Way to many Christians think that living the Christian life is comprised of ordering their lives according to a predictable set of Christian principles. While that sounds appropriate at first glance, the reality is the life God intends for us is much more fluid. It is a life of being lead by the Spirit.
Consider these Scriptures:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
…”But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
…”For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:1-14)
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
…”the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
…“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-25)
Therefore, the life of a spirit-filled and Spirit-led Christian shifts with every new directive from God. The life of a Spirit-lead Christian will move with the ebbs and flows and the times and seasons of the Spirit of the Lord Who leads us. It calls for different responses for different seasons.
That distinctive is seen fairly clearly in light of the varying seasons of our walk with Him. For instance, one thing we must understand is that our Lord Jesus is both Lord of the Harvest and Lord of the Sabbath.
At the time of this writing (December, 2011) I was asking the Lord for clarity as to what season we were entering into in this first part of 2012. I sensed we are very much on the precipice of major breakthrough and revival for much of the Body of Christ; and the holding pattern many have been on has yielded the inevitable fruit of desperation, hunger and much anticipation of a fresh outpouring of God’s power and presence.
I was naturally thinking “ok, gear up for a season of harvest”. To me that conjures thoughts of the farmer who puts normal routines aside during the window of time when the fields are ripe and spends from early morning through nightfall in the fields making the most of the time and bringing in as much harvest as possible. It is true that during certain seasons we work long and hard to maximize the fruit of our labor. Scripture even tells us in all labor there is profit. Working hard is good.
So you can imagine my surprise when the Lord reminded me that He is also the Lord of the Sabbath, and that now was time to enter into His Sabbath rest, and that it is time for an end of striving. The Lord specifically drew me to sections of Isaiah Chapter 40 and said “announce this to My people”.
An End of Striving
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.”
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’
…”Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:1-5, 10, 28-31
It seems that when we work, He waits, but it is when we rest in faith that He goes to work. In fact, someone once said it is when we rest in Him that we accomplish the most. The smartest work we can give ourselves to is to labor to enter into His rest.
So says the Scriptures in Hebrews 4:1-11:
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. … For we who have believed do enter that rest,
…”There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest,”
I believe we have entered into a season in which we need to step back (in faith) and watch God go to work to do what He intends to do. It is a season to end striving and begin watching what He will do.
The Paradox of Rest
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of paradoxes. For example:
- The way up is the way down…. HUMILITY (Philippians 2:3-7; 1 Peter 5:1-7)
- Letting go is the way to receive… SURRENDER (Mark 8:24,25; Mark 10:29,30)
- When you are week you are strong. BROKENNESS (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)
- The greatest is the servant of all. SERVANTHOOD (Matthew 20:25-28)
- The meek shall inherit the earth. MEEKNESS (Matthew 5:5)
- Praising God is a weapon of war. THIRD HEAVEN FOCUS (Colossians 3:1-4; Psalm 149)
Entering into His rest is another one of those logic defying paradoxes. When we rest (in Him) we accomplish the most because when we work, He waits, and when we wait on Him, He goes to work.
Many feel we are on the cusp of a season of unprecedented power and glory as heaven invades earth in ever increasing degrees. As with many of the prophetic words and promises of God, we must understand that the promises are conditional. A very vital key and important condition to accessing this new season of God as we move into a new year is to understand He is both Lord of the Harvest and Lord of the Sabbath; and when we “rest in faith” He will move on our behalf.