“Seems that I was busy doing something close to nothing
But different than the day before…”
(“Raspberry Beret”- Prince)
If you’ve been around “church” long enough you’ve probably been told all about the simplicity of just enjoying the presence of the Lord. And I know you’ve heard your share of sermons from Luke 10: “Martha, you’re so anxious and worried about many things. Mary has chosen the better part.” But please, indulge me a bit because the idea of “the best part” and the sweetness of his presence has taken on new life for me as of late. And I wanted to pass it along.
The Lord has my wife & I in a different kind of place right now. Without giving you all the particulars, let me just say that I (and her too probably) have been totally out of my comfort zone. And to be quite honest, I haven’t known exactly what to do. But I figured I BETTER DO SOMETHING!! So, all my “figuring” wound up producing a lot of “what ifs,” “maybe I shoulds,” and “this could be disastrous” kind of stuff. Thank you Lord for your precious Holy Spirit!!
I guess I’d better say right out front that I’m not encouraging you to be lazy, quit your job, and let God feed you by having birds bring you crumbs of bread. But I do want to tell you that God would not have us herded like cattle into a pen or driven by fear into a course of action. Instead, we are to be led by his Spirit. And so often, we get so busy with being busy or thinking that we have to be busy that we forget the best part- the sweetness of his presence. Yes, there is purpose and intention. There is a race and a mission and a task and ministry, but the best part lies in the simplicity of abiding in/with him. And the irony of it all is that it is that “abiding” out of which everything else- the purpose, intention, ministry, and LIFE ITSELF- flows.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Do you think he may have meant exactly what he said? Apart from me, you can do nothing. Sure, with determination and hard work, anyone can have some measure of success, the world does it everyday. But that which possesses eternal substance and significance flows out of our abiding union in Jesus. It is the Spirit that gives life. And before you’re tempted to think that your relationship with Jesus is somehow disconnected from your intention or your purpose or your effort or your JOB; for you my precious bother and sister, there is no such division. Apart from him, we can do nothing. NO-THING.
Keep up the hard work my friend, but remember that it is in your abiding intimacy in and with him that everything else will come. The sweetness of his presence is the best part.