Work, Life and Working Towards Living
July 24, 2016
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #499.
(Martha) I want to give a little picture of what it’s like in this parameter we’re living in and the limitations I’m living in. They’re very physically, very severe limitations that I have. And I have inherited a 45 acre farm. I have inherited some other things, and I’m now officially a farmer according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture and accountable to produce on this farm. And I have a large yard with a large garden and a flower garden, and I have a basement full of things, and I have two vehicles now. I have a truck and a car, and then another vehicle that’s a farm vehicle. And so, I consider that this enormous responsibility on this poor little older lady And here’s how it looks. People have come and recovered my farm. People have come and worked in my garden and recovered it, beautifully fixed it so that I can look out and enjoy it. There’s a precious man that lives in the mountains who oversees all of the acreage of the farm without whom it would grow into weeds and trees and bramble, which is how we found it. I could, if I would sit back and enjoy the fact that I can’t do it, and it’s being done. And friends are coming this weekend just to work in my garden for me, with me. I can do some, and then I can sit down and watch them do. (chuckles) And last time they came, they brought me… Two men bought for me, for my birthday, organic soil and brought bags and bags and bags, 30 or 40 bags, and unloaded it, poured into my beds while I watched. I loved it, and I enjoyed it, but I have to look at that picture and say, “I have been given a responsibility that Jesus is doing Himself.” And the size of it is phenomenal, because the size of it requires hours and hours and hours and people. And now, I won’t go into it, because it will bore you, but I’m so excited because I’ve come into an agreement with a local man with cows, and he’s doing things to the property that need to be done, that we can’t do, and just so he can put his cows on there. And he’s so cooperative and so wonderful to me and to Carole. And I’m just so excited, the men, these farmers I’m saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m so excited that our agreement is just wonderful.” And there’s huge piles of hay in my barn. And the fields are beautiful and groomed and cut. And I have done nothing, nothing. That’s the picture. And if I were feeling my very best, if I had the strength of a twenty year old weight lifter, I still could not do all that needs to be done, and I am the farmer. It’s being done for me. And that is what the New Covenant is. God gives us so much more than we could possibly do, and as long as we’re struggling and trying and making it work, we will be miserable with God. That’s the bad part. Instead of sitting back and watching Him do… He says, “If My word dwells in you and you dwell in My word, you can ask what you wish and it shall be done for you.” And so, I look at that and say, “There’s the work. I’ve got to get His word in. I’ve got to let His word dwell in me, and then He will do my work.” No, it’s not like that. It’s so simple, and I am so blessed, but He’s had to force me into a place to receive all the help that I have to have and cannot do without. And I’m well, I’m going to be better. I’m going to be stronger, no problem. But, in the meantime God is doing it all magnificently, far beyond what I could ever do in my best day. And that’s a picture for all of us that, that is what He wants to do with your responsibility. He’s done it for you too, Carole, except you’re working hard.
(Carole) These are pictures of our Ishi. This is our husband. This is our Ishi, who takes care of us down to the smallest detail, and He really doesn’t need my help.
(Martha) No, He doesn’t want it. He wants… Because of this, I can weep with love for Him, because it’s in far better shape, really, than it’s ever been, and I haven’t done any of it. I haven’t done any of it. And it’s done lovingly with great love, with great joy, and people cook for me and take care of me, and make me drink nice things that are healthy, and take me places and take me to Italy, and sit me down and help me. So, it’s just, I am living in the New Covenant, even though I’m really not good at doing it. I’m not good at sitting back and letting Him. I can turn everything into a work. But because He has limited me, I’m living, I’m seeing what it looks like, and it’s utterly amazing. If we would do that in every area of our lives, everything that is our calling and our responsibility… If He will start this with me and send it down to all of you, then you will see in your life that He does the work He asks you to do. Even the work of believing is simply a matter of looking at Him, and looking at His word. Just looking. And I knew many years ago all you have to do is look at the scriptures til it gets you, til it captures you. It’s not so much the work of meditation and memorization which I turned it into. It’s that you look at it, and you look at Him in it, and eventually it will get you. It will come in because it’s the Word.
(J) I’ve watched you go from doing the work. I’ve watched you work like a Trojan out there, and I’ve watched you so capable. And then I’ve watched this passage of your life happen now where you’re unable. You’ve been unplugged. And, you know, that’s been your value. Since you’ve been a Christian, and you’ve known the exchanged life and had your dealing with Ian Thomas and him with his cute little giggle and everything like that. That’s been a value that you have wanted in your life, and now you’ve been forced into it. You’ve been lain down in the pasture where the Shepherd literally does everything. And so, I’ve been able to witness the entire process of this phase, and it’s been beautiful. It’s been an example to me and a witness for me. It’s not a failure. It’s a check. That’s been a check for me. It’s been, “Oh, that’s what I need.” Why do I talk about His life as my life, not my life as His life? Why is that so engrained in everything that I really write? Everything I put on the blog somewhere connects back into that. And I may come away to go back in. I go back and forth, back and forth on that. And the reason it is, is because not only is it my calling, but it’s been your witness and His impartation of life from your example. You know, when I first came, you know I cried. I wanted to be a part, you know, in bitter, angry tears. I just wanted to be a part. You know, like well, sorry. I couldn’t have any part. So..
(Martha) It’s much more joy to be the vessel. You know that now.
(John) Now I know that. Then I didn’t. And as a man it’s incredibly insulting. It’s a big cut on the ego that wants to produce, that feels like I’m called to produce. I’m called to perform and produce and to bring fruit. And it’s to know that He really is looking for His life and His production of fruit through my life rather than me producing fruit for Him is, at first it’s real insulting. Cause you say, “Wait a minute now. You called me to leave my life and live Your life, and now I’m supposed to bring you the produce.” “Well, no. You’re supposed to sit down and shut up. You’re supposed to let Me do it.” And so it’s just a long work. But I’ve watched that process that you’ve done. And when you were talking, Jen, about the, you know, leaving the money and going. The thing I thought as a good 80’s baby, I was thinking of a Donna Summer’s song, “You Work Hard for the Money.” “You work hard for the money, so hard for it, honey. She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right,” you know? And I’m thinking, “Yeah, that’s what when you are driven to do it and to work, when He’s saying, “All I want to do is love you. I’m wanting to love you.” And you’re like saying, “No, I have to earn it. I have to earn not only Your love. I have to earn Your… I have to pay You for your own sacrifice of what You’ve done for me. I have to… Here’s my penny for the plate. I have to show You that, you know, I can put something towards Your own Son’s bought sacrifice.” Well, no, you can’t do anything. That’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous, but it doesn’t stop us. So, anyway, I just… This has been wonderful.
(Martha and all) Umhmmm.
(J) I haven’t been… Golly, you’ve taken the Sabbath into amazing realms.
(Carole) Could you understand? I really struggled to be clear…
(J) Oh, Carole, it came out perfect. It came out perfect. It’s beautiful.