In the Divine Movement within the Kingdom of God there are moments of strong, violent activity. These times are often identified as “revival.” There also are seasons of stillness, times of quiet, periods of solitude and waiting and rest. The temptation is to believe that the periods of great Kingdom activity are far, more essential to the life and health of the body of Christ than are the seasons of stillness.
Temptation often leads to error.
The effort-laden mind of man inclines itself to industry, doing things for one’s self, by one’s self. Victory and success, it is supposed may be obtained with the application of sufficient performance and perspiration. Labor, man assumes is the prerequisite to harvest. It is not so.
Does the cherry or apple or peach tree exhaust itself with activity in order to bring forth good fruit? Do crops appear by the mystery of seed and soil or do they emerge by the effort of man? The cherry tree is planted, set into the soil where roots explore subterranean pathways, establishing once and forever the geo-location of the tree. Apple trees do not migrate with the changing of seasons. Peach trees are immobile, fixed, still.
Yet as temperature and moisture and time and dirt combine with hidden inner life, the cherry and the apple and the peach appear, effortlessly, naturally: Perfectly.
Winds may buffet and blow; barren limbs simply bend and wait for calmer weather before returning to their original and natural condition. Heat and cold, rain and snow, ice and hail and unrelenting sun all form a procession of assaults against the anticipated harvest. Yet through all these, the cherry and the apple and the peach tree remain unmoved, indifferent, expectant.
So it is that divine life within the redeemed soul produces, without effort the fruit of the Spirit that indicates life in Christ and Christ in a life. “Christ in us, the hope of glory” is the fundamental result of heaven’s mystery and not the fruit of man’s determinations and pseudo-holy exertions.
Laboring to achieve what only The Mystery can produce is vanity, foolishness and empty industry. These efforts of the flesh appear as commendable on resumes of accomplishment, but like the wood, hay and stubble of other fleshly works, these also shall be burned with the fire of His disapproval.
It is in abiding and nothing more that the mystery of the Kingdom works its way through root and fiber and stalk and branch to eventuate in the ripened fruit of the good harvest.
When Kingdom shakes earth, move with the shaking. When silence and inactivity attend His way, wait, rest, trust, for we who cannot add a single hour to our span of life cannot know or determine the mystery of His ways or the inscrutability of His purposes.
John Sammis gave good direction in 1887 when he quoted a young man who had attended a meeting with D.L. Moody. He wrote, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”