16. Rest vs Passivity
And I must bring myself back into the utter REST that we must walk in, that every part of me, especially my mistakes, Jesus carries utterly inside of Himself. And right now, He is living in every part of the human me. And in that certainty, I find gladness, joy unspeakable, and the sweet love relationship with my Savior that alone will carry us through.
16. Rest vs Passivity
Passivity — Bad. Rest — Good.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. The Hebrew word that Isaiah used here for ‘wait’ is not a passive, maybe someday, kind of waiting. It is not putting off until tomorrow what God has already said belongs to right now. Rather, it is the same meaning as to braid a rope.They that are entwined together with the Lord shall renew their strength.
That entwining is filled with great workings and passion, yet it is complete rest.
Jesus said, “He that thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.”
Paul used the word ‘groan’ instead of thirst. He said that we groan and long for the physical body to be swallowed up in the life of God. The defeat of death in our physical bodies is the focus of the Christian’s travail.
We are well into the transition between the age of human folly and the age of the liberty of the sons of God. There are three foundational truths we must keep in our minds and hearts as we walk through this time of great contradiction.
1. We see glory as has never been seen before. Nothing in the experience of man on this earth can compare to what we see and are a part of. We cannot even look back to Jesus as He Himself walked this earth, for we know Him that way no longer. He is in us to do a new thing. Every word God has spoken through His covenant with us we know in full reality; we will see it fully in our experience.
2. We have not been this way before. We live in both heaven and earth, but, although we know much about living in the earth, we know very little about living in the heavenlies at the same time. Each of us is entwining ourselves and being entwined into that full revelation of Jesus Christ as He intends through us. Although there are similarities, yet each one of us must find that particular revelation of Jesus that we are.
3. This is all God’s doing. It is God who determined right from the start that I would be just like Jesus, conformed to the image of His Son. I can accomplish nothing of myself. All of my groaning and all of my thirst is a pointless waste of time – except God.
And so we find ourselves between passivity and rest. They look very similar but they are very different. The one will cause us to be left behind, the other places us directly in the grip of a passionate and wild Being who gets His way and who always accomplishes His purposes.
Paul said, speaking of our pursuit of the resurrection of our bodies, “That I might apprehend that for which I have been apprehended.”
I love the Greek word that has been translated ‘apprehend.’ It is better translated ‘seized.’ That I might seize that for which I have been seized. The word ‘seized’ means “caught in a powerful and certain grip.” I have been seized by the intention of God. I am utterly in the grip of His will. Then, out of the certainty of the grip of God upon me in all of my ways, I myself seize hold of every expression of His life in me.
This is rest; this is the entwining of God.
But passivity is different, though it can appear similar. Passivity says, “Well, since it’s all up to God and not up to me, I will simply live life as it comes and God can do whatever He wants to do whenever He gets around to it.”
We certainly live life as it comes, simply and with all joy, giving thanks in all things. That is an essential part of our rest. But the problem with that attitude all by itself is that it has eliminated my direct involvement with a passionate and determined God.
We live in the Matrix. We have lived in a false understanding of reality. Our earthly focus has kept us from walking in the reality of the heavenlies in which we presently live. The shattering of our earthly seeing requires both faith and violence. Rest is not passive. We are coming out of unreality. That is not a passive process.
At the same time, I read those who have decided that since they have discovered the reality of Christ in them, there is no more spiritual warfare. The devil is just an extension of God performing His will in the world and we don’t worry about him anymore. I read of those who go for months without a sense of God’s presence and power and that is just part of accepting Christ living as us.
First, I cannot comprehend anyone who accepts living without the immediate sense of God’s presence, His power, and His peace.
Spiritual warfare is now, for me, on a whole different level than it once was. I used to fight the shadow of darkness attempting to stand between me and the knowledge of His glory by pleading the blood of Jesus. That level of warfare was for a season. Now I fight that shadow by placing myself utterly in Jesus and seeing Jesus in every part of me – and by deliberately moving over to seeing all things through God’s eyes.
The difference in my own experience is this. I have never accepted ‘brass heavens,’ and I have never understood anyone who willingly did. Sometimes, I would battle for some days, crying out to God for mercy, pleading the blood, before the darkness fled and His overwhelming peace flowed in. Now, I stand firmly against the darkness, drawing my mind out of seeing the lie of the darkness and placing my mind fully upon this confession of faith: “Christ is all there is in me.” Often, when the assault is most severe, the darkness will persevere for an hour or two before its hold breaks and it flees.
But I am no longer in any way asking for ‘mercy’ from a position of fault. Rather, I stand in the certainty that all of my weakness, He already carries within Himself, and He lives utterly in every part of me in the present moment.
God placed Satan in this world for His own purposes, yes. But God’s purpose for placing Satan here is to teach us to fight. God’s intention, the sons He has determined to form, can only come about through a very good fight. That’s just the way it is.
I have no doubt that spiritual warfare is a far bigger deal now than it has ever been. And not only for our own liberty, though our own liberty is absolutely essential for all creation. But we also stand in intercession for others now, agreeing with what the Lord Jesus is already doing and by that agreement, we release Him to do what He is already doing.
I find it so easy to depart from rest and to get into the thought that I must ‘press through.’ Let me share with you the progression that my mental state then takes. It always begins with an earnest desire to connect fully with the great thing God is doing in the earth right now. I cry out to Him, “Oh God, oh God. Do it in me.” Then I become anxious about having missed God, somehow. (This is where earnestly seeking God falls away.) Then I begin seeing that maybe I missed it here or there in the past. Then I begin feeling a need to repent, both for past mistakes and for present indifference. Then I find myself no longer seeing myself in Christ and Christ in me. I am now a lost sinner in need of God’s mercy.
Then I wake up! I wake up because I know that I know that I know, from long years of wandering around in that wilderness, that there is NO LIFE TO BE FOUND THERE.
And I must bring myself back into the utter REST that we must walk in, that every part of me, especially my mistakes, Jesus carries utterly inside of Himself. And right now, He is living in every part of the human me.
And in that certainty, I find gladness, joy unspeakable, and the sweet love relationship with my Savior that alone will carry us through.
I am seized by the will of God – as you have been. I am caught in the determined intention of a God who has been plotting these next few years of human experience long before time began. All of His focus has always been upon this present time in human history. Here is where He shows His stuff! Now is when He proves His will!
God will have His way. And He will have His way entirely inside of and dependent upon human faith. God is a risk-taker. He has determined to triumph in my weakness and in yours.
And here is the secret. Here is the door. Here is the way in which you will experience the very birthing of God Himself in you.
I am Your servant, let it be to me according to Your word.
Could it be that Mary, a little, simple-hearted, teenage girl, is the one who shows us the way into all the revelation of God?
Every word that God has ever directed towards the hearing of man upon this earth, let it be fulfilled in me, according to my appointed portion in the New Covenant.
A woman giving birth has no real control over the pangs that have gripped her body. The life inside must come forth. But a woman who is prepared will cooperate with that pain, rather than fight against it. If a woman is encouraged to press before it is time it will wear her out without results. This is that fruitless ‘pressing through’ that I spoke of that takes us from rest and places us outside of the present knowledge of Christ.
When our first son was born, we were in a hospital surrounded by passive women who had not prepared themselves for their moment of birthing. When the pangs of labor hit them, one by one, they screamed in terror and demanded drugs, NOW! Their children were born into this world stoned out of their minds. I was so proud of my precious wife (I better say no more).
But when the water breaks, and the time is come, then the woman who is prepared gives herself to those pains and she presses with the pressing already taking place within her.
This is the rest of God. This is the birthing we are now in. The pangs of labor have seized us. Let us embrace those pangs in all of their workings, resting utterly in the reality of the life of God that is being birthed from out of our beings.
This is the work of God: believe in Jesus.