by John W. Follette
The eternal attitude of God toward humanity is that of a seeking God. We may think we are seeking Him, but rather, He is seeking us. As we expose our hearts to Him, He responds. At times, we may even feel as though He is invading us; that He has taken the initiative and is pushing in from every angle to find, or discover us.
We become acquainted with one another; but as for the real inner person, we know very little. In fact, we know little about ourselves.
The Lord desires to fully possess us, to shape and mold us into the image of His Son. As we advance in God, the Holy Spirit will keep projecting before us unexplored territory in our lives that we have yet to move into, and over which He seeks domain. We say “He reigns and rules in our heart,” and this may be true. But have we given the Lord absolute and perfect control and possession of all the realms within us that are yet to be possessed?
We are but little cells within this mystical Body of believers that has been developing and projecting itself down through two thousand years of history. In His time, He will lift this Body out of time and present it to the Ancient of Days. This is the great desire of His heart. Therefore, He desires that He will have something worthy to present to His Father.
There is no experience into which the Lord leads us, no matter how profound or revolutionizing that experience may be, that will of itself mature us. Many are deceived because they think, “I have received, now I have.” Never allow yourself to come under the power of an experience and then build your life around it. This is not a question concerning the fact of our salvation, but of how we allow God to move and work within and through us while we are within this present condition of time and sense.
Whatever there is of spiritual value within us – that which we will carry into the next age – must be acquired in the here and now. Therefore, we must ask ourselves, “Has the Lord been able to accomplish within us all that He seeks to accomplish?” After we have been released from this present realm of temporal life, we cannot come back to choose or decide.
We should not be disturbed if the Lord is not using us as a missionary, or in some ministry. Unless He has given this, He is not expecting it from us. He had one Paul, and one Wesley. He has one of you, and you are the only specific edition of who you are. Since this is true, He is desirous to bring forth all that the potential within us will allow.
Thus, our “works” are the technique, or the method which He will use to accomplish this miracle of changing us into the image of His Son and equipping us for a higher purpose. If He has called you to be a preacher, then preach; if He has called you to be a plumber, then be a good plumber.
Whatever we are called to do, we are to do it to the “Glory of God,” and sing while doing it. Why do we sing? Because we are to say, “I Thank you Father, this is what You asked of me, and I am doing it for Your glory with all the strength I have.”
We often become entangled in the mechanism and forget the objective. We must be careful to not lose sight of our objective. We are to keep it always before us, our life surrendered and our whole being moving back again to the heart of God. We are being disciplined, educated, trained, and conformed to His image, by the thousand and one things that the Lord throws into our pattern of daily life experience.
We may say, “this is sacred and that is secular.” To one fully committed to the Lord, everything should be holy and sacred; there is nothing secular about it. That is common talk among people who do not know the things of God. Therefore, they have categories into which they place certain experiences of life. We never should do this. If I am called to be a good plumber, this is a sacred calling. What makes it sacred? Plumbing? No, the will of God.
None of us have arrived; we are in the process of “becoming,” and we will be in that process until the Lord takes us home. When we were saved, the Lord dealt with our sin nature. He can do that in very short order, but it takes a life time to deal with our character.
After we have gone through several dealings, we may feel we have arrived. Then the Lord will say to us, “I have been dealing with your sins. I dealt with all that externally, now I want to come within, and get a hold of you.”
Truth has a two-fold way of disturbing and moving. If allowed, truth will slay us, yet it is the truth that resurrects us. There are two opposing forces, and we swing back and forth between them. The Lord talks about death, but He also speaks of life. He not only talks about crucifying, but about resurrection and life also. We are to keep them together, not separated.
“…He entered a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me. And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38 -42 NKJ
We should never separate Martha and Mary. They are sisters in the same family, having different vocations.
Martha has a valid place within us. She represents our activities, our ministries, all the things we do. But Mary has a place also. She represents our spiritual aspirations, our moving toward God.
But all we receive at the feet of Jesus must descend and find its place in the daily activities of our lives, where it is to become a practical reality. Otherwise, we will become unbalanced. Thus, we are not to remain detached in even the most magnificent revelation of life and truth.
Whenever “Martha” gets up within us and busily hurries around, we know that we will not receive a revelation from the Lord in all that activity. We must let “Mary” arise within us and sit at the feet of Jesus. Each has their proper place and time in which to function.
Up – Mary – Revelation.
Down – Martha – Demonstration.
Both are essential parts of our spiritual development and growth and must be maintained in the right balance.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came to Him: And He opened His mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:1-3
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And, behold, a leper came and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, you can make me clean. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed. Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Matthew 8:1-3
Jesus went up into the mount and sat. His disciples came to Him and He taught them, but He did not stay there. Afterwards, He went down into the valley among the multitudes, where He was met by a leper seeking help. Here in the valley of life, the revelations of the mountain top became a practical reality.
The Lord may wait for years for us to come into this balance between our “devotion” and our “works.”
Only then will we come into the balance of “being” and “doing” that He desires for us.