There is a line in a worldly song by the Seekers: “You’re always window shopping, but never stopping to buy….” that provokes the following thought line: When under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, maybe in a Gathering when worshipping in song, or otherwise, we have been overwhelmed by an awareness of God’s presence and declared to the Lord that we would go the ends of the earth for Him. The Lord’s response has often surprised us. He may have declared that what He actually required of us was not to travel to the ends of the earth for Him, but to rectify a broken relationship, humble and apologise. Or maybe the Lord requires of us to carry out a menial task which we have dismissed as being too lowly to get involved with. Is there some person we have conveniently forgotten about? Am I fulfilling my own needs and neglecting those of my brother/sister who is struggling? The list is endless, but when I ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit “under His mighty hand”, those desires I felt will amount to nothing if I am disobedient. All I have done is “window shopping, but never stopping to buy”. The price tag to obedience is humility. As I make the choice to humble and obey the Lord, my flesh is crucified and the power of the resurrected Christ enables me to do God’s will. This is the power of the Cross working in me. Here I discover the joy and peace of His presence as I surrender my will, and embrace His, and Jesus is exalted in my life. God gets all the glory for the work to make me willing, but I receive all the benefits of walking closer to Him. The problem arises so often though, because I don’t want to die! I want my own way and when I continue along that road, I limit the Unlimited One by my wrong choice! I refuse to let go, and let God!……to my detriment.
James describes window shopping in the following scripture: James 1: 22-25 “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror. He sees himself and goes his way, and straight away forgets what manner of man he was. But whosoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Where is the power of the Cross working in my life? Jesus never surrendered the awareness of God’s presence to any situation. By His choice, by surrendering His will to His Father’s, He only ever spoke the words His Father gave Him. He only ever did the things that pleased the Father. He came to earth to do the Father’s will, even to the ultimate sacrifice of death on the Cross. All the promises of God are “Yes, and Amen”, through Jesus. All the negatives were nailed to that Cross at Calvary and now Jesus reigns victoriously. Any negative situation I now experience can be used to fertilise the life of Christ within me. As I embrace Christ, and the power of the Cross, bringing Him in to any adversity, I discover His victorious power enabling me to travel with Him safely through the passage. Along these paths of testing I find the truths of Psalm 23 becoming a reality and a living part of me. A table is laid to sustain me in the presence of my enemies, I find rest in His green pastures and still waters, He restores my soul and leads me in His paths of righteousness, His presence dispels fear and comforts me. My cup overflows with His goodness and mercy. This is all available to me in my birthright through the Cross. I don’t have to just window shop, it is offered to me. The God of all things is in all things. Jesus declared, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, Matthew 5:8. Heart purity is seeing God, finding God, in ALL things.
The Cross will divide, but the power of the Cross will also unify. It must be a living reality in my life. How much of Christ is living in me? How much of self is having the preeminence that rightly belongs to Jesus? I don’t have to enter in to condemnation over my failures, but I do need to embrace the truth the Holy Spirit challenges me with and choose to humble and change. There is only one Door, and that is through Jesus Christ, to enter in to the way He has made available to us. There is no other way. His Word contained in scripture, the record there of the way He lived on earth to please His Father, is available to whosoever will embrace this narrow way of joy unspeakable and full of glory,………We have much to discover, as yet, in the God of much more.
We are the living stones being prepared in God’s quarry. He is chipping away at us, preparing us to be fitly framed together in one body, all functioning correctly, with Christ as the Head. The quarry is a needful place of preparation in order that when we are all assembled together, only Christ will be seen. Self glory will be a repugnance and God will rightly receive all the glory, for His is all the work, thus all the credit.
God created us with our individual uniqueness, but as Believers in Christ we have a common goal: pressing on to know our Lord Jesus Christ in His fullness…….no more window shopping but taking hold of that which we have been apprehended in Christ for, to know the power of the Cross individually and corporately, a living flame to direct others to know Him, too. Lost in Him, in order to be found in Him, hidden in Christ.
Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death”.