original image courtesy of Paul Martinez
Christians can be good at making laziness sound spiritual. Have you ever heard these statements?
- “I’m waiting on the Lord.”
- “I’m learning to rest.”
- “I don’t want to get ahead of God.”
These statements are meant to end the conversation. They are not meant for debate. How do you counter what someone feels that God have told them in their personal times with Him. But, are they really from God or just excuses.
Excuses make us feel better about ourselves when we know that there must be more there we are not experiencing.
What is Christian rest?
For the Israelites rest was the promised land (Joshua 1:13). The ones that came out of Egypt were not allowed to enter the rest due to disobedience (Psalm 95:8-11). Two-thirds of the tribes of Israel were given their rest (land), and had to help fight for the other’s rest (Joshua 1:14-15). Rest was not a lazy activity. It had to be fought for and was only attained by the promise of God.
Rest is also God’s presence—for the promise of the Gospel is an invitation to enter God’s presence (1 John 3:19, Psalm 62:1, Psalm 91:1, Hebrews 4:16, Exodus 33:14). This is the secret of not getting ahead of God. When His presence moves, we move. When it tarries, we set up camp (Numbers 9:15-23). But in order to do this, we must keep a watchful eye on His presence.
Passivity is not a fruit of the Spirit. It is not a synonym for patience. It is a deadening of your heart. It’s a sign of giving up or not caring.
I’m passive about golf, American Idol, and Greece entering the Euro zone. However, I am passionate about marriage, family, God’s love, and God’s view of business.
The problem I see (and me included) is that Christians can be passive about God’s plan about their lives. This should not be! God doesn’t want me to kill my heart; instead He is doing all He can to call it to life. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4): Out of the heart flows the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Does this mean we can never be unsure of God’s leading? I hope not, because that is what I am experiencing for myself right now. But this is not a time to be passive.
We are not called to be passive. We are to passionately pursue God (James 4:8). Find those areas of your life where God’s presence stirs within you. Fan those flames and watch how you come to life like never before.