Spontaneous without striving
Spontaneous without striving or it will rob us of our identity in Christ
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mat 11:25 – 30
It’s interesting how Jesus starts this moving with Him. He first shows that to truly understand you must set yourself in the place of a child. Not as one knowing but as one ready to receive. If we we come as a child we can receive and be guided. Then we will enter His rest.
But how is stepping out restful?
This is my goal. To be truly yoked to Jesus, but at points I find the need to be walking righteously and spreading the Gospel as heavy in the light of my lack of seeing results. This place of seeing my lack can ether draw me to reflect on God’s favor, grace and how He makes me competent or increase my insecurity and drive to strive to build my own righteousness.
Striving is not rooted in love or confidence but inadequacy. Inadequacy is a terrible foundation to build on, anything done in response to it will be unstable and inevitably crumble. So what can we do to make sure this isn’t what we are responding to? How can we be stepping out with God (good works through love) without striving?
When one sees their intrinsic value and how they are loved, it sets them free to reflect this valuing and love so they can move, breath and be! This is revealed to us in seeing how and why God gave us His Son to live and die for us. This will free spontaneous and on purpose acts of love to not become striving as we follow Jesus. This releases us to walk out our salvation without robbing us of our identity in Christ. Instead of loosing our identity this walk reveals the reality of Christ in us our hope of glory.
Walking on water
Now we all would love to walk on water. When Peter did it he didn’t start in faith, he was first afraid but said if it is you ask me to come to you. Some times that is exactly what stepping out looks like. First there is a sense that Jesus might be doing something that you can request involvement in, or a situation needs to be more heaven like and what is happening doesn’t match with God’s heavenly kingdom on earth.
Stepping out beyond the fear
I try to practice stepping out and seeing how things could be different with my family. When out with my son and daughter, Jude and Eva, we do things like praying for people and giving money, food and other stuff to the homeless. The result is that it has become a part of how God is free to use us.
The other weekend while we were out Eva saw some homeless guys and asked us if we could give them some money. My wife, Sooz to me, said why don’t we get something for them to eat. She also came up with the idea that I see if he would like a hot drink. So Eva and Sooz went off to get food while Jude and I took his order for a coffee with milk and one sugar.
When Jude and I got back I asked the young man about himself and what he dreamed of being when he was a child. He shared and I shared parts of my weaker story so he wouldn’t feel talked down to. I then asked if I could pray with Him. This turned into ministry on the street as he began to cry. He then shared even more of his heart and cried more.
We invited him to join us for tea but he declined.
He then expressed how he was seeking Jesus. We prayed with him and there was a start of His journey. I spoke of surrender and he asked were we lived and went to church. Just up the road was a church and He expressed that even though we were going to be in another town and that he didn’t like crowds he would go.
I’m glad to report he went to church the past two Sundays, was blessed with accommodation and gets financial support. All this in a matter of two weeks. He has also now agreed to go out for tea with us.
All this because Eva has giving as a part of how God uses her now. To tell you the truth I was tired to start with and not feeling well, but was full of joy by the end and shared with another guy that night as well.
Two nights after talking with this guy he called asking for help. I went out and helped as requested. On the way back I meat a friend on the bus. She was coming back from visiting her son. Eva, Jude and I had bumped into her a couple of months before and had given her son, who was struggling with anorexia, a word. She shared how after sharing this word with him he began to eat and was now fully back to a normal weight, yet still needing further deliverance. This bumping into her on the bus turned into further words and realy encouranged her. This then opened an invitation for Sooz to take her the next time and her son asking for Sooz to pray with him. She had an amazing word for him that realty gave clarity to how God was restoring his relationship like a garden and would bring it into full restoration.
I share these stories so you can see a flow that can happen just by being open and practicing listening and sharing what you hear. Along with this is encouraging others by getting involved in what God is doing in their lives. This keeps flowing when I come to Him as a child and yet can totally go dry when I get caught up in striving. Practicing being yoked to Him as a child with my dad helps me avoid striving and loss of identity.
We must never forget He is our Dad and we are His children. Whatever we do, we do with Him. We can feel inadequate yet know we are resourced from heaven. We can join with Jesus’s prayer requesting that situations on earth to reflect heaven. If Jesus prayed it then it has to be in line with God’s heart. As we are on the subject of Jesus’s prayer model, let’s look at it.
The flow seen in Jesus’s prayer model
It start’s with identity, calling Him Father, then with worship, declaring His holy identity, then the request of the earth to reflect heaven, Lordship. After this there is the daily provision, making us competent, then leading, so we avoid evil or distraction, then giving forgiveness, and seeing heaven respond with forgiveness that multiplies.
This isn’t just a model of prayer, but of communication and relationship with God. It has been expressed to pray always. To do all things as for Jesus. To acknowledge Him (notice God’s with you and see what He is doing) in all your ways. To be like a child with Him. To be yoked with Him. Free from striving and entering His rest. Rest where He guides and provides what you need to meet the needs of you and those around you.
Forgiven Children who are loved by their loving heavenly Father, reflecting heaven on earth.