Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5. We finally got to the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are going through all the fruit of the Spirit. We have been dealing with “faith that prevails” for a few days. We will continue today.
(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Last week I introduced you to four levels of faith:
1. Faith in the works (what you see).
2. Faith in the Word (what you read).
3. Faith in a rhema Word (what you hear).
4. Faith in God (the person).
Yesterday I mentioned another level. This is the highest level (I believe). It is entering into God’s rest. I will deal with that again today.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. If you read Paul’s writings you see a few general themes. Themes like: God made plans for you before the world began; if you embrace the grace of God there is nothing you can’t do, because at that point it will be God flowing through you and there is nothing He can’t do; don’t live your life based on the Old Covenant rules, live your life based on the New Covenant grace, because in the new Covenant Jesus restored our access to the Holy Spirit; if you are led of the Holy Spirit in EVERYTHING, you will live like Jesus lived and you will be used of God to make the impact you were destined to make. These themes come through in Paul’s writings and I pray they also come through in my teaching. The goal of reading the Word of God is so you can develop your relationship with the God of the Word. God knows you, but He desperately wants you to know Him. If you do, if you learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit, and you willingly do (obey) what He says, you may not wind up living the life you wanted, but you will live the life God wanted for you (the life He planned before the world began), and it will be an amazing life!
2. The same God who made a way for us to be saved by grace, made a way for us to succeed by grace. We used our faith to access God’s grace for eternal salvation. In the same way, God expects us to use our faith to access His grace for earthly success. And if we do it right, we won’t be stressed out along the way. We will live in a perpetual state of God’s rest. Even while we are working (in the natural) we can be resting (in the spirit).
3. While you are believing God to do what He said He would do in your life, the devil is going to try to get you to take on CARE concerning it. God has given you the power to choose what you do with your cares. You can carry them around and allow them to burden you, like you were accustomed to prior to coming to Christ. Or you can CAST them over to God. The Father is ready, willing, and able to receive the cares you cast over to Him, because He cares for you. So be a care-caster, not a care-carrier! (see 1st Peter 5:7). If you refuse to carry those cares around it will be much easier for you to enter into God’s rest.
4. In Gal 6:9 the Apostle Paul explained that we are capable of becoming weary while we are doing what is right in God’s sight. Meaning that while we live the life of faith (it takes faith to please God), the devil will do all he can to get us to grow weary in the process. The enemy is speaking to us all the time and the Holy Spirit is speaking to us all the time as well. We must DECIDE which voice we believe and receive. If we listen to satan, we will take on the cares of this world, we will grow weary, we will get burdened down, and eventually we will lose the grip we have on our faith. This leads to faith-failure. However, if we listen to the Holy Spirit and we hold on, we remain steadfast, we maintain our hope, and we stay confident, then in due season (which means that there is a season when our harvest is DUE) we will reap since we did not give up (this is all in Gal 6:9). The best way to hold on like this is to enter into God’s rest. While you are resting in God’s promises and you are enjoying fellowship with the Holy Spirit, it’s hard to be weary or stressed!
5. The Father offers us a Great Exchange. He is willing to exchange our weariness for His rest. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” That’s a great deal! We bring God our heavy burdens and He is willing to do a one-for-one exchange with them for His rest (see Mat 11:38-30). Take God up on His offer today. Enter in divine rest!
6. You can’t be in-faith and in-worry at the same time. If you are worrying about it, it is because you don’t trust God. But if you fully trust Him there is a perfect peace – which is actually written in scripture as “peace peace” or “double peace” – that is available for you (see Isa 26:3). Don’t worry about a thing (Phil 4:6), pray about everything, be led of the Holy Spirit every day, and you will enjoy PERFECT PEACE!
7. Get good sleep! The Word says that it is vain to get up early, to sit up late, and to eat the bread of sorrows because you can’t sleep. Why? Because the Lord gives His beloved sweet sleep. Stop allowing worry to rob you of the sleep the Father wants you to have (see Ps 127:2). If you are led of the Holy Spirit you will enter into God’s rest and you will get great sleep!
8. If you are going to do all the work and rely on your human strength and ability alone, then you are living no different than the Old Covenant believers did. These were people who did not have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of them.
If you choose to do everything on your own and in your strength, you are basically blocking God out of your life. He won’t force you to do anything. So He will stand by and rest while you work. But if you embrace the grace of God and take God up on His offer to enter into divine rest (see Heb 4), then God will perform the work in your life (see John 14:10). God will work through you to do what you could never do on your own. Simply put: If you do all the work, then God will rest, but if you enter into divine rest, God will work. Which will you choose today?
Declaration of Faith:
Father, thank You for caring enough about me to take the time to teach me about Your grace and the divine rest You have made available for me. I have received Your grace for eternal salvation. I accessed it with my faith and I am now saved. I also receive Your grace for earthly success. I access it with my faith and trust that I will succeed in life as I die to self and allow You to live through me. As for today, I take You up on your offer for divine rest. I release the pain, bitterness, resentment, and stress that harboring negative energy from my past has caused and I am ready to make the Great Exchange. I take off all the negative yokes I have carried around in the past and I decide to only put on one yoke from this day forward, for the rest of my life, and that yoke is Your yoke. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. I yoke up with You and as I do, You partner with me so that I don’t have to attempt to live my life alone. You share the load and Your presence helps take the pressure off of me. I am now completely confident that I will maximize my purpose and potential before I die, because I won’t be the one doing all the work. The days of me working while You are resting in my life are over. I will now rest and allow You to work through me! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!