It was these lines that stayed with me;
"How can we fail to get excited,
The battle is ours, why don't we fight it ...
So we will sing songs of victory
We will rise and set men free
We will applaud your majesty
We will proclaim your kingdom come
We will announce the battle done".
Sadly my first thoughts were legalistically-driven. Yes! How can we fail!? What's wrong with us!? What strategies can we employ to have more success? Should we start behaving like the world? Should we start using swear words in church from the stage? Should we open pubs in church? Should we .... And then the still, quiet voice of God - my Father - began to speak;
"Oh son, when will you realise that the less you do and the less you try, the more you will accomplish and the better you will be? I love your efforts. I love your passion and your desires but they are so unnecessary. When will you let Me impress you? When these truths start to really strike home then you will do less and accomplish more! Do you think that I need you to accomplish My purposes in the earth? The issue isn't that I "need" you but that it's My joy and My pleasure and My delight to use you to My glory!
It is a demonic lie that you only get results if you put in the effort. That's a worldy, anti-Christ way of thinking. Why do you think your efforts should get the glory in My economy? No - I want and will have a people that are driven and are prepared to die for a vision that demands nothing of them other than believe that it is My pleasure and My delight and My thrill and My joy to bless.
Your efforts and your attempts will not fire you to walk to a martyr's grave. Only a heart that has fallen so deeply in love with Me and My love for you will do that. Once you touch and taste My love, once you feel My intimacy for you flooding your soul, once you hear Me rejoicing over you with singing - just one look from your eyes! Then you will walk proudly to die for Me and receive a standing ovation in heaven.
The war is over. The battle's won. My Kingdom has come! What do you think your efforts will achieve that Mine cannot?! So My precious, beloved son. Try less. And you will see - you will do so much more!".
I've sat on this word for almost a week because it just didn't feel "right" until I realised it was my 30 years of tradition that were objecting! I recalled two occasions in the last few years when two of my heroes in the faith have also mentioned this theme of "less effort - more success" or "dialling down in the flesh". The first was Rob Rufus at the "Glory and Grace Conference" when he was talking about raising the dead. He shared his conviction that to raise the dead we are going to have to dial down on our flesh hugely. The second was the last time David Holden spoke at "Together on a Mission" in 2006 and he also talked about the need to "dial down" on the flesh and as a result see the work and movement and manifestation of the Spirit "dialled-up".
So am I trying to sneakily make excuses for Christians to become more passive?! NO! What a ghastly thought! I'm sensing and exploring the passion of the Father to motivate us to more action, greater exploits of faith, bolder deeds but from a perspective of passionate love and devotion rather than our own earthly energies - so that ultimately He and He alone will take all the glory and we will get none.