There's Got To Be More Than This
by Rob Packer
God is calling us into the fullness of the destiny He has for us. But how do we move past all the barriers and distractions to find the way forward?
Recently the Lord began to speak to me from the book of Hosea. Historically this was a time when Israel, God’s chosen bride, had lost her way, forgotten who she was, and got caught up with other distractions, other priorities and other loves. But God was not going to be put off. He was calling his bride into her true identity and her true destiny in the earth.
We are in a very similar place in the Body of Christ today. Globally there is a growing sense of disillusionment with ‘going through the motions’ of religious activity and a cry in our hearts of “There’s got to be more than this!” There is an increasing hunger to experience the miraculous, have supernatural encounters and receive greater degrees of revelation; to know who God really is and to know who we really are.
God is drawing us powerfully and persistently into the fullness of relationship with Him and into the fullness of our destiny. He’s calling us past the distractions, the other priorities and the other loves. The cry of His heart, and the encouragement of the ‘cloud of witnesses’ to us, is “Keep on going! There’s still more. It doesn’t matter where you are in your walk with me, there’s lots more I want to show you.”
Let’s look at some key strategies that God spoke of in Hosea to bring his bride into the fullness of her identity and destiny…
1. “Therefore I will allure her…” (Hosea 2:14)
The power of ‘alluring’ lies in us being offered something that is far better than what we have right now. We won’t be allured, however, unless we see that there is much more available to us and that it’s infinitely better than what we are experiencing right now. If you are satisfied with where you’re at and what you’ve got in your relationship with God you aren’t being allured. We should definitely be grateful for what God has given us, but there should be a continual reaching out for more.
“Blessed are those…who have set their hearts on pilgrimage” Psa 84:5. In other words, blessed are those who have settled in their hearts that they will keep going in their journey with God. That, while enjoying and appreciating what He is showing them and doing in their lives, they know that He is drawing them into the ‘much more’. What are you experiencing in your walk with God right now? Thank Him for it but don’t settle there – there are greater realms that He’s wanting you to explore.
2. “…bring her into the wilderness…” (Hosea 2:14)
When I read this I asked the Lord “Why on earth would you want to bring us into the wilderness?” When we think of the wilderness what do we normally think of? We normally think ‘Hard, dry, barren, unproductive…yuck!’ The Lord said to me “The wilderness that I want to bring you into is not any of those things….it is the place of ‘unclutteredness’.”
There is a realm of glory and of His presence that the Lord wants us to carry and it flows out of relationship with Him. Most of us lead very busy lives and we are busy serving the Lord, but what He is bringing us into is going to require some adjustments in our lifestyle.
What is the place of unclutteredness?
A room that is cluttered is one that has many things in it that are not in their right place, and as a result those things often slow down people’s progress or trip them up when they enter the room. Sometimes those things have fulfilled their proper purpose but they are no longer needed – they just haven’t been removed yet.
It is fair to say that ‘unclutteredness’ will mean different things to different people. It is not appropriate for me to tell you what represents ‘clutter’ in your life but the Lord is wanting to reveal that to each of us. Let’s ask Him to show us.
It is a place where…
Things that are not needed have been removed
Are there things that we are doing that were right for another season but are no longer needed in this current season?
Are there things that we are doing to serve God that He has not asked us to do?
Are there things that we are doing that ‘drain our energy’ and the grace to do them has lifted?
Are there attitudes and mindsets that are continually tripping us up and impeding our forward progress in our walk with God?
Are there areas of sin that need to be dealt with and put away?
Are there things that we turn to for nurture or comfort instead of turning to the Lord?
Are there relationships that need to be let go because of their negative influence in our lives?
Are there time-wasting activities that are robbing me of quality time with the Lord that I need to let
Things that really matter have been repositioned
When the clutter is removed there is a much clearer perspective of the things that ‘really matter’.
Unhurried time to spend in His presence becomes available.
Out of the place of stillness and relationship comes a fresh sense of the things that He wants us to be involved in.
The place of unclutteredness is not a place of inactivity – God is not calling us to do nothing. He is calling us to a place of rest, security and relationship, and we can live and serve Him out of that place.
3. “…and speak kindly to her.” (Hosea 2:14)
Sometimes we can feel that if we just get alone with the Lord and we let Him speak to our heart that He will start showing us all the things that are wrong with us and that He wants to correct. It’s that perspective of God that deep in our spirit pushes Him away – that makes us want to be continually busy so we won’t have to listen to Him tell us that we don’t measure up. Is there anything ‘alluring’ about that? No way!
The Lord wants to get rid of the clutter so that we can actually hear Him tell us how much He loves us and how special we are to Him! How proud He is of us as we take each step of our journey with Him; how excited He is about the things that He has in store for us – the things He’s wanting to show us and help us experience with Him!
There will be things that He will point out along the way but they are way down the list of His priorities. His top priority is to love us and to speak kindly to us, to encourage us and let us be shaped by His love.
4. “Then I will give her her vineyards from there…” (Hosea 2:15)
What do vineyards speak of? They represent fruitfulness, productivity, new wine. Many times we can think that fruitfulness and productivity come from us deciding how we’re going to serve God and striving with all our heart and mind to achieve great things for Him – with lots of frenetic activity thrown in for good measure.
Who would have thought that the real fruitfulness and productivity that we long for would be come from the wilderness? God is saying in this verse that He will give us the fruitfulness – it won’t be of our own doing. If we follow Him, He is going to be the only explanation for what happens in our life. We won’t be able to take the credit for it. We will find that incredible fruitfulness in the place of unclutteredness.
Here are some Scriptures to meditate on:-
I will allure her… Isa 55:2-3; Jer 31:3; 33:3; 1 Cor 2:9-10; Eph 1:18-23
Bring her into the wilderness… Jer 24:7; Song of Sol 1:4; Jer 2:2-5; Matt 22:37; John 17:24; Rev 3:18-22
And speak kindly to her… Isa 40:1-5; Zeph 3:14-17; Rom 8:31-39
I will give her her vineyards from there… John 15:5-9; Gal 5:22-25