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M.I.A.???

October 30, 2007

“Wow! God really showed up today!”

What? What does that even mean? I’ve heard and read this so many times and it has never made any sense to me. Unless I’ve missed the “God went to lunch” memo.

Isn’t God Omnipresent? I’ve written about this before. Some may protest that God must be absent or else why would so much calamity exist…Well that’s another topic for another day! (I mean it LWBUT) πŸ˜‰

What I’m talking about is hearing someone remark about Worship (let’s say the music at church) on any given weekend by saying “God really showed up today.” And often times I hear this from those serving onΒ  Worship Music Teams.

Hmmm… So what happened this weekend that you came to such a remarkable conclusion of God’s existence, or lack of? The usual response is something like, “Well, when we first got there half the band hadn’t showed up. Then Power Point crashed. Then after that one of the monitors blew. Oh, and we had to scratch a song because the drummer wasn’t prepared. It was crazy! Then after about the 2nd set everything just fell into place. We were singing Amazing Grace and the words permeated through me and I could just feel that God showed up!”

I see…Funny how everything just “fell into place” isn’t it? It’s like if I showed up as a volunteer to your rehearsal and the band was busy doing their thing and I was running around behind the scenes doing the odds and ends…copying music, fixing the slides, bringing the vocalists water, and so on. Suddenly you realize things are still going on around you and that someone else has been helpful in that. You notice me and say, “Hey Tam! I didn’t know you were here! Thanks for the water!” Just because you finally noticed me does that mean I wasn’t there all along?

I’d like to present the same line of thinking where God is involved. Did God really “Just show up”?

Or did you???

Were you so wrapped up in yourself and all the details that you failed to see His hand and know His presence in all things?Β  When our perspective on God is based on our circumstances we fail to see Him. He is not M.I.A.!

God is Omnipresent. He has sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within the believer.

“…And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”Β  Matthew 28:20

So let’s stop putting limits on our God.

Why don’t we start showing up and watch Him work…maybe even join in the process…

What ways have you put God in a box?Β 

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36 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2007 3:22 pm

    Awww Mom? – Geeeez! I wanna ‘play’ NOW! (stamps foot)

    ( giggle πŸ™‚ )

  2. October 30, 2007 3:32 pm

    I think that some who use that phrase do not mean that HE was ever vacant. Sometimes an experience of a stronger presence is what they are referring to. I am glad that I do not always have that strong presence, due to the fact that this earthly body can not take the manifest presence of God. I am probably not making sense…but I fully understand..mmmmm love ya girl..and I love your thoughts!

  3. October 30, 2007 3:36 pm

    I think I see what you’re saying Darla. A more powerful version of God? It still doesn’t set well with me. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood today πŸ˜‰ I think the whole perception is based on “our” view.

    Love, don’t make me send you back to your room!

  4. October 30, 2007 4:08 pm

    Could be our view, and could be sometimes God reveals more of HIM self to someone who is seriously seeking HIM, or worshipping in a deeper sense of Spirit and truth…don’t know but I see your point…hope you are not having a bad day.

    I know HE is always with me, and sometimes I stray away, and sometimes HE just knows what I need even when I don’t, and sometimes it is that special touch from HIM, that only HE can give….guess that maybe the phrase “God showing up” is just not the phrase it should be. Sorry I guess I have been guilty of that. Just a figure of speech in expressing my own experience

  5. Cheryl permalink
    October 30, 2007 4:08 pm

    HMM… I’ve heard phrase that before or something similar referring to the Holy Spirit and it is always in the context of worship…maybe the better phrase is “Wow! I really showed up, today!” b/c let’s face it, sometimes we are so tired by the time Sunday morning rolls around that our brains haven’t engaged.

    Gee Tam, what got you all riled today?! I’ll go cower in the corner now..lol πŸ˜‰

  6. October 30, 2007 4:13 pm

    I refused to comment on your previous blog entry…too convicting… (LOL, kidding) Just a busy day.

    I agree with you, His patience is astounding when you think about it. He’s always there, yet usually the last one we think of turning to til we’re in a jam, or really need to get something. I know I don’t take enough time to just sit and listen and wait for His timing instead of trying to cram Him into my schedule. I did this weekend tho…and what a blessed time it was. It’s always about our lack, not His…Love you! You’re allowed to be in a bad mood for 5 more seconds…..GO!

  7. October 30, 2007 4:15 pm

    I ain’t riled up πŸ˜‰ It’s just something I’ve been thinking on for a few weeks.

    God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is always BIG in my estimation of Him. So I guess my point is here that when we base our assumption of His presence (big or small) on the circumstances or details around us our view of Him can get pretty skewed.

    Maybe we need to choose our words and descriptives better that’s all…

  8. October 30, 2007 4:18 pm

    Hey GG!

    OK everyone…Godsgal had an incredible revelation this weekend and she posted about it today.

    GO CHECK IT OUT!!!

  9. Cheryl permalink
    October 30, 2007 4:22 pm

    I know what you’re saying…it is an odd phrase though…it reminds me of that Bette Midler song, “From a Distance”. Like God is this huge entity out there somewhere, just observing and every now and then He interacts with us. That’s actually a theological position that people believe.

  10. October 30, 2007 4:28 pm

    I’ll be good! (for about 5 seconds ( rubs sore nose) )

    Cheryl – That is NOT a better phrase in my Humbled opinion and here is why i think so…

    God is omnipresent – always, everywhere, ALL the time.

    What happens to ‘us’ is – we get too caught up in the earthly things and the ‘being’ in the Self.

    As mere mortals we can’t have room inside for everything and frequently ‘miss’ God’s actual presemce, (He likes to give us kids ROOM to play and if we fall down and hurt ourselves He has confidence that the hurt won’t be long (we only live a hundred years or so max) and we will remember our hurts and not be so willing to be so foolish the next time! πŸ˜‰ )

    So if ‘we’ ‘show up’ it is a BAD thing – we have no ‘room’ for God in us whenit is all about us/earthy stuff! Once we forget about the earthly selfish stuff there is again ‘room’ inside for us to more clearly SEE that God is there watching, smiling at His Children and forever ‘guarding’ them against all but themselves.

    And so is one who has ‘worse’ things in store for ‘us’!

    God KNOWS this – life is not always the way WE want but that othres live with us here too.

    You can’t make a true choice unless you know ALL the ‘options’.

    Get it folks?

    Two GREAT posts Tam!

    Keep it Up! πŸ™‚

    love

  11. October 30, 2007 5:50 pm

    I think there is a little bit of semantics going on here. I agree with both lwbut and Cheryl.

    Cheryl – I see you coming from the perspective of us needing to be willing to participate in the life and experiences God has for us.

    lwbut – I agree that for God to work and move, “we” need to disappear or step back.

    Your both right from your perspectives.

    Darla – I think the idea here is that God’s presence and power is always at full strength. Whatever effect He has in and around us is only up to how much we want Him to be involved. How much we surrender and allow Him to work in us, determines “How Much He showed Up”. So that phrase just doesn’t work, cause as powerful as God is, He still “stands and knocks”. He only enters where He is welcome.

  12. October 30, 2007 5:56 pm

    Coming in from a completely different angle…I love to give God all the room HE wants to invade..HE fills all..My God is not in a box, and HE is always the same yesterday today and forever…but there are times HE gives us a very sweet taste of HIM that other times He doesn’t…sometimes it is for encouragement, and sometimes it is rewarding for following HIM throught the fire…not sure I am explaining my stand well, but I do agree we should be careful of our wording…my self included. I look for HIM in everything, and when HE gives me that little extra…you better believe I am going to take it, and make a big deal over it. LIke applauding for the oncore…God does show off sometimes, and loves to blow us away in HIM. Agree we are not always in line with HIM. But man when we are…wooohhooooo!

  13. garmentofpraise permalink
    October 30, 2007 5:58 pm

    Wow….conviction? I do this so often. Oh God, I don’t see you working in this. When it all comes to pass, sometimes years later, I see his handprints all over-I was just too busy whinning about Him not being there to even see Him. Does that make sense? Not sure if it does πŸ™‚

    One of my boxes is that “Oh God, you might fail me….” Um, right. Like I know better then God. I’m terrified of failure, even to the point of not trusting the only one I CAN trust.

    Hope your day is going well πŸ™‚
    Joy

  14. October 30, 2007 6:24 pm

    I love this, love this, and it’s so very true! When I walk into anything church related with my own agenda about what I need to hear and see I have boxed God in and put him in the corner. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME! So much of our lives revolve around what’s right for us, what makes us feel good and we miss him! We don’t see God’s hand in the biggest and littlest of ways even thought he’s so very present in every detail! Shame on us for not seeing how he’s “shown up” in so many ways because our eyes are on the inconsequential details!

  15. October 30, 2007 6:46 pm

    Darla, I see where you are coming from.

  16. October 30, 2007 6:49 pm

    Ok, Tam, nothing compares to the Dutch and I live oh too close to one…I totally get the budget thing…I (or rather, my husband) makes me an iced kicker (or regular at this time of year) every morning. It’s yummy, but there’s nothing like driving down the road sipping Dutch Bros.!

  17. October 30, 2007 6:53 pm

    In Worship,

    Right on – semantics – was not disagreeing at ALL with Cheryl – just the words she wrote as ‘better’.

    I DO understand what she meant though and merely replied so as to give ‘my’ perspective on the “God not showing up because we are too ‘full’ of ourselves/what is happeing on this earth ‘out there’ deal” was my intent – I hope folks got that?

    As humans it is easier for us to be ‘in tune’ with the things we are most ‘like’ Earth, not God.

    If we are to truly be closer to God we need to build up our temple to HIM and live from that. Jesus sacrifice is an example (the Ultimate one) in that he rose UP from out of the earth and lived eternally. WE can only make a poor attempt at following Him while we live mostly within our earthly body.

    Have wisdom sufficient unto yourselves folks. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for your ‘double vision’ there In Worship πŸ˜‰

  18. October 30, 2007 7:30 pm

    Great post! I love it!
    I just finished a bible study last week, and really had my eyes opened to this exact subject:

    **God doesn’t shout over my noise – he waits until I’m quiet.

    **Rather than me waiting on God to speak, is He waiting on me to listen?

    He is THE ONLY ONE who is ever present & ever faithful – ALWAYS!

  19. October 30, 2007 8:49 pm

    Hello my dear siesta:) I LOVE this post:)
    As you know, God has certainly not just ” Showed up” but moved in, and dropped His bags on my shoulders.
    I wonder if you can understand that visual.

    You are right, it is about when we choose to acknowledge He was there.

    You reminded me of a nice story about my friend Wendy and I.

    There was an old woman at church coughing during service, and she was on the otherside of the room for me, but I noticed how no one got up to get her some water. It almost irritated me, and God stood me up on my feet and had me walk my happy self over to get a cup of water, and take it over to her.

    What I didn’t know was that my friend Wendy saw me do this during the praise and worship, and we hadn’t met yet, and she told me a couple weeks or so later, we talked and she told me about it.

    You never know when God will show up, or how He will show up, its just important to know HE DOES!

    I love you sweet friend.

    ang

  20. October 30, 2007 8:52 pm

    You are not addicted to “the Dutch”…you can quit whenever you want to :-). That’s what I tell myself about Iced Kickers…and ice cream. What’s your Dutch vice?

  21. October 30, 2007 9:23 pm

    i am with you and i get this. It was a good word for me!

  22. October 30, 2007 11:27 pm

    I love that…”stop putting limits on our God” Boy do we need to be reminded of that.

  23. October 30, 2007 11:45 pm

    Instead of “wow God really showed up today” how about “Wow I finally took time to notice God today!”
    πŸ˜‰

    Love your thoughts, this goes on the “Tams good points” list along with the one you did about praying “God please be with so and so today” b/c DUH of course He is “with” them, always. πŸ˜‰

  24. brightshinyobject permalink
    October 31, 2007 1:03 am

    how about, wow, God made me pull my head out today

  25. gavcait permalink
    October 31, 2007 7:10 am

    Tam, I have to say since reading your blog it has helped me open my mind. I came get so bogged down in the toddlerhood years that I don’t stop and think and stretch my mind. Thanks!!!

    I have been thinking about this topic also but can’t articulate it as well as you have. I am reading The Sacred Romance and it has really led me to thinking. God is every aspect of every minute of our day. Usually I am so busy running around in circles that I don’t stop to see Him. It is only in those quiet moments that we feel He “shows up”. His desire is to be that way in every moment.

  26. October 31, 2007 7:20 am

    What an awesome perspective! I too have heard this many times, truthfully I have felt that same way/said the same things thinking God was just running a little late that morning. You hit the nail on the head. Thanks for the incite!

  27. October 31, 2007 10:13 am

    I so agree. He doesn’t just show up, we just all of the sudden realize He’s been thre all the time! πŸ™‚

  28. Cheryl permalink
    October 31, 2007 1:54 pm

    Sheesh, I was just thinking out loud. I do know that God is omnipresent. Usually, I am typing one-handed and am to able to express myself. So I apologize that my apologetics wasn’t totally in order when I replied.

  29. October 31, 2007 3:57 pm

    Great post – I love the passion! Omnipresent God – omni-ignorant human beings. Sometimes I’m completely blown away by people’s egos – especially in the worship music line. When did worship come to be synonymous with one art form anyways???

  30. October 31, 2007 4:13 pm

    I Love Tammy – She’s so Inciteful! πŸ™‚

    bso – you’re a baaaaaaaad man! But i Like you – you made me laugh buckets there dude! πŸ˜‰

    Cheryl – maybe the problem sometimes can be you think way too loudly – i know it’s one of my (many)problems – Think more ‘softly’ so you can hear God if He just whispers! πŸ˜‰

    Brandy – sounds good to me!:-) given Tam’s points though how about “Wow! God’s thoughts/heart and mine were so ‘in tune/off key’ today? Depending upon the result we notice? puts us BOTH together in the picture and tells it ‘like it is’ – in my opinion that is πŸ˜‰

    Sorry for the musical ‘link in there D! πŸ˜‰

    love

  31. November 1, 2007 10:46 pm

    I am joining this conversation so late! I seem to do that a lot since I’m not staying up to date on my blogs. I was wondering if it is safe to say “The Spirit really moved?” I believe with my whole heart that God is omnipresent and the “God really showed up today” comment drives me loco. I also believe that there have been times in my life that I’ve been more in sync with the Holy Spirit. There is a definite difference between the times where I am acting in my own power and time where I’m acting in God’s power.

  32. November 1, 2007 10:57 pm

    Hey Ames! I was talking with a good friend about this today and I was telling them that for me the times I usually “feel” like God has “shown up” is when i have spent the hour prior to that “revelation” so focused on me that i didn’t notice His presence. What I’m really “feeling” is a “spiritual catch up” from the hour before along with that very moment I decide to recognize His presence…it’s like a flood of awareness. Does that make sense?

    I just think we need to be so careful with our words. If someone is feeling like God has left them because they are going through hardship and “feel” He is so far away or just not there – then they hear me say “God showed up today” – I think that would just confirm to them that God does pick and choose when and where and for whom He will show up for or at. I just don’t think it’s an accurate representation of who God is.

  33. November 2, 2007 11:27 am

    Commenting late…. probably repeating what someone already said…. but here I am anyway. You’re absolutely right, Tam. My perception of God’s presence has everything to do with my expectancy and receptivity; the proof of this is that two people in the same exact worship experience can have very different perceptions of God’s ‘work’ and ‘presence’ in that place.

    An additional question to go along with yours: why do we only ‘feel’ that ‘God showed up’ when things go well? Like, say, someone’s planning an outdoor wedding. And they’re praying for good weather. And they get it. And the overwhelming sentiment is that “God was good” and “He showed up”. I always wonder what happens to a person’s faith, in that scenario, if it ‘rains’?

  34. November 2, 2007 11:32 am

    Kim! Exactly! The wedding analogy is right on. I have wondered that sooo many times! Would they say God “wasn’t” good or “didn’t” show up? Basing our perception of God on how we “feel” can be very dangerous. I cannot define Him in my frailty and fallible thinking. Some times it’s best not to use descriptives – just “Praise You God – You alone know what is best!”

    Thanks Kim!

  35. November 2, 2007 5:23 pm

    Amen – great thought there ladies πŸ™‚ ( imho )

    love

  36. November 4, 2007 1:32 pm

    LOVE IT! I believe He is ALWAYS near~it is WE who drift away or are not ready to receive Him or whatever. (((((HUGS))))) sandi

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