But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
This past Sunday we gathered at the Garment House in downtown Kansas City. As we’ve been journeying through 40 days of prayer and fasting we have been asking the Lord to set us apart for His plans and purposes. This is the very thing that God longed to do with the Israelites from the time He spoke to Abraham. It began with a call for Abraham to start moving, led by the Spirit of God, without knowing where he was going. It ended with a promise that, through Abraham’s children, every nation on earth would be blessed. Before the Lord spoke, though, Abraham was at rest. He was going about his work in a daily rhythm of life, family, labor, and prayer. He was not inactive in any way, but he was settled in a healthy and natural state, that is, until the Lord spoke. And when He spoke, Abraham had to move.
Newton’s First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by an outside force, and a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an equal and opposite force. It is a simple law of physics, and a principle that not only governs the substance of our universe, but our hearts and spirits as well.
The scripture is riddled with stories that prove Newton’s First Law to be true. Gideon was at rest until the Holy Spirit came upon him. Then he was moved to mobilize an army. Saul was in motion until he was halted by a blinding Light. Broken in humility he remained at rest for 3 days until the Spirit moved again on Annanias. The entire narrative of God is a series of stops and go’s. Rest and move. Pause and wait, then be filled and go. Over and over again the cycle continues.
At this moment in the Navah story we are both on the move and told to be still. We are a people on a journey, led by the Spirit from place to place. And for a brief moment, 40 days, we have come to rest. Acted upon by an opposite force, the force of the Spirit of God at work within us, we have responded to a call to go lower in humility and slower in our daily lives. So we paused. We removed some distractions from our lives. We simplified our routines and made space for more prayer. Our capacity for God was stretched. Our hunger for His voice is growing. For many of us these weeks have brought about a great awareness of His presence, a deeper longing to be fully yielded to God.
This past week we stood before one another and were recognized as priests of the Most High God. We felt the weight of our role as intercessors, people who represent God on the earth. The ones who can take someone by the hand and lead them into the holy of hollies.
As we prepare to spend our final week in prayer one question remains heavy on my heart. Have we surrendered everything to the Lord? We will always be growing, but in this season of life, during these 40 days, is there anything I have withheld from God that would keep me in motion when he says “Be still.” Is there anything I am protecting that prevents me from moving when he empowers me from on high?
This is the role of a priest: to be fully set apart for the work of God, moved by the Spirit himself, desiring only what He desires so that the world would taste true love and share in His holiness. A priest is one who reconciles the world back to God, one who opens their hand to the dirty, broken, and marginalized and walks them into eternal Light. Able to discern when to go and when to stop, unto every nation being blessed.
Let us remain in a state of surrender and ask the Lord once again, “Is there any area you are inviting me to lay down or anything that you are asking me to pick up?” A yielded heart is liberated to serve a city in any way Jesus directs.