I use social media a lot–and for a variety of reasons. On occasion I will find a status update about God that saddens me, usually because it shows how little people understand the goodness of God. One recent status in particular stood out to me because it demonstrated how little people understand that much of the supernatural is God revealing love through signs wonders and miracles.
The status update said the following:
“Let’s not ooh and awe over feathers, gold dust and oil. Let’s ooh and awe over Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
At face value, this seems like a nice message, albeit a pithy one-liner, but it is so far from how God actually wants us to live. God is not threatened when we get excited over the amazing things He does. In fact, it would be downright strange if we didn’t get excited. Remember in Luke 10 when Jesus sent the disciples out? It says “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’ He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’” (Luke 10:17-20).
Jesus was excited with them, and the next verse goes on to say that Jesus was “full of joy through the Holy Spirit.” Jesus didn’t get upset that they rejoiced over the power He gave them, but he did refocus them. He mentioned that they needed to keep their perception fixed on God, not on controlling demons–very different than the social media post essentially telling us not to appreciate God’s works.
What I found most sad was that at the time over 60 people had re-shared the status. It points to the fact that people are concerned about being deceived and/or have legitimate concerns about the excesses in this manifestation, but at the same time it also points to the fact that the Church is really immature when it comes to dealing with signs, wonders, and miracles. The truth is that if the Church had a greater level of maturity, we wouldn’t have as many problems dealing with the miraculous. We would know how to discern what God is doing in our midst, and we would deal with people who get into excess before things get so out of hand that it becomes a serious problem. We would be able to address people who fake miracles without letting it tarnish our enjoyment of God’s awesome works.
There are a number of verses, many of them in Psalms, that talk about praising the works of God’s hands. It seems to me to be more important to praise God AND His works than it is to try to avoid enjoying His goodness as though that will somehow lessen God’s glory. In truth it’s a bit silly to think that praising God’s works will in some way detract from God’s glory. Consider a Nobel Prize Winner–does enjoying their invention take away from their glory, or does it give them joy that their work is so highly valued? Sure, it’s important to keep focus of the most important things in the midst of our joy over manifestations–such as God’s goodness and love, but we can’t let ourselves forget that these miracles ARE God showing His goodness and love.
Trying to push down one to raise up the other doesn’t do anything helpful. Not “oohing and awe-ing” at amazing stuff is not a sign of maturity–it’s absurd and immature. Rather, we need to encourage people to enjoy God THROUGH His signs, wonders, and miracles, and let signs BE signs–that point us to God. THAT’s what maturity looks like. Doing both but not letting the one detract from the other.
This sort of response is a large contributing factor behind why I wrote Gemstones From Heaven and its recently released companion book Feathers From Heaven. These books, along with the other future books in the series, are designed to bring a greater level of maturity to the Body of Christ. In them I discuss God’s purposes behind these manifestations and how we can discern whether it is God at work or not. Give a read, leave a review, and above all, let yourself enjoy both the works of God’s hand AND the goodness, kindness, and mercy of His heart. When it is God revealing love to us, we only win when we are open to receive it. Blessings in Christ!!
Gems From Heaven: