The stories are ones we know so well.
Moses and the burning bush. Lot and his angelic visitors. Gideon threshing wheat in the wine press. Saul on his way to Damascus.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we see the willingness of God to break into time and space to reaffirm the truth—He is able to show up anywhere, at any time, to accomplish anything. Time is not a hindrance for Him. Location is not a challenge for Him. And the unexpected detours of our lives do not confound Him.
In life it's easy to see the similarities of each day, to just go about the normal routine, accomplishing the daily activities. And in times of distraction it can be hard to recognize the subtle changes of new seasons and the whispered invitations into the new of focus, clarity and destiny.
"See, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not be aware of it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert" (Isa. 43:19).
Moses had no plans of leaving behind his day-to-day routine to return to Egypt. Lot had no plans of uprooting his family and leaving home. Mary had no plans of giving birth to a child before knowing Joseph. Gideon had no plans of being heroic or participating in a revolution. And Saul had no plans to stop the work he was doing in God's name.
And yet, as set as they were in moving forward with their lives and their own plans, all encountered the tangible goodness of God in the land of the living. Like us, they received the Lord's correction and experienced the God who is gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. They received His intervening hand as He ushered them forward toward victory.
And while every detail of their stories proves that the Lord's more than able to create a powerful moment with anyone, the Bible also makes it clear that every encounter was not just an isolated incident. Each encounter was a moment displaying the power of Almighty God touching a life and spawning the birth of destiny.
Each God-initiated interaction elicited a response that changed everything.
From each encounter came not just a brief moment of revelation or joy but the understanding of what was to come and instructions as to how to move forward: "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you" (Ps. 32:8).
In this day and age, we still yearn to encounter God in tangible ways. Like children, we pore over the pages of our Bibles, looking for the words of our Father to meet us, refresh us and renew us again. His exploits of old call out to us, fueling our expectations for the present. We're reminded that He is still the same yesterday, today and forever. We're not just reading manufactured fables about flawed characters, but a detailed chronicle of the strategic moves of God in the lives of weak human beings who trusted Him.
In this place, we come again to seek Him in times of prayer and fasting, wanting to see His glory, knowing that He can reroute, resurrect, reestablish and reset our lives for His purposes.
We're convinced. The one who knows all things can gently lead us forward on the right path, even when so much seems to still be unknown. In the midst of the shaking, the instability, the routine and the mundane, we desire Him.
And He desires to meet us too. When we draw close to Him, the one who watches over His word performs it and draws near to us.
In our troubles, in our turmoil, in the raging waves of uncertainty, He remains the same.
Entirely faithful, fully present—this is the everlasting God, the Ancient of Days, the one who calls Himself our Father, our friend and our Helper.
He is not ashamed to respond in power. The one with a myriad of answers to meet that one antagonizing, insurmountable problem that mocks us and belittles our faith not only leads us through the valley but dwarfs those problems and eradicates hindrances as He sets us in place.
The one who appeared as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night can still calm the weary heart and racing mind with just a whisper. Because what He did for the Israelites in the midst of panic, He still does today. And the way He calmly moved before the watching eyes of the disciples is His everyday response when His children feel threatened and overwhelmed.
"For the Lord is our shield of defense, and the Holy One of Israel is our king" (Ps. 89:18).
The parting of the Red Sea wasn't a one-time event. Even the fire hurtled from heaven to Mt. Carmel will serve as one of the minor details in the prologue of God's resume when His powerful acts throughout time are reviewed.
"O Lord God of Hosts, who is a mighty Lord like You, with Your faithfulness all around You?" (Ps. 89:8).
He is God in our everyday, but He is not an everyday god. He is the God of the impossible—that is the name He has given Himself.
Greater than the threats of the enemy, stronger than the taunts of temptation and more persistent than the lure of cultural shifts is the one seated upon the throne, who remains our strong tower, our refuge and our strength. He lifts our head to see His consistency, His sacrifice, His greatness.
Our only response can be worship for the one, who without shaming us, extends His strong arm to rescue us from drowning beneath the waves. His faithfulness deserves more of our attention than does fear, anxiety and the things that will be proven as light and momentary afflictions. His generosity is worthier of our time and trust than the fleeting fads of culture and distractions. His strength and kindness are unparalleled.
Every testimony, every verse, every encounter beckons us to believe for more, to align our thoughts to the truth of His ways, His character and His unrelenting goodness.
He is still Emmanuel, and He is with us.
How can you freshly experience Emmanuel, God with us?
Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship and intercession from midnight to 6 a.m. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders and immigrants from non-Christian nations.
This article originally appeared at ihopkc.org.
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