Movement in Grace

The_Movement_by_tonyeliehI will use this verse again.

Matthew 11:28-30        28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me– watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill- fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (The Message)

This verse is becoming more Life to me every time I read it. It says so much. For awhile I have felt that some people who preach about God’s Grace make me feel like there is nothing for me to do anymore. That I will just go about the life and everything will come to me just when I need it. That I am just going to enjoy all blessings and lay on the air mattress like in the lazy river in the water park. Simply doing nothing.

I’m not saying I have to do something to earn something from God or to prove anything for Him. No, that’s not what I try to say. Yes, Christ Jesus did it all and it’s called finished work of the Cross where we can’t add anything into that. But I still believe we are created to move and walk in Christ and grow in Him and learn from Him. It’s called relationship where we walk with Him and work with Him as He leads, not as we think He may want us to work. Or not as I would love to work and walk. In this relationship it’s not about me, but about Jesus Christ. He says “walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.”

Sometimes I think so many of us have been burned out and worn out on religion and dead works so much that now we go to the other end and we don’t let anything set any kind of lines for us. Even well meaning guidelines are like a red cloak for bull. We are so afraid that someone puts a yoke upon us and leads us under bondage again.

Just thinking of one seed put into the field. There is constant movement going on when that seed takes moisture into itself from ground and starts to break a shell. How roots start to grow and finally seed starts to grow up and toward the sun. I’m not a farmer, but just thinking the process. That doesn’t happen without any movement. Or when spring comes after winter, all branches suddenly get hit by the sun and warmness it brings. There is movement when they start to grow and if you put your camera to take pictures in the chain you could see that movement. It’s life!

Jesus said also in John 15: 4-5    4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5” I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. (The Message)

Again He says make your home in me, abide in me. In Him we will have this movement and grow and mature and bear fruit. It’s not of ourselves. We can’t produce anything from us. But we are not dead branches in Him. We are full of life, His Life, and life stays never still. Jesus was never still and put. He moved as Father led Him. And now we are in Him and He is living in us. So even everything is done for us and given freely for us without any effort from our part, there is still movement in grace in Jesus Christ which we need to learn.

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My passion – where did it go?

joy and passionMy background is very religious and I know the Lord is still revealing those things in me. Years I tried to prove I wasn’t religious, now I am simply admitting I have been and still am in some areas until God reveals my heart and works with that. The more time I spend with Him, the more He reveals about Himself and Grace to me.

For a while I have been seeing I lost my passion and my joy on the journey. When I spent my time with the Lord, I did ask why I lost my passion and my joy. I wanted to have a Thing and a Reason for it. Something what was outside of me. It would be so great to say enemy stole it from me. Or people around me didn’t support me or receive what I had. It would be easier to point something or someone and to blame situations or circumstances. But the Lord didn’t answer my question.

Losing my passion and joy caused me to become weary. I didn’t get the answer from the Lord. The more I was searching the more I became weary and frustrated. And the more becoming weary caused me to feel I wasn’t able and good enough to bring forth what was in me. Even I heard all about God’s grace and received it and believed it, it didn’t really restore my passion and joy. My feelings took over me and caused me to see myself as a failure and God’s grace didn’t really reach my heart, even I understood it and had knowledge about it. I thought it did, but I wouldn’t be in the place I was if it did.

Then these words of Jesus became alive for me

Matthew 11:28-30    28″Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me– watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill- fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (The Message)

This invitation started to draw me closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m still on this journey, but I can say, “I had heard about grace, but now my eyes see Him.” And in this place I was able to hear His answer for my question. It wasn’t about others around me. It wasn’t about my life situations or circumstances. It wasn’t about my nation. It was about me. I have realized in my own life that God doesn’t really give answers to my questions before I’m able to hear them. His love toward me is so awesome that He is never out to destroy me, but to restore and build me up. He does reveal things in my heart, which are not in line with His nature and His word. But He doesn’t leave me alone there.

In this case I saw how I started to compare myself to other people around. I let them effect me. I listened those who didn’t really know me and I let them define me with their words.  I believed them more than God and more than people who supported me and were believing me. I let circumstances and life situations cause me to take my eyes off from Jesus Christ and I became negative. In my negativity I started to sow negative words and it brought fruits which weren’t pleasant.

I realized that there is no reason in my life that I can’t have passion and joy. Jesus Christ is living in me and I am living in Him. It’s no more I who live, but Christ in me. The fruit of the Spirit is joy (and so much more). Christ is the vine and I am one of branches. When I am abiding in Him, His Life will bring forth these fruits and one of them is joy. I can’t make it up. Nobody can take it away. This Life comes from the Vine, Jesus Christ, and fruits come naturally. The reason I lost my passion and my joy was that I didn’t abide in Him. I did spend my time with the Lord, but my focus was on others, on me or on my own miserable feelings, not on Him. It’s not about me, but about Him. Even when I bring my thoughts and my heart to Him, He is still the main focus. He is the source of Life.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

I want my passion and joy back, but even that can’t be my main focus. My focus is Jesus Christ and when I am abiding in Him, walking with Him, breathing in Him, His very Life will come forth in me and bring fruits forth in my life. Without Him I can simply do nothing, but with Him I can do everything. What a great life to live in Christ.

Where is your Faith?

faith 2“Where is your faith?”  That is the question I hear the Lord asking me today. How easy it is to have faith in Him when all goes well and we are blessed and things go smoothly. But when something hits us, do we still trust Him and have our faith in Him?

What hit us (and mainly me) yesterday was that we were coming home from the cabin where we just spent couple days with family enjoying and resting and having great time together. On the way back home our car just totally broke and it didn’t turn on anymore. We had to call one guy to trail us home and our car straight to the car service. They said it may take a week before they have time to take it in and it may be that it’s not even worth to fix anymore.

This all hit me very much. Not so much because of the car, but because this car represented many things for me. There are times when I feel we are losing more than gaining. So knowing that all this thought process wouldn’t lead me anywhere I chose to go before the Lord and lean on Him. I know God loves me and accepts me. I know He can handle me being me and with Him I don’t have to put up facade which shows just the best of me. I know He knows me better than I do. So with my feelings I went before Him and I asked “Why?”. Did He tell me all details why this happened? Did He explain how I should grow in this? Did He give me a reason? Did He tell me how this will mature me? No. He simply asked, “Where is your faith? Do you trust Me?”

Rather than answering back “Yes” I asked, “Do I?” I’m on this journey where I have realized that I so rarely know who I really am and what’s really in my heart. I like to put up this facade which shows I get this all right. I like people seeing me quite perfect. And so often as a human I don’t like to admit my mistakes and my feelings. I’m still learning that it’s always better let God reveal my heart rather than pretend I know what’s in there.

So after my question He gently revealed that in my heart I was trusting more what I saw than what I didn’t see. He also revealed why this was so big hit for me. As I said before it wasn’t about a car as much as about everything in my life. While I was sitting and waiting this guy to come to trail us I felt enemy was laughing at me and pointing at me with saying “So you still think you will be able to travel and will be able to fulfill your call when you are facing situations like this one after another?” I know God has a call upon my life as well as He does upon your life. But so many times circumstances and situations in our lives are speaking other language than we hear God speaking. When God speaks about our destiny we often see how much reality in our life contradicts with His words and thoughts about us. Questions is “Where is your faith?” Do we believe what God says or what we see? Where do I put my trust in? The more I was listening the Lord the more I realized the only way to go is to put my faith in Him and know that He, Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith. I so love this verse

Hebrew 12:1-2     1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 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, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The more He revealed Himself, the more I realized that He is all I need. When I am putting my trust in Him and having my faith in Him, it doesn’t matter what I am or what I am facing or lacking. The truth is that He is who He says He is and He does what He says He will do. So in Him there is no lack. And in Him I will have all I need. Do I trust that? Or do I trust more my feelings which tells me all lacks in my life?

I choose to trust God. And if it takes all this to really stay in Faith then it’s worth it.  I know people say God doesn’t give us hard times. It doesn’t really matters if He does or not. Because what ever I face in my life I know He is with me and I am with Him. That is the only thing, which really matters.

This journey will continue.

Intro

beautiful riverI want to write some things before I start my blogging here. You can go and see my old blogs in http://oneoftherivers.blogspot.fi. I started first in Finnish and shifted into English after one year. Why did I do it? Because English has become the language I am operating and bringing forth what God has revealed to me. I’m not saying it’s the only language to express what God is saying. But it’s main language for me. I’m part of the ministry called Rivers of Eden, which is the English speaking ministry, and I’m called to go out to the nations and that will not happen in Finnish. So forgive me still learning to express my thoughts in English.

When I have a look upon my life and openly with the Lord look what He has done in my life until this point I can only be in awe and be grateful for Him. I’m coming from a quite middle side town with no so called right-connections. I grew up in a quite religious atmosphere and was very fearful almost about everything. That fear put more condemnation upon me. Every decision in my life was made based on fear, not faith, yet I called my self as a Christian. But God has done so amazing and awesome work in my life and by Him I am free and by His Grace I have found that my past, present and future won’t define me, but He alone.

I have fullness of Him already in me, yet I’m learning everyday something new about Him who lives in me. It’s amazing and inspiring if I just let that reality consume me and let His Life flow though me and in me. When things happen in our life, we let them distract us too often. Reality is that they shouldn’t when my house is build upon the Rock, Jesus Christ. I myself am learning this more and more and I hope you join to this journey.