“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:5-6)
“For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you…”
Spiritual resources come to those who give what they have. It matters not how little one has, it is what one does with what one has. The Law of Christ is “give and it shall be given…”.
Jesus is not talking here about the “unrighteous mammon” He is speaking of the true riches, His graces, His gifts, His Word and His resources. His dealings with us is always proportional to our dealings with Him. There is an expenditure in our giving, there are times of weariness, times of discouragement and loneliness, but there is also mingled in the process touches of His Joy in our lives as we give what we have to others. There are also seasons of refreshment and His watchful care to fill our hearts with fresh truths, new glimpses of His wonder and stirring in the hearts of those to whom we feel the impulse to cry out to God to raise them up to heights we have yet to see ourselves.
In all of these things we are reminded to “not grow weary in well doing… for WE SHALL REAP”! Such glorious promises to those who plow the fields, sow their seeds and pray for the rain of His Spirit to bring forth a New Generation fit and prepared for the “Master’s Use”. We are reminded that if there be no sowing there will be no reaping and the whole purpose of this life is to bear fruit unto Him for He alone is worthy.
May all those who give all that they have be encouraged for the harvest will surely come and He will be glorified. May God continue to purify our hearts that all of our giving be unto His Glory and that we shall glory with Him in His Glory. Continue to give, continue to sow, and continue to pray over that precious seed that there would be a harvest of hearts who live for Him, unto Him and through Him for eternity.
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him”
Prayer is the means to discovering the “Go” of God’s Will. It is in our time with Him that He communicates and empowers. In the enormity of Jesus facing Calvary’s wretched death, He who knew no sin about to become the sin-bearer of the world, He drew near unto His Father for strength and grace to walk out the Will of the Father. So it must be for us. Through the intimacy of prayer, we hear Him speak and have the privilege of participating in His Will in the earth.
“…making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself”
– Ephesians 1:9
The KJV of this verse speaks of something past tense: “having made known to us the mystery of His will”. There is something amiss in this past-tense translation which is not at all expressed in the original Greek. The Will of God is a daily thing. It is a mystery which unfolds as we commune with Him and allow His Lordship to speak into our hearts His purposes for the now of life. The true Christian Life is an adventure which can only be experienced through the medium of Obedience. Paul, writing to the Church at Ephesus, used the Greek participle concerning God “making known unto us the mystery of HIS will”. How blessed we are to discover fresh opportunities of Faith to walk in His purposes!
The more we obey the impulse of the Spirit the more we discover confidence; a growing boldness, a dynamic which arises out of our own experience with God. It is here the depth of our prayer life is revealed and established. Prayer without the communication of the Will of God to us should be disconcerting, for prayer is simply the participation of our heart with His. Obedience and prayer are harmonious. I know from my own personal experience the wrestling and struggles to obey that which He has given me to DO in my time alone with Him. Knowing and discovering His Will is a mystery which is only solved when I personally step into it. I can have a word or an impression of God to go, but until that step is taken His Will lingers, unfulfilled.
“Go ye therefore…”
“Go” is the impulse of God; “Go” is God’s heart to His Own. It is the word of God for us to explore, venture and invest ourselves in His purposes to make His salvation known to this world. What does that “Go” look like to you? Where does that “Go” personally take you? That is the exciting thing about the glory of prayer!The Go of God is bound up in us first coming in prayer, the secret place of communion (co-union) with Him.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
Unless we come to Him with a heart alive and burning with a desire to do His Will there will never be a “sending”. His Will is waiting for you to take His deliverance, His word of life and His love to heal the broken and lost of humanity. His House is filled with many who need His touch in their lives. Do we not hear the “Go” of God within our own hearts to be involved in making Him known?
It is the “lukewarm” who say, “I am rich, and I am made rich, and I have need of nothing”. They are content and feel no need to venture into the world around them nor expend themselves in making Him known. Those who need nothing will see nothing concerning the will of God. The soil which at one time received the seed of life with gladness has now become infested with the cares and comforts of this life and the life is choked with the thorns and thistles of their own sowing.
It is needful that we draw away from lukewarm living, carelessness and deception. Let us discover afresh the secret chambers of prayer and communion with Him. It is in this holy place that we feel the Fire of His Being igniting the altar of our hearts.
“Come now therefore, and I will send thee…”
God has a very simple and powerful remedy for us all: Prayer. The kind where we meet with Him and spend time alone in the holy atmosphere of His majesty. Not prayers asking Him for things, but prayers of communion where we learn to simply wait, child-like, without any other need but HIM. It is as we thus wait upon Him that we will find a renewing of our strength and a rising up to the honour of doing His Will. Prayer to the true child of God is not optional; it is the essential element of a fruitful life in Christ!
Eternal destinies are bound within our faithfulness to the talents He has graciously given us. The slothful, disobedient and the careless reap the disregard they show to the deposits of His gifts to us.
“And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine…”
To which Jesus declares:
“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
“It is not the incorrect that the Lord despises but the proud; it is not the hot or the cold that the Lord spews out of his mouth but the lukewarm. When we are standing still out of fear of being wrong, we will certainly be regarded by him as ‘wicked and slothful’ not cautiously prudent.”
– Eric Foley
When Abraham offered up his only son, the God who sees obedience, knew that here was a man who feared Him.
“…for NOW I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me…”
Here, in Abraham’s greatest test, he was afforded the incredible revelation of God’s eternal plan. Faith which brings obedience will always be accompanied by the revelation of God Himself.
Abraham’s obedience resulted in him seeing the “ram caught in the thicket”; an offering “in the stead of his son”! Let the immensity of this truth spur us on in our own journey into obedience. In the offering up of his best Abraham was enabled to “lift up his eyes” and SEE heavenly things!
“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son”
Without obedience we will see little. Obedience is our participation with God in His purposes in the earth! In that participation we are afforded His Revelation!
Of Abraham seeing the Ram given in the place of his son, Jesus declared over a thousand years later:
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad”
Abraham’s obedience in offering all that he held dear, revealed God’s offering of the ONE He held so dear!
Regardless of our station, our situation and our present circumstances let us trust and obey God. Give unto Him your best for in so doing He will give unto you the greatest gift of all: Himself.
It is not the size of the offering which matters but the value to the offeror!
“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
The religious offer according to their estimation of themselves. The more they view their own importance the less they feel the need to give. Likewise, those who allow their circumstances to dictate their faith will give less than they are capable of giving. The law of the New Covenant is the living testimony of a heart which has discovered the way into His Life: “give and it shall be given unto you…”. Give of yourself to Him and of Him you shall receive in the corresponding measure. We are not speaking of the “unrighteous mammon” of the world, but of the true riches of Christ Himself.
“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully…”
2 Corinthians 9:6
The New Covenant has brought us the One supreme offering: all our offerings spring from His heart becoming ours.
“…the greatest thing each person can do is to give himself to God utterly and unconditionally – weaknesses, fears, and all. For God loves obedience more than good intentions or second-best offerings, which are all too often made under the guise of weakness.”
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” (Psa 84:5-7)
Relationship with Christ is the spring from which His Life flows. This flow of Life is the essential element of ministry.
The Womb of Ministry
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:16-17)
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:1-5)
“And Jesus said, ‘Who touched me?’ When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, ‘Who touched me?”
Faith is the conduit through which His virtue and power flow. The panacea for the human race is found in the virtue of Him flowing unto all who come to Him by faith.
“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me”
It is His virtue that brings healing and salvation to humanity. We read in this passage that many were thronging about Jesus, touching Him but with no consequences. One woman, in her desperation, touched Him in Faith; a living faith sufficient to release the transmission of His Life into her hopeless condition. The flow of that vibrant Life filled her with amazement and fear. There was no reference or ability to prepare her for its wonder! The purpose of God in Christ is to bring us to that place of unconscious dependency upon that virtue continually sustaining and invigorating us. The parable of the vine is the hope of all who aspire to live within His dominion; a perpetual fountain where we are made partakers of the Divine Nature! (2 Peter 1:4)
Through His death on the cross, we were reconciled to God. We were invited into the commonwealth of God in Christ. As glorious as this is, we are now invited to the banqueting table of His provisions to the end we would feast upon Him who is our living bread. It is by our eating and drinking of Him that will grow into Him! We were reconciled by His death, but we are ever being saved by the power of His Life flowing and producing His likeness within. Him.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”
Reconciliation is the beginning of His work in us. The Holy Spirit has come to lead and guide us into Him who is the truth and the power of the New Covenant.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me”
The bearing of fruit and the divine enablement to live beyond the resources of self requires an enlargement of our capacity to draw from Him the virtue needed to reveal Him in this world. The works of God through us are dependent upon the Life of Christ within us. Faith is the vital link between His resources and our needs and, even more importantly, the needs of others.
Self-less living, Love, and compassion for others, is bound up in His heart being poured into ours. It is here we most reveal the truth and verity of our abiding in Him.
To be reconciled to Him by His death is one thing. It is quite another thing to be saved, empowered and sent of Him into this dark and destitute world. They who know of His sanctifying Life become vessels prepared and fit for His purposes!
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work”
2 Timothy 2:21
As we partake of Him, we become ready, willing and divinely enabled to do His Work.
“…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you”