Janet Smith – 5-10-18 ©gardenministries.org
The humility of developing complete dependence upon God means that I give Jesus my First-Love affection and attention every day. Jesus wants me to seek Him out and to intimately know what is on His heart every day. The Holy Spirit wants to give me spiritual Bread from heaven and Jesus taught us to pray and ask for this bread every day (Matthew 6:11). God knows what we need even before we ask for it so this spiritual bread anticipates and is specific to fit the unique demands for the coming day. I need this daily bread to mature so that when God comes to inspect my maturing process, He will see the cumulative maturing effect that my every day choices to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness have produced. Spiritual maturity empowers and enables the Divine Nature growing within me to perceive and recognize God when He comes to inspect His harvest fields.
There is no neutral in the kingdom of heaven. Every day, the kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing all around us and hopefully within us. We are either choosing to prioritize our kingdom life in God by giving Jesus, the Word, our First-Love affection and attention every day, or we are not.
• First-Love for Jesus means that every day I show deep respect for Jesus as my Savior and Lord by eagerly responding to His desire to spend time with me (Revelation 2:1-5).
• If I’m too busy or too bored and indifferent to give Jesus my time and heart-felt attention every day, then my heart is growing cold and I am in danger of becoming lukewarm toward God instead of becoming more tender and fiery toward Him.
• A kingdom of “Priests unto our God” means that we were created and called to minister to the Lord! It is a great honor to be invited to minister to the Lord (Revelation 5:10, 1 Peter 2:9).
God searches and finds. The Eyes of God search for those who passionately want Him. If we are not searching for God, who searches for us, we will miss Him. This translates into significant opportunities with God that are either realized or missed. 2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
God farms. Throughout scripture, farming is used as a kingdom metaphor with humanity as the intended harvest. God regularly comes to His human harvest fields and inspects them. Sometimes we are aware that He is looking and other times, we are quite unaware. But what is God looking for? He is looking for fiery faith and spiritual maturity. He is looking for His Son Jesus to be fully formed in us. The Father’s harvest only comes when the crops are ripe and ready.
God’s inspects: God is looking to see at what stage His kingdom and His righteousness have grown up within us. What level of maturity in Christ have we reached? Is it time for harvest yet? Luke 19:41-44 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he [Jesus] wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s visitation.”
The word “recognize” in Greek is ginóskó and means to intimately know, to ascertain, to learn; enabled to perceive and recognize something or someone.
The word “visitation” in Greek is episkopé and means an overseeing, investigation, and inspection.
Luke 18:6-8 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly [swiftly]. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
The word “faith” in Greek is “pistis” and means to be inwardly fully persuaded, faithful, and trusting.
God grows. As the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus washes us with the water of His word which matures us in our ability to fully depend upon Him, trust Him, and recognize His voice when He speaks to us. This maturing happens as we daily choose to seek Him and believe that what He has said is true. Our everyday actions will back up our inward persuasions. Spiritual maturity reflects the collective nature of our daily choices to wholeheartedly seek, love, and obey Jesus.
God weeds out religious fakers and spits out the lukewarm. The Last Days will experience strong, spiritual winds blowing across humanity (Matthew 13:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, 2 Timothy 4:1-5). When God works His harvest fields, the Bible says that His angels gather up His wheat and have the tares extracted from the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). The tares represent those who reject Jesus as the Living Word and Son of God and refuse to seek for and love God’s Truth. The tares will be gathered into bundles and collectively receive what they have asked for. In their spiritually blind and deaf states, they will experience spiritual famine and strong delusion and, darkened in their understanding because of their hardened hearts, they will no longer hear or perceive Truth (2 Peter 1:9). As for the indecisive and lukewarm who chose to remain complacent and indifferent toward the Truth, they will be spit out of God’s mouth [Rev. 3:16]. It should not surprise us when the rhetoric and lifestyles of those given over to empty religions manifest the dark fruits of that empty religion’s strong delusions.
God harvests. When the Son of Man comes, He is coming for a faithful, inwardly-persuaded, fully trusting bride who is daily walking in devotion to Him. 2 Peter 1:1-11 and Matthew 13 describe God’s measures and processes for growth. When He comes to inspect His Harvest, God is looking for an ever-increasing amount of His Divine Nature being expressed in our faith, excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and unselfish love.
2 Peter 1:1-11 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped [in the sense of fleeing from] the corruption [rottenness] that is in the world by lust [focused and obsessive urges]. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his [cleansing] purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain [fully applying oneself, not half-hearted.] about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you [or in other translations it reads, “you will receive a lavish reception, a grand entrance, and a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”.]
God transforms and inhabits. If we are eagerly seeking God’s heart every day, our eyes and ears will be more open to perceiving His Truth. The Presence of the Spirit of Truth within us empowers and enables us to perceive and recognize the Morningstar, Jesus Christ, as He rises within us (2 Peter 1:19). The more of His Presence within us, the more the 2 Peter 1:5-7* qualities of maturity will be evidenced in our daily walk with others.
The ability to perceive and recognize God when He comes is because His glorious Presence bears witness to Christ within us. Because we are readily “tuned-in” to His Presence, we have the ability to perceive and recognize Him when He comes. And by this ability, we pass His maturity inspections. He is searching for and finding those who wholeheartedly love Him with First-Love affection and have daily made their relationship with Him their First-Love priority. This is the fiery faith that the Son of Man is looking for when He comes! Check out Psalm 139. David literally asked God to come and inspect him!