We watch and we wait, Lord
the moment, you choose to appear.
We worship, we praise
until there’s no debate
and we recognize you’re already here.
– Lyrics from Already Here by Brian Courtney Wilson
The song above, to me, is more than an awesome worship song. It gives clarity to something that has bothered me for a while now. I used to cringe when I heard folks say… after an exceptionally emotional worship service…things like “God really showed up, didn’t He?” or “The Holy Spirit just fell.” It always sounded to me like God was running around the earth keeping appointments with various churches and ministries; sometimes making it and sometimes not. It made me feel like we were treating the Holy Spirit like some invisible magician that only responded to our varying levels of emotion; living only in our shouts and screams and tears and falling out (what about our quiet moments, our laughter, our love?). Didn’t Christ say, “I will be with you always even unto the end of the earth.” (Matt. 28:20). Geesh! No wonder there is so much inconsistency in our worship experience.
Now don’t get me wrong. I get it. I know what we mean. What we are trying to say is that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, has physically manifested; the unseen has become the seen. Extraordinary, miraculous things (at least to our finite minds) have occurred as a result of the spiritual realm and natural realm intersecting. But since our words are powerful and often reflect our understanding of a thing, maybe we should choose different words. Words that reflect the truth.
God doesn’t just “show up.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t “visit.” Like the song says, God is already here. He’s walking with you. Carrying you, if He must. The Spirit of God is here. Right now. Even as you read this.
And I get it. As humans, we need to see something sometimes. I’m like that. I’ll admit to needing something tangible at times. Maybe even too much. Sometimes we just need a physical manifestation of what we believe. But guess what? WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR THAT HAPPENING! It’s up to us to stir that up. Because our amazing God gave us Free Will (and not because He is incapable of doing so Himself), most of the time it’s up to US to create the atmosphere for the disturbance of God in our lives.
I know you think I’m crazy but think of it like this. We don’t find ourselves saying, “Woo Hoo! That air really showed up today!” No. We know the air exists because there is a disturbance as a result of its presence. Leaves blowing on a Fall day, the hem of your skirt rising as you walk down the street, the slight pull of your car as you are driving down the highway…all of this is the physical manifestation of the disturbance of the air around it. The air is always there. But it is the disturbance that causes it to “show up.”
Same goes with God. He’s here with us always. That is a promise Christ made to us before he returned to the right hand of the Father. But because He is a Spirit, there needs to be something that WE do to cause the disturbance that will ultimately result in us seeing Him in the natural; for there to be a physical manifestation.
And what does that look like? How do we activate or stir up the Holy Spirit so that He can disturb the status quo in our lives and we can see more of the miracles that we desire?
The first thing that usually comes to mind is Praise and Worship. And that’s true. That’s often what we see in our houses of worship. But there are other things as well. Our FAITH activates the Holy Spirit. Our OBEDIANCE activates Him. Our PRAYER life and WITNESS to others stirs God. These are also the things that I think will cause Him to “show up” more in our lives.
It’s not just some arbitrary visitation between 9am and 2pm on Sunday morning. It’s everyday. It’s in your office right now. It’s in your home at midnight. It’s anywhere because He’s always there with you.
Have you seen God lately? Really seen the Holy Spirit manifested in your natural life? Have you been praying for a miracle and waiting and waiting and waiting? He’s there with you, you know. Stir Him up with your praise and worship but there’s more. Stir Him up with your faith and your obedience.
And like those leaves, that skirt, and that car…watch Him move!