In my last post, the Father came to play catch with me. In this one, I want to tell you about Jesus the carpenter coming to build a barn with me.
I’d recently moved up to the North Georgia Mountains and really felt like God was calling me to get goats. At the time, I had nowhere to pen them up, so I had to build a barn. As I was researching things, I met a guy named Chandler and we became friends. His mother had a small working farm, and to a lesser degree, I was trying to build the same on my property. I’d go over and check out their set-up and I loved what they did. So I designed a barn that would house my chickens and goats. It was fully functional, with a milking station, roost and laying box area, vet workshop, feed and hay storage section, and tool shed. It was awesome! I still kind of marvel at it—and here is probably why.
Chandler came to me one day and said, “I would like to help you.” I asked him how much he’d charge me and he said, “No, no, I just want to help you!” Well this floored me. I thought, “You do?”
We proceeded to lay out the foundation, get the lumber and even used his tools, truck and tractor. It was long hours of building a barn from the ground up. I was in awe of this whole thing, because I knew something was happening beyond just building a barn. It wasn’t until one day when I looked up at Chandler fastening down tin on the roof that I saw clearly what was happening. It wasn’t Chandler at all—it was Jesus. Jesus had worked with me day after day as the Carpenter. I don’t even know if Chandler was saved, but there he was with Christ’s message – “I want to build this barn with you.” The whole time we built it, I had a kind of cloud about me, and then I realized it was Christ’s presence.
Never had I had anyone jump in and work with me like that. As a child, though my father was a homebuilder, I didn’t have training with hammer and nail. Again, I was maintaining best I could, and new horizons were daunting. But here was Christ, the Carpenter, taking on the task to come shoulder to shoulder with me and work with me. He Himself wanted to do this with me, and He would use whoever He chose to bring this about.
So what relevance do these two stories have to anyone but me? Well in part, I think they’re examples of “Not I but Christ.” I always thought “not I but Christ” was a work of my surrendering and getting out of the way. I believed somehow, that it was the effort to choose. I want to tell you, I believe differently now. I think that these stories display an aspect of Galatians 2:20.
It wasn’t Chandler, but Christ. It wasn’t the young man playing catch, but Christ. When we are in Christ, Christ becomes all things, not only in us, but also for us. Neither of these boys was particularly godly, but because I was God’s, so were they. I’ve viewed this scripture very narrowly, but as I’ve asked God for Him to open this up to me, He brought these stories to mind.
I still want to see what the scripture means in my very own body. But this is a seeing that expresses how He’s able to manifest Himself to His own, even through the unwitting. I bless Him that He’s unhindered by anything because He is in ALL THINGS!
For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
He’s the Wise Master Builder, the Strong Arm of God, the Great Eternal Carpenter building our heart.
My dear John, YOU ARE A VERY RICH MAN!
Thank you for sharing your story
John what an Awesome revelation!
John, this is so amazing it took my breath away. I was literally holding my breath as I read this. Such revelation is astounding to me. Thank you again and again dear brother.
Thank you John. I am deeply touched and brought to tears. I love the work He is doing. Repentance, obedience, and surrender….what a gift to start truly understanding and to be drawn deeper. Thank you Father for continually chasing after me. I am starting to get it and see YOU and experience You so differently.
Linda I concur It has been a long journey and I feel as though it has truly just begun. Blessings and peace.
The significance and timing of His work in and through us all as His body is perfect and amazing. His work is individual but corporate. His is all in all!
Wow what a different way of thinking! I would never think of looking for Jesus there, but you are right. I need to look closer and let God be who He is and pay closer attention. Thank you for the incite.
“When we are in Christ, Christ becomes all things, not only in us, but also for us.”
“…because [you are] God’s, so were they.”
To recognize His presence we must first be filled with His presence.
It is my prayer to be so filled with His presence that He is ALL I see.
Praising Him for who He is in you!
Wow…this is a deep revelation that changes everything in our lives when we see it! Thank you John, for sharing your journey with us…I’ve been so personally blessed, inspired, encouraged and challenged by it!
Thank you John. You are expressing here a very intuitive truth. “I always thought “not I but Christ” was a work of my surrendering and getting out of the way. I believed somehow, that it was the effort to choose. I want to tell you, I believe differently now.” The faith to step into the bossom of God, is what you are expressing, to live continually in Rest. You may expand on this, because I believe you believe there is (and there must be) a surrender, but at the same time it is Rest. Again, you are touching here a… Read more »