You are absolutely hopeless. Yup, I said it. You are going to be completely restless, unable, and unwilling until you die. You will wake up every morning wishing things were better, but they won’t be. You will go to work and realize that you can’t do your job because your are completely incapable. You will be emotionally unstable, unhappy, unsatisfied until you die. I know, it’s a harsh truth, but we must learn it.
But relax! There is another option: instead of dying and being put into a box 6 feet underground, never to be seen again on this side of eternity, you can die and let Someone Else live through you. The Person that wishes to live His life through you is very rich. He has an infinite supply of health, peace, patience, kindness, and love to give to others. This person not only wishes to live His life in and through you, He also wishes to give you a good reputation in life and business. Yup, He’ll do all the work while you get all the reward! How sweet of a deal is that? Too sweet, really. Who in their right mind would turn down such an offer?
But there is a catch…
If you once again try to pick things up to do them with your old, dead self, they will be fruitless. Even if they appear to be fruitful, right, and good, they will still have the stench of your dead, rotting fingers upon them. But if you continue to rest in this Person, allowing Him to do the work that you initially agreed to allow Him to do, you will reap the reward of His labor.
Restless Until Death
Resting in Christ and allowing Him to work in and through you is a wonderful, beautiful, and glorious thing. It is something that is promised to every child of God under the Sun (or in the SON 🙂 ).
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:29)
“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)
However, there is an aspect of finding rest that must be observed and is the main point of this post. That aspect is on dying to self in order find rest.
It is very easy to say to someone, or to yourself, “Rest in Christ, He has all you need to get through this situation.” But it is a whole other thing entirely to walk it out, to live it.
It is easy to “let go” in particularly tough situations, those things in life that come up that are drastic and life-altering. Then, it is easy to see how utterly useless and hopeless we are in our own strength. During such times, we can confidently say, “Lord, my own strength, my own natural abilities, are but filthy rags before You. I desperately need you right now!”
But what about the mundane, day-to-day stuff that just about anyone can do, with or without Christ? What do we do when, for instance, we wake up one morning completely unable to do anything? Simple things like menial tasks at our jobs that we’ve been working for years; doing the normal tasks around the house?
From what I’ve come to discover in my own life, this is where the “pick up your cross daily” becomes a reality. This is where the cross meets us, in daily life. We may have the vocabulary to teach others about “resting in Christ,” we may have our doctrine down, we may be able to quote Watchman Nee and others and speak into other’s lives this way. But when the cross of really letting go comes to things that you could most certainly do apart from Christ, what will your decision be?
The Natural Man says: “You can do this! You’ve done this a thousand times. In fact, you do this thing every day of your life. Why can’t you do it now? Go ahead, just give a little more effort…that’ll work.”
But the Spirit of Christ says, “Stop. Be still. In your own abilities, maybe you can do this. But why would you want to? You can let Christ do it in and through you. You can truly find rest unto your soul. All you have to do is let it go.”
Do you see the difference? There is most certainly a death in letting go, in resting in Christ. For what man or woman wants to be told that they can’t perform? What human being wishes to see a task in front of him/her and be told that it’s impossible. That’s simply not human nature. But that’s the very nature that caused Adam to eat the only fruit he was told not to eat.
But when we do honestly, sincerely say to Him, “Lord, even this small, daily thing that I know I can do apart from You, I need You to do it through me. I simply have nothing to offer you or anyone in this world, but You do and You’ve chosen to live in me. So, my Lord and my Friend, give me rest!”
It won’t be easy, because we still like to think we have something to offer, but we don’t. But once we sincerely make the decision to truly let go and let Christ, we find rest. Things become more fruitful. We learn that we can trust Him more than ever. Our faith gets strengthened. And, best of all, our Lord gets expressed to those around us!
A Quick Clarification
There is a vast difference in resting in Christ and being plain lazy. Just because we now find that He is willing and able to do things in and through us, doesn’t mean that we sit back and do nothing. We are still responsible for our decisions. Because the main decision is, always, whether we’ll turn to Him who is strong, or if we’ll continue in our human effort to accomplish this and that. We don’t lose the gift of free choice and free will. We simply turn our will to Him and align ourselves in a such a way as to make our own will His will. This simply takes time…a lifetime!
Starting next week, Tuesday, January 10th, I will be posting an introduction to a multi-blog series titled, What I’ve Learned in Organic Church, followed by the first post on January 11th. The other blogs will consist of other brothers and sisters that are currently meeting “organically” with me in Gainesville, FL. I’m really excited to read what they’ve written!
To ensure that you’ll receive the posts, feel free to subscribe by clicking the button at the top right of the page. The intro post to the series will include links and dates of posting of the other bloggers.