SOMETHING NEW AMONG US
Your way was in the sea and Your paths in the mighty waters, and Your footprints may not be known.
One of the effects of spiritual outpouring, at least on me, is a desire to look back into history to see what the Lord has done before. That can be a very powerful tool but we always have to remember that we cannot allow ourselves to fall into a box by trying to replicate what we have seen or heard. If you haven’t figured it out yet, our God is infinitely creative. That means His creativity has no limits or bounds. He is always creating and always expressing His Glory in the most amazing ways. In the outpouring in the nineties, I found myself reading about historic revival and looking at old videos from the forties, fifties, and sixties. I was amazed at the similarities but also very aware of the distinct differences. For example, the outpouring that began in Los Angeles in 1906 was characterized by speaking in tongues. This became the defining mark of that outpouring. Everywhere the Spirit fell, people where singing corporately and spontaneously in the Spirit. In the forties and fifties, there was another move of the Spirit. There were many similarities to the previous move, tongues were a part of this as well, but the main characteristic was a distinct emphasis on healing of the sick. Everywhere you looked there were healing services with many amazing physical healings. Then there was the charismatic renewal in the sixties and seventies. This was marked by many traditional, mainline, protestant churches experiencing the Baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues as well as other gifts of the Spirit on display. After that came the outpouring in the nineties, this was characterized by outpourings of extreme joy as well as a combination of elements from all of the other Twentieth Century outpourings. Charles Spurgeon had some interesting comments about today’s Bible verse. Listen to his perspective.
“Thy way is in the sea. Far down in secret channels of the deep is thy roadway; when thou wilt thou canst make a sea a highway for thy glorious march.
And thy path in the great waters. There, where the billows surge and swell, thou still dost walk; Lord of each crested wave.
And thy footsteps are not known. None can follow thy tracks by foot or eye. Thou art alone in thy glory, and thy ways are hidden from mortal ken. Thy purposes thou wilt accomplish, but the means are often concealed, yea, they need no concealing, they are in themselves too vast and mysterious for human understanding. Glory be to thee, O Jehovah.”
As we move into new waters in this new move of His Spirit, what should be our perspective? First, just enjoy what the Lord is doing. Whatever it is, however long it lasts, enjoy, yield, and obey. His outpourings are precious and many times define what the next few years will look like. Secondly, resist the temptation to label or categorize what the Lord is doing. This seems to minimize the work of God and attempts to bring Him down to our human level. We can never understand fully or control the work of God. After all, He is like the great ocean, hard to comprehend and impossible to control.