I read a wonderful description of the Word of God recently. Imagine it as a wall and behind that wall is a land filled with ordinary men and women, who make mistakes and go to God and fix them. It is filled with good-hearted parents and children. It is filled with people who forge ahead though the odds look impossible. It has music that magnifies God, and art and language and dancing. It has struggles and triumphs and all of it is wrapped around the joy and rejoicing in God’s Word. The only way to get over this wall and into this land is to read God’s matchless Word.
Do we read it today? How should we read it? What could happen if we do?
Our title today is what will happen. We will rejoice. We will find answers to questions we didn’t know we had. We will rise up with holy hands and praise the One True God over and over again. No longer will we be prisoners to our circumstances and experiences. We will have a new reference from which to use in our daily trials and understanding.
“For the same cause also do ye joy and rejoice with me.”Philippians 2:18
In yesterday’s post, we discovered that Paul’s attitude and sacrifice were merely a conclusion he came to. He lived, breathed, ate, slept and died for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He sacrificed his error, past wrong conclusions, ego, pride and selfishness on the alter of God’s truth. Wow. Once we discovered that about Paul it was easy to understand his joy. Paul’s cause in life is what he passed on to the Philippians and to us. What was his cause? It tells us back in the context.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” vs. 13-14
Paul was doing this very thing. He was allowing God to work in him.
I used to picture God standing Paul in up his cell and with dramatic gestures and grand postulation spoke forth the Words to be written in forceful detail. They just spilled from his lips as adoring scribes stood near by gathering his words together like precious seeds falling to the ground.
This was my naive thinking of the process of how God works within us. So when I started this blog I waited for that bolt of lightning, that thrust of Holy momentum and that unwavering line of thinking that could burst forth. 580 posts ago I thought maybe God would move my tongue, fingers and ideas into place for the perfect post to appear.
When they didn’t, I grew frustrated doubtful and heavy in my heart. There wasn’t joy there much less rejoicing. I knew God wanted me to write, otherwise why would I love it. Why would it be a desire of mine. God gives us the desires of our heart, but how does it work?
As you think of your calling from God, your hearts desire to write, paint, sing, play music and expand your skills and creativity, think of these verses.
“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. I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:4-8
Here is the recipe for success! It comes with a condition. The condition is in one word, abide. Abide is the Greek word menō, which means to remain, to stay or to rest. It is our job to stay and rest in that which brings us much fruit. The Greek word “bringing forth” in the above verses is the Greek word pherō, to bear fruit. Does an apple tree sweat and strain over the apples it bears. Do you hear complaint and argument from the boughs of its branches heavy laden with summer’s produce? No. It just brings it forth. Fruit comes from being strong, watered, healthy and nurtured. How will we bring forth much fruit that causes rejoicing? The same way. We abide, or rest in the Word of God, we study, experience life, research our results and rest in His comfort. We allow our spirits, souls and bodies to be nurtured by God’s goodness. Then, THEN, then we will see God working within us. This life is a walk. It is also our joy and rejoicing. To spread the gospel of Christ was Paul’s cause and it is ours as well. But we must do it as he did it, by abiding in Him, the Life Giver and the cause for our joy and rejoicing.
God bless you today!