“Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God,” Hebrews 6:1 (AMPC)
Religion is man’s attempt in acts of worship void of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
This ‘worship’ extends beyond the place of lifting our hands to Heaven, praying or spending time in the Word. It reaches beyond the spiritual sphere, because ‘worship’ is not confined to our spiritual acts in service to God, but also motivates the things we do for, or on behalf of God.
Paul, writing under the influence of the Spirit, admonishes believers to refrain from such ‘dead works’.
Anything we do for, or on behalf of, God, that is not done by direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and in Union with His will, and as a co-worker with Him acting in obedience to His will – is DEAD WORKS!
It is no more than the works of our hands, by the will of our hearts, and no matter how elaborate or seemingly successful these may be, they are still DEAD WORKS!
God calls us to work in Union with His will, to cooperate with Him, to yield ourselves to His Spirit, to guide, to lead and to direct us into His will and purpose. Anything we do outside of this harmony is void of His will and separated from His Life.
Whether we offer long prayers to Heaven and are faithful in spending many hours doing so, or whether we bury ourselves in the most spiritual tasks, such as reading the Word, if we are not LED and inspired by the Holy Spirit, acting in harmony with His expressed will – we are busy with DEAD WORKS!
There is only one way wherein we can truly and successfully live our lives to the glory of God on earth, and that is to live it the way Jesus did – “NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE BE DONE!”
We, as He, have to be about our FATHER’S BUSINESS, and not our own.
We, as He, should seek to do HIS WILL and no more, or less.
We, as He, should do no more than what we see, or hear, or are inspired to do. And we, as He, should only work for as long as the Father works.
God designed us to live in harmony and in one accord with Him, there is no other way that mankind can live successfully. In the absence of Union with God, man fails. When man’s Union with God is broken and he lives by his own terms, his best attempts in worship of God is but a tower of confusion.
From the beginning, it was the Life-Breath of God’s Own Spirit that caused man to be as He Is, to reason as He reasoned and to live in harmony with His Nature, Character and His Personality.
When that accord was broken by man’s own self-willed rebellion against living in subjection to the Life-Spirit of God in Him, man became something that no longer represented God in his original design and intent.
God designed man to live in absolute Unity and harmony with Him.
When mankind was finally reconciled or restored to the possibility of entering this Union with God through Christ – We see God Breathing His Life-giving Spirit back into the upper room and filling those present with the same Life-Breath of His Spirit to come into one accord with Himself, and with another!
Genesis had finally been achieved and could never be stolen away from mankind again! Everyone who would enter this new Eden of His Presence would come to enter this place of being able to live in harmony with His Spirit, just as Adam originally did.
God came to lead us into living Inspired lives! He does not expect us to try and impress Him. All He wants is for us to express Him.
He seeks men and women who will willingly give themselves to live their lives in harmony with Him, led by Him, Inspired by Him and be in one accord with all He is, becoming everything He designed them to be, so that He may revel in their blessings!
We live in His blessings when we learn to allow Him to steer and command our lives. When we no longer attempt to do but yield to be led.
When we no longer choose to pray but allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in prayer. When we no longer make decisions but begin to seek and follow His expressed will.
When we no longer build anything in His Name, or for Him, but allow him to perfect His will in us and lead us into what He wants to build through us!
God created us for success and nothing brings Him more satisfaction than seeing us living our lives in true success, not in our own attempts, but by allowing Him to be successful through us!
Great ministries do not impress God. Neither does great empires we may build for which we give Him the credit.
Great achievements in the field of sports or of academics may impress our fellow men when we publicly give God the glory for them – But they do not necessarily impress God at all!
What we consider great in terms of this world and what we highly value, counting to be of stature and greatness, may be despised and counted as nothing by God. And the very things which we consider least successful and valuable, not even worthy of being mentioned – He may place the highest value too!
It’s not in the greatness of what we do, but in the greatness of our willingness to allow Him to live His will in and through us, that we are either esteemed or despised in the eyes of our Father.
True greatness is being little in yourself and much in God, and allowing Him to be much in you and great through you. True greatness is not in what you achieve for God, but in allowing Him to achieve what He destined to produce both in you and through you!
For Jesus the cross was greatness. For everyone looking at Him, it was the end of an era. The failed attempts of a man who tried to rebel against the religious leaders of His day, who was conquered and shamed at the end.
Not everything is as it seems!
It is not in the eyes of the beholder, but in the eyes of God, that we are truly counted as being successful. What man considers successes, God may reject as an utter failure.
Determine to seek greatness with God, even if it should be at the expense of being considered an utter failure by man!
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.