As I stood before the Lord this morning, He was asking questions in a very gentle manner, but they seemed to cut to the core of my being like a surgeon’s scalpel. I was in such a quiet and peaceful place as I stood with Him, and my spirit was very relaxed in His presence. Perhaps this is why the questions penetrated so thoroughly and seemed to cut so deeply. It was what He asked, but how I responded.
First, He asked, “How is your faith level today? Is it stronger than it was on Monday?” I was immediately reminded of another question He asked in: Luke 18:8b, NIV) “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” I have always prayed that He will find faith in me anytime He comes. This morning I was in His presence and He was giving me something like a “Faith Final Exam.” You can’t deceive Him. You can exaggerate with Him. So, how is your faith today? Is it stronger and deeper than it was on Monday?
I went back to the message in Jude 1:20-21, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” I have been taught many times that faith is a gift, and I believe that. It is given as something like a seed in our hearts. But, then it is our assigned task to build it up. We cannot answer back to the Lord by saying that He didn’t give us enough. It is now and always will be our task to build up our most holy faith. So, how are you doing with that? The Lord gave us something to think about during our Shabbat rest which begins at sundown today.
As if this was not enough for me to deal with, the Lord asked another question. “What have you done this week with the spiritual gifts I gave to you?” Wow! This is a very penetrating question. I started to add to it. Did I do enough with the gifts? Did I do the right things with what He gave me? At first, I had to think hard to remember the gifts and what I did with them this week. This made me aware that I am not being intentional enough about acknowledging and using the gifts of the Spirit. How about you? What have you done this week with the spiritual gifts the Lord has given you? Think about it during your Shabbat rest. As you do this, remember that gifts are strengthen as we use them. Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
My thoughts went to 2 Timothy 1:5-6, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” At first, I only thought about verse six, and pondered how I had fanned the gifts into a flame this week. Then I noticed the connection between faith and gifts which Paul made in verse five. First, we are given a “sincere faith,” and then fanning our gifts into a flame follows. How have you done with these two gifts of the Lord this week? Shabbat is a good time to fan your gifts into a flame so that you can begin next week on fire for the Lord.
Does it violate the Shabbat observance for us to do these tasks? I am certain that it does not. We are focusing on the “fruit of the Spirit” and there is no law against these. Remember what Paul said in Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
May the Lord bless you with wisdom to accomplish all He has given you to do during this Shabbat rest! May you receive a fresh outpouring of wisdom, revelation, counsel, might, understanding and the awe of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2)! Amen and Amen!!!!
Date: May 24, 2013