The Life is in the Seed

The earth produces fruit when a seed dies in it. The life is still at work in the seed, even when it dies. Until it dies, though, the transformation cannot happen that allows it to spring up, be seen, bear fruit, and multiply.

You don’t need to struggle to try to do what someone else is doing to succeed in life. You just need to listen to the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus as He works in you to be exactly who He says you are. Pear trees don’t have too much trouble avoiding producing peaches. They neither have to struggle to figure out what goes in the recipe for a pear. Let Him work in you to want to do and then to be able to do what He says is the who and the why of your identity.

It was His idea to pick you to be you. You don’t have to convince Him that you need direction. Just listen and be leadable.

“The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. “A man scatters seed on the ground; he sleeps and rises—night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he doesn’t know how. The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because harvest has come.”
(Mark 4:26-29 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

The Author’s Voice

One of my heroes passed from this life last year. I picked up a couple of his books to give him fresh opportunities to influence me. I knew his voice from hours of listening to him teach in large groups, small groups, and in conversations that he and I had. As I read what he wrote, I don’t hear my voice in my head. I hear his.

As we read the Scriptures, we should come to a maturity of knowing our Shepherd’s voice. We should hear His voice in our heads, maybe. It was costly for Yahweh to gain your life. He doesn’t intend to neglect your preparation or your inform-ation with regard to your presence and work in the earth.

The preparation and information become transformation when we let them. When we add our part of the revelation that He is giving to the church to the parts that other believers bring into the relationships we allow, the transformation multiplies for each of us.

However, among the mature we do speak a wisdom, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew it, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written:

What no eye has seen and no ear has heard,
and what has never come into a man’s heart,
is what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Now God has revealed them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the concerns of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the concerns of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For:

who has known the Lord’s mind,
that he may instruct Him?

But we have the mind of Christ.
(1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

The Priesthood

Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob, and explain to the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me. Now if you will listen to Me and carefully keep My covenant, you will be My own possession out of all the peoples, although all the earth is Mine, and you will be My kingdom of priests and My holy nation. These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
(Exodus 19:3-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people for His possession,
so that you may proclaim the praises
of the One who called you out of darkness
into His marvelous light.
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

We are the only authentic priests on the planet. How should that influence our lives and our work? Ask the Spirit.

Don’t Give Up

The Spirit of God is named, “the Spirit of Faith” in this portion of a letter from Paul to the congregations in Corinth. He is at work in you, to prepare you and then use you in the work He is doing in the earth. When that work becomes painful or difficult, lean even more into His ability within you to make the awesome things happen through you.

Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in accordance with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak, knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and present us with you. For all this is because of you, so that grace, extended through more and more people, may cause thanksgiving to overflow to God’s glory.

Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:7-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

The Slain Lamb

Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world.

Time and space are limitations that we are not naturally able to step out from under the control of. Not so with Jesus. Before Abraham was, He still is.

All the intentions Yahweh has had toward humanity for blessing and Life were accomplished outside of time, and poured into the earth through Jesus while He was on the cross. All His Father had intended and promised to His faithful in the earth became “Yes” and “Amen” through Jesus in a moment on the timeline, and Jesus declared them “finished” when they were manifested in time.

Revelation 13:8 / 2 Corinthians 1:20 / John 19:30

Nasty Treatment

Being abused and accused and insulted is normal if you are doing what you should. Jesus warned:

Woe to you
when all people speak well of you,
because this is the way their ancestors
used to treat the false prophets.
(Luke 6:26 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

When the Spirit is trying to convict you of some error, He will tell you. If you don’t listen, He will send someone who loves you to tell you. If you don’t listen, He will send someone who doesn’t love you to tell you. Just in case, when you are being accused of some evil by someone who would not want you blessed, ask the Spirit if He sent them.

If you are not convicted in your heart of error by Him, then the accusation is just something that is in the accuser’s life that they are hating you for. Don’t let it become a weight. Pray for them to be set free.

The Strength of Grace

Paul was comparing himself to other apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:9-11. There, he said that the grace of God that was with him gave him the strength to work harder than any of them.

In his letter to Titus (Titus 2:9-14), he stated that grace has brought us salvation and is instructing us regarding how to live.

“And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.”
(Acts 20:32 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Prepared for the Prize

Athletes train for success. “For although I am free from all people, I have made myself a slave to all, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win those under the law. To those who are outside the law, like one outside the law—not being outside God’s law, but under the law of Christ—to win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, that I may become a partner in its benefits.

Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”
(1 Corinthians 9:19-27 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Athletes work – they compete for a prize.  “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. To please the recruiter, no one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of everyday life. Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hardworking farmer who ought to be the first to get a share of the crops. Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
(2 Timothy 2:3-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

We need to be prepared for succeeding in our callings by doing all that we can to learn more of who our God is, more of who He says we are, and what He declares to be our purposes in the earth. He is the Judge of the race. We want to hear His voice saying “Well done.”

Brace up. Get ready. Run!

The Cost of Fullness

In events recorded in what we call the Old Testament, men and women were moved by the Spirit of God for supernatural strength or revelation that were temporary manifestations of being filled by Him or having Him fall on them. It resembled His hand in the earth donning a glove for a job.

Jesus purchased a new way of sending His Spirit on the cross. He then fulfilled “the Promise of the Father” (Luke 24:45-49) by sending the Holy Spirit to fill His brothers and sisters, making us powerful. That power includes making us able to manifest some ability that God has and wants to use through us in the earth to do works. These are individual works, and things that we do together.

It also includes the power to manifest His character. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fullness of faith, gentleness, and self-control.

As we learn to give the Holy Spirit the master bedroom in our hearts, or the steering wheel and gas pedal in our lives, it is costly. It isn’t just when ministry needs to happen because someone near us has a need. It is all the time. It is costly: our entire lives. It is broad – every dimension of our lives. It is long – the rest of our lives.

What could be more awesome?

Eating Properly

He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out, and your feet did not swell these 40 years.
(Deuteronomy 8:3-4 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Expect some words to come to you from the mouth of the Lord.

As preparation for that, expect to get hungry. And don’t complain about it. Let it remind you to look for the words.