Favor and Positioning

Favor and Positioning

The recent season of my life has been one in which I’ve had to learn how to live in the silence that comes with sitting under great teaching.

Priscilla Shirer spoke on this, saying that an unripe seed is like a performer. Without proper preparation and strength, the spotlight that comes from premature desire will burn the performer to a crisp.

There is so much about media culture and Christian culture that tries to push for a consistent outpour of content, but the consequence is that we often do not get the chance to savor the teaching of the Lord and sit with revelation before we send it out to the masses. The result- a seed unripe for teaching. It is an easy snare to believe that production equates to righteousness, holiness, or anything of the sort. This sort of production without discernment can lead to partial truth and false teaching on one end, and spiritual burnout on the other.

In order to avoid getting burned, we must sit and soak up the nutrients of the Lord’s teaching in order to bear fruit at the appointed time (Psalm 1:1-3, John 15:16).

In this season, I’ve learned a lot from just soaking in the revelation that the Lord has provided both through prayer and the Word. I’ve watched as the Lord has pruned me to grow good fruit, firm roots, and come alive in Him. I’ve seen Him work to show me that His favor upon me has nothing to do with my current positioning, but the mercy that was given to me through the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1-2).

He was using the season of my life in which I was not able to actively be in assignment, still considering me to be in His will as I strove for personal holiness. He made it known to me that even in my stillness, He loved me. The Lord calls us to Sabbath rest, and that sabbath rest is honoring to Him. He procured stillness for me (Psalm 23) so that I could grow faithfully, even without being in a position of active leadership.

He showed me that faithfulness isn’t just doing Christian work, but pursuing His heart from the inner depths of my being. Christian service, although a beautiful form of pursuit (with the right intention, of course), is not the only way to go after the heart of the Father.

The Father desires our faithfulness not just in our outward signs of work, but in our spiritual disciplines: prayer, scripture, meditating on Him, tithing, and honoring Him in the mundane and ordinary.

He blessed me with this illumination in the middle of a dry and complacent spell, like He often does, using the tug of the spirit to teach me about His mighty hand.

In those times, I wasn’t yearning, I wasn’t reaching for him, but He was still reaching for me.

This whole time, he was reaching for me.

Knowing what my idol was, he infiltrated it to show me himself.

He lit my fire with his undeserved love and kindness.

He showed me that in the midst of all of the stillness and staleness that it was ME that He wanted. He wasn’t asking me to specifically serve as a worship leader or the Bible study leader, nor to greet or teach or preach. He was asking me to really consider who He is and to ponder His name, His word, and His majesty. Service to the Lord is a doxology of the heart that is formed from knowledge of who God is. Without a clear vision of the Lord, we can often rely on our service as “good works” which we know are not sufficient for our salvation. The salvation that we crave is found in the very heart of the Father, and the will to do glorifying works stems from that.

Our God does not offer us leadership or power or pull or notoriety or even the illusive feeling of significance. He’s offering himself. He’s offering the center of who He is- holiness. The same holiness that exists in Christ, for us to live with hope eternal. He offers us a hope that compels us to do good work for the sake of His glory and our love for him. (Titus 1).

I now realize that the revelation of the gift he wants to give me is His voice telling me that He, all along, was answering my prayers. He was answering so many of my previous prayers- the ones where I was too worried to even realize that the plea had even escaped my lips.

He heard me when I pled for the thorn in my flesh to be removed. He heard me when I begged for is deliverance. He heard me beg Him to save me from my sin.

He heard me when I whispered my fears about the months to come and about the circumstances I’d be going back to. He heard my bones quiver under the weight of anxiety that I felt come back to me after returning home from months away.

It wasn’t random. It was simply the Holy Spirit who interceded for me when my soul prayed, and the Father responding to the spirit in me, as a joint effort of the trinity to protect me from the enemy within myself.

He heard me, even when the quakes were so loud that I was too deaf to hear my soul crying out to the Lord.

He came down and lowered His ear to hear me, like He promised He would (Psalm 116), and responded by giving me rest from expectation and shelter within His presence.

God is not a “user”, nor is He an abuser. He does not force us to do what He wills, but rather invites us into His mission and compels us to serve as a reflection of the gratitude we have because of grace (Titus 1). Yes, it is good to serve when it is unto the Lord, but service is neither a means of salvation, nor the sole proof of salvation, but rather a response to the things that He has done.

He taught me this by halting my life in its tracks and calling me to rest.

He heard me when I prayed and He answered clearly to my soul, so now it sings loud again, chanting the ever-worthy “holy, holy, holy, hallelujah”.

And I will write as an affirmative amen to this discourse, “Bless the Lord, my God, for He has been good to me. (Psalm 103)”.

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