A few days ago, as I was praying, I asked the Lord if He had a scripture for me to look at, and I sensed Him saying Matthew 22:21, so I started there, but I’ve given you a larger chunk of the story below:
Mat 22:15 Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which He could be arrested.
Mat 22:16 They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with Him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest You are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites.
Mat 22:17 Now tell us what You think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
Mat 22:18 But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” He said. “Why are you trying to trap Me?
Mat 22:19 Here, show Me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed Him a Roman coin,
Mat 22:20 He asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”
Mat 22:21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
When I read this, I said, “Lord, I’ve always been taught that this is an admonition to be a good citizen and pay your taxes. Is that all it is? Is that what it is at all?”
(To clarify in case you weren’t aware, two metaphors for the true church used in the New Testament and here are the army of God and the bride of Christ.) This is what I believe I heard from Him:
No, Dear. This is not about Caesar as the government, but Caesar represents the present age. Don’t hold on to the things–none of the things–of this world. They are dung–offal. They are a stench in My nostrils. I am offended by these things when you offer them to Me. Do not give Me the things of this world–the works that you dream up.
I am pleased when you offer up yourselves as a living sacrifice to do the works I give you to do, as I give them. A soldier who goes off on his own and does what he thinks best is not honoring his commander. A soldier pleasing to Me hears My voice because he is always listening. Obeying Me is not difficult. I give a little nudge here and a tug there, and if you follow My lead, things slot into place. It may not look that way at the time, but trust Me–that I see all, and I know what–precisely what–is needed at every moment.
You do not have to figure this out. Just follow Me one step at a time. I am leading this dance. Why do you think you have to help Me? Coming up with programs, stuff to do? Soon I am squeezed out altogether and you are working too hard and accomplishing nothing but to hinder My work. You cannot stop Me–I don’t need you in order to do all My will–but would you not prefer to dance with Me, My bride?
I don’t want the kind of service the world desires–constant busyness, endless running around, weariness and striving. Winning acclaim from men means nothing to Me. I AM, and there is nothing you can do to add to or detract from that. My Word is pure and noble and cannot be in any way other than He is. My Word is He who holds Heaven and earth, and binds them together lest they fly apart into nothing. My Word is He who holds you in His hands and builds you into One.
Yield to Him that which is His–that is, your whole selves. Don’t seek for a suitable gift, for there is none. Give Him rather that which is His–give Him yourselves wholly. Do what He commands and nothing else. Do not look for results or dream up schemes “sure” to “work.” What does that mean? Work? My little children, you do not know what is working and what is not. Trust Me and do the little things I give you to do. When you have learned to do this, I will give you a greater task. Only remember that your primary task is to learn how to give yourselves in trust and simpleness of heart.
This is Mine–that you place yourselves unquestioningly in My hands. This is what I desire in My bride–that she trust Me wholly. Don’t worry about pleasing Me. Your complete surrender to Me is more–far more–pleasing to Me than bushels and bushels of dead works. Don’t bring Me great baskets of dead decaying dried-out leaves. Instead bring Me that which is MINE–bring Me yourselves alone.
It is Mine to give life as it is yours to receive. Take then, that which I give to you with meekness and gentleness of heart. Let Me be to you all that you need. The task of the bride is to receive, to be cared for, to yield worship and honor and love–to make glad the heart of the One who lays down His life for her. You, My bride, are to be a helper suitable to Me. Rejoice in being present with Me. Let us rejoice in one another’s love. I created you to love you. That is your purpose.
This isn’t a New Year’s post. God gave it to me just before Christmas. But it’s something to think about as we’re putting together all our resolutions to stop doing “that” and start doing “this.” What’s really needed is to sit at the feet of Jesus and follow His lead one step at a time.
Grace and Peace and Blessings to You!