This post has been a long time coming. It is one of those posts I felt would be shared as a result of some of the things I learned in and about the Lord, whilst going through the transition from our old house to the one we’re in now. In my blog post “An Abundant Land“ I mentioned a few thoughts on posts that I might write and so finally, four months later, here’s another one of them.
Sometimes God puts us in a place, geographically and/or environmentally that we just absolutely love. It has everything wonderful about it. For me and Derek, it was the wide open space, animals and the quiet of rural life on acres. The house we lived in at Wyee from 2013 to 2015 was an absolute God-send. It was a blessing beyond our wildest dreams.
When it came time to move at the landlord’s request, we were expecting it but nevertheless pretty sad about it I guess. The Lord had done a lot of healing whilst living there and the peace and beauty around us was certainly a massive part of that.
As you may recall (if you follow my blog), the landlord of the property there and his son who worked diligently toward their goal of developing the property, were an incredible picture to me of the Father and Son relationship as they are, from eternity past, working diligently toward their purpose of developing their kingdom! It was amazing and awesome and will never ever leave me.
By the time we were preparing to leave, the Lord had revealed so much through the father and son landlords of the relationship with Jesus and His Father, that almost all their actions that were visible to me, seemed to reflect something of God’s nature.
The track/road they would drive along ran from the road next to our driveway and along- side the house and up to the hills to the other end. So I would always see them whenever they were driving past. When it came to the last day of cleaning and handing in the keys, as I looked out the back windows of the sunroom I could see the landlord’s son driving up the paddock toward the house. He’d done this a number of times during that day, looking over and I suspected he may have been checking that we were on the move.
When Derek and I finished the final task of the cleaning, I saw him driving up and so I went outside to wave him goodbye. However, this time, he never looked over once. I stood there waving, in full view, but he didn’t even offer a glance. He had his hand on the wheel, eyes fixed straight ahead and he was eating an apple. I’ll never forget it.
This reflected the heart of our Lord to me in a way that took my breath away. It was as though God’s fingers took the corners of the invisible curtain of this earthly realm and pulled them back to reveal the Son of God just getting on with His work of the Kingdom. As a reflection of Christ the Son of God, there was no sign of sentiment. There was no sign of looking back. There was no sign of giving me any glory in the matter. He was getting on with his task, the will of his father. And he was delighting in the fruit he was eating.
Just like with the landlord’s son, Jesus knew I was there alright. God knew what I was looking at and what I was seeing. He had seen all that had taken place whilst living there and He knew that this final event was good and right. I needed to see that He wasn’t sentimental and He wasn’t stopping what He was doing in order to get what He is after. And He was telling me that neither should I.
The earthly realm would say to me “You’re so sad to leave this place, it’s been so wonderful, and you’re so ripped off to have to leave. Think and dwell on how sad you are that you’ll never have this place again. Look back on it, look back, look back!”
But the spiritual realm, the heavenly realm in which you and I are already seated in Christ, says something altogether different. It cries out “DON’T look back! Don’t be like Lot’s wife. Put your hand to the plough and be faithful with what is in front of you right now. Keep your eyes set on the Kingdom of God and God will take care of everything else.”
In Matthew 8:28 and Luke 9:60, when they told Jesus they needed to go to a funeral before being able to follow Him, He replied “Let the dead bury the dead”. That might sound harsh and He may have been commenting on their spiritual condition as being ‘dead’ but it sure shows Jesus’ focus. In the account in Luke 9:60 He says “Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and proclaim the Kingdom of God”. Jesus had His hand on the wheel, His eyes fixed straight ahead to do the will of His Father, and He enjoys the fruit of that and only that. He wasn’t interested in looking back and He was calling them to the same attitude.
What’s more, once those who were called to follow Him actually did leave everything immediately and follow Him, He didn’t stop to congratulate them and tell them how wonderful they were for doing so! He didn’t stop and analyse with them what it was like for them to leave people, places and things behind, He just kept walking and they just followed.
I like this. Sometimes Jesus is so incredibly simple, it’s a relief. He’s uncomplicated. I like that Jesus is so fixated on His Father’s will and isn’t sentimental about earthly things. And I love the image forever burnt into my spirit, of the landlord son eating an apple. It speaks to me of the simplicity and joy of Christ’s life in following His Father’s will. And since we’re called to live by Christ’s life just as Christ lives by His Father’s life, then perhaps this is a good indication that our life in the Spirit is also meant to be simple and a joy.
I don’t pretend it’s an easy life but ease and simplicity are two very different things. Of-course none of this Christian life is easy for us, that’s why we can’t do it. But if we realise we are inside of Christ and He is inside of us, it becomes ‘simple’. Looking off unto Christ, having our eyes fixed on Him, we have one direction and one goal that we are working towards, by His life in us. Our hand is to the wheel, to the plough, we’re fixed on the goal, the prize. It’s seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness! And the fruit of this is joy, joy, joy!