No amount of our own hustle and bustle of activity can make up for a lack of God’s involvement in our lives.
EXCEPT THE Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. [Ps. 121:1, 3, 5.] It is vain for you to rise up early, to take rest late, to eat the bread of [anxious] toil–for He gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep.
Psalm 127:1-2 AMP
Last night, after we had opened in prayer in the cell block, there was still a lot of background noise and opposition surrounding us in the tier – even as many sat at the tables in the middle of the floor with us. My flesh would have had me stand up proudly and speak loudly to draw attention to the Word that was about to be shared, but instead the Spirit guided me to ask if we could have all who were at the table take a moment to pray for the Lord to bring us expectantly into His presence to receive a word, to heal our ears and hearts, and to come and bring the touch that we each needed.
As we sat there, first in quiet just at the table (in individual, silent prayer), still hearing the opposition at the far reaches of the cell block, as we claimed this place for His holy use and for His Holy Spirit to come, complete silence fell upon the whole cell block, and even upon our thoughts and our souls. We felt the touch of that peace that passes all understanding. And as we swam in the undeniable moment of the Spirit falling on that place, I knew that my words would be cheap and unable to compare to His glory, and I said this quietly in the shared silence with the men astound me as we asked God to bring His message through all of us. And He sure did, through a message that passed from one vessel to the next instead of just one single messenger.
You see, there’s a voice, a presence, a Holy Spirit that is greater than our gifts of gab or our abilities to be generous and kind and compassionate and caring. And He’s the one that we need leading our gatherings if we aren’t satisfied with the drone of religious tradition and activity. No amount of personal skill, or trained practices, or personal zeal, or rambunctious activity can make up for a lack of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit moving amongst a group of people genuinely seeking Him expectantly. And no lack of those abilities in us can hinder Him from showing up and having His way in the hearts of those who know that they need to know Him even closer and personally.
When was the last time that you allowed yourself to become quiet and just rest in the Lord? Working for the Lord and is amazing when we understand that it is a blessing and an opportunity to serve, but when we find ourselves running around in anxious activity – it’s time to remember to rest in His promises. That does not mean to take or hand from the plow, to stop, or to turn back – but to appreciate and enjoy the change that we are getting to be a part of. See the work that He is doing around you, friend, and know how blessed and highly favored and valuable and precious you are in the eyes of the Lord.