Hey! I Know the Will of God for You

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November 26, 2021

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

CONSIDER THIS

18 yet. . . yet. . . yet. . . yet. . . yet. . . yet. . . yet. . .

Are you still doing it? You know, yetting. Are you still yetting? 

There’s something I wanted to point out about our text from Valley #18.

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

It is the verbs. They are future tense, which is fine until we realize it is never the future. It is always the present. So the time for rejoicing is always right now and the place for rejoicing is always right here. 

I have noticed through my season in Valley #18 that to say, “I will rejoice in the Lord,” is not the same thing as actually rejoicing in the Lord. In the same way, I find it easier to say I will exercise and eat healthy every day than it is to actually follow through on it. “I will” is a good statement of intention, but intention will not get it done. What is it they say the pavement is made of on the road to Hell? Oh yeah. . . right . . . good intentions. 

So how does intention become action? Intention awakens our will, as in “I will.” If intention is to become meaningful action it must first rise to the level of attention.

Intention. Attention. Action. 

Intention so often misses the mark of action because it misses the movement of attention. So is the attention on the action of rejoicing? I have tried so many times to go from the intention (will) to rejoice to the action of rejoicing only to find it rote, unsatisfying and ultimately unhelpful. No, our attention must be lifted and set upon the subject, verb, and direct object of all joy: Jesus Messiah.

Our attention tends to become deeply attuned to our circumstances i.e. no figs, no grapes, no olives, no grain, no chickens, no ducks, and no on (I mean so on). This is why we get discouraged and give in to despair and become depressed. It’s why “yetting” is so important. The “yet” shifts us from the “no” of our circumstances to the yes of Jesus. Our attention must be lifted into the awareness of God. It makes sense doesn’t it. We are, after all, rejoicing IN the Lord. Attention shifts our souls from mere “thoughts” about God to dwelling in the “presence” of God. 

I apologize if I am making this more complex than it may need to be, but we are trying to understand something super deep here. The journey from simplistic to simple usually runs through some complexity. 

I’ll close today with a sneak peak at the upcoming Advent journey I am so eager to share in with so many of you. (see the PS) It’s from Mary, one of the greatest rejoicers in the history of rejoicing.  Her song, the Magnificat, opens with these immortal words:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Luke 1:46

Notice something here. What the soul gives attention to it magnifies, and what the soul magnifies, the spirit will rejoice in—at least it will try to. And we really are onto something massive here. Getting back to our theme, this is why encouragement figures so prominently, because it cuts to the spirit of a person. 

Intention. Attention. Rejoicing. 

We will pick up here tomorrow.  

Oh yes, so I said I knew the will of God for you. I do. Here it is:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

THE PRAYER

Father, thank you for the way you reveal things to us we could never figure out. Thank you for your Word and Spirit by which you are always working to reveal your will and your ways. Thank you for Jesus, who so faithfully teaches, trains, interprets and instructs us. We want to offer you the faculty of our attention today. It is battered and broken. Our attention muscles have atrophied from distraction and anxiety. We didn’t intend it. Life has broken us. We need healing Jesus, the kind only you can bring. Holy Spirit would you begin to heal our attention. My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. I want this to be true for me always and all the time. For your namesake, Jesus, Amen.  

THE QUESTION

Have you discovered the unsatisfying nature of rotely rejoicing in the Lord, of trying to move from intention to action whilst skipping over the work of honing our attention on Jesus? How is this resonating or not with you? 

P.S. STILL TIME FOR ADVENT JOURNEY & MARK YOUR CALENDARS.

Yes, there are still a few spots remaining for our daily online Advent mornings journey together. Register here today. We launch Sunday. If you need a scholarship email me and I’ll get it done. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

AND We are getting the Sower Nation together to set the tone and share an entry into Advent. December 2, 6:30 CST, via LiveStream. Jesus will be both our hospitable host and honored guest. It will be filled with the joy of the Lord, with songs, poems, preaching and prophecy. Learn more and register here. You will be our special guests. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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