Friday, October 28, 2016

Strenuous Rest – Growth in the Kingdom of God

God spoke to me in the tough tones of reality recently, saying in no uncertain terms that we either grow or rescind our growth — over the lifespan.
The following passage from Proverbs may seem peculiar in the context of growth, but I wonder if our growth in the ways of the Lord can be likened to keeping the condition of our flocks; the attention we need to give to our herds to that of tending our growth; like riches, gains for growth don’t endure forever; that it continually needs work; that growth we can never rest from, but in growing we’re challenged to find rest along the way; to carry within the burden of growth His ever reliable and comforting peace.
“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
give careful attention to your herds;
for riches do not endure forever,
and a crown is not secure for all generations.
When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
and to nourish your female servants.”
— Proverbs 27:23-27 (NIV)
The lambs and goats in terms of growth are the opportunities that come our way for the advances we make in our growth. Where growth is our imperative we’ll always have plenty. We can trust God for provision when we serve Him with diligence.
There is a harrowing truth about life, which is growth, for nothing defines life better than growth. If we don’t grow we rescind. In growth, there’s heaven, the veritable abundant life, but hell is saved for the lazy.
It’s sad when someone who has spent decades tirelessly doing the Lord’s work begins to give up; and worse by far when they do. Or when a person decides that faith is no longer worth the effort, as if real faith requires effort when all it requires is the trust of surrender, which is paradoxical, because there’s also significant effort required in working out our faith in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
No matter how mature we grow in the faith, we still have to front up on the Monday morning experiences of life ready to work.
God is no respecter of persons. We all must live by the rules bound up within eternity.
May you grow and in the growing experience joy,
May you not be disheartened, and certainly not in totality,
May you experience the gentle whisper of His grace,
As you work within rest and rest within your work.

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