[b]THE INSPIRATION OF SPIRITUAL INITIATIVE[/b]"Arise from the dead." Ephesians 5:14All initiative is not inspired. A man may say to you - "Buck up, take your disinclination by the throat, throw it overboard, and walk out into the thing!" That is ordinary human initiative. But when the Spirit of God comes in and says, in effect, "Buck up," we find that the initiative is inspired.We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young, but sooner or later we find that we have no power to make them real. We cannot do the things we long to do, and we are apt to settle down to the visions and ideals as dead, and God has to come and say - "Arise from the dead." When the inspiration of God does come, it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing. The remarkable thing about spiritual initiative is that the life comes after we do the "bucking up." God does not give us overcoming life; He gives us life as we overcome. When the inspiration of God comes, and He says - "Arise from the dead," we have to get up; God does not lift us up. Our Lord said to the man with the withered hand - "Stretch forth thy hand," and as soon as the man did so, his hand was healed, but he had to take the initiative. If we will do the overcoming, we shall find we are inspired of God because He gives life immediately.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
God does not give us overcoming life;He gives us life as we overcome.
On taking the initial step under the inspiration of the Spirit: I cannot tell you how many times I've had to repeat this lesson, but my ability to discern and the timing of my response is getting keener as I learn to hearken to His voice. God is longsuffering, and for this I praise Him, for I can be a slow learner. When God sends His inspiration, I have found that it is necessary for me to pray--by this, He increases my faith and it places me under His direction and Lordship. When I pray, I give it back to Him, so that He will order my steps--starting with the first one. I have made the other mistake, of waiting too long to step out and then realizing that I missed an assignment or an opportunity. He works with our individual temperaments and personalities, training us up in His righteousness."And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice." John 10:4I cannot tell you how many times the Lord has spoken to me through Oswald Chamber's devotional book My Utmost For His Highest. The Feb. 14 entry, The Discipline of Hearing, was one of those timely messages for me in the last week.God bless you.