(With different circumstances in my life right now, I am finding it a little difficult to have my brain working on all cylinders and be awake and alert when I have time to spend at the computer. I have a few posts percolating on the back burner that I hope to get a chance to work through soon. But I thought in the meantime maybe once a week or so I’d repost something from my archives here. I thought about making it a series and calling it “The Summer of Reruns.” 🙂 Seriously, though, sometimes going back over something God has taught or encouraged me with in the past makes for fresh blessings. I hope some of these will bless you as well, whether you saw them the first time or not.)
From October, 2009:
I have seen a particular phraseology going around recently that really bothers me:
“God really showed up.” “Pray that God shows up in a big way.” “I hope God shows up for this event.”
If you have said or written this, please don’t take offense or think I am fussing at you. I can’t remember for sure where all I have seen it. I’m speaking in generalities because I am starting to see this more and more and I want people to realize what it sounds like.
It bothers me for a few reasons.
2. Making our plans and then hoping God “shows up” is going about things backwardly. We should be seeking His guidance beforehand and all along the way.
3. The phrase “show up” seems to indicate the person wasn’t really expected, or at least his attendance was iffy. “I invited Tom, but I am not sure he’ll show up.”
4. The phrase also seems to indicate the person showing up took the invitation casually and just decided to “show up” — maybe on a whim, maybe because he couldn’t find any better options.
5. When I posted this the first time, someone commented that sometimes we say God “showed up” in a meeting when things got exciting. Sometimes we have more of a sense of His working or we’re touched in a special way, but that’s not to say He is not always meeting with us. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). We know He is present by faith, not when we “feel” it or when the bells and whistles go off.
I think I know what people mean when they want God to “show up”:
“I hope God really blesses this event/situation in such a way that people see it was something only He could do.”
“I want God’s presence to be manifested in a way that touches people’s hearts and draws them to Him.”
“I pray God’s power will be evident.”
Why not say it that way? It’s more accurate, more reverential, and more glorifying to God.
Here are some Scriptural examples of those desires:
“Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.” Psalm 109:26-27.
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” Psalm 63:1-2.
“This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” John 2:11.
“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” John 9:3.
“And [Moses] said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.” Exodus 33:18.
“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.” Joshua 4:24.
“And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” I Kings 18:36-37.