A Little Child Doesn’t Work
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #591.
We struggle mightily against living as a little child with a perfect Father who delights in us. Why do we work rather than play when it comes to God’s love?
(John) For Him to say, “I just want to take you away and I just want you, I want to look at you.” That’s just real different and I’m ashamed of it. I’m, because I think yeah, I should know that, but mentally and emotionally, that’s not how I think it through.
(Martha) And you know, John, the comforting thing to me always is that sheep are dumb and they don’t learn. They’re un-trainable. And you have to learn the same things over and over from the Lord. I have learned it. I remember in my early walk, I was constantly parenting myself because… You can always trace these things usually to your childhood. And there was, after my mother passed away, there was a long period of my life that I wasn’t really parented. And so somehow I took on the job. I volunteered for the job. And one time the Lord said to me, “Does a child spank itself? Stop assuming to correct yourself! Go away!”
(John) The answer is yes. The answer is I did, yes. It was very, very, very much what I’ve done to myself.
(Martha) And He’s, He has told me a number of times, and it’s so foreign that I don’t hold onto it and I guess He’s gonna just have to do something. Keep at it, I hope. But He really showed me that if a child… For a child almost everything is play. And when He says, “Be a child…” He says, “Be a little child.” And a little child doesn’t know work yet, if that child has a halfway decent upbringing. He’s not allowed to work at four. What can a child of four do? But the idea of being so free with God that you’re just where you are in the moment, and if He’s not speaking then you’re not working. And if He’s not working, you’re not working. If He’s resting with you, dwelling with you, abiding with you. John says, in 15, “He abides in me as I abide in Him.” And so if He wants to just abide with me for a while, that is completely rather foreign to me, even though I should know it. I’m like you; I’m embarrassed. I’m thinking everybody who hears this will know better than I knew, that, how to let God rest with you and rest with Him, and who knows what He did in that time for this book that I was going to work and write? And the last day, at two in the morning, He gave me the, a whole page around one scripture that I knew was a new— I had a new revelation of this one scripture. And so He gave me how to write about it, and, but I had lots of reading to do. I had lots of Scripture study I needed to do. And I had all plotted out how I would spend the time and thank goodness, He took over. He took over my time, and gave me what I needed which was a really deep rest. More than I comprehended that I— He knew what I needed. He lays me down in green pastures to restore my soul. And then He leads me and has a righteousness for His name’s sake. There’s a sequence there. I have to move from rest and not from the position of “I’m on the treadmill.”
(John) Well, I mean, when I get with Him, I feel like He’s wanting me to gaze upon Him. Me to look at what He is looking at, see what He’s seeing.
(Martha) And someone trained you that way (laughs)! I’m sorry, forgive me!
(John) No, I believe that that’s correct. I believe it’s correct, okay? That’s what I believe we are to do. But in doing that, I have made it into a work and so I, that’s what I believe. I believe that that’s, that is the effort, the work that I should do. And I’ve made it into a work, which is, that’s the horrible thing. Because, you know, it takes me away from, even the work of focusing… I work to focus! It’s just the whole thing is ridiculous. But it’s very much how I do things. And unfortunately I wish it wasn’t that way but, and I’m, I’m gonna surrender, but for Him to say, “I want to look at YOU.” I have even a hard time believing it. “YOU want to look at ME? You’re interested in looking at me and spending time with me and being with me? You want to…” I don’t, I’m sorry.
(Martha) What do you do with a little child? They’re fascinating. Everywhere I see a little child, three and four, I just grin from ear to ear, even if it’s someone I don’t know in the airport or whatever. Because that is such a delightful age. They’re not yet spoiled by their own humanity. And mishandling as well. But I love to watch little children like that, and…
(John) Most people, when they see children, smile. And enjoy them and watch them and yeah. Most people.
(Martha) And I never dream that God would look at me as His little child like that. And want me to stop, “Stop your adultness and just be.” And it’s easy to do this. When God isn’t speaking, you speak for Him. When God isn’t moving, you start moving so He will start moving. Do you understand what I mean?
(John) Uh, no, I really have no idea (laughter).
(Martha) But you know, John, I believe fully, no matter how poor I am at it, that we are to move from rest. From established place in God, that is full of fullness. And I believe, I believe I was so tired and so empty that I needed to do nothing and be nothing and just sit in the sun and watch children play in the pool. There were two little boys, reminded me of my two little boys, who were little boys a long time ago. And they were playing with each other and then the elder one started being abusive and had to be called out of the pool. And I laughed over that, because that’s so familiar in little boys. The older one takes advantage. And I just delighted in those children and it seemed there was nothing else to do but just BE, until He moved. And I, and because one thing He’s challenging me on, and I wrote Altogether Forgiven in this calling. He called me to ignore all the work that stood before me: the work of the farm, the work of the house. And I had to ignore it and be in the Spirit, follow the Spirit where He was. And that book was written in a tremendous place of grace to ignore the work that lay before me. It’s no small miracle, between me and the Lord. And I knew what He was calling me to and I said yes and then He gave me the grace to do it and so I would write six hours with not even doing the things you normally do every day. So this is what He is, He— It is an issue of being a little child. That’s what it is. And being glad to be a little child, not having to be worth anything, not having to work at anything, not having to grab hold of God so He doesn’t leave you. No, His, this scripture says His love for me is very great. And I want Him to be able to enjoy me. I want to let Him enjoy me. And I have opposed that.
(John) I want to enjoy Him enjoying me, and which is foreign.
(Martha) It’s unheard of in humanity. It’s only in the realm of the Spirit that those, that that enjoyment of God… Someone said to a dear friend of mine, “You don’t enjoy me.” And that too is piercing. So this is, as you’ve said it several times, John. What it is, is a change in thinking. It’s a renewing of the mind that I hope this time… I’m going to pray over this one. And I don’t want to be found outside of it again like He has found me, being very responsible. But my responsibility is to be who He wants me to be this day for Him, and that doesn’t mean that every day is for work, except maybe trying to let, stop working on Sunday. But there’s scripture, I think in Jeremiah, that talks about if you don’t observe the Sabbath, which is the rest in Christ, then God threatens a number of things to you. I couldn’t quote it right now but I’m in it a lot. Because He wants us to rest in Him and be who He lets us be at any given moment.
A Little Child Doesn’t Work – Episode #592 – Shulamite Podcast
We are called to become little children, and a little child of three or four doesn’t work. A little child plays! Yet we struggle mightily against living as a little child with a perfect Father who delights in us. Why is it so much easier to work than play?