It occurred to me yesterday that not writing on this blog for the past few months, even though it was not my intention to take a break, has taught me something I did not expect to need to learn. Talk about a slap in the face – finding out that you need to learn something you thought you already knew… well it may not be a slap in the face to you, but it was a serious wake up call for me. >-<
Anyways, for the longest time I was struggling with the difference between working FOR the Lord and working WITH him. The difference is something like this.
“I will do this for your glory! I will exalt you with this! So please help me out here!”
“So what are we doing today? Can I watch? Can I help? Can I help pretty please? Can I help anyways?”
The problem with the first example, well one of the problems with the first example, is a bad paradigm. In it I am busy doing stuff that is probably very good stuff to be doing, but it is ultimately my will determining where my energy is spent. Jesus said “Your will [ the Father’s will] be done, not mine.”
The problem with the second example is more like a trap than a problem. I think it’s great to focus on working with the Father and keeping an eye on what he is doing (Jesus said, “The Son does nothing that the Father is not doing”). The trap is that I can easily fall into a place in which works become more important than faith and relationship. In the classic Mary and Martha comparison I admit that I am more Martha than Mary. I like to work, and I like to do work that is both FOR him and WITH him. In my case I tend to think of private things I do as worship. Writing this blog for example has always been about worshipping Him and not about writing and edifying my readers (although I do tend to stray). Yet Jesus says “Mary has chosen what is necessary.”
That digs into my side a bit. And by a bit I mean “a lot.”
Because it means that I’ve been missing the point entirely for a long while now. The point being: regardless of my physical circumstances, my being needs to be in His presence or else seeking it. If at any time I work for or with the Lord but am distracted by the work and out of His presence – then I’m missing the point. And I have been for a while now.