Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. So supposedly said Thomas Edison, the man behind the lightbulb. I’m not sure I entirely agree, because many people work very hard, but show negligible results. Hard work alone, without an infusion of grace, is a grind.
We need BOTH. Grace and ‘works’ work together to produce wonder.
Sweat, labour, and striving apart from faith are describing as very much a result of the curse. A fallout of the fall.
Created FOR good works
Nevertheless, the Bible does say we were created for good works, which God has ordained for us to walk in. Essentially, we were SAVED FROM dead, unfruitful, thankless tasks. But we were SAVED FOR a special kind of work. Work that is well fitted, and carefully designed for our satisfaction and fulfilment. Work that leads to the betterment of our fellow human beings.
How those good works look will be different for each individual.
FROM and FOR
One of the most profitable ways to look at the Bible is to ensure that we don’t get hooked on what we are saved from, and concentrate on what we are saved for.
The Scriptures reveal that Jesus endured the cross for what purpose?
To save us FROM sin?
Certainly that was necessary, but the curse was not the focus.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
Looking toward the joy. Looking toward the promise. Looking toward the reason and the result!
One of my favourite verses is found in Deuteronomy, where the Holy Ghost declares concerning Israel that he brought them out, in order to bring them in.
“And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in” (Deuteronomy 6:23 KJV)
Yes, He brought them out, but the purpose was not just to deliver them from bondage and futility, it was in order to BRING THEM IN.
Sometimes we can focus so much on the desert that we forget to look and remember that we were made for the promise.
We will generally move towards the things that are biggest in the frame of our imagination.
This is where the challenge comes because problems can seem all-encompassing. We look, and the horizon is eclipsed by the mountains that stand before us.
The obstacles may be external; bills to pay, responsibilities to carry, tasks to be accomplished.
Often they are internal; the boulders of self-doubt, and insecurity, rejection, and fear that have gradually built up over the years.
When you are considering moving forward in your creativity and your contribution to the world through whatever creative works you’re producing, I encourage you to seek the help of the Holy Spirit. To keep your eyes fixed on the prize, the joy that’s set before you.
To see what you’ve been saved FOR not just what you’ve been saved FROM.
Speak TO the Mountain, Not About The Mountain
When Jesus spoke about obstacles in the context of faith, He did not say speak about the mountain, He told us to speak to the mountain, commanding it to do our bidding.
Regarding inward obstacles, Jesus again spoke in the context of faith. He told his followers, where they find some negative attitude or obstacle deeply rooted and blocking their pathway, to demand that it be pulled up and shoved to the deeps of a grand ocean of forgetfulness, never to stand in the way again.
Speak to the problem. Speak to the lies. Speak to the devil. Not about him, not with him. But directly and with the authority that God has given you.
Speak toward the promise. Speak about the promise not the problem.
The things you are believing for may be not yet be showing up in your life but God is faithful and His word is sure. Shout shamelessly into the atmosphere.
Your words are like magnets. And they will attract after their own kind. Only this time positive will not attract negative or vice versa.
Positive thoughts and words will attract after their own kind.
Negative complaints will call for their companions and proof that they are “true”.
Jesus spoke so often about the power that flows from heart in abundance to the mouth.
When we speak from the heart things are put into motion.
In Matthew 12 Jesus taught that from the abundance of the heart the mouth will always speak. What we really believe is revealed in the words we allow from our lips.
Jesus also taught that a good heart, speaking good things, brings forth good. You have a creative goal and destiny that you are reaching for. You know it. You feel it. You see it. You smell it. And you taste it. It exists in the spirit.
You may have already walked through some measure of it. But there is so much more to discover. Like the pioneers of old pushing the frontiers, discovering new lands. Digging new treasures.
This walk with our Saviour is equally adventurous and exciting.
This morning as I entered into conversation with the Holy Spirit, He took the helm and began to speak so clearly to me. I think I must be very thick skin and a memory shorter than a goldfish. It seems He needs to remind me regularly of the fundamental truths that brought me into the Kingdom in the first place.
The chief one being LOVE. Love is the essence of the Kingdom.
The Father spoke to me of His great love for me as a son. His love for you as a daughter. Whoever you are, if you’re part of his household, and one of his children.
He is not looking narrowly or angrily upon you. He is not looking on you with disappointment or disdain.
You dwell in the secret place of the most high covered by his love. The Bible pictures us like a chick snuggled safely beneath the feathers of its protective mother.
The Bible calls God, El Shaddai, the many breasted One. There is more than enough to sustain and to promote your growth. To satisfy you in fellowship with Him.
Jesus first. Everything else will follow. He is the alpha, there at the beginning of whatever project you choose to be involved in. He wants to be there at the outset, engaged and rejoicing.
He is the Omega. The end. He is the one who will infuse you with the necessary patience, perseverance, and power to bring it to a satisfactory and fruitful conclusion.
This magnificent obsession that we have been called to enjoy is limitless. The Holy Ghost reminded me in bold letters that HE IS LOVE. Love is not just something he has, or does, or gives. It is who He is.
This love we speak of is without boundaries, infinite, in scope. Whether it’s one minute from now, this very second, one week, 10 years, or ten millennia away, we will still be discovering and pressing ever deeper into this love.
The Scriptures teach us to abide in the love of Christ.
You are His “beloved”.
My only encouragement today is to take your place in that stunning and beautiful word of identity.