4 Hallmarks of a Legitimate Move of God

A legitimate move of God is like the game of golf. The logistics are the same. (Photo by Court Prather on Unsplash)

One question I constantly hear is, "What does a move of God look like?" This is a challenging question to answer, because moves of God can look different in various seasons, contexts and communities.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all response, I'll defer to an excellent and appropriate metaphor once offered by my very dear friend, Dwayne Jones, who has now gone on to be with the Lord. I heard him preach a sermon over 30 years ago on why God is like golf, and to this day, it is the best description I've heard of the four hallmarks of a legitimate move of God.

I don't say this merely because, outside of loving my family and God, I love to play golf. I'm not a particularly good golfer, but I do know four elements that are essential to the game, and more than that, I know what these same principles have to teach us about what it looks like for us to cultivate a move of God.

1. Everything hinges on your stance.

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2. Keep your eye on the ball.

3. Hit the ball straight.

4. Stay out of the traps.

First, you need to know that a move of God is the result of right standing with Him, or righteousness. There are many different gifts and fruits of revival, but if there is no righteousness, the kingdom of God has been perverted, and whatever has happened will fade away. This is just as foundational to our experience of the Holy Spirit as a golfer's stance is to his swing. Righteousness must be our stance if we hope to see and participate in a move of the Spirit.

Any good golfer will tell you the next element of success in the game is keeping your focus. Golfers must keep their eyes on the ball, but when it comes to moves of God, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. He made it clear in John 12:32 (KJV), "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Keep your eyes on Jesus, preach the cross and His salvation and a move of God is bound to follow.

When it comes to the Spirit, hitting the ball straight means devoting ourselves to walking in line with His truth. Somewhere in modern preaching we have lost sight of the fact that "godliness is profitable in all things" (1 Tim. 4:8b, MEV). God doesn't care how loud you shout or how high you jump as long as you walk straight when you hit the ground.

Finally, in golf, as in life, there are small traps, big traps, unforeseen traps and so on between where we are and where we want to be that would seek to thwart our success. It's crucial that we stay out of the traps. I've seen more moves of God destroyed because of people getting caught in traps than anything else, partly because people often don't recognize the danger until it's too late. (I personally knew a man who, when he first started golfing, thought landing in the traps was part of the goal!) The truth is, if our conscience is being moved by the Holy Spirit, He will not put us in any situation for which He has not made a way of escape.

Above all, get in the game. Pursue His righteousness and holiness, keep your eyes upon Jesus, walk straight and steer clear of the traps and bondages that would stifle the move of God in your life, church and community. Then get ready to experience the Holy Spirit in new, fresh, powerful ways.

You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.

Have a great week!

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Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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