In this season of remembering the birth of Jesus, we need to remember the witness of our ‘new birth’ into his dominion and glory. We need a re-appearing of Jesus! We need to behold him and behold ourselves as His vessels for holiness. We need awakening–we need a revival. Prayer is the only dimension that will change the atmosphere around you to behold his glory and produce a personal revival that makes you of any use to his kingdom. In this season of remembering, don’t forget prayer, it’s the power to produce the living presence of Christ Jesus in you as the only hope of glory. It is the portal through which the Holy Spirit of Christ will alter how you think about God and change the way in which you live for Him. Luke 1:32-33
In Psalm 40, David says of God, ‘He took me out of the miry clay and put my feet upon a rock!’ The miry clay is a picture of something, it represents a horrible place, but a timeless reminder of what to do when you get your feet stuck. While hopeless for the unbelieving, it holds a truth that there is great hope for all who call upon the name of the Lord by faith. Hear the lessons from the miry clay. It’s a place of waiting, but with expectation. There’s an expectancy that God will deliver. It is a place God uses to bring about patience, but with it the ability to endure because God is faithful and He sits in the place of confident victory. David says in that place, “He inclined to me.” Do you recognize that place holds the inclinations of God’s heart. If you go on to read, it continues by saying, “many are your thoughts to me and too vast to number.” He inclines himself toward us by making that place abundant with his thoughts to lead, to guide, to encourage, to strengthen, to rise above, and to make our footsteps firm. The picture here is one producing a place of foundation out onto a rock. The land longs for foundation, for when the foundations are shaken and men no more live by the principles of God’s word, things begin to crumble, and so goes the evolution of societies that failed to recognize God as Almighty! But God has a foundation for those who cry out to him there in that horrible stuck place–it’s a place on the Rock, and it’s a place of comforting refuge! The miry clay represents a place of melody and song because David says out of that place, “He has put a new song in my heart a song of praise to our God”. It is the sound of praise and singing that establishes us as victors and not victims. It will be a song that will call many to worship His name because of the testimony that the clay produces for the believing. It’s a super-natural place of Divine influence with a power able to raise us up because of Jesus Who says, ‘because I live, so shall you’. Verse 4 of that same chapter says, “How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust”.
I sometime get that sense of God’s purpose for humanity and truly experience a desire to be used to reach others for His kingdom. In the middle of one of those thoughts, God brought a revelation to me; ‘you have abilities, or you think you do, but it’s not your abilities I need; it’s not your charm or charisma, not your personality or persona, no matter if you think it’s strong or weak. No, reaching men has nothing to do with your good intentions, or even what you think! Remember, ‘I told you to come to the cross and surrender your thoughts, intentions, and abilities or lack of them. I told you in My word to reckon ‘yourself’ to be dead, so I could live. This world doesn’t need to know who you think you are, it needs to know Me and who I Am! Surrender your thoughts to Me! As long as you live ‘your life’, you cannot reproduce Mine! The Apostle Paul said, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me….’ He further says, ‘whatever things were gain to me, I counted as loss that I could know Him and the power of His resurrection life!’ God says, ‘live My life and others will see Me through your surrender. They will see a brokenness that is evidence you serve me and not yourself, and you will prove to be my disciple whose actions reach many because of Who I Am!’
Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 11:28 to come to His rest! In John 10:7 He says, ‘I’m the door you must enter through.’ All too often we fail to see the open door Jesus has made for our entry into His House of Rest! This past spring a red bird appeared in the window at our house of worship. At first, everyone was pleasantly distracted by his coming to the window. However, over the course of the next few weeks he would make it his mission to attack every window on our building repeatedly becoming a nuisance to everyone. I found myself thinking, ‘that stupid little bird…’, then God said to me, “you’ve been like that little bird”. The truth is, we have all been just like that little red bird. He might have found the door of entry, but he was too busy fighting his enemies, or so it would seem! In reality, he wasn’t even looking for the door. What are you seeking? Is it the open door of Jesus that brings you into a place of rest, or are you like the little bird? Just what does he see in the glass that keeps him coming back to the place of futility? He sees himself, but he is most deceived thinking it’s his enemy. In his zeal to fight, he is bound by a deception that allows the real enemy to steal what God says is rightfully his. There is a ‘little red bird’ syndrome bound in the nature of all our flesh. The little bird is fighting against his own image though he doesn’t see it. Your image will always make you angry, frustrated, and captivated by Your-SELF and the image IT produces. There is a blindness only Jesus can remove. He says to you, ‘I’ve an anointing that can heal blind eyes so you can see the door of rest.’ It is a place of recovery, it is a place of release and abundance. Any attempt to use something other than the door will leave you beaten and bruised. There is hope and healing at the Open Door of Jesus! His lessons are the cure of our Red Bird syndrome! He is saying to you, ‘Son/Daughter, use the door! It represents the only legitimate way to my service and pleasure and by it you will produce My glory and not your own! Use the door, and you will be able to move freely in my presence where there is fulness and joy. It will be a fulness that will keep you from robbing Me and being robbed of what I alone have given you to possess!’
Often we find ourselves in a fog, wondering where God is in our circumstances. We may feel as though we made a decision to follow the Lord way back when, but the enemy would have us convinced that all those decisions for what we believed was right and honorable have left us in the middle of the desert. You think, after all these years life should be more comfortable, but instead you feel like your life is in a wilderness and everything you believed is being tested. You are not alone though you may think you are. How you handle the wilderness will be the defining moment in your Christianity. You said you wanted to serve God and be his disciple, but what you may fail to realize is; there is no effective ministry without a wilderness. Matthew 4:1, Jesus is led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. This wilderness is for His glory. This wilderness is defining your call. Many a young person may think it well to serve God without fully removing the harmful effects of sin, pride, or rebellion, but without a wilderness you will serve God by what is born out of ‘pop culture’ pursuing what is popular and not what is holy. Remember Moses? It was the wilderness that led him to a place of holy ground. The wilderness defines my call by leading me to holy ground to meet a holy God not given to the popular, but to the pure. The wilderness defines my identity as being in Christ and in Him alone because there is nothing else to cling to. It is here the enemy comes to question your sonship saying, ‘If you’re a son, then do this or do that for instant comfort’ but in the wilderness you must discover it is Christ alone your hope of glory. It is a place of understanding my identity as the Apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me….” You may feel you have spent your whole life serving people and even family, only to be kicked in the teeth. You may have worked so hard to accomplish some purpose only to be disappointed in some way, yet is it the wilderness that defines my God. He uses the wilderness to prove the true object of my affection. Was my service just my gratification or was it for His glory? You see, the wilderness makes the object of our affection very clear; will my god prove to be self as I bemoan the circumstance, or will I recognize the greatness of our God by completely trusting Him as I offer Him my praise. Often we have come to make worship about the “lights, camera and the action”. In the wilderness, He proves there is no power but His, and He wants to be the main attraction. While He makes us to sing, it’s not the music, it is the message. Jesus said in the wilderness, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the Mouth of God”. The good news is, this wilderness will define your victory by advancing the kingdom for God’s glory. Just remember this fact from the life of Christ; wilderness advances the kingdom (Matt.4:17;19). As you are hidden in Christ and His life is yours, you will advance His cause bringing many sons to glory. The wilderness God is using produces glory every time. After the wilderness, Moses saw God liberate a nation in just a few days. After the wilderness, Jesus moved with might and power. And this wilderness you may find yourself in at this present hour is for His glory to give you a future and hope that through your tried and proven testimony He lives, He moves, He saves, He redeems, and He alone is able to rescue and recover when no one else can. God is using your wilderness to define your Christian faith so embrace it, embrace Him and glory will follow.