“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
God is the giver of good gifts! That can be easy to forget when the gift that comes is unusual or far different than we’re used to. It’s usually forgotten when people respond wildly, or manifest, as the power of the Holy Spirit shows up. The atmosphere becomes electric, power is being released, and people’s lives are being changed. But what also happens is - misunderstanding, fear, and even accusations. What we need to remember is: God gives good gifts and He moves in manifestations.
I remember years ago we had a pastor friend from Uganda come and minister to the leaders of our church. This man walked in authority and power and I was honestly afraid for him to come lay hands on me because I had no idea what was about to happen! I had seen people fall down before but had never experienced it myself. I just didn’t know what to expect.
It was in that moment that God reminded me of Matt. 7:11 and said, “Andrew, I’m not going to hurt you.” A wave of relief swept over me as I knew that whatever He wanted to give me would be good. I could trust Him.
Whereas, before, I was the guy unsure and really just afraid, I jumped full in and God met me there. I found that God moves in the shaking, rolling, jerking, laughing, falling, shouting, etc.
The fruit shows the root!
There was more boldness, healing, miraculous and intimacy with God that flowed as a result of those encounters!
But, let me shed light on some of the issues people may have with the crazy.
A while back, God began speaking to me through Acts 16:17:
“This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.””
A demon possessed girl was actually preaching truth! Why would the devil preach truth?
When a demon possessed girl is preaching the truth right alongside Paul and Silas, it brings confusion to the credibility of the message.
This is what I call parallel deception. The enemy will say something right with the wrong spirit in order to bring reproach upon the truth and lead people away. You have a statement that is right but a spirit that is wrong. So much so, that Paul the Apostle was agitated enough to cast the demon out of her.
The enemy will cloak himself in something legit in order to make the legitimate look illegitimate.
This happens with manifestations. The enemy will use a cult, or pagan religion to have manifestations that look just like what God would do in order to steer people away from power encounters.
On the outside they look the same, but the spirit is different.
So, because it’s so similar, people just do away with manifestations altogether and quench the encounters that could be transforming lives...which is the enemy’s goal: demonize the Christians who allow it and quench any form of manifestation in order to “protect” people from deception.
One thing we need to remember in all of this is that God is the only Creator which makes the devil a counterfeiter. The enemy copies, or counterfeits, the truth in order to deceive and lead people astray.
We need to be people of the Word, ask Holy Spirit for discernment (not suspicion haha), and stop being so afraid of the devil! If someone is out of line, let the leaders correct them and don’t cut off the whole church because of a small handful of immature people. Teach them the various ways God moves.
That being said, here’s some manifestations that God moves in!
I don’t mean laughing because of a good joke, I just mean when God shows up, joy hits the place! (Ps. 16:11)
“Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!...”
Joy has a sound!
Fullness of joy doesn’t have to include wild laughter, but you can’t exclude it because of misunderstanding or fear.
“There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God…”
The River of the Holy Spirit makes glad! Take a drink and rejoice!
(for more on joy, I wrote an entire post on it here)
The Bible speaks of trembling before the Lord. (Ps. 2:11)
When Daniel had a heavenly encounter, he was left shaking. (Dan. 10:10-11)
In the natural, if you stuck your finger in an electrical socket, you’d probably be shaking!
How much more the supernatural power of God?
I would categorize “jerking” in this too. It could be surges of power flowing in people’s bodies.
I wrote an entire post on this here, but it’s worth mentioning that 2 of the Apostles in scripture we look up to (Paul and John) had this kind of experience!
“Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?””
“And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”
Suffice to say, I think countless people throughout history have benefitted from their encounter with Jesus!
Sometimes people are rolling on the ground in joy or they’re rolling on the ground because power hit them!
Sometimes people feel like they’re on fire because the All Consuming Fire came upon them!
Sometimes people will spin around because they’re caught up in the whirlwind of heaven.
There’s so much more!
This is just a little sampling of manifestations. God is way bigger than we think.
Let’s not act like we know everything there is to know about God.
(Yes, demons can manifest in these ways too. Have enough friendship with God and discernment to know the difference. Love people and be rooted in truth.)
Jesus appeared to his best friends in an unfamiliar way when He came walking on the water. The disciples were freaked out! (Matt. 14:26)
So be encouraged if you ever get freaked out - they did too.
Also know that it’s an invitation for deeper intimacy.
God gives good gifts and He moves in manifestations!
For more on this:
> Randy Clark also wrote a response to one of his critics and has great insight on this subject. You can read it here.
Question: How has God moved in your life with manifestations? What would you like to experience?