When Does God's Hand Move?
Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord. -2 Chronicles 30:12
The hand of God is always in action. We will sometimes feel powerful emotions when we experience His hand upon us, but our feelings are merely the natural result of the touch of His hand. The real proof of His hand, however, is what we do, not what we feel.
In 2 Chronicles we read a key Bible passage about the hand of God. What do we learn? God’s hand brought unity, it moved the people to action, and it was consistent with God’s Word. When the Lord moves, we begin to move. And that’s a moving experience!
Preachers and public speakers are prone to grade themselves after delivering a message. They have definite ideas about how effective they have just been. On one particular Sunday, Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, gave himself a terrible grade. It seemed that he hadn’t brought his best to the pulpit this time. He’d tripped over words, forgotten himself in key places, and generally lacked that certain something that made for a powerful worship experience.
He felt terrible about his day’s work. Upon arriving home, he fell to his knees and prayed for the God who could feed thousands with a little bread and fish to “bless that poor sermon.” He kept at it, asking God to bless his mess all week. For the next Sunday, he was planning on a comeback attempt with his very best delivery and most inspiring message.
That sermon went absolutely beautifully. Every word seemed to sing, and there was electricity in the air. He all but floated home and slept peacefully. Then he decided to follow the results of the terrible sermon and the great one—the beauty and the beast.
The “beast” led to an amazing 41 professions of faith. The “beauty” brought none. The difference? God’s hand was on the sermon for which Spurgeon prayed. Spurgeon’s emotions had nothing to do with the workings of the Holy Spirit.
The hand of God cannot be measured, controlled, or predicted by any human standards. He provides the power and the direction, though He loves our cooperation with what He is doing. We make a great mistake when we confuse our abilities, desires, or emotions with the true manifestation of God’s supernatural power.
Sometimes we’re excited, feeling as if we’re above the clouds spiritually. Other times we feel downcast. At either time or neither time the hand of God could be moving. As Spurgeon did, we should always be praying that He will put His hand upon us and bless all that we do as we attempt to be obedient to Him.
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