Inconsistent Fruit – Watch and Work

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Inconsistent Fruit

Matthew 11:29 Walk with Me and work with Me — Watch how I do it.

ed just in case you didn’t get it the first time let me say it again in a different way because this is important for you to get. That is what i interpret His words Walk with Me and Work with Me to say. He says, this is what I do.

It has been years ago that i was taught a process for learning. It goes like this.

I do you watch. I do you help. You do I help. You do I watch. We used this format for everything and it fits here in these verses about learning. Jesus puts the idea of me being along for a free ride out of the picture. He says come to Me, walk with Me but work with me. He says, i will do my part but you will have to do your part. The work He has for me is to learn.

According to Webster’s regarding the word learn is to: Acquire experience – Acquire ability – Acquire skill

          Acquire: to come into possession or ownership of

i am to come into possession of, or ownership of, experience. He goes on to tell me exactly what He wants me to learn in order to have my life restored from being tired, and burned out. So…. deep breath…. what am i to learn, come into possession of, experience? Unforced Rhythms of Grace. i hope this is not a dance class because other than a slow shuffle of my feet i have two left ones.

Unforced: Not resulting from undue effort. David said in Psalm 16:9 I’m happy from the inside out, and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed. i lam to learn how gracious He is. i learn that He can handle events in ways that i can not dream of or anticipate. i need to see Him work things out in ways that i could never have guessed. i must not only learn but also believe that i always triumph in Him. This does not imply that i will understand any of it any of the time, but non the less it is the truth.

Rhythms: A specific kind of, a pattern. i then learn some things about myself. i learn that i am not as strong as i thought i was. i wanted to bail out much sooner than i thought i would. i would have to say i am more spontaneous than i am rhythm. But in my walk or i should say in our walk, God and me, spontaneous does not always work to my advantage. These verses would seem to support that and thus would make continuous spontaneity a not so desirous way to go. When my inner strength of character is developed in this learning process, i find hope… i need to possess HOPE. (To look forward to with confidence or expectation:) Jesus says, I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. David said, What am I doing in the meantime, Lord? Hoping, that’s what I’m doing.. hoping. The word tells us that hope deferred makes the heart-sick. Hope is a pattern, it flows and i am awkward at hope in the same way i am at dancing. Job 8:13 says That’s what happens to all who forget God… all their hopes come to nothing. i get tired, i get worn out, i get burned out when i forget God. When i forget God my heart becomes sick. David says, Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God… soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God! In our house we have for years had a saying. At times Ann Marie is the faith and i am the hope, but more often i am the faith and she is the hope. She is good at finding hope and thus does much better with rhythm which makes her a good dancer as well. By the way it just occurred to me that it is rhythmS not rhythm. It’s plural, what does that look like?

Grace: favor rendered by one who need not do so. Grace seems to be a word that is totally misused today. Much like love it is hard to really place a single definition on it. But the definition above works for me. It is my opinion that i am sometimes very presumptuous when claiming to use God’s grace. God’s grace is not about me living life in my own way, doing my own thing without any regard for consequences because i claim God’s grace covers me. Simply put i actually believe that God’s grace applies to the element of my salvation. i am saved by grace. my actions and words are not overlooked by grace. i am not saying that salvation is the only thing God’s grace applies to but i do not believe that it applies to my willful neglect of His word and i get favor that removes the consequences nor the accountability. This is a topic in and of itself that i may look at another time, but for now i will keep it directed to the unforced rhythms of my salvation (grace).

The closing words of Matthew 11 say this, “Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” i would have to say that i am not keeping enough company with Him at this time. Why, because i have not learned to live freely and more so lightly all the time. It’s as though i have a part-time relationship with Him. Perhaps it’s better descibed a s a long distance relationship? It seems like i have been in school forever and yet i am not learning the lessons, so i have to repeat over and over. i want to keep company with Him continuously and yet i find myself being enticed to walk with someone, or something else down an entirely different path.

The vision i get of this is like Adam and Eve in the garden, taking long walks with God before the fall. How great the walks must have been and yet they got distracted. Is there any hope of my walk turning out better than there’s? There’s that word hope again, and yes there is a hope if i learn from the past and keep learning the rhythms of His grace every moment of every day. Big undertaking? Not so much if i remember that it is the unforced rhythms of His grace not my works.

Am i tired? Not so much. Am i worn out? A little bruised and battered but still good for several more years to come. Burned out on religion? Absolutely and that’s not anyone elses fault. It is my treatment of the word working in my life through as evidenced by my actions and words that i am burned out on.  “ed, come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11: 28-30, The Message)

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Comments
  1. Hayley says:

    As I read this, this came to me:

    When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing “dance” at the end of the word. I remember reading that doing God’s will is a lot like dancing.

    When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn’t flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

    My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw “G: I thought of God, followed by “u” and “i”. “God, “u” and “i” dance.” God, you, and I dance. As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust that I would get guidance about my life. Once again, I became willing to let God lead

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