Over and over I would hear what a beauty I was. I held fast to that. However, assuring myself that this was in fact the whole truth of me would become a critical chase. And what will my life be for when I can no longer perform “my purpose?” I have since sold myself too many ideas throughout my life only to find that each one eventually slips through my fingers.
We buried our dog of 11 years a few weeks ago. That Brittney Spaniel taught me a few things about purpose. She was bred to do two things: find birds and please her master. The first was easy. From a pup she pointed and flushed dozens of pheasants every season—not to mention the demise of countless other species of birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Her drive was unstoppable. When she was confined, her nose sat between fence poles or up against a window. The only time she wasn’t hunting was when she was eating or sleeping. It was completely natural for her to pick up the scent of birds and track them. She needed no coaxing to desire or achieve this.
The willingness to please her master was natural as well, understanding her master’s commands took long hours together. Jet had one speed…fast. Without regular opportunity in the field, a soft hand, not to mention a shock collar, her life would have been short and useless. But with patience and positive reinforcement an invisible line was formed that connected her to the hand who fed her. Jet came to surrender everything she was to a mere whistle from his breath. Complete trust and obedience to her owner secured a life of freedom for Jet to do exactly what she was born to do.
For humans it’s a bit more complicated. God took a greater risk with us. Modeled after His own likeness—we’ve been given a brain that can also create, problem solve, and speak our own thoughts. (His thoughts of us can not be counted—more than can be numbered. Ps 40:5 To Him we are precious, honored and loved. Is 43:4) In a nutshell…you are God’s most beloved workmanship.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you knew that the presence of God was most certainly speaking with you? That was the day his Holy Spirit (the Father and the Son) descended into your spirit and raised your life. (“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” Rom 8:16) It was really very simple then. You just believed Him. And all you desired was to read and know His every move. (When they heard this, they were cut to the heart. Acts 2:37)
The “heart” of you in Hebrew comes from the words psuche: meaning the soul, and kardia: which stands for a persons entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and emotional elements. In the dictionary I found its definition quite similar: the human heart considered as the center or source of emotions; inmost thought and feeling. And sarx is paired with the word “flesh” which refers to an individuals own mind. So from here, for the sake of understanding, let’s consider “soul,” “heart,” and “flesh” to mean the same thing.
Then something happened, instead of abiding in your newborn instinct flowing from your spirit, your soul ran off with the crowd of religious taskmasters. (The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matt 26:41) And the fruitful soil of love quickly became the barren ground of labor—all over again. It’s not what your spirit wanted, but those former instincts are powerful and your hours with the Master have been far too brief.
What if I were to tell you that the whole purpose of your resurrection is to REST?
Your soul: your thoughts, your feelings, your decisions…are meant to lie down and find their rest in the Hand that feeds this new life. Isn’t that what we are ultimately looking for when we search for our purpose—an end to the guilt, obligation, inadequacy, confusion, fear, stress, hate, depression? We were adopted and taken home, but our soul is unstoppable. We can not keep from running into more barbed wire—we are just not willing to submit—to rest.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:2
We never hear of rest…only more work. Because, oh no, how will all those orphans be cared for?! How will all those lost people get saved?! And God forbid no one show up for church! The work of God will never get done! Ha! What a crock! Who made the heavens and the earth? Who stores rain and snow? You? You are nothing! I am nothing! Believe it or not, Jesus’s cause was not to get you to rub His feet. He rose to rescue you from yourself. Your thoughts are deceptive, your feelings are uncontrollable, and your decisions are reckless. I know you’re probably thinking of several people who fit this description. However; that is just proof of your deceptive thoughts—because you operate in the same mind. And if you were to stop and take a sobering look at yourself, you would see that same pattern lives in you too. The good that you do only increases your pride, and the bad…is just more bad. (For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. Rom 7:18)
Your cross is you. My cross is me. And if I seek the rest Jesus speaks of—if I desire the purposes for which I was born—I will need to decide if I am willing to “take up” all these thoughts, feelings, and decisions to the Ruler of the field. (He is a light to my path. Ps 119:105 Discerner of my thoughts and intents. Heb 4:12), Giver of every good thing. Philem 6.)
I can continue chasing one thought after another of “gaining the world.” There is no collar around my neck. I can hunt daily for more food, sleep with one eye open, and hope to make it through another day. Or I can learn—and it will take learning—how to rest in the Shepherd that secures my freedom. (Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matt 29:30)
Let’s continue this journey of learning together in my next post!!