The Art of Labor

Each day the laborers labor, having put away their devices and tools from the previous day, in the morning to dig them out again, continuing on towards completion, or at least, the next step. Half the time spent digging.

Labors cease and are not satisfied. They begin again, always. We cannot do without, and yet, we work so hard to get away. Few are those who know their worth apart from their production. Each toil is born in the mind, for the fitness of the body, and left unsatisfied in the cosmos. Existentialism a job; bleak, wearisome, unceasing.

The ancients believed recreation was the epitome of existence and what separates us from the animals. Half truth. We are distinct from the beasts because we can enjoy our labor and our time away from it. We were meant for work, not for the trials of it.

But we work from the place of knowing our place. Linked to God by His Spirit we know our creative capacity, and because we are loved and made for relationship, creativity is the overflow of confidence. We do not create, work, do, or labor in order to feel satisfied. We are satisfied. We work because we are moved. We experience the gratitude of His goodness. We overflow in Him, knowing that we are His workmanship, His passion, His creation; therefore we work. The differing dispositions have profound impacts on our lives. Society implicates work then reward; cause and effect. God makes and gives, we receive and enjoy, we go and do likewise within our spheres. God’s work is always from a place of rest. We work not only because we have to, but because the calm from which we experience Him lends itself to expressions of beauty. This is our work. When knit to Him, beautiful.

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The Stride of God

A man may know the call, the vision, the place, the work, etc., but still not have the stride of God. Enoch walked with God, but how long did it take him to learn it? God may give the vision and then ignore it for decades in order to form a more perfect character fit for the vision. He sets to work on the inside of the thing while all we want is the outworking of it. Discouragement will bear fruit if we do not give up on the Spirit. Many times the seeds of discouragement bear the fruits of hope. – Oswald Chambers

I will wait on Your name, for it is good. – Psalm52:9

The Unutterable Name

“Most assuredly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” – Jesus

So Much scandal in this phrase. One cannot to begin to conceive of the impossibility of this statement. It is truth beyond reasoning. From the time of Moses, thousands of years previous, that name, “I AM”, was the most sacred, most renowned, most feared, most celebrated; of all Israel’s history, the history of that name was set apart, mysterious, and holy.

Referred to as the unutterable name, and to this day, it stands idealized in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people. It is no mere precept or doctrine, but a living force and the breath of the uncreated, the One who was before time, the master of life, the writer and will of the covenants, and the subject of all humanities thought. And here, before the crowds, Jesus the humble carpenter stands and declares, as if resounding through all of Israel’s wanderings and hopes and fears: “I AM.” I AM the one you’ve hoped for, longed for, waited for, feared, desired, and prayed for. I AM your answer, I AM your everything, I AM that I AM.

And they took up stones to throw at Him, but He hid Himself and departed.

Christ the Centre

“Christ goes through the ages, questioned anew, misunderstood anew, and again and again put to death. It is the same temptation for the theologian who tries to encounter Christ and yet avoid that encounter. Theologians betray Him and simulate concern. Christ is still betrayed by the kiss. Wishing to be done with Him means always to fall down with the mockers and say ‘Greetings, Master!’ There are only two ways possible of encountering Jesus: man must die or he must put Jesus to death.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What we give credence to in the mind very rarely transposes to the heart. In Christ, as the Logos of God, man’s identity as “existing” is confronted by the sting of death and we are seen as “fading away”. Only in the incarnate Christ and His resurrection is existence made discernible.

I am the way, the truth, and the life. – Jesus

The brokenness of the Gospel.

The brokenness of the gospel.

Matthew 21:44

“And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” 

Be broken or be crushed. These options present us with the totality of decision. One leads to life, the other to obliteration. Neither sounds blessed. One must choose, and in so doing, seal their own fate. Such is the nature of choice. Choose to become broken, or be crushed by your indecision which is no indecision at all, but rather an arrogant assumption that you can choose rightly apart from the demand of the law. And where does grace step in? As the in filling of hope to the choice of brokenness. To be broken is to confess what already exists within us; bankruptcy, total spiritual barrenness. The rock does its job here. In this moment the hard truth shatters illusions of grandeur and we are left to cope with the astonishing fact that we are not as strong as we believe. This is to us our good. It becomes our strength, an agent to escort us to healing. For those who are well have no need of a physician. But it is Jesus, the great physician, standing in the midst of broken people telling us of His healing goodness. But first the confession of our need for healing. Here we live or die.

The Word as bread…

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Natural man survives and is sustained by bread, a common term for sustenance in general, food. We live off of bread. Tasty bread. Taste of which is one sense in five, given to the faculty of man to experience and engage in life. Keep it going.

Spiritual or renewed man lives by bread and the Word of God, a double portion to engage the senses and apply an awakened heart to spiritual truth. And the more a man engages the Word as his primary source of nourishment the more his spirit quickens to natural life and with it, the natural life of God in and around him. The one who has bread and the Word as bread lives a life not given to everyone. It is a full life. Life as intended and intentioned.

To live in the Word and by the Word is to live with the life of the Word made flesh and dwelling with us, sustaining us. Partaking of it as the life of God via the second person of the trinity, Christ, is the sense and feeling of God as the source of life and all of its abundance.

“I have come that they may have life, and life abundant.” – Jesus

To eat that which we were made for, the life of God, is not just sustenence, it is intoxication, the feeling of inebriation and the life we were created to know. Our life comes from God’s life in design that humanity feed off Him and His expression through Christ His Word. The incarnation of Jesus was not an afterthought in creation. It was and is the primary means for humanity to partake of the divine.

To all those doing the house of prayer…

Whatever you call it: the House of Prayer, the resting place of God, Israel, the Church, the tabernacle, the temple etc. etc., ever since the garden of Eden there has been an accusation against God’s purposes to dwell with mankind in the midst of music and freewill offerings. Is it any wonder then that it might encounter resistance? It always has and it always will. But there must be a few who will stay the course and do it, regardless of the difficulty.

It will be done in weakness, it will be done by many or by few. The important thing is that it is done. It is the desire of God’s heart; who are we to deny Him this one thing?