CALL TO OBEDIENCE #261
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Let It Rain On You"
By Pastor Reimar Schultze
“And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived...” (Deuteronomy 11:1316).
Do you want it to rain on you? Do you want the showers of blessings to come upon you and your household? Do you want to see that which you have sown come to fruitfulness and to an abundant harvest? I believe you do. Together, then, let us ponder the subject of rain. Let me begin by asking several simple questions.
1. Why is rain necessary?
Rain is necessary because without it, there can be no life. A seed needs rain to sprout, the young plant needs rain to become a mature plant, and the mature plant needs rain to bring forth fruit. It is that simple. And so it is in the spiritual realm. Without spiritual rain, no new convert will sprout to then put his roots down into the life and purposes of God. Without rain from heaven, every new convert will dry up and perish. Then, after the new convert has put his roots into the ground, he must continue to receive rain all the way until harvest time. Should the rain of heaven stop falling upon him for any length of time, he will perish. There is no life without rain!
2. When will it start raining?
It will start raining when God chooses for it to start. God has a storehouse of unlimited showers of blessings. Jeremiah says, “There is a multitude of waters in the heavens...” (10:13). How much is that? Can that be measured? Is there just enough for everyone on the earth or is there an overflowing abundance of rain for every one? And if every one on earth would receive an overflowing abundance, would heaven be emptied of rain, or would there still be as much as there was before? Oh, my dear friend, how much rain is your life drawing from the treasure-house of God? As people look upon you, as they observe your spiritual countenance from Monday through Saturday, can they tell that you live in the refreshing showers of God’s favor?
So then, who has the power to start the rain? It is God, and God alone. It cannot be started by human efforts or ingenuity, by man’s programs, connivings, operations, or strength. It cannot be started by man’s will, determination, and energy as the prophets of Baal attempted unsuccessfully to move God’s hand (1 Kings 18:2229). Only God can start the rain!
3. Under what conditions will God start the rain?
There is only one condition under which God will guarantee that the rain will fall on a human soul. Only one! That condition is obedience to the commands of God. Nothing less will start it, not one iota less, and nothing more, not one iota more. The moment the Christian makes an absolute surrender to all God wants in his life, God will start raining on him. And God has committed himself by covenant that he will not stop the rain of the blessings as long as the Christian lives in total obedience. “And it shall come to pass...that I will give you rain” is conditional on “if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments...to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
What does it mean to hearken diligently? Is it to pay partial, token attention or full attention? What does it mean to love God with all of our heart and with all of our soul? Does God have your heart only, or does he have your soul also?
Can you see here, my friend, that love and obedience are equivocated? Can you see that if you have the one, you have the other? Can you see that obedience is the measure of love and not feelings or good intentions? Did not Jesus say, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15)? And what is the Scripture that follows the verse I just gave you? “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit...” (vv. 1617). Can you get the Holy Spirit to live within you forever without locking into the condition of verse fifteen, without obedient love? So also Peter says that the Holy Ghost is given to them that obey him (Acts 5:32).
At your conversion, you obeyed God. You confessed and repented of your sins. And because you obeyed, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into your life at that time. He let it rain on you. That was your first rain experience with God. Do you remember that? Was it wonderful; was it refreshing; was it so great that you wanted to tell everyone about it? But then what happened? Did you continue to obey? When he told you then to ask forgiveness of your father, of your brother, or of your pastor, did you do that? When the Lord then asked you to join a prayer meeting, did you do that? When the Lord prompted you to give up your favorite television programs, did you do that? When the Lord asked you to testify in church or go to a revival meeting when your best old friend invited you to his birthday party, did you obey God? Young lady, when the Lord asked you to lengthen your dress, did you do that?
If you didn’t do these things when the Lord asked you to obey him, then the rain that began at your conversion has stopped. Your seed has not sprouted. The roots of your spiritual life have not developed. There have been no grounding and no growing, and there will be no harvest.
Oh, my friend, can you get the picture? Could the Holy Ghost perhaps awaken you now? Could he perhaps prick your heart now to be revived to come back to life again, to come back to the refreshing streams which you once knew on the day of your spiritual birth? I pray so. Jesus prays so. And if, my friend, you confess and repent, and seek the Lord with all your heart, he will bring rain upon you again. For the Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God has no obligation to rain upon you just because you are the most trusted deacon in the church, or the best soloist in town, or the most popular preacher, or the most sacrificial giver. The rain you experience at conversion will only begin again if you diligently hearken unto the voice of the Lord and obey him in everything. Then your floors shall be full of wheat, your vats shall overflow with wine and oil, and God will restore unto you the years the locust has eaten which the Lord sent among you (Joel 2:2425).
Now, if you did not repent but only confessed at your conversion, you did not have a true conversion. You may have made a decision to pursue all the Christian practices common in the average church, but you did not have a conversion. The rain of heaven which comes by the Holy Ghost does not begin without repentance. Jesus did not say that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner that confesses or makes a decision, but “over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke 15:7).
Can you see the picture even more clearly now? Most professing Christians have never been converted because they made decisions short of repentance, they never experienced the Holy Spirit indwelling, and then most who had experienced it have dried up because of disobedience, merely adapting to Christian culture. Is this way to life narrow? Are there few that find it? How many survived Noah’s flood? Eight! How many Israelite men out of the 600,000 who left
We need the Holy Spirit to live in us. The Holy Spirit is the rain. He has birthed us, he only can sustain us. We cannot, we absolutely cannot live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit. We cannot go to heaven without the Holy Spirit indwelling, as Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins tells us in Matthew 25. Dear one, I am in my calling in writing this! No one will make it to heaven without oil in their lamps and shining for Jesus. No one!
Be not deceived!
4. What is in this rain?
Everything you need is in this rain. For the Scripture says, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). This is about your needs. But here is a passage that goes beyond your needs: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
Do you want it to rain upon you? Do you want all your needs supplied? Do you want to walk in the blessings that are beyond your imagined blessings?
Do you want to have constant, unbroken fellowship with Jesus? Do you want to have Jesus live in your body as he lived in his own body 2000 years ago? Do you want to know his presence just as much in the hard places of life as on the mountain tops? Do you want to know his joy even when your feet are in the stocks and your back is bleeding (Acts 16:2324)? Do you want to have him speak his words of comfort, instruction, encouragement, and warning through you at the right time and at the right places? Do you want to experience the splendor of his glory when you pray through? Do you want to have the experiences, adventures, and the things, be it bicycles or cars or homes or cottages, he has for you? Do you want to “know...the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Phil. 3:10)?
Ah, my friend, now you know how to let it rain on you. Now you know what starts the rain, what stops the rain, and what keeps it going.
“if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments...