REVIEW FROM LAST WEEK’S FACTS : American Christianity unwittingly has adopted and exported a church model fashioned after corporate America’s fast paced, results driven culture that is often devastating to the lives of sincere, but over-extended church laborers.
It was imperative for the Children of Israel to understand the importance of moving with God’s timing with the cloud and the pillar of fire in the wilderness: Go at His pace and live. Go at your own pace and you wither and die: “ By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night ” (Exo. 13:21). (See Psa. 78:14)
So often, in our fear, impatience, and pride we foolishly rush ahead of God. Sagacious old King Solomon cautions us: “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way… A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly” (Pro. 19:2; 14:29).
Jesus beautifully modeled operating on God’s time table. At age 33, amidst a cacophony of suffering and spiritual ignorance, He could say to the Father, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (Jn. 17:4).
How was this possible? Luke 5:15, 16 gives us a clue: “… The news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed .”
In spite of the crushing demands of the crowd, Jesus did not allow opportunity or expediency to dictate his priorities. Therefore, He would carve out time to be alone with the Father for purposes of intimacy and instructions. Thus, Jesus could say,“…The Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what He sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does… I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me” (Jn. 5:19b; 8:28b) (See Jn. 5:30; 17:8)
There is a mystical pace and rhythm that characterizes God’s ministry that can only be discovered by stealing away with Him to hear His voice: “My soul, wait (Lit: Tarry, forebear, to stop)only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him…But those who hope (Lit: To expect, tarry, wait for) in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Psa. 62:5 – Amp; Isa. 40:31- NIV).
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.
R. Dwight Hill