belly of a whale, before he stepped up to what God had for him. After Jesus’ departure, the disciples were told to wait in Jerusalem for the power of God to come upon them.
It seems that every true prophet, every true man of God, has an experience where God doesn’t seem to be speaking, where they feel separate from the Divine flow, where it seems as if nothing is happening. And then the spirit and power of God comes upon them. And then God moves in – and nothing is the same again.
I’ve been looking round at the nature of this planet’s spiritual evolution, and I have to say that although we are looking at Love in a whole new way, we are considering care for the planet in a new way, and we’re seeing things like our unity with God in a new light… there seems to be one thing missing. And that is the power of God.
In the revivals in the 18th century, the power of God was clearly seen. Again in the 1960s and 1970s in the charismatic movement, the power of God was demonstrated through prophets and healers – men who stood before God and man.
I believe that time is coming again. I believe a time is coming when the breath of God will be breathed on us again… and the world will be moved in a new way. I have no idea what form that will take, because God delights in doing a new thing, in living in a new way.. and yet I am becoming increasingly certain that God is moving in a new way amongst those that love him – that she is finding a new way to demonstrate her power amongst all nations and all faiths.
So I draw courage and hope from the story of Jesus’ disciples, who were told “Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptised with water but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.” And that’s what I am waiting for, because that’s what the world needs right now – the fire of God.
So for me, it’s not about success. It’s not about financial freedom. It’s about following in the steps of my God – it’s about waiting for ‘the anointing’ – for the power of God in my life. It’s waiting for a moment similar to the experience of Moses at the burning bush – who knew that he had been called by God when the glory of the presence of God came to him.
And at that point, I will know. Absolutely. And so I pray “God, please use me”. “God, please touch my heart”. And “God, please put your power and your anointing and your Spirit inside me – because I cannot, and will not do this without you”.