Working So Hard to Receive
A blog about discovering a God worth knowing.
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"God gives all and all must simply and only be...received. For the thousandth time I come to see anew: I only receive, and even that is His enabling!"
(Martha, "The Dove Alights and I Gaze")
"Every victory that Christ won is mine by the Blood, and though I am horrified by what I'm seeing, I will NOT stay there."
(Jennifer, "My Claim to Shame")
"Yet He still yearns for our intention to be displayed. It reveals to us and to Him the direction of our heart. It's the faith that pleases Him. This faith is moving intention but not performance."
(John, "God Wants Your Heart and Intention")
Making It Work to Receive
Martha's recent Message of the Month and podcasts on priesthood pierced me deeply, so I pondered a lot on how to step into that call and how to receive the Power of God for this needy world. Then I stumbled across a booklet by Watchmen Nee. (I only have it in German, where it is called Liberation. Probably the booklet called Deliverance included in the New Believer's Series.)
Nee wrote basically that just as there is a law of the flesh, there exists also a law of Life. And as Christ’s Life in us follows a “law” - meaning that there is a strict order it displays - we can attend the life in us “without hindrance,” “without contributing something to it.”
I wanted that; I needed that. I stretched out for it, more of it. Did you ever try hard not to try hard? Did you ever contribute to your attempt not to contribute? This must have been what I did, though not consciously, as then something eye-opening happened.
God let a thorn be run into the thinnest part of my skin: injustice.
Within a few days I was criticized unendingly, for this and for that and for nothing and on every level. I was criticized by friends, at work, and at the prayer-house. Things I had done were a problem, things I had not done were a problem, and things I had done differently were a different problem. It wasn't even about me; people were under pressure and the one they could pass it on to was me. But I came to the point were I found it was enough. I decided for myself that I had a right to be angry. What I mean by right to be angry is not the emotion; what I mean is the right to unforgiveness.
This was a deliberate sin I chose, yet what followed was not deliberate, but shocking. I had opened the door to evil just a gap and in flowed all hell. In a short time I found myself wrapped in hatred. I had thought this hatred to be history; and I didn't even recognize myself.
Letting Go to Receive It All
I was devastated until I understood that the Lord was teaching me just as He was teaching Jennifer: "...though I am horrified by what I'm seeing, I will NOT stay there." He seemed to say to me, "This IS the flesh, do you understand? Do you still think that you can contribute anything good? Do you think you can add anything, which is not ME?"
This had been a drastic demonstration, but it showed the mere truth: All I can contribute is the problem; He alone is the solution! As Martha saw, "I only receive, and even that is His enabling!"
And if anyone doubted what John wrote on God seeking to show us the intention of our heart, here you go! The reason for this steep descent was not so much my will, it was the "why" behind it!
God Enables Me to Receive
I did not seek God's will in all of what happened with the endless criticisms. I did not even seek His answers. I sought to save myself - and drowned. But what He showed me so drastically was what I "know" and yet believe only half-way: When I try to do good out of myself the result will be the same. There is no good in my Adamic nature as a human being. When I try with all my might to "let Him," as Martha described so beautifully in her blog, the result will be the same. I am only to receive Him in me..."and even that is His enabling!"
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Isaiah 30:15 ESV