WFTW Body: 

Jesus' life was a life of perfect rest. He had enough time in 24 hours every day to do all His Father's will. But if He had decided to do what appeared good to Him, then 24 hours a day would not have been enough and he would have ended up in unrest on most days. 

Outside the Beautiful Gate of the temple in Jerusalem, Jesus often saw a lame man begging for alms. But He did not heal him, because He had no leading from His Father to do so. Later, after He had ascended to Heaven, Peter and John brought healing to that man - in the Father's perfect time - and that resulted in many people turning to the Lord (Acts 3:1-4:4). That was the Father's time to heal that man, not earlier. Jesus would have hindered the Father's will if He had healed that man earlier. He knew that the Father's timing was perfect, and so He was never impatient to do anything.

Jesus could rejoice in every interruption that came to Him, because He accepted the fact that a sovereign Father in Heaven was planning His daily schedule. And so He was never annoyed with interruptions. The life of Jesus will bring our inner beings into perfect rest too. This does not mean that we will do nothing, but that we will do only what is in the Father's plan for our lives. Then we shall be more eager to finish the Father's will than our own pre-determined programme.

Soulish Christians are so intent on doing 'their own thing' that they are frequently irritable and restless. Some of them end up having a nervous or a physical breakdown finally. Martha was not committing any sin in serving the Lord and His disciples. Yet she was restless and critical of Mary. This is a clear picture of soulish service. The soulish Christian is restless and irritable. He has not ceased from his "own works," and has not entered into God's rest (Hebrews 4:10). His intentions are good, but he has not realised that his own works however good they may be, are still "filthy rags" in God's eyes, even after conversion (Isaiah 64:6).

Those who 'serve' like Martha, however sincere, are really only serving themselves. They cannot be called servants of the Lord, for a servant waits to hear what his master tells him to do, before serving. It was impossible for Jesus to have a nervous breakdown, because He was in perfect rest in His inner man. He says to us, 

Take My yoke upon you and learn from My example, and you too will find rest in your souls (Matthew 11:29).

This is the glory of Jesus that the Spirit of God shows us in the Word and that He desires to impart to us and to manifest through us.

The Lord is our Shepherd and He leads His sheep into pastures of rest. Sheep do not plan their own programme or decide which pasture to go to next. They just follow their Shepherd. But one has to be emptied of self-confidence and self-sufficiency to follow the Shepherd like that. Jesus meekly followed His Father. But soulish Christians do not want to be sheep, and are therefore led astray by their intellects. Our intellect is a marvellous and most useful gift of God, but it can become the most dangerous of all gifts if exalted to the place of lordship in our life.

The Lord taught His disciples to pray, "Father, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven." How is God's will done in Heaven? The angels there do not run around trying to do 'something for God.' There would be confusion in Heaven if they did that. What do they do? They wait in God's presence to hear what He commands, and then do exactly what they are individually told to do. Listen to the words of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, "I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God; and I have been sent to speak to you.... (Luke 1:19). This is the position that the Lord Jesus took as well - waiting in His Father's presence, hearing His voice and doing His will.

Soulish Christians may labour hard and sacrifice much, but the clearer light of eternity will reveal that "they toiled all night and caught nothing." But those who took up their cross daily (denied their soul-life and put it to death) and obeyed the Lord, will have nets full of fish in that day (John 21:1-6).

"Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work that I plan for Him," said Jesus, "is not fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62 - TLB).