The Tyrant

"I have food to eat that you don't know about....My food is to do the will of the Father...." John 4:31, 34....."Need is a voice that never says 'Enough!', yet Jesus Christ was never a slave to that voice." Alicia Britt Chole...."Many are 'busy' in Christianity and think they're in the Kingdom of God." T. Austin-Sparks....Jesus lived 30 years before doing a miracle. The need of men was not His primary motivating force. It was the will of His Father." Donald Rumble..."A man's obedience is to what he sees to be a need. Our Lord's obedience was to the will of His Father." Oswald Chambers

Not long after I came to know Christ, the classic tract, "The Tyranny of the Urgent" came into my hands. I kept it for many years, re-reading it many times, for the tyrant we know as "the urgent," and all the demands he makes upon us, was a constant adversary to me. At times, he still is.

The quotes I use above speak loudly. I hope they do to you as well. In this day when the rallying cry seems to be "Get busy, and be about the Lord's business," it seems to me that we spend little if any time in His Presence in order that we might know just what His "business" is. Winning souls? Yes, that is part of His business, but it is not the first part. Chambers, who was a mentor to missionaries, consistently cautioned his charges to "tarry" in the presence of God before they undertook any missionary effort. And this as a lifestyle, not as a means to make their work more successful. If this aspect was missing, then he believed the effort would in the end be fruitless. We may motivate men and women for a moment. Only the Holy Spirit can ignite and motivate for a lifetime. This happens when we have soaked in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The first century church tarried for 40 days until the Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. We struggle to spend 40 minutes with Him....per week. As they tarried, needs were everywhere. People were living, suffering, and dying while they prayed. They were not equipped to meet any of those needs until they had been saturated with His Presence. They didn't hold a conference and bring in "expert" speakers. They sought the face of the One who never ceases to reach out, and in doing so, they got hold of His heart as well. They were now His living presence to a world trapped in death.

Yet busyness is not just an affliction of the church, but of our lives in general. Need, as Chole says, is a taskmaster that will never say "enough!" Need was everywhere Jesus set His feet. He was never controlled by the needs around Him, but by His need of His Father and His will. Jesus did not live in the "immediate" but in the eternal. He was not crushed by needs and demands of the "now" because He lived in the light of forever, in the eternal. Therefore He was able to work His miracles in the way and timing of His Father.

I'm not advising that in every need we must first pray if we're to act upon it. What I am saying is that we need to be so in tune with His mind and heart that when He places us in the pathway of someone whose need is desperate, we not only recognize that need, but have the spiritual insight and ability to meet it, and in many cases, miraculous ways. This comes from a lifestyle of eating the food that the flesh knows nothing about. It is a consuming of the Word, Life, and Spirit of the Father. Need(s) will always seek to diminish the voice of the Father. It will always seek to be a tyrant whose great aim is to exhaust us, and take us further from His purpose and will. In the end, we are of little use to anyone. Despite the "spectator culture" that has infused the church, there is still a great amount of activity going on. Far too much of it is little more than the dry bones of Ezekiel's vision rattling about, making much noise, but walking in and giving forth no life.

Chole asks, "What is our food? What is the aim that nourishes us? Do we need a change of diet?" When Jesus spoke the above words to the disciples, they had just returned from seeking food in the village's local "McDonald's." They were familiar with "Big Mac's." Jesus knew and ate the bread of Life. Do we? Have we become so used to and satisfied with the world's "quarter pounder with cheese," that we have lost our hunger for the manna of heaven? Has the food that nurtured the life of Jesus become something that we know nothing about? Do we eat at the table of the tyrant, or the King?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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