The Importance of Being versus Doing – Ray E Horton
The natural man finds his identity and worth in doing, and the religious person always wants to do more for the Lord. But there is an important transition that is needed if we are to grow in our walk with the Lord and be usefully vessels through whom He can operate for the advance of His Kingdom. We need to transition to a focus on Being rather than Doing.
The flesh wants to say I did it. But our worth is not in our feeble actions. Rather, our worth is in who we are now, have become, as recreated children of God.
That can be hard. The flesh wants to say I did it. But our worth is not in our feeble actions. Rather, our worth is in who we are now, have become, as recreated children of God. It is essential that we renew our minds to God’s Word, and to draw near to know Him and what our relationship with Him really means. Oh, yes, we will be doing much as we rest in Him of our own ways. But it will be Spirit-directed and empowered works. In fact, it is Jesus Himself living through us as we yield our lives as vessels available for Him, the head of the Body.
Merrill Thompson posted good passages from two preachers/authors to shed more light about being vs. doing:
“What is needed is a source of life that is higher than the realm of doing good vs. doing evil. When accused of being good, Jesus abruptly countered, ‘There is no one good except God’ (Mark 10:18). He refused to allow anyone to identify him as the source of his own activity. Instead he consistently pointed to his Father, indwelling him, and moving him to do whatever he did. He was showing us the priority of being versus doing.
The priority of being versus doing
“Jesus knew this battle well, as the Tempter had challenged him three times before in the desert over the same issue: ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he dared, then do something to prove it. There was no question whether or not Jesus was who he said he was. But the Tempter wanted Jesus, the last Adam (1 Cor.15:45), to constitute his being by his doing. This line of attack was so central to God’s purpose that this battle continued to the last moment on the cross: ‘If you’re the Messiah, come down off of there.’ But Jesus had learned from his Father that you need not by your actions make yourself something that you already are.” – Neil Carter in “The Deeper Life.
This is further brought out in the second excerpt:
“This is divine vocation into which you have been redeemed, as His workmanship, ‘created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that you should walk in them’ (Ephesians 2:10) can only be fulfilled in the energy and power of the One who indwells you now by His Spirit, as He walked once only in the energy and power of the Father who indwelt Him through the Spirit. Of Himself He said, ‘I can of mine own self do nothing’ (John 5:19), and of you He says, in John 15:5, ‘Without me you can do nothing.’”
How much can you do without Him? Nothing!
“It is amazing how busy you can be doing nothing! Did you ever find that out? The flesh, everything that you do apart from Him ‘profiteth nothing’ (John 6:63), and there is always the awful possibility, if you do not discover this principle, that you may spend a lifetime in the service of Jesus Christ doing nothing. You would not be the first, and you would not be the last, but that, above everything else, we must seek to avoid.
“So you discover that the life which you possess as a born-again Christian is of Him, and it is to Him, and every moment that you are here on earth it must be through Him, of Him, through Him, to Him all things. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice’ (Romans 12:1).
“The Lord Jesus Christ claims the use of your body, your whole being, your complete personality, so that as you give yourself to Him through the eternal Spirit, He may give Himself to you through the eternal Spirit, that all your activity as a human being on earth may be His activity in and through you; that every step you take, every word you speak, everything you do, everything you are, may be an expression of the Son of God, in you as man.
“If it is of Him and through Him and to Him, where do you come in? You do not! That is just where you go out! That is what Paul meant when he said, ‘For me to live is Christ’ (Philippians 1:21). The only Person whom God credits with the right to live in you is Jesus Christ; so ‘reckon yourself to be dead’ to all that you are apart from what He is, and alive unto God only in all that you are because of what He is (Romans 6:11). It is for you to BE it is for Him to DO! Rest, fully available to the Saving Life of Christ.” – Major W. Ian Thomas, from “Being and Doing in The Saving Life of Christ”. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1961.