The Bible is so cool.
It just blows my mind that you can read the same passage and get something new from it every time. It’s like a diamond when you turn it. The light refracts differently with each little movement. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and active.” I think the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to things exactly when we need it. We just have to put ourselves in the position to receive it…we have to keep in the Word.
Just in the past week or so I have heard two different passages of Scripture that I have read or heard of countless times before, but got something new out of it this time. One was a lesson at camp that blew my mind and I might share that another time. The other happened while I was working on a school project. I had to make a collage for an art class and it required some kind of biblical theme. I had a Young Living oils book at my parents house so I started cutting out a lot of flowers from it. I love flowers. Ever since we went to Israel and sat on the Mount of Beatitudes I have loved the verse in Luke where Jesus said,
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!“
As I sat and worked I kept thinking about what Jesus said. I had always taken this verse as “not to worry- God will take care of you.” This time though, I found it meaning something completely different. I realized something about the laboring and spinning it talks about. The “laboring and spinning” can do two things for you- it can provide for you materialistically, but it can also provide for you mentally and emotionally. “Laboring and spinning,” or in other words, simply “doing” can do something to your ego. Sometimes I get caught up in how much I can do and how much I can get done. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. The more I do and the more I succeed, the more of value I feel.
But the flowers Jesus talks about aren’t as concerned with their doing as they are with their being. They are not laboring or spinning, they are not busying themselves, they are just in the fields soaking up the sun and the nutrients out of the soil. That’s their sustenance. The same way God is ours. Instead of trying to feel satisfied in what I can do, I need to make sure I am solely relying on God to satisfy me. We need to be looking up at God and basking in His presence, the same way the flowers do to the sun. Jesus says not even Solomon was dressed like one of these! I am sure on the outside Solomon always looked fantastic in super nice clothes and jewelry. I think of Solomon on the inside too. All the accumulating of riches and knowledge could not satisfy Him like God could satisfy Him. His doing or his actions couldn’t fulfill him like his being in relationship with God could.
There is nothing wrong with “doing,” its just we need to focus on our “being” before we focus on our doing- even if it is good things. I think our doing is supposed to be a product of who we are, not the opposite. Our worth does not come down to how much we can succeed at. I keep thinking of Psalm 51:16 & 17. “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken spirit and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” God just wants us before he wants what we can do for Him. He created us and He wants a relationship with us. We are created for Him. Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” Restless- we are going to be restless until we find our rest in God. We will never be satisfied in the doing- only in the being.
It goes back to my word for the year: Overflow.
I had said I want to be so filled up by God that my cup was spilling over and everything I was doing was done out of the overflow.
I want my being to be before my doing.
My worth doesn’t come from what I can do, it comes from what God has already done for me and is still doing in me.