Resting From Our Own Labors

Some of the people I met at the conference in Dallas recently wrote me an email last week. They have recently left a more traditional structure and are involved with a group of people desiring to experience more relational body life. In the email they shared an interesting observation that gets to the crux of how we participate in the unfolding work of God in the world:

We are trained professionally to plan, organize, strategize, evaluate, implement, and re-evaluate, but we have been learning through various experiences that when we rest in Him, He generally brings forth something miraculous. When we let something die, He brings new life. It’s humbling and freeing, all at the same time.

I think the challenge for those of us who have been so trained is to learn how not to grab hold of Jesus’ working around us and try to control it. Real elders in this family help facilitate what he is doing rather than trying to shape it to their liking as many people will press them to do. It is fine line to be sure, but when we live loved there is nothing in us that wants to control Jesus’ work or his gifts. However, where we live in our fears there is all kinds of internal and external pressure to do so.

The essence of the new covenant is that we cease from our labors and live in his unfolding purpose and work. That’s what Hebrews 3 and 4 are all about. I find that that it does not take less wisdom or work to do so; it’s just a different kind of work. It is much harder to live in the moment and respond to what Father does than it is to strike out with our own best wisdom and best efforts when we’re driven by the fear that he is not doing anything, or at least isn’t doing what we want him to do.

The latter leads to exhaustion and only shallow fruitfulness and actually takes us down side trails where it is easy to lose sight of what he’s doing and our prayers beg him to bless what we are doing in his name. Responding to his work in each moment will not only lead to enduring fruitfulness and fulfillment, it will also keep us in the frame of heart that makes it easier to see and follow him.

The freedom in following Jesus comes from no longer trying to get him to do what we want, but to revel in his desires and his working.

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20 Comments
  1. Ben Coleman September 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Right on the mark! Amazing how Father is teaching me so many of the same things pointed toward in this post.

    Thanks for sharing, Wayne, and continuing to bring Truth and what it looks like to live in that Truth to the forefront.

  2. Ben Coleman September 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Right on the mark! Amazing how Father is teaching me so many of the same things pointed toward in this post.

    Thanks for sharing, Wayne, and continuing to bring Truth and what it looks like to live in that Truth to the forefront.

  3. sue sheehy September 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Lately I’ve been thinking of it as the “Babel syndrome”….our desperate tendency to look at something we think “has potential”, and say “Right, let’s get this thing ORGANIZED”!!

  4. Dave Aldrich September 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    My heart says it wants to so much to live in the moment; abandoning myself to Jesus in the here and now and not caring about tomorrow; to live in that rest. But my head says, what the heck does that look like?

    I have struggled, it seems for infinity, with just what is His leading. I left the traditional four walled structure ten years ago this month and truly believe that the Lord led me out from it. I look back and think, geesh, that was far from being an easy exit. I found as much pain since I left as when I was involved it. Maybe more so. The “exiting” continues. A year ago this month I was “exited” from my comfortable employed position of 32 years. Now I am in business for myself and still wanting to listen to my heart, the part of me that wants to live in the moment, abandoned to Him in the here and now and not worry about things like work, clients, paychecks, health care, etc. But my head panics and wishes I was back into the “system” so often times. My heart, maybe it’s His heart, keeps calling me out, further out, outside, way outside my comfort zone. Egypt wasn’t so bad was it?!

  5. Casey C September 20, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Hey Dave Aldrich, I can completely relate! LOL! Reacting to life out of fear just comes so natural! It’s a rewiring and retraining to learn to pause and wait for Daddy to interject. Sometimes HE doesn’t! When that happens I want to “fix” it anyways. For me it’s realizing that I dont have to resolve everything TODAY! Learning to be ok with what appears to be a complete lack of progress has proven very difficult for me. Learning to rest is the longing of my heart, but my head thinks it so irresponsible! LOL! Blessings, Casey

  6. sue sheehy September 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Lately I’ve been thinking of it as the “Babel syndrome”….our desperate tendency to look at something we think “has potential”, and say “Right, let’s get this thing ORGANIZED”!!

  7. Dave Aldrich September 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    My heart says it wants to so much to live in the moment; abandoning myself to Jesus in the here and now and not caring about tomorrow; to live in that rest. But my head says, what the heck does that look like?

    I have struggled, it seems for infinity, with just what is His leading. I left the traditional four walled structure ten years ago this month and truly believe that the Lord led me out from it. I look back and think, geesh, that was far from being an easy exit. I found as much pain since I left as when I was involved it. Maybe more so. The “exiting” continues. A year ago this month I was “exited” from my comfortable employed position of 32 years. Now I am in business for myself and still wanting to listen to my heart, the part of me that wants to live in the moment, abandoned to Him in the here and now and not worry about things like work, clients, paychecks, health care, etc. But my head panics and wishes I was back into the “system” so often times. My heart, maybe it’s His heart, keeps calling me out, further out, outside, way outside my comfort zone. Egypt wasn’t so bad was it?!

  8. Casey C September 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Hey Dave Aldrich, I can completely relate! LOL! Reacting to life out of fear just comes so natural! It’s a rewiring and retraining to learn to pause and wait for Daddy to interject. Sometimes HE doesn’t! When that happens I want to “fix” it anyways. For me it’s realizing that I dont have to resolve everything TODAY! Learning to be ok with what appears to be a complete lack of progress has proven very difficult for me. Learning to rest is the longing of my heart, but my head thinks it so irresponsible! LOL! Blessings, Casey

  9. Dave Aldrich September 21, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for what you shared, Casey. Sometimes I think that I’m the only one on the planet, the only one in the Kingdom, who has these thoughts, fears and doubts. One thing for sure is that there are no easy answers; no nice, simple 10 step programs for this Life in Him. So often it feels that we are so alone. It’s easy to feel that way when most of the human race prefers to live from a façade rather than from reality.

    If there is an easy answer, I think it begins simply with quieting ourselves, forcing ourselves away from all the noise and listen for His still, quiet whisper. That’s what I’ve been reading lately in my latest 10 step program anyway.

    Hey Wayne, got any more insight here? We’re totally depending on you. (And that’s part of the problem he’d say!)

  10. Wayne September 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

    None of us are alone on this journey. It is the most difficult thing any of us will ever learn, that we are loved enough by the Father, and can know him enough that he can lead us through life and provide for us while he does. Our most ambitious plans only provide more barriers for us.

  11. Dave Aldrich September 21, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for what you shared, Casey. Sometimes I think that I’m the only one on the planet, the only one in the Kingdom, who has these thoughts, fears and doubts. One thing for sure is that there are no easy answers; no nice, simple 10 step programs for this Life in Him. So often it feels that we are so alone. It’s easy to feel that way when most of the human race prefers to live from a façade rather than from reality.

    If there is an easy answer, I think it begins simply with quieting ourselves, forcing ourselves away from all the noise and listen for His still, quiet whisper. That’s what I’ve been reading lately in my latest 10 step program anyway.

    Hey Wayne, got any more insight here? We’re totally depending on you. (And that’s part of the problem he’d say!)

  12. mark brown September 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    “Be still and know that I am God.”
    “I AM THAT I AM.” The everpresent Father…
    come and rest.
    “Do not worry about tomorrow…”
    “In this world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace… that where I AM [at the right hand of the Father in perfect Love/Rest] there you may also be.” – not a perfect quotation (see John 14-16).

    Thank-you brothers,
    Love and Peace to you all… in Christ alone.
    M.

  13. Wayne September 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    None of us are alone on this journey. It is the most difficult thing any of us will ever learn, that we are loved enough by the Father, and can know him enough that he can lead us through life and provide for us while he does. Our most ambitious plans only provide more barriers for us.

  14. mark brown September 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    “Be still and know that I am God.”
    “I AM THAT I AM.” The everpresent Father…
    come and rest.
    “Do not worry about tomorrow…”
    “In this world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace… that where I AM [at the right hand of the Father in perfect Love/Rest] there you may also be.” – not a perfect quotation (see John 14-16).

    Thank-you brothers,
    Love and Peace to you all… in Christ alone.
    M.

  15. Ken K. September 22, 2010 at 11:57 am

    It seems to me that being in the present is just doing whatever is before you today, whether it’s taking some time to rejuvenate your spirit or sweating it out to make the payroll on time. The truth is, Jesus is present in both. And just because He doesn’t miraculously turn the time sheets into paychecks the way He turned the water into wine doesn’t mean He’s uninvolved.

    I’m still learning that the voice of God will say “Do this today”. The voice of fear will say “Here is what will happen if you don’t do this today”. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s the difference between being engaged in the present and being driven by the future.

  16. Ken K. September 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    It seems to me that being in the present is just doing whatever is before you today, whether it’s taking some time to rejuvenate your spirit or sweating it out to make the payroll on time. The truth is, Jesus is present in both. And just because He doesn’t miraculously turn the time sheets into paychecks the way He turned the water into wine doesn’t mean He’s uninvolved.

    I’m still learning that the voice of God will say “Do this today”. The voice of fear will say “Here is what will happen if you don’t do this today”. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s the difference between being engaged in the present and being driven by the future.

  17. Jeremy K September 29, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Hey Wayne, what was the attendence at the Dallas Conference?

  18. Wayne September 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Jeremy,

    I have no idea. My focus is never on such things…. Hope that’s OK.

  19. Jeremy K September 29, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Hey Wayne, what was the attendence at the Dallas Conference?

  20. Wayne September 29, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Jeremy,

    I have no idea. My focus is never on such things…. Hope that’s OK.

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