I told you there would be more than one post on this subject!
More from 11-19-05 journal entry
“I got to thinking about how far as a worker I had gotten from Jesus’ first command to “Follow Me.” I had made the details (from Matthew 10 about how to live etc) the calling, instead of the calling itself being the #1 thing. Those two things are totally inseparable in the fellowship.
In the Work, I had to rationalize those verses quite a bit to justify all my stuff and what I was and wasn’t able to do. I would say “that was then and this is now” about healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing those who had leprosy and driving out demons. Also, about not taking any gold or silver along or a bag, or extra clothes or extra shoes. Actually, come to think of it, also about why we didn’t just stay in one home per town.
I then would say; “That was then and this is still how it should be” when thinking about going out two and two together and being homeless. That was actually the only part of the commands to the twelve disciples I was keeping. It was awkward and difficult to explain and/or rationalize to anyone asking me questions. Should I indeed have owned fewer things or was I missing the whole point Jesus was trying to make?
I then thought about workers who have been asked to leave the Work for various “issues” and many more who left because they simply wanted to get married. If the life of a worker had been more “normal”, would we have had far more “normal” workers?
Have we maximized what God hoped we’d minimize and have we minimized what God hoped we’d maximized?”
These were very searching questions for me to work through. This was HUGE stuff. I had to know what was truly most important to God.
I remember explaining to a “stranger” how I lived as a worker and why we did or didn’t do certain things, and always there was a knot in my stomach and a conflict in my spirit. I know now that was the Holy Spirit seeking to teach me Truth.
It is crystal clear to me now where the focus was for me then and where it could have been. My pastor now, for instance: Where he lives matters nothing to me. His integrity, his spirituality, and his words — those matter a great deal. His message is all about Jesus. The fact that he is married and has children and grandchildren only adds weight to his words because he knows the struggles, as well as the joys, of his congregation.
There were some very meaningful parts of the Work but it just could have been so much more effective had the focus been on Jesus and not on how I was living or dressing. Believing that my salvation no longer is based on my works but on Jesus’ work is wonderful and freeing. A feeling of worship and thankfulness for Him alone wells up in my heart. It is all about You, Jesus! Like the song says,
“I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I made it,
when it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
where it’s all about You!”