Sometimes we may feel excused to be self-centred for a bit. Especially when we are going through really tough, trying times. I’ve found though in God that it is in my most weakest times, where I’m under warfare, exhausted, unwell, grieving, despaired and broken, in my greatest space of lack or barrenness that the Lord will have me sow. He will require me to minister when I’ve been going through the most intense personal fiery trials, He will require me to seek God for someone or intercede for someone else’s breakthrough and deliverance when I am at a Red Sea situation, He will require me to forgive and honour and bless those who are cursing, judging or critising me, He will require me to give an offering when I haven’t known how I’d feed myself that week, He will require me to congratulate and celebrate someone else’s victory when I’m in the midst of seemingly miscarrying a promise or facing failure. He will require me to be truly happy for those receiving their promises when my heart has been sick and crippled from hope deferment. He has required me to show up when I just wanted to stay in bed and hide from the world because my physical, emotional and mental capacity has hit its limit. He has required me to repent when I’ve felt justified in my complaining and murmuring, He has required me to believe Him when things aren’t going my way and He isn’t doing what I think He should be doing, He requires me to continue to believe Him and offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving when i just want to curl in a ball and give up. He has required me to serve those who are ungrateful, entitled and turn evil for good. He has required me to wait when others are free to go ahead. He has required me to do things I haven’t wanted to do and would be misunderstood by many. The list goes on and on.
Have I responded nobly and honourably without tantrums and complaining and woeing everytime? No, to be honest I haven’t. I guess many times I was like the guy Jesus spoke of that initially said no then after the wrestle found myself obeying. But somehow His grace is sufficient for that. He says He prefers that over someone who says yes yes I’ll do it but never does (Matthew 21:28-31).
Yes I have found the Lord does require much, much given, much required (Luke 12:48). These are the Genesis 26 moments of sowing in famine. These are the moments where we learn His Grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). We are useless unless we learn that.
In the book of Esther we see King Xerxes, of Persia required Queen Vashti to display her beauty. Her beauty was a reflection of the glory of His Kingdom. But she refused. She refused to come at his request. So she was replaced as king Saul was with someone better. One who was humble enough to obey and surrender.
Psalm 45:11 says the King will desire your beauty, bow to Him for he is your Lord.
The beauty is the surrender to the “requirement”. He displays His beauty through His beloved but he requires much. I’m not talking about salvation. We know that was purchased for us.
Queen Vashti felt entitled to her own way and to still reap the benefits of her position in the kingdom. She thought I just want a self-centred day. I want time to myself today! (Don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about not taking care of yourself by adequate rest etc). I’m talking about an internal attitude. Where we decide what’s enough, where when and how. When God actually will take us beyond our capacity. We can sometimes think it’s unfair, but the Lord will require a lot to those He gives a lot to. And the reality is the Lord is the only true one who sees just how much He is requiring of you. You will never be able to show or make anyone see the journey you have in secret. People may get glimpses but the Lord doesn’t want them to see. This is between you and Him. And it won’t be understood by many.
We can be stuck in the song “What about me?” But don’t let that tune be your rhythm. It will only hinder your faith. There is great temptation to sing that tune. Because in the times we feel like we need the attention and comfort and encouragement it appears the Lord is more concerned about everything and everyone else. I’ve had times I’m desperate for answers and am asking God and I’m given dreams for others or nations and He is totally silent on my behalf.
He is expanding you, everytime you sow as the Lord leads in the time you want to be self-centred and selfish, you are being purified of yourself and the limitations that kind of thinking imposes. You are actually birthing the kingdom in your life (for lack of a better way to explain it), because Acts 14:22 says through many sufferings we enter the kingdom. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). So it is born of God not of your own efforts. It comes from a death and surrender of your will and way and is resurrected in purity where faith overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Your peace, joy and righteousness is not dictated to from natural elements and it cannot contaminate nor move it. It has come forth in the surrender where His strength has been made “perfect” within your weakness. It is not the joy or peace the world gives but is found only in Him (John 14:27).
So be encouraged beloved, He does “see”. He is your El Roi. He will provide what you need even though you think you need XYZ, he may provide ABC. His way is perfect and His way is narrow. Not many choose or find the narrow way apparently. Be of good cheer, if He is requiring the pouring out when you feel justified in being self-absorbed and centred, know you are on the narrow path. You are being emptied out to be mantled with authority to inherit your portion. John the Baptist said I must decrease so He may increase. Every increase you experience of kingdom resource or power and authority is first met by a decrease. Not only power and authority but His presence also. John the Baptist was also the expert of dunking people in a river that meant descend to death (Jordan). These are kingdom principles. A lot of folk don’t like this talk. They try and build theologies to protect their self-empowerment.
However the truth is the just shall walk by faith (Hebrews 10:38) and EVERY act of faith will require you to deny yourself. Jesus said we must deny ourself to follow Him. Faith is literally that, following Him. Not doing anything unless we see our Father do it, in His strength and by His spirit. In this, is the descend into the Jordan, but as the son came up endowered and mantled with power so are we.
To share in His glory we must share in His sufferings. He has much Glory He wants to share and Paul said the sufferings aren’t anything in comparison to His Glory. (Romans 8)
Don’t let the lie of the enemy even have a place in your heart. The Lord does care about you. He says that in 1 Peter 5:7. Cast the care because He cares, whether or not God is speaking your love language in the moment, or not! He cares that doesn’t change.
I don’t know who this is for today, but Abba wanted to encourage someone, even if it’s not the kind of encouragement you were after, He does care, He does see what no one else sees, and He is faithful to that which He has promised. He is maturing you and you will eat the fruits of righteousness Hebrews 12 speaks of by going the way of His process.
Much love Beloved,
Signed one who gets and understands the pain in the process, (if that’s any consolation)