The Will of God – Week 7
Taking the Lord’s Yoke (the Father’s Will) upon Us and Learning from Him to
Find rest for Our Souls
1 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus declares Jehovah, who stretches forth the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth and forms the spirit of man within him,
7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of Jehovah of hosts.
1 Cor. 2:9-15
9 But as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But to us God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11 For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him? In the same way, the things of God also no one has known except the Spirit of God.
12 But we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit which is from God, that we may know the things which have been graciously given to us by God;
13 Which things also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things with spiritual words.
14 But a soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually.
15 But the spiritual man discerns all things, but he himself is discerned by no one.
Without a burden, all our activity will be dead and ineffective; with a burden, we will be living and flourishing. Such an outcome is not related to our method but to our person.
A brother may give a message merely out of obligation, because it is his turn to speak. However, giving messages is not a matter of obligation but of burden. We may speak for half a year, but those who listen might not receive anything, and our speaking will be in vain. If we have a burden, we will see that our messages are ineffective. Our messages should “trouble” people so that they have no peace, and they are stirred up to love and serve the Lord. In this situation, our being will be touched by God. There is no need for the self to be dealt with if we give messages that are out of obligation. However, in giving a message out of a burden, our self must be dealt with. (CWWL, 1957, vol. 2, “The Administration of the Church and the Ministry of the Word,” pp. 238)
Working from nine to six as an employee is a matter of obligation and does not require any dealing. However, we would work differently if we had our own business. Our laziness would be dealt with because we would rise earlier to work. The attitude of a waiter or clerk toward customers might not need to be dealt with. However, a person who owns his shop will adjust himself in order not to offend his customers. Instead of being dealt with, some brothers seem to have more problems because they serve out of obligation, not burden. If there is a burden, our self decreases and is dealt with. It will not increase, because there are things that our burden will not allow us to do, and there are areas that will require our being dealt with before we can release our burden. Hence, having a burden deals with us the most.
Everyone who serves the Lord must receive a burden and have a burden. This also applies to the sisters even though they are not involved in the church administration or in giving messages. If the sisters fellowship together and visit people simply because it is time to do so, they are doing so out of obligation. The sisters should seek to know the result of their fellowship and visitation. They should know the condition of the sisters under their care. They should not say, “As long as the Lord works in them, they will be all right, but if the Lord does not work in them, there is nothing we can do.” We must receive a genuine burden.
The problem is that we are gradually leaning toward responsibility in our service; we lack a burden. Since our prayers are mostly without burden, our prayer meetings are ineffective. If someone is saved when we preach the gospel, we thank and praise the Lord. If no one is saved, we are at peace. When we give messages, we are at peace even if there is no effect. The same applies to the administration of the church and visiting the brothers and sisters; we are at peace even if there is no result. Since this is our condition, our prayer is a prayer of obligation, not a prayer with burden. If we pray with a burden, our prayer meeting will be different. Some brothers and sisters will weep bitterly and mourn in prayer, feeling that they cannot go on in the same way. They will feel that the gospel preaching, the administration of the church, and the condition of their meeting are unsatisfactory. This kind of prayer is out of a burden.
Genuine service is not a matter of obligation but a matter of burden; burden always goes beyond obligation. (CWWL, 1957, vol. 2, “The Administration of the Church and the Ministry of the Word,” pp. 238-240)
|1||I come to Thee, dear Lord,|
|My heart doth thirst for Thee;|
|Of Thee I’d eat, of Thee I’d drink.|
|Enjoy Thee thoroughly.|
|2||Just to behold Thy face,|
|For this my heart doth cry;|
|I deeply long to drink of Thee|
|My thirst to satisfy.|
|3||Thy glorious, radiant face|
|My heart delights to see;|
|Here I’d abide and ne’er depart,|
|4||In such a fellowship|
|Thou, Lord, art grace to me;|
|My heart and spirit gladdened, filled,|
|I enter rest in Thee.|
|5||Lord, I would linger here,|
|Still seeking after Thee,|
|Continue in the Word and prayer|
|Till Thou dost flow thru me.|
© Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission