1 Kings 19:11-12 NKJV
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
Humans are, it seems, by nature beings of excess. Whatever we want, we seem to want it in abundance. Pentecostals, of which I’m one, believe firmly in the power, workings, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. But I think we often (too often) seek the power without seeking the One from whom the power flows. Many evangelicals, of which I’m also one, believe firmly in knowledge, wanting to study and learn about the things of God. But I think we often (too often) seek the knowledge without seeking the One from whom the knowledge flows. Many American Christians, of which I am certainly also one, stress the relationship, wanting the experience of relating with Christ and yet, often failing to understand that such a relationship is interactive, where God Himself should be allowed to determine the direction and goals of such a relationship.
Power, knowledge, experience. All of these can and often are part and parcel of our relationship with the Lord. But they are not in and of themselves the Lord. And that is perhaps where we fail and at the point at which we stumble and become less than what we should be as believers. God showed Elijah (in 1 Kings) that while He initiated the wind, earthquake, and fire—while He was indeed in those things—He was not those things. God is the beginning and the ending, the First and the Last. But He is more than a sum of parts because He cannot be divided into parts. He is God, always and always.
The psalmist wrote:
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord,
To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
Blessed be God! Psalm 68:32-35 NKJV
God is more awesome that His holy places. It is He who gives strength and power to His people. Whenever we doubt, rather than seeking power or knowledge or experience, if we would instead seek God and Him alone, there I think we would find the answers that we need.
The prophet Isaiah wrote:
Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:6-11 NKJV
The Lord’s thoughts, His ways, His will are far higher and better than ours. I wonder if we do not settle for that which is far less because we are willing to seek the product rather than the Producer, the creation rather than the Creator. What good would miracles and the gifts of the Spirit do us if eventually we lose the Spirit? What good would knowing about God be if we failed to know Him? What good would it be to call Jesus our Friend if He failed to call us friend? When we seek, I think we should be careful of what we are seeking. We need to seek God always and always and allow Him to send the power or knowledge or experience when and where He deems best, rather than demanding our rights as we see them and ultimately losing the point of it all.