Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Now in the 9th Week of DTS...God is growing us incredibly as a Body!

The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about what it means to "enter His rest" while still being actively engaged in His redemptive work. This may also relate to the topic of "actively waiting on God." King David is a prime example of this waiting on God for deliverance while still taking action to rule the kingdom given him, and even before being crowned king when he was being pursued by his worldly-minded predecessor, King Saul. Hebrews 4:1-3 also relates very specifically to this theme of resting in the promises of God. This has been incredibly relevant to Thandi and I in this time… As verse 2 says: “For we have also had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” In other words, we, as Christians, can receive all kinds of prophetic words and promises of God to us, but unless we actively believe that these promises will come to pass, they will remain covered for another individual or generation to uncover and birth into the physical world. As one of the guest speakers prayed out and imparted to us at the recent Nations 2 Nations Conference in Jeffrey’s Bay, “We shall no longer be prisoner to our potential!” The key to unlocking this prayer and ourselves being the answer to this prayer is stepping into God’s promises in faith, continually speaking them out, no matter the circumstances, in faith.

As the following commentary for Heb. 4:1-3 unravels (though in quite old and wordy English) for us the depths of this passages’ meaning, we see just why the gathering of those who believe in God’s promises (the Church) is so crucial:

"…not being mixed with faith in them that heard it; the Gospel is as food, and faith is the hand that receives it, and takes it, and tastes of it, and eats it, and concocts and digests it; and when this is the case, it is profitable and nourishing; but when it is otherwise, it is not. The Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, and five of Beza's ancient copies, and as many of Stephens's, with others, read, "they were not mixed" referring it not to the word, but to persons; and so read the Arabic and Ethiopic versions: and the sense is, that the generality of the Israelites did not join themselves in faith, in believing in God, to Caleb and Joshua; who hearkened to the Lord, and received and obeyed his word; and so the word became useless to them: there ought to be an union or conjunction of the saints, and the bond of this union is love; and the thing in which they unite is faith, believing in Christ, and the doctrine of faith, which is but one; and though the word may be profitable to others who are not in the communion of the saints; yet forsaking the assembly of the saints, and not constantly attending with them, or not mixing with them continually in public worship, is one reason of the unprofitable hearing of the word when it is preached to them."

This also reminds me of Swahili proverb (mthali) that says Mwomba Mungu hachoki (He who seeks God never tires). The implication is that God continuously fuels (gives grace to) the person who seeks Him consistently. This encourages me greatly and should encourage every believer of the risen Christ that we need not fall into the trap of striving to live righteously and being a ‘good’ or even ‘obedient’ Christian.

The photos above show the final evening of our Nations 2 Nations week in Jeffreys Bay, an 8-hour drive east of Cape Town. We joined with several other DTSs from around the country and region, including Swaziland (a small kingdom and independent nation on the border of Mozambique), and received much impartation of God's heart for ALL nations, including our own. I was struck once again with just how deep God's love is for all peoples (ethne) and His strong desire for their cultural practices to be redeemed so that He may be known personally by them!