April 19th 2010

In the Perceived Absence

This is a short journal entry that might help. I have been thinking about the wicked servant lately. "But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is delayed'...and you remember the rest. In light of what I have learned about relationship with God, abiding in Him, this wicked servant is indeed wicked. He watches the clock, he figures out that his master should have been home by now. He believes his master is late in coming and so he does what is in his real heart. The faithful and wise servant behaves as though the master could come at any time, and more importantly, he or she behaves as though the Master has already come. This is the difference between the believer who abides in the Father's love and is always with the Father and those who figure out time tables. I'm reminded of Elijah or Elisha when Gahazi went after Naaman the Syrian to get a festal garment. The Prophet confronted him and said, "Did not my spirit go with you...?" The believer who abides in the Lord is always with the Lord and when the Lord comes, that servant will be ready because he or she was and is abiding in the One who will come. The perceived absence of God reveals us. The scripture where God says, "I was silent...you thought I was one like yourself, but now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you." In our prayer life, in our walk with Jesus, at times He does hide Himself. He does not forsake us or leave us, but He is able to conceal himself from us. When this happens, the souls yearns for God, the soul is disquieted. In relationship with God, relationship things happen. If we do not thrist for God and long for Him then we are not in a living relationship with Him. If we are not in a relationship, and we still say that we are bellievers, then we are in religion. We will rely on our works to prove to ourselves, to deceive ourselves that a relationship does exist between us and God. We will then be surprised at the end when we call him Lord and ask him to treat us as though He has a relationship with us, as though "He knows us." And He will say, "I do not know you" to those who did not seek His face daily, hourly, abiding in the Only source for our life. I urge you who read this, this is not about works. This is about abiding in His Love. We do this truthfully. We come in prayer and truly lay before our Father, everything. EVERYTHING! And we pray the prayer, "Search me O God, and see if there be any wicked way in me." I now know that when I entered into His courts, I entered by the righteousness that Jesus gained me by His blood. I can approach my Heavenly Father as a son and as a servant. You and I have been granted this grace. We then approach our Father with love and thankfulness and we approach Him with truth. We tell Him the truth about ourselves and ask Him to reveal us in His light so that we can repent and release the sins that separate us from Him. If you abide in Him, you will not be deceived about your standing with Him. The scripture says that Jesus promises to come on a day that the wicked servant does not expect and at an hour he does not know. How can Jesus guarantee this when He Himself does not know when He will come, but the Father only? Because of the nature of the promise. He who abides in Him will always be ready, time and date does not matter to those who abide in Him. The wicked servant condemns himself because by his own heart he is confirming his own destruction. He will work up to a point when he thinks the works will count, but when his Master is perceived to be delayed, he will do what is in his heart, which means the works he was doing before were not from God and were a religious show. We cannot put works before abiding in Him. We abide in Him and then bear fruit. We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus......the works He prepares beforehand, that we should walk in them. And we will walk in HIS works, if first we are walking in HIS Spirit.

One last thought. Paul in one of the Letters talked about trying to go to a certain area to preach the gospel but the Holy Spirit prevented him. Then he sought to go to another place but the Spirit of Jesus stopped him. What is interesting is that Paul was trying to get to this two places to preach the gospel of Christ. The Holy Spirit stopped Paul from bringing the gospel to people in these 2 cases. This was profound for me. This shows me that we as believers must be obedient to God in the Spirit first and always. We cannot assume that when we preach, witness, or do anything that looks like God's will, that we are automatically pleasing God. I think some brothers witness by force because they think they are pleasing God when God did not send them or open their mouths. Abide in Him and the works will come into view as you walk with Him.