When a tube of toothpaste is squeezed, toothpaste comes out. In the circumstances of life, God, or the devil squeezes me, and what is in me is revealed by what comes out! The devil came to test Jesus but found nothing but the Father in Him, (John 14:30). When I make a wrong choice, whether presumptuously, in rebellion or not consulting the Lord first, then stress and strain and loss of God’s peace result. In hydraulics, resistance to flow causes pressure. In my spiritual walk, resistance to the Holy Spirit’s guidance causes pressure.
Many years ago, I remember reading a tract telling of a lady walking through a beautiful rose garden. She commented to the Lord, “Lord, You made these roses so beautiful!” The Lord responded to her comment, “Yes, they didn’t resist me.” Selah.
GOD NEVER DECEIVES, BUT HE OFTEN COMES IN DISGUISE!
Mary, weeping at the Garden Tomb after the crucifixion of Jesus, did not initially recognise the Risen Lord but thought Him to be the gardener. How often do I not recognise the Lord speaking to me through another person or circumstance? When I receive the gift of salvation, Jesus becomes my Saviour. Then the journey begins to make Him Lord of my life. He gave His life for me on Calvary’s cross, now my life should be laid down as a daily offering, that He may manifest His life through me in every circumstance and relationship. This is the mystery of the Indwelling Christ, Christ in me, the hope of glory! God gets glory out of me when my life becomes His life, ordered for His purpose. We often remind ourselves of the example that Jesus, our Pattern Man, set us: He only ever spoke the words His Father gave Him. He only ever did the things that pleased His Father. His life was so transparent, He could not be seen, only His Father working through Him! This is our birthright in fullness that is offered to us through the finished work of Calvary. The daily challenge is to joyfully take up the Cross and follow Him. Here I “enter into His rest” and discover the Holy Spirit has quietened my heart and striving has been replaced by the joy and peace of His presence. The Comforter has come!…..making all things in my life new. This is the abundant life of Christ.
Jesus responded to His Father spontaneously in every circumstance. The Holy Spirit is endeavouring to teach us this, spontaneity, in every circumstance we find ourselves in each day. We are so used to acting independently that we have to “unlearn” this behaviour and consciously consult the Lord until this becomes our lifestyle, as Jesus did. This is how we “learn of Him”. Many times we can make wrong decisions/choices, then go merrily on our way without another thought to why things went “wrong.”
So often we come together in a Gathering for fellowship, desiring spontaneity to the Spirit of God instead of “programme”, but often miss the mark. If I do not learn spontaneity to the Spirit in the School of Life, out there in relationships and circumstances, why should I expect to come into a Gathering and jump into the flow of anointing? Because we serve a gracious and loving Heavenly Father, He often anoints us with His Spirit and presence when we come together because He meets us where we are. But where we are is not where we should stay! He has so much more for us to enter into. Sometimes He is very conspicuous by His absence! Noise and volume is not necessarily anointing in a Gathering. “Christ in me” must work in the home, in the workplace and in our leisure – everywhere I am, Christ is with me, wanting to manifest and extend His kingdom through a surrendered vessel. As we learn to live in His presence, when we assemble together that spontaneity to the Holy Spirit we are learning in our daily lives, should also be discerned and demonstrated in our Gatherings. We all desire to hear what the Spirit of God is saying, not man. Let that be our goal, our prayer, as we consider the words of the following hymn by J.G.Whittier:
Dear Lord and Father of mankind forgive our foolish ways,
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind, in purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like those who heard beside the Syrian sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord, let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee, O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee the silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love.
With that deep hush subduing all our works and words that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call, as noiseless let the blessing fall,
As fell thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease.
Take from our souls the strain and stress and let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire Thy coolness and Thy balm.
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire, speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.