Many years ago, my family and I went to our friends’ house for a July 4th celebration. The condo where the festivities were held was on the top floor of a high-rise situated right on the waterfront. The city popped fireworks every year on the shoreline, and from the vantage point of this condo, the explosions were right in front of us.
My daughter was young, only two or three at the time, and the fireworks scared her. I had to take her behind closed doors to calm her fears. She missed out on the amazing display because fear overwhelmed her.
Years later, my daughter loves fireworks. She has matured to the point that her awe of the fireworks overpowers her fear, and the exhilaration of the entire light display thrills her to no end.
Recently, I asked God why He hasn’t shown Himself more powerfully in my life. He speaks to me daily, and I hear Him in whispers, promptings and life metaphors. But I read Jesus’ Words in the Bible, and they are promises of more.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14.12-14 NIV).
Jesus changed lives. Yes, He changed them as a teacher, shepherd and evangelist. But He also changed them as a prophet, healer and miracle-maker. He taught hard truths from a mountaintop, but He also walked on water through the storms (Matthew 5 & Matthew 14). People experienced an explosion of God’s mercy, grace and love through Jesus Christ during the massive spiritual drought of their time.
Today people are living in a spiritual drought. They long to know that there is a God who actually speaks and moves on behalf of His people. They need an explosion of Jesus in their lives. I realized that I have been too scared to allow God to ignite fully in my life. I don’t mind God’s whispers, but I’ve feared His thunder. But people are waiting to hear and experience God.
“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’ The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was” (Exodus 20.18-21 NIV).
I demonstrate my lack of trust when my fear overpowers my awe of God. If I truly trusted God’s love for me, I would desire the fullness of His presence and glory in my life. I wouldn’t shut doors to the scary, hard stuff. I would open them wide to every aspect of life with Jesus. I must walk by faith into the thick glory of His presence, and spend time with Him according to His terms, not mine. People need to experience a God who is alive, vibrant and in love with His people. I can be one of many “fireworks” ignited for Jesus and lighting up this dark world with His glory.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3.5-6 NIV).