My meat is to do the will of him that sent me— John 4:34 (KJV)
John 4:34 Jesus saith Yah Shua wordeth unto them,
My meat food is to do the will of him that sent me,
and to finish complete/shalam his work. (ERRB)
I would like to address a couple of different things in this post. One being to address how much I am beginning to love the ERRB. I am studying, albeit slowly, the ancient Hebrew language of the Bible. So here is my simple little understanding at work.
Everyone knows the word “Shalom” is used for the word peace. But I did not know it’s original meaning is complete. And if you think about it, peace is completeness or being complete. That to me begs the question,”Why on earth do we make the Word of God so hard? And why (this is rhetorical by the way) did the original translators of the Bible not just use the words in their original meaning. Are we as Christians that dumb that we couldn’t have gotten that meaning? I just don’t get it. And last but not least do we realize that when we are praying for the peace of Jerusalem, that we are praying not for end of war, but for the completeness of Jerusalem. I sure didn’t. (And in all fairness I suppose that means the end of war too, but it’s more than that.) And that to me has a totally different meaning. To me I now see it means I am praying for the return of Christ with an understanding I didn’t have before.
At any rate, I love going back to the original Hebrew because it helps (in my case) the Holy Spirit bring so much more life to God’s Word. Enough of that. The following is from my George Morrison devotional. The scripture above is the reference scripture for this devotional. All items in purple are my comments.
THE DEDICATION OF THE WILL
Is Religion Based on Reason or Feeling,’
It has been a matter of controversy time and again which is the true wellspring of religion; and to this question, which is fresh in every age, there are two answers which demand attention.
On the one hand there are many reverent thinkers who trace the roots of religion to the reason. It is because we are reasonable beings that we know the infinite reason, which is God. A dumb beast is not endowed with reason though it has instinct. It is man alone, lifting his forehead heavenward, who is a truly reasonable creature; and in man alone, because he is so gifted, is there the craving for the eternal Being, and the assurance, at the back of all things visible, of a hand that guides and of a heart that plans. Thought is the lattice through which the human spirit peers forth upon the vista of eternity. Thought is the mystical ladder that goes heavenward and lifts itself through the silence to the throne. And if the angels, clad in their garb of ministry, move up and down upon its steps of radiance, it is because the head that lies upon the pillow is that of a reasonable man.
On the other hand, there have been many thinkers who have denied this primary place to thought. It is not from reason that religion springs, they tell us; it is from the deeper region of the feelings. How can the fragmentary thought of man reach forth to the perfect thought of the Almighty? (Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, ) I am just now beginning to understand how important it is to have the mind of Christ. We cannot reflect Jesus Christ if we do not think like Him. I am so tired of those who say they have the love of Christ in them, who say they have the compassion and mercy of Christ in them when in fact, they are living out their idea of what that is. Not living it out with the MIND of Christ.
Can any by intellectual searching find Him out, and are not His thoughts different from out thoughts? Isa 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
Do we not know, too, that an age of so-called reason is never a time when eternal things are clear, but always a time when voices are but faint that come with the music of the faraway? On these grounds there has been raised a protest against reason as the wellspring of religion. Not upon reason is religion based; it sinks its shaft into the depth of feeling. It is born in the longing you cannot analyze; in the emotion that is prior to all thought; in the craving for God that rests upon no proof, and stirs in a depth below the reach of argument.
The Wellspring of Personal Religion Is the Will
But when we turn to the word of Jesus Christ and to its translation in apostolic doctrine, we discover that neither thought nor feeling is laid at the foundation of religion. Christ had no quarrel with the human intellect. He recognized its wonder and its power. His own intellectual life was far too rich for Him to be a traitor to the brain. Nor was Christ the enemy of human feelings. He never made light of tenderest emotion. He who wept beside the grave of Lazarus could never be the antagonist of tears. But in the teaching of Christ, it is not thought nor feeling that is the wellspring of personal religion. “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me”; the wellspring is in the region of the will. It is there that a man must pass from death to life. It is there that the path of piety begins—not in the loftiest and holiest thought nor in the rapture of excited feeling. The first thing is the dedication of the will; the response of a free man to a great God; the yielding of self to that imperious claim which is made by the loving Father in the heavens. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”—”Let the dead bury their dead, follow thou me”—such are the words in which our Lord describes the primary and determinative action. A man may cherish the most reverent thought or may luxuriate in tenderest feeling, yet if he harbor an unsurrendered will, he knows not yet the meaning of religion. “The wellspring is in the region of the will. It is there that a man (or a woman) must pass from death to life.” It is a rite of passage so to speak, that many of us believe we have traversed yet that unsurrendered will remains in a place that so few of us dare to examine. I myself am guilty of this most often. And often we go along our merry little way spouting off at the mouth what “good little christians” we are because we pray, because we sing worship songs, or because we think we hear from God better than others. What a travesty this is in believing we can ever be so much better than others because we say with pride, “I have surrendered my will”. Shame on all of us.
Yield Your Will to Christ
It is thus that we begin to understand the condemnation of Christ on indecision. “He that is not with me, is against me”—”No man can serve two masters.” No matter how ignorant a man might be, Christ never was without hope for him. No matter how depraved he was, there was a spark within him that might be fanned to flame. But of all men the most hopeless in Christ’s sight was the irresolute and undecided person, the man who refused to take a spiritual stand and who was contented to drift aimlessly. It is very probable that Judas Iscariot was a man of such irresolution. It had been growing increasingly clear to him, as months went by, that he was hopelessly out of sympathy with Jesus. But instead of arising in some great decision that might have closed that mockery of following, he drifted, amid ever quickening waters, till suddenly the whirlpool and the cry. The man who hesitates, we say, is lost—but Christ has come to seek and save the lost. Am I speaking to any waverer, to any hesitating, undecided person? Till the will is right, nothing is right. No man is Christ’s until the will has been yielded. “Our wills are ours, we know not how; Our wills are ours to make them Thine.” “Till the will is right, nothing is right”. No matter what we do or say, no matter the reflection of Christ we purpose to show: nothing is right till the will is right. What a statement! And who knows our will better than Christ? We can say we’ve surrendered our will, but have we truly?
Jesus Never Overpowered the Will
It is further notable in this connection that Jesus never over powered the will. It was His glory to empower it, but to overpower it He scorned. “Come unto me, and I will give you rest”—a man must come; no hand from heaven will drag him. No irresistible and irrational constraint will force him into the presence of the Savior. A man is something better than a beast—he is but a little lower than the angels—and as a man, or not at all, Christ will have the allegiance of the will. “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life” —there is the ring of an infinite pity about that; but the other side of that so baffled yearning, reveals the very grandeur of humanity. For it tells of a being whose heritage is freedom—not to be overborne by God Himself—of one who must come with a freely yielded will, or else not come at all. With Mohammed it was the Koran or the sword, and that compulsion was a degradation. Hence never, under Mohammedan dominion, has manhood risen to its highest splendor. But with Christ there was no compulsion of the will, save the compulsion of overmastering love, and that great recognition of our freedom has blossomed into the flower of Christian manhood. Do not wait, then, I would beg of you, as if a day were coming when you must be good. Do not think that the hour will ever strike when you will be swept irresistibly into the kingdom. At the last it is a matter of decision, and in all the changes of the coming years, never will it be easier for you to make the great decision than now. “It was His glory to empower it, but to overpower it He scorned.” Think about this. It is all about surrender; not being overtaken or overpowered. Kind of the God made me do it or say it mentality. Jesus Christ empowers a truly surrendered will.
Christ’s Emphasis on the Motive
We might further illustrate Christ’s emphasis on will by some of the relationships in which He sets it. Think first of its relationship to action. It is not the action in itself that Jesus looks at; He has a gaze that pierces deeper than the action. He sees at the back of every deed, its motive, and that is the measure of value in His sight. Viewed from the standpoint of the day’s collection there was no great value in the widow’s mite. One coin out of the pocket of the rich was worth a hundred such in some eyes. But there is a certain kind of calculation that is intolerant of all arithmetic, and it was always on that basis Christ computed. Was there no sacrifice behind that little gift which was dropped so quietly into the temple treasury? Was there no will so bent upon obedience that it must pour its all into the offering? What Jesus saw was not the mite; it was the dedicated will behind the mite. An action had no value in Christ’s eyes unless at the back of it there was the willing mind. Deep down, in the unseen springs of a man’s being, lay that which determined the value of his conduct. And that is the reason why Christ appraises action in a way that is sublimely careless of the common standards by which the world distributes applause. The world applauds pride and to Christ it is despicable. The “look at me” attitude of so many in the church today is downright scary. And yet, they will tell you they are in the will of God. Whose will are we really operating under; our will fully surrendered in death for life or man’s will disguised as surrender?
To Know, You Must Will
Or think of the relationship of will to knowledge if you want to know how Christ regarded will. “If any man will to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” If any man willeth to do His will—then at the back of true knowledge is obedience, and what we know of the highest and the best ultimately depends upon the will. Let a man refuse to submit his will to God, and the gateway of truth is closed to him forever. No daring of intellect will pierce its deeps, nor will any imagination see its beauty. Truth at the heart of it is always ethical, kindred in being to man’s moral nature; and if that nature be choiceless and disordered, the power and majesty of truth are never known. That is the reason why the simplest duty has always an illuminative power. Do the next thing, and do it heartily, and the very brain will grow a little clearer. For the Word of God is a lamp unto our feet, and only when our feet go forward bravely will the circle of light advance upon the dark and reveal what is always shadowed to the stationary. It is not merely by His depth of thought that Christ has kindled the best thought of Christendom. It is by His urgent and passionate insistence upon the dedication of the will. And men have obeyed Him, and taken up their cross, and followed bravely when all in front was shrouded, to find that they were moving into a larger world and under a brighter heaven. “If any man will to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.” If any man willeth to do His will—then at the back of true knowledge is obedience,“…..know of the doctrine. How many churches today are throwing doctrine out the window for the whole “mind vs. feeling” argument. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the whole Bible doctrine? Doctrine is defined as: “a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief”. Mind vs. feeling truly has nothing to do with doctrine even though that is the argument made. Mind vs. feeling isn’t even what the argument should be. It should be about truly surrendering our will, truly dying that we may have life and life to the fullest. Perhaps then both mind and feeling would be an important part of our “doctrine” and there would then be no basis for argument. How does that sound?
“The response of a free man to a great God”. What a tremendous statement this is. We are free to choose. We are even free to choose to what degree we surrender our will. And until that will is surrendered, mind vs. feeling is a ridiculous argument. These two “camps” (mind vs. feeling) are spinning their wheels in pride. It takes all three; the will, the mind and the feeling.
Bless you all today.