It’s invaluable to know whether we’re moving at cross-purposes or in lockstep with Our Father in Heaven. He moves in our lives whether we say, “Yes” or “No” to what He’s doing…to His purpose in our lives, even when we don’t know what His purpose is exactly.
Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, was at cross-purposes with the Father when he questioned Gabriel’s word that his son would be born, even though he was old and his wife, Elizabeth, was barren. He was struck dumb until it was time to name the son at his circumcision:
And Zechariah said to the messenger, “By what shall I know this? For I am aged, and my wife is advanced in her days.” And answering, the messenger said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I was dispatched to speak to you and to bring you this evangel. And lo! silent shall you be and not able to speak until the day on which these things may be occurring, because you do not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.” (Luke 1:18-20)
Zechariah moved back in lockstep with the Father’s purpose soon enough, but he didn’t speak until he declared his agreement with the original word. Once the declaration was made, BANG! The Father moved exactly according to His word, and Zechariah spoke for the first time in over nine months:
And requesting a tablet, he writes, saying, “John is his name.” Now, opened was his mouth instantly, and his tongue, and he spoke, blessing God. (Luke 1:63-64)
It only took Yeshua (actual Hebrew name for the one Christians renamed, Jesus) – the best example of being in lockstep with the Father’s purpose – three and a half years to secure the salvation of the entire world!
When the Father is on the move and we’re in the flow of His movement, as was the creation, and as John and Yeshua were—as the Lord is today!—He moves quickly. The Father is always moving, of course; always advancing His purpose of the eons, as Paul wrote, but when we step into His flow, our lives move quickly; they change fast; there isn’t a lot of time to think, but that’s what gets us into trouble anyway!
Human beings have not been in the flow of the Spirit of the Father – in Hebrew, the Ruach haKodesh – for most of our history. The Father isn’t slow, we are, simply because we’re hindered by the limitations of our own intellect. The Apostle Peter established this principle:
The Lord is not tardy [not behind] as to the promise, as some are deeming tardiness, but is patient because of you, not intending any to perish, but all to make room for repentance. (2 Peter 3)
The Father only looks slow when we expect Him to do things the way we picture them. When we are one with Him, by the Spirit, we receive His word and trust Him to carry it out when and how He chooses.
Moses was told what to do and how to do it. He was told what role Pharaoh would play and that it wouldn’t go easy. Moses was NOT told how long it would take; he wasn’t given tons of specifics ahead of time. He had to trust the Father to fulfill His word to deliver Israel from its slavery in Egypt and take them into the land promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier. Moses had no idea what to expect from the Father, not really. He simply had to HEAR and HEED. He had to put one foot in front of the other every day, and trust the Father to do what He said.
Yeshua probably had more specific information than anyone in history, and since He poured out the Holy Spirit on us – the Ruach haKodesh – we have more to go on than most humans before then. Even so, The Father’s timing is His own, His methods are His own, and His direction for our lives is His own…IF we will give them to Him; IF we will die to ourselves, or, as Oswald Chambers says, if we will “give up the right to ourselves” and “let God help Himself to our lives.”
How do our lives look when we objectively evaluate our relationship to the Father?
- Do things appear to move at a snail’s pace, or does it seem like God has His foot firmly held down on the accelerator so that all you can do is stay grateful, hang on and, like Moses, put one foot in front of the other from waking to resting?
- Do circumstances and relationships take you by surprise in a frustrating, or in a thrilling and fulfilling way?
- Do you live in a sense of frenzied disruption, or a sense of peace and joy in the midst of seeming frenzied disruption swirling in the world around you?
- Are you living in a state of struggle, lack and striving, or are you living in “The blessing of YHVH, it encircles and He shall not add grief to it”? (Proverbs 10:22 – Concordant Literal Version)
- If you’re hearing the word of the Lord, either in your own spirit, or through others whom He has sent as messengers, does that word seem to be frustrated and your outlook shrouded in a kind of gray cloud; or can you see the Father’s hand in every circumstance and relationship, moving toward its fulfillment word, perhaps even with almost blinding speed?
- Can you see the Father’s fingerprints, not just in the world at large, but in the daily, weekly, yearly course of your life’s events? Are you moving at cross-purposes, or in lockstep with His purpose?
The experiences we perceive as negative – the ones that contain aspects we don’t like and would love to avoid if possible – are entirely necessary to grow us up into mature sons and daughters of the Father. Yeshua “learned obedience” and we shouldn’t expect to skate through life, bathed in a never-ending shower of blessing, bounty and ease.
He also, being a Son, learned obedience from that which He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)
The Father requires obedience: uncompromising, unflinching, determined, consistent trust in Him. So when things are going other than or slower than we expected—no matter how firm a grasp we think we have on the Father’s purpose and its timing—it’s not because He is unfaithful or, even worse, playing some kind of cruel game. When we’re out of sorts with Him or His plan in our lives, it’s essential to look in the mirror. What are we thinking about? Where are we putting our attention? Are we seeking Him first, or are more consumed with ourselves and our immediate needs or challenges?
When we are in lockstep with the Father’s purpose, we can enjoy a relationship with Him and a flow within His purpose in and through our lives that may be unprecedented in human history, precisely because He is in us and we are in Him.
Blessings and joy in the journey.