Like the rain

woman-578429_640Hosea 6:3: Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (ASV)

The rain stands for refreshing. Peter said that times of refreshing will come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19). And that is where transformation and regeneration take place, by the force of life there.

Moses let my teaching, the word I speak drop like rain, like the dew of heaven (Deuteronomy 32:1-2). Therefore, the word of God also leads to regeneration and transformation. The Word is God (John 1:1-3). And the Holy Spirit works with the word to bring change.

James said we need to take in the engrafted word which is able to save our soul (James 1:21). In his word, God has invested himself, his presence. When the word goes forth, his power and presence goes forth.

Like the rain, he said that his word which proceeds from his mouth will not return to him void but will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11). Jesus (the Word) was sent by the Godhead to bring healing, help, transformation to humanity; to communicate God’s love, power and wisdom.

The rain come from heaven and it does not make a U-turn along the way, but comes with a gravity-driven acceleration to make contact with the earth. The rain stays on the earth until an effective impact is made.

God directs his word at you because of what he wants to achieve in and through you. God is strategic, he has a plan for sending the word he sends to us. He sent his son “the Word,” to as mentioned above, change us, to cause us to be regenerated (Titus 3:5), and transformed.

As mentioned above also, the rain has a direction. There is gravity on the earth that pulls the rain down, and in man, the hunger and thirst for God, the force of expectation, is the gravity.

The bible says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). Paul said: this one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and stretching for what is before me in the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:10-12). That is hunger.

It was the hunger in the heart of Mary that drew the words of instruction from Jesus when he visited. While Martha, his sister was frantically seeking to meet the natural hunger of Jesus, Mary sat down at his feet, and he met her spiritual hunger. Her hunger drew things out of Jesus.

How hungry you are for something determines the prize you will pay to get it, in time, energy, commitment and sacrifice.

Paul said that we should respond to the mercy of God by making our bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, being our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). When the sacrifice was on the altar prepared by Elijah in the Old Testament, it drew fire came from heaven. That means the sacrifice attracted the presence of God. The sacrifice we make at our individual level attracts the presence of God.

For example, when we sacrifice food in fasting we attract the presence of God. Jesus sad that when he goes then the disciples will fast, but not when he was around (Mark 2:18-21). That means fasting is an expression of their hunger for his presence. A display of our life as living sacrifice through fasting attracts the presence of God, which is the reason for the fast in the first place.

That happened in the book of Acts when certain teachers and prophets in the church in Antioch were fasting and in the process of that the Holy Spirit spoke (Acts 13:1-5).

Regeneration comes to reverse conditions of death, of severance of body parts. Job said: “there is hope or a tree even if it is cut down and its root dried in the ground. For if it experiences water, it will come alive again (Job 14:7-9).” It will experience regeneration. With the word, inability is replaced with ability, dryness replaced with fullness. The spirit of heaviness comes off and in its place we have the garment of praise, because of Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-3).

There are miracles of physical regeneration in the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 15:30). There was the man blind from birth who was healed by Jesus (John 9).

The experience of Jesus that man had was like rain coming on a dry ground. He was dried up when it comes to his sight, but Jesus regenerated his eyes, after forty years of blindness.

And after his natural eyes were opened, he got his spiritual eyes opened to recognise Jesus for who he is. Jesus asked him that: do you believe in the messiah? To which he said “who is he lord that I may believe in him?” And Jesus said: “It is I.” And he bowed in worshipped.

His experience tallies with ours in a spiritual sense. From birth, we were blind to the truth of God, with the bible saying that we were dead in sin and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1). We were born in sin (Psalm 51:5). When we met Jesus, we gained spiritual sight, the glory of God was manifested in our lives; the wisdom of God was displayed.

On the cross the weakness of God was displayed to be stronger than men (1Corinthians 1:25), where the one who has the power of death, the devil was destroyed (Hebrews 2:14).

Jesus said that except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone but when it does it bring forth much fruit (John 12:24).

Jesus was the seed of righteousness who was “sown” on the cross. He died on a stake, suffering public shame and was raised up to the glory of the father, raised up for our glorification (Romans 4:25, 8:30).

He was raised up and in that act he opened up the possibility for us to become righteous. Paul said it this way: the one who knew no sin was made sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2Corinthians 5:21).

So from the cross comes the rain of righteousness. Rain is a picture of surplus. In the Old Testament, there was once drought for some years to show the dry spiritual state of the people of Israel as the worshipped idols. The people sorely suffered (1Kings 18). But after the people bowed down to God the heaven was opened and the rain poured down. The heaven is opened on Jesus (John 1:51), and those who are associated with him by faith can also come into his righteousness. As we are born again of the seed of the word of God which lives forever more, there is no scarcity of righteousness in us.

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