Inspiration vs. Perspiration

John 14: 10

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

This is a great word for ministers but truly Jesus modeled life for us all. He is our example. Therefore, we can take inspiration from this message from the Lord.

One day, when I was a bit over-taxed with duties and responsibilities, it occurred to me that I could work through inspiration or perspiration. Well of course, I was working hard. I was sweating the deadlines, burdens and responsibilities. I was in my strength instead of Jesus’. You see, he has created a model by which we work, accomplish, rest, serve him and honor him all at the same time. When we yield our heavy burdens to the Lord, allowing him to carry the load, he is honored. We have also preached the word by our very actions because we have communicated a reproducible model. People can appreciate that we accomplish through Jesus’ labor and wisdom and perhaps recognize that since they have the same access to Jesus as do we, that they can do the same thing. 

Whatsmore, we are only doing what Jesus did. We model him. Jesus said he did nothing of his own initiative (John 8: 28). God was the one performing the works. He supplied Jesus with the words to speak. The Father directed Jesus steps. He navigated him to the town or village which was right for the time. Imagine how much easier our lives would be if we could learn to follow God’s voice within us the way Jesus did.

You know, there is an easy way and a hard way to do everything. When possible, let’s do things the easy way. I choose to live by inspiration rather than perspiration. How about you?

Happy Labor Day

Colossians 3: 23 – 24

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Happy Labor Day as we celebrate the rewards of joyous labor! What? That is not your perception of labor? Perhaps we all need a fresh approach to labor for by it we serve our Lord. It is a worthy thing for each of us to have something to which we can set our hands. We receive all of our blessing from the Lord without earning it but He certainly does bless all that we set our hands to. “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand” (Deuteronomy 28: 12). 

Today’s verse reminds us to do our work heartily. What does that mean? I perceive it to mean that we should give our full effort to our labor and to do it with a good attitude knowing that our service is actually unto the Lord Jesus rather than to a boss or corporation. God has given us jobs and for that I believe we should be grateful and every day we should thank Him and apply ourselves as if Jesus were our personal supervisor for in truth he is. We should celebrate with a joyous heart because no matter what our job or occupation it is a means by which we can bless others. Even if you don’t particularly like your job if you really perceived Jesus as your supervisor wouldn’t that change the way you look at your job? Even the most awful job would, perhaps, be sufferable if Jesus was in it with us. And just think, maybe God has you there for some divine, Kingdom reason.

Rejoice and be happy for we have the means by which we can invest our labor. Make every day a work unto the Lord. I think that when we see ourselves offering a gift of our effort and work to the Lord, we will find joy and meaning in even the most mundane tasks. Make this “take Jesus to work” week and enjoy fruitful labor. Be blessed!

Restful Labor

Hebrews 4: 10 – 11

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His, Let us therefore be diligent to enter than rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.

Okay, so what is going on here? The writer of Hebrews is saying that the person who has entered into God’s rest has rested from his works just like God who has also rested from His works. Then verse 11 says that we should be diligent to enter into this rest lest we fall into disobedience. There is an epiphany. If we do not enter into rest we are in disobedience? Not only that, but the effort expended is not in doing the works but in entering the rest.

That is so counter-cultural that it barely even makes sense. Many years ago I heard Kenneth Hagin speak on living a fasted life. It was an impactful message, but then weren’t all of Hagin’s messages? Anyway, his point was that every day is the Sabbath and every day is the day of the fast. He was teaching that we don’t live to God on certain special days but rather every day. We must learn how to live in God and let the Lord Jesus live through us on a daily rather than on a Sunday basis. Everyday can be, and should be, a day of rest wherein we allow God to do the works.

From Matthew 19: 26 we learn that with God all things are possible. The key words there are “with God.” Why, then, do we still labor with the works rather than to enter His rest. There is a revelation in here to be found. We are to be diligent in laboring to enter into His rest. That sounds silly. Labor to rest? But the author knew that we would have to work to wrap our heads around this one. So, I have begun my day with my “To Do” list and plotted out my time from the time of arising until 5:00 pm. Then I will figure out what I can accomplish in the evening hours, shall I run errands or do I need to sit and read a piece of fiction or maybe even play a game? Really?? As it turns out, I forgot to schedule in any bathroom breaks.

What am I saying? I certainly am not against having a good schedule to work from. I absolutely think it necessary that I have a work plan otherwise I will not get done what I wish and I will end up spending time on things that I shouldn’t. However, I am the fool spoken of in the Psalms if I do not begin my day with my Father asking Him to be Lord over my day. It would be foolish for me to plow ahead in the power of my strength. I have done that before. It doesn’t work. No, this time I am going to labor to enter into His rest and let Him be the power and the strength in my day. That is what Jesus prayed afterall, “Thine is the…power” (Matthew 6: 13). Jesus even told us that the works that he is renowned for were not even his own work product. He said that it was the Father who lives within him that does the works (John 14: 10).  Query: if Jesus didn’t try to walk in his own power, if he didn’t attempt to accomplish his To Do list in his strength, what in the world makes me think I can do mine?

We are a nation of “doers” but God has called us to be believers rather than doers. There is the rub. We have mighty things to do in the name of the Almighty but it is only with His almighty strength working through us that we attain the prize. Our father is not impressed with how hard we work for Him but rather how diligent we are at resting in the power of His might. He doesn’t want us to burn out. He has already provided the power and the wisdom. Our job is simply to direct His power. We allow Him to flow out of us. Then all things become possible to us.

Endeavor to enter into His rest.

A Day of Rest

1 Kings 8: 56

Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.

Our dear Father has given us rest. Our success is in His strength and in His promise. It is not in our many labors. As we learn to trust in His strong right arm, then we can live a life of rest.  So we may rest from our labors and enjoy the fruit of his presence.

As you enjoy your Labor Day Holiday I hope you will receive divine rest. I pray that you will be renewed and invigorated.

                                                   Happy Labor Day!!