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I am in a season right now where my task list far outweighs the time available to accomplish these tasks. As a task-oriented guy, it is quite frustrating. Does anyone know what I am talking about?
To top it off, the Holy Spirit is not currently giving me specifics on what He wants me to do. He is just kind of quiet lately.
This isn’t the first time I have been here. The middle of 2020 was the first year I started hearing almost daily what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do. It was exhilarating.
After a few months of almost daily instruction, He would get quiet for a little while. I knew it was because He wanted me to rest in preparation for what was next, but I am not good at resting.
So I let myself become miserable when I was supposed to be resting. I would think things like, “What did I do wrong? Why is the Holy Spirit being so quiet?”
The Holy Spirit would always answer, “Relax. You need to rest. You can’t handle this nonstop.”
I never said this out loud, but here’s what I thought, “Yeah, but this is boring! Can we write another Jesus Ain’t Woke book or something? Come on! Let’s keep this going!”
So here I am in another season of rest. Still floundering. I am supposed to be calmly serving others while I await the next assignment from the Holy Spirit.
The so-called experience
You know, we’re probably the first generation that expects to be on a high every day. We are always looking for that next dopamine hit. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t play along.
Yes, there are things in your walk with Christ that are exhilarating. Like when you experience a healing miracle, or someone prophecies over you, or you fulfill some big assignment for God.
But the Holy Spirit will intentionally put you in a quiet season to make sure you follow Christ instead of following an experience that gives you a thrill.
Is there anyone who is in a quiet season right now? Your life may not be quiet, but the Holy Spirit is quiet.
The American church got a bit off track when we started calling Sunday service an experience. Now, many churches are chasing after an experience instead of following Christ.
Church doesn’t exist to give you an experience. It exists to equip you to make a difference for Jesus Christ.
If you are chasing after an experience, you’ll always end up bored and disappointed. Then you’ll head to the next church for a new experience, and you’ll get it for a little while. And then you get bored again.
But, if you show up to the church to get encouraged, corrected, and equipped for God’s assignment on your life, everything changes. You become fulfilled, even when life is mundane.
Chasing emotion, not God
We tend to gauge the Lord’s involvement in our lives by an emotional high. If the church service brought us to tears, the Lord was there. If we left excited, the Lord was there.
And if it was boring, Kade must have missed it. He better bring back the thrill next week.
We are using the wrong measuring stick.
Although God gave us emotions, and they most definitely get stirred up when we sense the Lord’s involvement in our lives, they are not a gauge of His presence.
You must understand that God never withholds His presence from those who belong to Jesus Christ. He is eagerly waiting for you to allow His involvement in your life. Let me show you:
Ephesians 1:5-8 NLT – God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
God wants to be a part of everything you do. But He can only truly work in the areas of your life where you allow Him. You have to open the door and let Him in.
Grace and Peace
So, if we can’t use emotions, how do we measure how open we are with the Lord? How do we know we’ve truly allowed Him to be involved in every area of our lives?
It’s when two things exist: grace and peace.
That’s why many of the New Testament books of the Bible start with this:
Ephesians 1:2 CSB – Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The evidence of grace and peace reveals how much you allow God to be involved in your life. Not an emotional high. Not a thrilling experience. But grace and peace.
How would you define the word ‘grace’?
Grace is one of those churchy words we say a lot without really knowing what it means. The reason it is hard to explain is that the original greek word – charis – is a word rich in meaning.
Grace brings you joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness, and kind speech. It enables the power of God to protect you and strengthen you. It enables you to live a holy life.
Grace is what moved you to say yes to Christ in the first place. If I had to sum it up in one sentence, here it is:
Grace is the unearned goodness of God at work in your life.
You know God’s grace is working in an area of your life when you handle challenges with ease and remain strong in your faith no matter what’s going on.
If there is no evidence of God’s grace, then you have yet to give him access to that area of your life, or you are somewhere He told you to leave.
For example, maybe you experience God’s grace at work but you don’t see it in your parenting. Quit trying to parent without God. Give up control and give Him access. They are His kids anyways.
Or, maybe you are working on something the Holy Spirit told you to stop. His grace used to be there, but it isn’t anymore. God won’t give you grace for disobedience. Unless you want to keep working without God’s grace, it’s time to do what He told you to do.
Now, let’s talk about peace. Again, one of those words we say a lot without understanding the true richness of its meaning.
Here’s how the Thayer Lexicon defines the word that was translated to peace in the Bible:
- Exemption from the rage and havoc of war
- Security, safety, prosperity
- The tranquil state of someone assured of their salvation in Christ. They fear nothing other than God. They are content with their earthly lot, whatever that may be.
Wow. That’s thick. The first one reminded me of my experience through all the COVID drama. I was exempt from all the rage and havoc going on around me.
And then security, safety, and prosperity… we tend to think that these three things bring peace into our life. But it’s actually the opposite. Peace comes first, then security, safety, and prosperity come as a result of the peace.
The last one really summed it all up in one sentence:
Peace is the tranquil state of someone assured of their salvation in Christ.
The more secure you are in your salvation, the more peace you have. After all, everything here is temporary, and you are on your way to glory.
When the enemy tries to hit you with sickness, you don’t lose your peace. Jesus is the great physician. But even if I do die, I’m going to heaven! My salvation is secure.
When you lose your job, you don’t lose your peace. My Heavenly Father is wealthy, and He is my provider. He supplies all my needs according to His bank account, not mine.
The more secure you are in who you are in Christ, the more peace you have. That’s why peace is an indicator of how much you allow God to be involved in your life.
So, when the Holy Spirit is quiet, when there is no emotional high, does this mean God has left you? No. We cannot use emotions to gauge God’s presence in our lives.
But we can examine our closeness with God by the level of grace and peace that are evident in our lives. If either is missing, we need to give God access to that area of our life.
Remember, God never leaves you. He is always there waiting for you to give Him access. So, let Him in. He will do a much better job than you could ever do.