I love the feeling in the air just before a storm. I love the tense, sweaty heat and the thickness in the atmosphere that makes it that little bit more difficult to breathe. It feels like, in that heavy moisture, there is actual pent up energy that is about to be released in a display of power. Of course, it’s just water, but it feels like power, and I love the sense of expectation it creates. If you’ve got an umbrella, you’re carrying it; you’re wearing a jacket that’s waterproof on at least some level. You know that something is about to happen, so you get ready.
In the Bible, thunderstorms are associated many times with God’s power. In Job 36, Elihu, the only one of Job’s friends whom God does not rebuke, says,
He covers His hands with lightning,
And commands it to strike.
His thunder declares it,
The cattle also, concerning the rising storm. (Job 36:32-33 NKJV)
And a few verses later in chapter 37,
HEAR attentively the thunder of His voice,
And the rumbling that comes from His MOUTH.
He sends it forth under the whole heaven,
His lightning to the ends of the earth. (Job 37:2-3 NKJV, emphasis added)
There is revelation of God in storms. In fact, in the Book of the Revelation it says that lightnings, thunderings and voices proceed from God’s throne. The feeling just before a storm of energy in the atmosphere that’s just about to be released gets me excited about God’s presence. That heaviness and closeness and thickness reminds me of the Holy Spirit hovering or brooding over the ‘surface of the deep’ in Genesis 1, right before God spoke into chaos and confusion and commanded it to be eradicated by His light. God IS light. He doesn’t have light; He IS light. He is pure energy and power. That’s why John described lightnings and thunderings coming from the throne; it was the closest thing he knew to the sheer power he was witnessing. The difference between God and atmospheric pressure is that God is ALWAYS full of pent up energy and power that is just waiting to be released.
And He wants to release it; ALL the time.
Sometimes, I think we get the idea that God is withholding His power and presence from us, as if He wants to see us beg and plead and fast for 40 days so that He knows we’re really serious. What kind of Father is that!?
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ASK Him!” (Luke 11:11-13 NKJV, emphasis added)
Jesus says that if the Father withheld the Holy Spirit from us, He would be an evil Father. We have a GOOD Father Who longs to be with us and give us His presence in the person and power of the Holy Spirit.
I think too often we come back to the Prince Who has taken our pauper’s rags, and we try to give Him back the Royal Garments He has clothed us with. I have noticed this particularly when praying for Israel. Our faith in God’s desire to release His power over the Jewish people is often so low, that we resort to begging like paupers instead of ruling like princes.
But you are a chosen generation, a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may PROCLAIM the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV, emphasis added)
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV, emphasis added)
Jesus has clothed us in His Royal Robe of Righteousness. We are supposed to make Royal proclamations based on God’s Word. How much more in regard to Israel, for whom God has guaranteed so much in His Word.
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”(Romans 11:26, NKJV)
I think we need to move past the place in prayer where we are begging God to release salvation in the earth and recognize that the ‘storm’s brewing,’ the Spirit is brooding, and God is just waiting eagerly as a loving Father to release His presence and power when we ask as His children and proclaim as His princes (and princesses…).
The other thing I like about the feeling before a storm, is that it tells us we need to get ready. I am certain that, in every moment, God is ready to release His power in an unprecedented way. The question really is whether we are ready to receive it.