Chapter 7 – The Father abiding in Me doeth the Work

‘Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work.’–John 5:17-20.

‘Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak I speak not of Myself: but the Father abiding in Me doeth the work.’–John 14:10.

Jesus Christ became man that He might show us what a true man is, how God meant to live and work in man, and how man may find his life and do his work in God. In words like those above, our Lord opens up the inner mystery of His life, and discovers to us the nature and the deepest secret of His working. He did not come to the world to work instead of the Father; the Father was ever working–‘worketh even until now.’ Christ’s work was the fruit, the earthly reflection of the Heavenly Father working. And it was not as if Christ merely saw and copied what the Father willed or did: ‘the Father abiding in Me doeth the work.’ Christ did all His work in the power of the Father dwelling and working in Him. So complete and real was His dependence on the Father, that, in expounding it to the Jews, He used the strong expressions (v. 19, 30) John 5:19, 30: ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father doing’; ‘I can do nothing of Myself.’ As literally as what He said is true of us, ‘Apart from Me ye can do nothing,’ is it true of Him too. ‘The Father abiding in Me doeth the work.’

Jesus Christ became man that He might show us what true man is, what the true relation between man and God, what the true way of serving God and doing His work. When we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus, the life we receive is the very life that was and is in Christ, and it is only by studying His life on earth that we know how we are to live. ‘As I live because of the Father, so he that eateth Me shall live because of Me.’ His dependence on the Father is the law of our dependence on Him and on the Father through Him.

Christ counted it no humiliation to be able to do nothing of Himself, to be always and absolutely dependent on the Father. He counted it His highest glory, because so all His works were the works of the all glorious God in Him. When shall we understand that to wait on God, to bow before Him in perfect helplessness, and let Him work all in us, is our true nobility, and the secret of the highest activity? This alone is the true Son-life, the true life of every child of God. As this life is known and maintained, the power for work will grow, because the soul is in the attitude in which God can work in us, as the God who ‘worketh for him that waiteth on Him.’ It is the ignorance or neglect of the great truths, that there can be no true work for God but as God works it in us, and that God cannot work in us fully but as we live in absolute dependence on Him, that is the explanation of the universal complaint of so much Christian activity with so little real result. The revival which many are longing and praying for must begin with this: the return of Christian ministers and workers to their true place before God–in Christ and like Christ, one of complete dependence and continual waiting on God to work in them.

Let me invite all workers, young and old, successful or disappointed, full of hope or full of fear, to come and learn from our Lord Jesus the secret of true work for God. ‘My Father worketh, and I work;’ ‘The Father abiding in Me doeth the works.’ Divine Fatherhood means that God is all, and gives all, and works all. Divine Sonship means continual dependence on the Father, and the reception, moment by moment, of all the strength needed for His Work. Try to grasp the great truth that because ‘it is God who worketh all in all,’ your one need is, in deep humility and weakness, to wait for and to trust in His working. Learn from this that God can only work in us as He dwells in us. ‘The Father abiding in Me doeth the works.’ Cultivate the holy sense of God’s continual nearness and presence, of your being His temple, and of His dwelling in you. Offer yourself for Him to work in you all His good pleasure. You will find that work, instead of being a hindrance, can become your greatest incentive to a life of fellowship and childlike dependence.

At first it may appear as if the waiting for God to work will keep you back from your work. It may indeed–but only to bring the greater blessing, when you have learned the lesson of faith, that counts on His working even when you do not feel it. You may have to do your work in weakness and fear and much trembling. You will know that it is all, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. As you know yourself better and God better, you will be content that it should ever be–His strength made perfect in our weakness.

1. ‘The Father abiding in Me doeth the work.’ There is the same law for the Head and the member, for Christ and the believer. ‘It is the same God that worketh all in all.’
2. The Father not only worked in the Son when He was on earth, but now, too, that He is in heaven. It is as we believe in Christ in the Father’s working in Him, that we shall do the greater works. See John 14:10-12.

3. It is as the indwelling God, the Father abiding in us, that God works in us. Let the life of God in the soul be clear, the work will be sure.

4. Pray much for grace to say, in the name of Jesus, ‘The Father abiding in me doeth the work.’