An old Chinese pastor was busy making up medicines to take with him on his missionary journeys to the villages in his province. One of his converts, now a co-worker, observing him in his tasks commented, “Pastor, you are always so busy”. The pastor looked at him and smiled, then replied, “Yes, but my heart is at rest”.
Our hearts can be at rest amongst the busyness of life. On the other hand, we can run around in our own strength trying to do so much in misguided zeal, meeting every need in others, believing it to be the right thing to do, but ending up a stressed out, misguided, scrambled Christian!
The statement “God is still on the throne” emphasises God’s sovereignty over all things, however black circumstances may appear…..but in His ruling He is always at work behind the scenes, always active, yet carrying His rest.
There is such a danger in the busyness of doing that I lose sight of the fact that I was created to be. To be what?….to be conformed to the image of God’s Son. My doing will come out of my being who I am in Christ. My calling is to know Him. I have a new identity in Christ, my past life does not define me any more. At the new birth He gave me a brand new life in Him. God is always after a surrendered heart. He wants me to get out of the driving seat of my old jalopy and get into His chauffeur driven taxi, allowing Him to take me where I would not want to go, but then discovering the joy of the journey with Him in the driving seat!
Philippians 3: 7 – 10. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord……and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death”.
John 1: 11-12 declares “He came unto His own, but His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”. Becoming is a process we are all in. The epistle of John confirms how God views us through the finished work of His Son: 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is”.
God sees us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, but practically we are in the becoming process. Along our spiritual journey, God works with us to get rid of all the trappings of our wrong believing and unwanted baggage that holds us back from enjoying our birthright in Christ. As we learn to rest in the finished work of Christ, we begin to enjoy our new identity in Him and our past life no longer defines us. The old chorus declares according to God’s word: “I am a new creation, no more in condemnation, here in the grace of God I stand”.
Becoming! Jesus as the Son of man, our Pattern Man, set us the example of becoming. Philippians 2: 7-8 declares of Him, “But made himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself and BECAME obedient unto death, even death on a cross”.
Before Jesus began His ministry, for thirty years He had to learn obedience as the Son of Man. Hebrews 5:8 declares of Him, “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things He suffered”. (The word suffered used here, is an old English word for allowed.) If Jesus had to learn it in the school of life as our Pattern Man, then following His example, so must we in the becoming process. We have to learn not to project ourselves wanting to be noticed, wanting people to always think well of us in our doings, instead of just being who we are in Christ. When we are confident of our identity in Christ alone, all our doings will come out of a restful being.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God”.
What matters to God are the motives of our heart. If our motive is pure, then our heart is pure. If we are motivated by seeking to please man to gain their approval and praise, these are dead works, wood, hay and stubble. It counts as nothing in God’s eyes. If however, our motive is to please God in our doings, He is always well pleased when He sees the life of His Son working through us. We have to rid ourselves of the idea of performance. We do not have to perform to be accepted. Let us learn to stay still in the hands of the divine Potter and allow Him to shape a vessel fit for purpose, for His glory alone. God is silently planning for you. Rest in Him…..trust……and be……the Potter’s clay.