In a council session yesterday, a brother “saw” an underground bunker. The scene was like Churchill’s command and control center in London. Strategies were laid out, and maps were on the wall and a table. It was a bustling atmosphere.
Across the room was a sliding glass door to a deck that overlooked an ocean in Hawaii. On the deck were lounges a smorgasbord loaded with all kinds of different food. It was beautiful a vacation spot – in the same room with the underground bunker!
Works and rest are the same place – we are nourished and renewed by co-laboring with our Father. There is nothing better for our hearts than doing something that brings the purpose of Heaven to earth and hearing our Father say, “Well done, my son.” Waves of refreshing come over us.
John 4:31-34 – Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. NASU
When it doesn’t “work” – The Christian life is not one home run after another. Listening to some preachers, we get the impression that our lives should consist an unending series of exploits and miracles. Miracles do occur, but we don’t get a steady diet of them. Living on the presumption of miracles is a ship wreak for many. God knows your works, your labor, and your patience; He knows what you’re trying to do, the degree of difficulty, and your attitude when your best effort doesn’t “work.”
Works testify – Actions speak louder than words is another way of saying products speak louder than preaching. The fruit or results that flow from our lives are the evidence we are His disciples. Our Father wants us to glorify Him with the fruit of our labor. When things don’t work, we feel like something must be broken. It feels like we’re not co-laboring with our Father!
John 15:7-8 – If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. NIV
Under the guise of faithfulness, we can continue to bulldoze people and circumstances and ourselves into “making” our works work. But that runs out of gas and eventually becomes “dead works.” We’ve all vowed not to do that again or be that worksy person!
Spiritual Reality – Sons are being invited to co-labor with their Father. It’s fun when the crop comes in, but the growing season can be wearisome. The only thing that carries us through is love.
Rev 2:2-4 – I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance… You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. NIV
Love knows “why” – Instead of making love one more “work” that doesn’t quite work, let’s define the experience of it. Being in the council and seeing what Father is doing is an experience in why He’s doing it. He isn’t just passing out orders for obedience. He’s inviting us into a loving, Father/son relationship from servant to friend and showing us His business (Jn. 15:15-17). We carry His purpose in our hearts in a way that obedience doesn’t describe; it’s too much fun! It’s our delight to carry that purpose and see the manifestation of the love we see in Heaven show up on earth to bless people.
There is no magic formula that will make your life or business run so smoothly that nothing will ever go wrong. Sonship in the Kingdom is all about warfare and wins and losses. It out job as sons to be stewards of what happens on earth and help conform it with Father’s purposes. The idea that God does everything is a half-bubble off. He does it through us!
My Whining – This morning I was complaining to the Lord about my frustration over the lack progress in “our agenda.” In His words, “It frustrates me too. Do you think we should quit?” I caught the reproof in the humor and my answer was “no.” Our conversation shifted to making adjustments. People and circumstances don’t always respond perfectly to God’s purposes or to us. It is wearisome and discouraging. But if you know the Father’s heart of love and the strategy behind His higher purpose, we will have the perseverance birth Heaven on earth.
I’m being allowed to participate in an Intentional Reformation that is very exciting. It’s the Father’s purpose to bless nations. If there is a degree of difficulty in bringing that to earth, it’s OK with me. I’m totally willing to spend my life on it. I am personally exposed to the thrilling truth and excitement of this purpose “and” the discouraging delays and setbacks. Both are part of the package!
Rev 12:11 – They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. NIV
The Naked Truth – Your assignment (book) may be difficult. You will encounter warfare and resistance and occasional defeats. If it’s all about “you,” you’ll quit. But if you are willing to die (to your own definition of success), there is a place of resurrection where you will see the fruit. Most of us are not called to martyrdom (that would be quick and easy). We’re invited to resurrection life, a refreshing spring just on the other side of Death Valley.
PS: You will have this opportunity to go through death and resurrection more than once. Welcome to fruitful works. Not as easy as we thought.