Sing O Barren ~ For You Shall Break Forth!
By Rodney W. Francis
Isaiah 54:1-5 presents to all Christians a mighty challenge to "ENLARGE the place of their tents" - to increase in the realm of experience - to see God use us each one in dynamic ways to the glory of Jesus and the extension of His Kingdom.
God has a work for every person. GOD HAS A WORK FOR YOU!
I believe these few verses reveal to us the reason why so many are unfruitful in the Christian experience: too many are living in a state of barrenness - Spiritual barrenness! ("Barren" means "to be rooted, sterile, dry, bereaved"). This makes the spirit of such a person to be sorrowful, depressed, cast down. It robs one of the spiritual liberty and joy which is so rightfully ours.
This is a message to the Church of Jesus Christ; therefore it is also a message to the individuals who make up that Church. God is concerned at the amount of barrenness in His people - this is one reason why He has given instruction as to how we can be delivered from this wasteful condition. It is not God's will for your life to be spiritually barren!
BREAK FORTH INTO SINGING
What is God's first instruction to the barren? Simply to start SINGING ... yes ... "break forth into singing" and cry aloud. If you are cast down in spirit, God says start singing; break forth and cry aloud.
It is a fact that this is where many miss out on the deeper realms of the Eternal. They never learn the secret and joy of praise through singing unto the Lord.
A barren Christian is one who is in a rut - rooted in the wrong place! GOD wants you to get out of that rut by learning to sing aloud and breaking forth into singing. Hallelujah!
Many people are against audible praise, but praise is definitely involved in the sort of singing that is encouraged in this first verse of Isaiah 54 . It refers to being filled in your spirit by "SPEAKING to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:18-20 ). Learn the secret of these verses by experiencing a breaking forth into singing. This will cause you to be liberated in your innermost being, and flood your life with the joy of the Lord!
None of us can ever expect to move on to the next step God places before us, if we are not "walking in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free"! When God's people move in the realm of liberty through this breaking forth into singing, the foundation is laid in our life for us to enter into a new dimension of faith and victory.
We should also be conscious of a growing desire towards our responsibilities in the work of God.
IT'S TIME TO ENLARGE!
After the liberty comes the direct challenge from the heart of God: "ENLARGE the place of your tent" (that other barren saints may come into the same precious liberty you have found); "SPARE NOT, LENGTHEN YOUR CORDS ..."
This challenge from God says we are too small like we are. Our present realm of experience and blessing is too small. It's time to get BIGGER. Time to become a man or woman for Jesus Christ! God has challenged YOU and ME to do this! You need to ENLARGE! You have to GROW BIGGER IN GOD!
ACTIVATE YOUR FAITH
Notice also He says: "And strengthen your stakes." Only those who are STRONG in the LORD and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10-20 ) can stand the opposition that comes against all who dare to accept this challenge to ENLARGE.
To accept this challenge will demand faith - not an idle faith, but ACTIVE faith. "Strengthen your stakes," for the powers of darkness are out to conquer and discourage all who dare to take God at His Word!
YOU SHALL BREAK FORTH!
The Lord not only tells us these things, but He also reveals the results of those who will "step out in faith" and ENLARGE... STRETCH FORTH...SPARE NOT... LENGTHEN...and STRENGTHEN THEIR STAKES. He has promised: "FOR YOU SHALL BREAK FORTH on the right hand and on the left." We will start moving in God in ways we have never done before. God will begin using us in new realms of faith, victory and deliverance.
YOU SHALL BREAK FORTH!
Not only the great "name" preachers on the other side of the world, but ...YOU!
Not only your pastor and minister, but ...YOU!
Not the person sitting next to you, but ...YOU! "YOU SHALL BREAK FORTH ON THE RIGHT HAND AND ON THE LEFT."
Hallelujah! Your life and ministry will become effective, more fruitful. You shall inherit the "nations". Glory to God! That's the promise of God to YOU. Let these mighty promises thrill your soul.
DON'T BE AFRAID
After the promise comes the encouragement: "Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for YOU SHALL NOT be put to shame."
To accept this mighty challenge from God will mean breaking through the fear barrier: the fear of man, the fear of failure, etc. God says we shall not be put to shame! We shall even forget the shame and failure of our youthful days! (It's a shame for a Christian to remain a spiritual baby.) Let us each one GROW BIGGER by accepting this Divine challenge to ENLARGE.
YOU HAVE A BIG GOD
Verse 5 of this chapter tells how God is with us, even as a Husband. He is our Redeemer, "and the God of the whole earth shall He be called." OUR GOD IS A BIG GOD. And our BIG GOD wants to DO BIG THINGS through the lives of ALL who will come out of their barrenness.
This verse also reveals the relationship the child of God has with his Redeemer. It's a personal, intimate relationship which brings us into a oneness ... even as Jesus Christ enjoyed oneness with the Father when He walked the earth. This is the portion of the Lord's people - this wonderful, precious communion and life with the God of the whole earth. Without this relationship we cannot stand; we have no strength; we know not how to conduct ourselves; we know not in which direction to move and work.
It is the lack of this sacred relationship which makes Christians dry and barren, unfruitful and sorrowful, pressed down in spirit, and silent in their expression of the mercies of God. There is something wrong if Christians cannot sing and rejoice ALOUD unto God daily.
In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 we have this same theme demonstrated in a man by the name of Jabez. ("Jabez" means "sorrowful", and also "height".) He was an honourable man, but sorrowful - barren in his experience with God. He was not enjoying the blessings of God, nor was he satisfied with his present position. So he began to call upon God. He prayed: "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and ENLARGE MY COAST, and Your hand might be with me and that you would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"
What a prayer!
If he was enjoying the blessing of God he would not have needed to pray for it, would he? He prayed for God to MAKE HIM A BIGGER MAN! Please note God's answer to his prayer: "He granted him that which he requested."
Jabez saw his need to be more effective for God. And as soon as Jabez meant "business" with God and began to pray for a better experience and bigger things, God began to move with him. Jabez experienced both meanings of his name - he was changed from a sorrowful man to one of greater heights in his God.
Let us turn now to Psalm 118:1-17 . Here we find David speaking dynamically, because when he cried unto God, the Lord set him in a LARGE place (v.5). He broke through the fear barrier - God was on his side. He stood in victory against all who compassed him about. God was his strength and SONG - he had the voice of rejoicing and salvation. He said: "I shall not die, but LIVE, and DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD" (v.l7). He was NOT going to live a wasteful, barren life, but rather one of victory and song because he had been set in a LARGE PLACE.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
This must be YOUR experience if you are to make spiritual progress. It is not good enough to remain as you are. You must press onwards, upwards and outwards through faith in the promises of the Living God. LET this message challenge you to ENLARGE IN GOD ... to SING and REJOICE ... "for YOU SHALL BREAK FORTH on the right hand and on the left."
THE WORD OF GOD PLACES THIS CHALLENGE AT YOUR FEET - WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT? God bless you mightily.