Don’t let the picture fool you, this is a VERY IMPORTANT truth to understand.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
There is a saying around our house when we think we are doing anything to “help God out” that reminds us it’s all Him and nothing of us; we’re just making cookies. Anything “good” or “useful” we do for God is Him working in and through us and not us at all.
As a young girl, I loved helping my mom bake cookies; especially my much needed role as taster <smiles>. In my young mind, I believed I was a much greater help than I actually was. It was ALL my mom’s doing. Yet, my mom graciously allowed me to delight in the fun of baking with her. She gave me little tasks to do like stirring the ingredients together, which she always gave a few extra swirls. Yet to me, I was making some of the best cookies in the world!
She encouraged me in “helping” her because it was a wonderful bonding time for the both of us. She wanted me to “help”, but it wasn’t for my amazing assistance but because she loved me and took pleasure in making them together and seeing my joy in playing a part.
We are like the child who is helping their mom make cookies. We don’t do anything of good on our own; it’s all God. He lets us take part because it’s a delight to Him and us. We are able to do what we do because He is governing, directing and performing all things for us. We can’t throw God off; we won’t mess up His plans; and He works out all perfectly. In every action and word, as His offspring we can trust He is faithful in directing and using us according to His ways, which are not our ways.
Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
Establishing our own Righteousness
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
“Making Cookies” serves to remind us, we are not to be crafting our own righteousness, because we can’t. A twisted truth derived from the religious community is how we serve God. We want to be serving, working and doing for God because deep down it makes us feel like a better person; which is establishing our own righteousness. Instead of wholly relying on the righteous of God to fill and govern our lives, we are relying on ourselves.
Worshipping the Work of Our Hands
Isaiah 2:8 Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, That which their own fingers have made
This mentality leads to worshipping the work of our hands. It’s looking to our ability; as in to provide, protect, heal, redeem, teach, and fix situations; the essence of self-reliance, self-sufficient, being in control and independence. Matthew 7:22-23, Proverbs 14:16
Our Part: Abide
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
God is spirit. We are flesh and spirit. To experience God in the flesh, we have to allow our spirits to be united, influenced and governed by Him. When we do, His nature manifests in our lives in the forms of peace, rest, power, joy, blessing, and righteous love.
Our part is to abide in unity with God. In fellowship with God that leads to unity, we are listening, obeying and gaining trust to relinquish all control to God’s ways and work. As our self-will steps aside, He runs our souls and lives. We cease to judge and work and He governs. If I didn’t bake cookies with my mom, then I wouldn’t have taken part in that bonding time with her or the fruit of our interaction, yummy cookies. God moves through us. But any goodness or good works are of Him, not us. Big difference. Are you getting it?
Rest is Power
Psalm 57:2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me.
Being attached to the vine and God moving through us as He wills is central to abiding in His rest. Hebrews 4:9-11 At rest, our self-will is nullified, and God’s will is ruling. We cease from our works and God works. In this rest, the power of God flows.
You see the true power of God, when you stop efforting and let Him work. To be governed (also used by) by God is to let go of all control, and let God determine each step; steps often counter to what you, religion, or the world would dictate. It’s letting go of all images of who and what you should be doing, and let God direct you daily. It’s following His still small voice, daily. Your life is His venue to work as He wills in you and others. In this our lives become a living sacrifice. Romans 12:1 In this state, we lack the awareness of what our left hand is doing from the right. Becuase its not us, but God.
Matthew 6:3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
This framework removes self-righteousness, because you aren’t doing anything but obeying His voice. It removes fears that you aren’t doing enough or did or said the wrong thing. In this truth, our hearts overflow with peace, praise and joy. So delight in making cookies and don’t make any more of it.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
In a previous post, I mentioned the transition that is occurring from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. The kingdom of darkness has been ruling since the Garden of Eden when self-will took over, but now history is replaying itself from the beginning and redemption is at hand. God is calling His people out of Babylon and to enter into Zion, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. It’s your refuge, fortress and defense in these days, as I will show you.
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
As death came through one man, how much more life through the One? Yet we’ve haven’t seen this happen. Death and sin have clearly been reigning on the earth as lies prevailed. But that reign is coming to an end and faith is the victory. 1 John 5:4 The faith is the faith of Christ (belief of pure truth in the power and love of God); the only One with the faith to destroy death. This faith has entered the world as a mustard seed and is growing. Matthew 13:31-32 It’s a faith available to you by Christ’s spirit dwelling within you and leading you in the paths of righteous love. Hebrews 12:2 Your part is to listen and follow to His voice. It’s the baptism of the spirit, a good conscious, because you are directed and governed by God. 1 Peter 3:21
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Entering Into The Kingdom of Heaven
The Kingdom of God, Zion, is growing in power and grace. 1 Peter 1:13 This Kingdom of Truth is where God’s ways reign. Those who dwell there live by the spirit of God within them. Romans 8:14 They obey His still small voice saying, “walk this way” turning at His rebuke. Isaiah 30:21, Proverbs 1:23. In doing so they enter His rest, which is the venue of His power. (When you are at rest, complete trust in God, God is at work, thus His power flows through you.)
God’s truth is taking over and consuming the lies. If you are a part of Him, rest and peace will grow in your life as you follow His voice of truth. John 10:4 In following truth, you’ll escape the manifestation of the lies. 2 Thess 2:10 Being a part of Zion is being governed by God. Therefore, you are in a place of rest in your life, because it’s not your effort but His. Hebrews 4:9-11 Rest is the ark; it’s the good conscious of God in you. 1 Peter 3:20-21 Rest is the rapture out of the tribulation coming on the kingdom of darkness. Rev 3:10 Rest is trusting fully in God and not self, thus listening and walking in His ways. If you are living according to His ways, you are abiding in His kingdom and will experience rest on all sides as the wall of fire around the kingdom is your protection and defense. Zechariah 2:5, Hebrews 12:29 Now we see why we are instructed to diligently enter into this rest.
God’s spirit of righteous love is being poured out. Isaiah 44:3 If you have oil in your lamp, the spirit of truth in your soul, then you will embrace this voice of your Good Shepherd leading you into the green pastures and still waters (rest). Matthew 25:8-13
I’ve talked about “fake” love in a recent video. The righteous love of God has never been poured out like it is now. In the void, people have entertained copycats of His love believing it to be His love. Matthew 7:22-23 It’s been forced and contrived. It’s a love that deceives one into thinking they have God’s love, when they don’t. Embracing a fake love is a blockade to engaging the true living God. God is real. Nothing about Him is fake. God abhors hypocrisy. It’s of the devil not God. Yet people have proclaimed His love when they haven’t experienced it. We give what we are. The Pharisees thought they knew God. They created an image of God, fake righteous love, that kept them from seeing pure love, even as He stood right in front of them. Make not the same mistake. When you have the love of God, nothing is the same in your life. 2 Corinthians 5:17 For those who have hoped and hungered for this love knowing their love is corrupted, now is the time for that hope to be fulfilled.
Our beliefs are going to fully manifest themselves. This is the judgment to come upon the world. 1 Corinthians 3:13 If we’ve been cultivating belief in the ways of this world, like religion and mankind’s wisdom, and letting these shape our beliefs instead of God, then the ramifications of those beliefs will be manifesting as the death that they are. If we’ve been cultivating belief in the true God, then we will heed His voice that leads to eternal life.
Have Ears to Hear
God is speaking to you. Listen. Listen to His voice guiding you. As you step out and follow in faith, you’ll learn to discern it more clearly. In time, you’ll want to give up all that is of the self-will and desire to be completely governed by Him, for He is the righteous love we desire. As you do, you will enter deeper into His rest. The Bible serves as a witness to confirm truth as you listen. Seek to trust in His voice above all others. As you trust in Him, all fear will flee for perfect love drives out fear.
We reap what we sow. Sow truth and righteous love by following the Good Shepherd’s voice; and you will grow in rest thus the power of God despite growing unrest around you.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
When we abandon our self-will and desire God to govern all that we are, He takes over and transitions us into an eternal creation filled and governed by Him. This magnificant new life is one of rest as God does all things in and through us. It is full of power because God is orchestrating and performing all things for us. Psalm 57:2 When He takes over His desires become our desires, thus we live by following our desires. Here I talk in more detail about this blessed gift and life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Ephesians 1:19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
As we buy and sell with God, which moves us to living by faith in Him in ALL things, we experience the manifestation of God in our lives …
For years, I’ve been buying and selling with God and as a result gaining deep rest and power in my life. One specific area I want to share with you (because it’s often overlooked for the death trap it is), is in the area of s l o w i n g down in life.
In my life a part of the old things was functioning as a Grand Master Taskmaster. I lived by lists, schedules and managing my time efficiently because I got a lot done (in my estimation) and felt internally & externally rewarded for it. Sure my body was tense and my life stripped of the rest, peace and enjoyment that could have been, but I was blind to all that.I didn’t realize there was truly a better way.
I would rush here and there … rush to relax. Letting the world govern what “needed” to be done, I was a slave to its demands that became my demands upon myself and my life. So who was I really serving? To accomplish all I “needed” to, I had to be efficient, highly productive and that meant being the ultimate taskmaster. But as I continued to buy and sell with God and gain faith in Him in all areas, this aspect of my life had to be purged for it was the world’s way of living, not His, thus a sin that manifested death in my life.
As a previous Master Taskmaster, this transformation was no small habitual rut to change because this mentality was deeply imbedded in me affecting most areas of my life in some form. When God first opened my eyes to this area, it seemed like a small issue, but as He showed me the ripple affect, the impact was vast and deadly. Obedience in the small things matters a great deal, because in reality what we may judge small isn’t when it plays out. If a plane is off course a few degrees from its desired endpoint, after miles of travel it ends up hundreds of miles from its destination. This was happening to me. The more I strived the further I got away from the abundant life God wanted to give me. Being in that state was the opposite of trusting Him.
In my alone time with God, He showed me how my spirit needs to remain in that same state that I am with Him in the morning; peaceful, trusting, connected and at rest so He could move through me as He willed. If I wasn’t at rest, I wasn’t in His will. The rushing around, as I use to do to fit in all my plans and lists, put me in a mindset of being focused on my effort instead of His. It’s a state where it’s difficult to hear Him, thus follow His lead. Did Jesus ever rush around?No, when you are walking in the power of God, you don’t need to.
As God showed me how my spirit needed to be in a calm state, I started to slow down, literally. On the flip side that meant I needed to trust Him with all that “needed” to be done. When I started to rush, in faith I stopped and functioned according to His power. As I did it His way, He rewarded my faith. Not only did I get done what was truly needed, but I was in a peaceful and enjoyable state the entire time, I more deeply engage others instead of rushing off to the next task, and I was more productive and had more downtime because I trusted in His power moving through me and not my efforts. …. But as you abound in everything–in faith2 Corin 8:7
As I was faithful in one area God moved me to the next; to forfeit my extensive planning and lists and trust His guidance. Being encouraged by the result of His previous counsel, I had the faith for this next step, again buying and selling with God. I stopped with all the lists. Again, He blessed my activities and time, and I accomplished more of what was important. Again, it seemed like a small thing, but I learned I was being driven by my will instead of His, which is HUGE.
A hurried and frazzled lifestyle, accepted as normal and even necessary in today’s world, is contrary to abiding in God’s rest, which is a central aspect of a believers life. God is Lord of our lives, not us. For this to be the case, we have to be in a state of trust which leads to a literal mindset of rest. It’s a state where we forsake our effort and let Him move through us as He wills in His power. In this state, God governs our thoughts desires, words and actions, which are paramount to living a life of faith in Him and having Him manifest Himself in our lives.
Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience
Instead of being hurried and frazzled, I’m now dazzled by the perfection of His counsel and how His power moves through us when we trust Him and do it His way. When we do everything in faith (trusting in Him to performs all things for us and in His ways of working) then we find a life we’ve yearned for, we enter into His rest as He calls us to, and our lives glorify Him and His power.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
One of my greatest temptations is to try to fix myself instead of entrust ALL to God. Not sure why it’s still an issue, as I’ve seen over and over again that my efforts avail to frustration, failure, and bondage while God’s work has brought deliverance. Perhaps until now I never really took time to consider just how useless my efforts are and more importantly how contrary they are to God’s instructions to rest in Him, thus a sin.
I suppose to be Mrs. Fix-it tempts me because this philosophy is everywhere in our society and it speaks to our desire to be in control (to be able to have life go according to our will). It paints the illusion that the changes I desire are occurring. This is why the self-help philosophy (as many religions are) is so captivating, you feel you are doing something, taking control, thus moving forward. But, it’s an illusion and instead places huge burdens we can’t really manage. Feeling the sand bags on my shoulders is a sure sign I’m striving when I should be trusting God.
God calls us to rest, wait, and trust. His commandments aren’t burdensome. 1 John 5:3 His yoke is easy and His burden light. Matthew 11:30 When we live His way, we are trusting in Him and not ourselves to perform ALL things for us. Psalm 57:2 God’s way is the only way that makes any real significant transformation for good, true good, in our lives because only He is good.
God calls us to enter into His rest. If we don’t we are being disobedient. Hebrews 4:10-11 Entering into His rest means to cease striving from ours works in all things as He did from His. Could God be that good? Yes.
Most every religion is about your works, about “the law”; what you do in your strength to be who you are suppose to be. They’re about taming your self-desires so that you live a life that is acceptable and good (according to that religion’s definitions of these terms). But what God, the Creator, calls us to isn’t a religion of laws, but to die to our self-will ruling altogether and become a new creation that is a part of His divine nature. As a part of Him, we desire what He does. It isn’t living out some law; it’s living according to His will because it’s who we are as a part of Him.
God is the Creator, not us. He invites us to be a new creation by His design and power. It isn’t taming our old self; it’s all the old things passing away and all things becoming new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 God is the One who works in us. Phil 2:13 We are His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 It’s a completely different way of thinking that is unlike anything this world offers, because it can’t. The world can’t create something entirely new, but God can and does in us.
God’s gift of eternal life, His life, is real and powerful. The manifestation of His Spirit in us comes little by little, not all at once. This pacing is His design to teach us numerous truths along the way; mercy, love, grace, compassion, humility, perfection of His will, and His sovereignty. Think of all the things we learn by going through this process and it not being immediate. If instant transformation was best, then that is how God would have created it.
Because it isn’t an instant experience, when my impatience starts to intrude, I want to take charge and speed things up. It doesn’t work that way. I’m not the Creator, God is. My part is to rest in His work.
God compares us to trees to teach us about His process of design in making us into who He desires us to be. The tree is in the seed. But the tree is far greater than the seed. We start as a seed. As we are planted in good soil, God’s truth, we start to grow. A tree doesn’t effort its growth; it grows because it’s planted in good soil with proper water and light. We are to let God grow us into the plant He created us to be in all our uniqueness as we abide in Him. We are to let Him be the authority in who we are and what we do. He is God after all.
What is our part then? To abide in the good soil, God’s Truth, and leave the rest up to Him. We are the tree. Have you ever seen a tree strive to grow differently than it does?
When I think about being a part of the divine, I imagine God’s pure and perfect love united to truth flowing through me into the lives of others. Every thought, word and action is governed by His love. My temptation is to try to do this myself or at least speed things up. God gave us a much a better way than our own efforts. He gave us His Spirit and by His life dwelling in us, it changes everything. God makes my love abound, not me. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 When I try, not only am I striving and not resting, trying to tame my rebellious flesh, trying to do God’s job, embracing a “religion” instead of the power of God flowing through me, carrying a burden that I’ll never fulfill, but I’m disobeying God. 1 Thess 4:9
Be planted in good soil, and leave the rest to God. When you do, He will grow you into who you are supposed to be. You will grow in the manner and rate that is best for you. You will abide in rest and peace because you are doing your part and trusting God to do His. It’s truly a much better way to live and the only way to true and abundant life.
God is faithful, perfect in His care. Let go and trust Him. Have no confidence in the flesh or in your ability to “create” yourself. He calls us to this rest and level of trust.
Be A Tree
Workmanship of my Maker
Letting go of being my own creator
A beautiful tree of His design
Fashioned to a new state of mind.
Resting in the soil of truth eternal
Is my daily labor for this small kernel.
Nourished to a majestic tree
Fashioned as no other to be.
His light shines ever brighter
Lifting my soul somewhere higher.
To the heavenly places of His domain
Releasing the strongholds of suffering and pain.
My life I commit to His hands
Destroying the wickedness by His plans.
Breathing in my soul His life divine
A part of His nature, one of a kind.
All my striving is in vain
For I’m not the Creator, but the slain.
Letting go I surrender to His mold
New life awaits as I enter into His fold.