And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed.2 Thessalonians 2:6(NASB)
By dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:6 NIV)
Service begins with separation from the world, emancipation from the kingdom of this world, but it is a very thoroughgoing thing. Oh, that the church would recognize this, that God’s last word about this matter of emancipation and separation is “there shall not a hoof be left behind” (Ex. 10:26). You see, the service of Moses was a very thoroughgoing service, and it went that far, that not a hoof was left behind, and that is service to God. "See that the people are utterly out, and there is no link remaining."
Do remember that service is always governed by this: a deep inward separation. It is not enough for us to come out from the world and become parts of the people of God. Something more than that is necessary. The whole self-life in us has got to be definitely dealt with, and a great separation has to take place there. The impulsive, hot, fiery Moses had to become the quiet, patient, meek Moses... learning, perhaps above all things, meekness and patience. What a discipline of those forty years of self-emptying. Presently when he really enters upon his life’s work, his life service, one of the things that he will need most will be patience, and there is nothing more calculated to produce patience than the discipline of inaction. We do not learn patience when we can keep busy, when we can gratify all our impulses by doing something. But when we are not allowed to do anything, when we are cut off from ministry and work and service, and shut up to the discipline of inaction and the discipline of delay, God is preparing for better service than we would ever have fulfilled otherwise.
The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. § He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. § Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard: my Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. § Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness … envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit … Abide in Me, and I in you … By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
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" (John 15:4).
The quality of the fruit of the branch depends upon the quality of the life of the vine. Neither quality nor quantity is the product of the branch, for the branch merely receives what is produced by the vine."To walk with God in hallowed fellowship is not only the secret of joy and growth, it is the condition of all acceptable service, of all real usefulness. The value of what we do depends very much upon what we are. And what we are depends upon where we abide. The mightiest power for usefulness is the quiet influence of a life that abides habitually in the secret place of the Most High. Such an one dwells in the source of all life, of all purity, of all fruitfulness." -E.H.H.
"It is just a matter of taking a position that is already yours. The enemy has filled the minds of many believers with the delusion that they are poor, and in their poverty they must work and grind and toil in order to buy the blessings which are already theirs in Christ. It is time to see that all you need you have in Christ. There is no need of yours which is not fully met in Him. And you are in Him. You only need to take the position which is yours already abide!" -D.T.
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8)
“I have appeared unto thee for this purpose.” Acts 26:16
The vision Paul had on the road to Damascus was no passing emotion, but a vision that had very clear and emphatic directions for him, and he says, "I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision." Our Lord said, in effect, to Paul - Your whole life is to be overmastered by Me; you are to have no end, no aim, and no purpose but Mine. "I have chosen him."
When we are born again we all have visions, if we are spiritual at all, of what Jesus wants us to be, and the great thing is to learn not to be disobedient to the vision, not to say that it cannot be attained. It is not sufficient to know that God has redeemed the world, and to know that the Holy Spirit can make all that Jesus did effectual in me; I must have the basis of a personal relationship to Him. Paul was not given a message or a doctrine to proclaim, he was brought into a vivid, personal, overmastering relationship to Jesus Christ. Verse 16 is immensely commanding - "to make thee a minister and a witness." There is nothing there apart from the personal relationship. Paul was devoted to a Person not to a cause. He was absolutely Jesus Christ's, he saw nothing else, he lived for nothing else. "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."
And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM.
God wrote a few brief verses revealing how He created the world – what He did. God wrote the entire Scripture telling us about Himself – Who He is. It is not what a man does in his life that is of final significance, it is what a man IS in life that is of consequence – not what he does. It is character, that emanates from a man that is important. A man’s character is so much more than a man’s deeds. It is a man’s ambiance and attitude – that is written in the heavenly annals. It is a man’s atmosphere rather than his activities that counts at the last.
The character of God never changes. God is Who He is. He blesses His children and punishes the wicked… indeed He does. But man’s preconceived notions of God may distort the character of God – such as the suggestion that.. “He only blesses and always ‘blesses’ the upright.” Both Job and his comforters had the same creed – but only Job spoke the truth of God. Only Job spoke rightly of the Lord. Job 42:7
The church in general – and believers specifically often hold to this false perception. Christians can be in danger of accusing others, if they do not comply with an ideal, like imposing a distorted belief on someone who doesn’t measure up to set plumb-lines.. or accusations based on established Christian thinking.. or a set of imposed standards.
If like Eliphaz we reason that God blesses the good man but not the bad man, we are on dangerous ground, for we falsely accuse the character of God. Such false assumptions about God, can only lead to spiritual bigotry and religiosity. If like Job’s friends we believe that God sends evil on the good and bad alike as – we are still on a shaky foundation, for God’s name is charged with evil. It was aread more
Ye shall not go out with haste.
What a marvellous power there is in stillness. We are so often in such a hurry. We must always be up and doing. We are in danger of not giving God a chance to work… in us. God never says to us, “Stand still,” or “Sit still,” or “Be still,” Unless He is going to do something.
Stand still – and let God work in your life.
Sit still – and listen to the whisper of the Spirit in your heart.
Be still – and know that I Am God.
God has one eternal purpose concerning us, a plan that floods the pages of Scripture. His plan is that we should be like His Son. His plan is that we should be conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus.
For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. And at times He brings us into a vacuumed season of passive stillness.. to bring us into line with His desire – His will – His heart.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor deem these days–these waiting days–as ill,
The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way,
Hath not forgotten thy great need today!
And, if He waits, ’tis sure He waits to prove
To thee, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Thou longest much to know thy dear Lord’s will!
While anxious thoughts would almost steal their way
Corrodingly within, because of His delay.
Persuade thyself in simple faith to rest
That He, who knows and loves, will do the best.
Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still!
Nor move one step, not even one, until
His way hath opened. Then, ah then, how sweet!
How glad thy heart, and then how swift thy feet
Thy inner being then, ah then, how strong!
And waiting days