Post 106 / The Next Language
September 6, 2022
Truly Sustainable Service
“But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. … My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.” [Jhn 4:32, 34-38 KJV]
Listening to a Tim Keller exposition on this passage provoked a lot of thought for me. He was primarily unraveling the amazing one-on-one witness to the Samaritan woman at the well, but in passing he referred to what is quoted above as an example of the self-energizing nature of serving God. (I wish I could find that again to be more precise.)
Jesus appears to be telling the disciples who were entirely caught up with the next meal, that there is nourishment and sustenance in doing God’s work, which was “to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”
Isn’t it interesting that our commission is so similar. When Jesus said, “It is finished” it was certainly true judicially, but in addition He came back to life to enliven us by His Spirit to accomplish temporally through us what had already been finished judicially. Only as we continue and finish the Kingdom business will God’s work be finished. Thus we labor in a transition zone where the work is both finished and unfinished. That should infuse authority with hope and joy.
Meanwhile there is the counter- intuitive affirmation that we will have both “water” and “meat” as we serve to “finish His work.” It is the wages that the reaper receives. It is the inner satisfaction and joy that “His work” brings. It is the return (hope) that is eternal in substance and non-erodible and definitely not wood, hay and stubble.
Jesus operated on this nourishment to such a degree that at one point His own family members tried to forcibly restrain Him because of His endless ministry to the multitude which deprived Him of both food and sleep.
I am challenged to consider whether too often we aren’t occupied with our next physical need, when Jesus’ example would suggest we should be finding our sustenance in the reaping process.
This gets very practical when it comes to appropriating funds. There are two mindsets when it comes to pouring out our resources. Jesus told of the mindset of the rich man whose answer was to build bigger barns to enjoy his security.
The Biblical mindset seems to be otherwise, and is analogous to empty vessels in at least three Bible stories. Those vessels were not supernaturally replenished until they were empty. If we are not willing to empty ourselves for the Kingdom we are not worthy of the kingdom, nor will we enjoy the “fountains of living water” and “meat” that should sustain us.
I will recklessly throw the last penny that this mission has (and that I have also) to reach the last tribe. I believe that this emptying mindset is Christ’s. I believe that is an emptiness that God will fill. It comes down to the principle that Hudson Taylor stated and I quote from GoodReads.com.
“Depend on it. God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.”
― Hudson Taylor
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” [Rev 14:6 KJV]
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
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