DOING BETTER


You have a place in the presence of God. Never motivated by fear and the thought of ‘Have I done enough’ you live from where you have been placed. In Christ, you are in God and specifically one with Father and Holy Spirit in the trinity. More to the point they are in you.

Everything Jesus did was filled with spirit and life, meaning the spirit and life of God in His fullness. He didn’t work from the flesh because He did not operate from the law. His life was the expression of union with His Father. Today our life with God is identical. We are in Him and He is in us.

A most inconvenient truth is that the busiest persons for God in a church can be the least spiritual and most resistant to God. Why? Because they are living out of self-effort.

There are lovers and workers. Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ But we are too often convinced that we are, or that something we do is. Paul wrote passionately ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ Gal. 2.20 (NIV).

Paul, the one time legalist and religious aficionado was totally besotted with Christ and lived in Him. He was a friend of God. Hence his creative wisdom and fruitfulness. But this is not all. Living in Christ was not something Paul ‘worked up.’ Christ was incarnated in Paul as was the entirety of God. So it is with your - when you are not stifling it with the law. It’s not by chance that law-keepers make a thing of service. But this service is dry, ill-conceived and lacking God’s spirit and life.

In his book on
holiness and creativity, Bill Johnson writes, ‘Mary sought to please Jesus by being with Him, while Martha tried to please Him through service. When Martha became jealous, she asked Jesus to tell Mary to help in the kitchen. Most servants [works addicts] want to degrade the role of friend to feel justified in their works-oriented approach to God. Jesus’ response is important to remember: “Mary has chosen the better part.” Martha was making sandwiches that Jesus never ordered. Doing more for God is the method servants use to increase in favour. A friend has a different focus entirely. They enjoy the favour they have and use it to spend time with their Friend.

‘To say we need both Mary’s and Martha’s is to miss the point entirely. And it simply isn’t true. I’ve heard it said that nothing would ever get done if we did not have Martha’s. That too is a lie. That teaching comes mostly from servants who are intimidated by the lifestyle of friends. Mary wasn’t a non-worker. She just learned to serve from His Presence, only making the sandwiches Jesus ordered. Working from His Presence is better than working for His presence. There are lovers and workers and lovers get more done [for the Kingdom of God] than the workers.’

It’s possible and not a few have done it, to spend an entire life-time of work for God that is not His Kingdom and which is bereft of His spirit and life. Yet when Christ is our life and we live in union with Father His spirit is in us and we are an extension of His heart and will. Jesus only did what His Father was doing. It can be so with you and you will produce Kingdom fruit.