“Tut” by Sallie Reid
These paintings of the bull and the cow were done out of a simple pleasure to honor my heritage on the farm. My father’s nickname was “Tut”, and my mother’s, “Mae”. I began to ask the Lord if there was significance for me to grasp in these paintings. As I studied the biblical meaning of the bull and cow, I realized in fact there was revelation to unveil. Cows are symbolic of sanctified believers, and the bull means economic increase, not to mention “bullheaded” and forceful in strength. We were definitely led as a family by my mother to be sanctified believers and my father’s farm provided economic increase for our livelihood. Dad was a bit bullheaded in his thinking, forceful in his ways, and strong in his faith. They both taught us to work hard and to lead a good life.
Our work ethic was so ingrained in our thinking, unearned grace was hard to accept. I had to learn to differentiate between performance through hard work and the reward of my salvation given by grace. I do believe hard work is next to godliness, but it shouldn’t be be-fore it.
I had to really work at letting go of my performance tendencies, always striving for perfection while desperately wanting to be approved of by man. I had to realize my first priority was to learn how to rest in His presence with a grateful heart for this undeserved favor of grace. I had to realign my thinking as a daughter of the King to work from my seat in glory and not for my place of acceptance. It amazes me how the enemy is always looking for something good to pervert. Farm life is a good work, a good life in and of itself. However, the lie the enemy presents is that it is a defining label of our identity. Any time we put any-thing above the sacrifice of grace, anything above what God says we are, we move into a form of idolatry. I have been guilty of taking work on as something good, sometimes leaving God out of the details. I have fought the battle in my head, making hard work more important than it should be. The label of a hard worker is a good one, but it should not come before be-ing a great worshipper. I am afraid in the past I forced myself to be a hard worker more than I was a great worshipper. Surprisingly, I have found it is the sweetness of His presence that makes light the burden of anything I carry. The Lord continually reveals truths to me in the simple, ordinary things of life. The truth is, He is much more interested in us resting in Him than striving to prove we are worthy individuals by how hard we work. It is the lie of the enemy that we have something to prove so we can be loved for being good. We could never be good enough to deserve His grace, and yet the truth is, we are loved no matter what. We are loved simply because God wants to love us. In realizing we are loved, we then die to our-selves to live for Him. We receive His gift of grace and then give that grace away by loving each other. We have to search out the things of God’s heart to be released from the lies the enemy has presented to us. We always have a choice to make in what we believe and what we dismiss as a lie. God is always after our relationship with Him establishing our identity, so that we know who we are and what our purpose is. Our faith is not to be a form of religion that looks good or that is favored by the world to be good. Sometimes we have to dismiss a lie we have believed a lifetime to walk in the freedom of the childlike faith we are designed for.
The strong work ethic of farm life gave me the courage to keep going and not quit, to keep searching the heart of God to find the peace of knowing who I am in Him. I have been established in my faith of the goodness of God, rooted in the foundations of the word, and I am not as easily shaken as I once was. My passion for the kingdom of God to be here on earth as it is in heaven is stronger than ever. Ironically the farm is symbolic of the harvest of souls. It was as if the Lord had me nurtured in an environment that would offer protection from the ways of the world until I understood my posture as a daughter of the King.
I have realized God’s portion is light (His yoke is easy), but the burden of the world is heavy. The enemy works hard to keep us downtrodden so that we cannot look into the eyes of our gentle Father. We believe the world’s system of performance based on favor, striving to reach man’s approval.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you
and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My
yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
God is looking for those who will enjoy His presence and carry His love into the world. The peace of God rests in His presence. I have to allow myself the privilege of sitting in His lap, of being in His presence, and drinking from His well.
We are released from the yoke of work from the world’s view to do the work of the Kingdom from His view. It isn’t about us working for God; it is working from our place with God. Remember, we are to be co-laborers. Our passions will lead us to our calling, which leads us to our destiny to fulfill our purpose of bringing glory to His name. Our passions are designed by God with a specific bent that brings joy to our own heart. As we work out the ways of the Lord in our life, we are enabled to rise above the tyranny of the enemy. However, if we look to the world system, we will only be ensnared by the enemy as he sets the entrapment of performance before us, crippling us in pride and self-indulgence, most often distracting us from our main purpose in life.
If we look to God to fill us with His love, His power, and His peace, we will be given the established steps of our life that lead to an abundant life everlasting.
The Praises of People
The Spirit of the Lord inhabits the praises of His people
Peace that passes all understanding fills the temple.
Peace overflows. Love and grace abound,
Forgiveness is found.
The tears of praise melt away the flesh.
The fullness of love brings the mission to bless.
The surrendered heart releases His hand.
He pushes out the carnal and fills us to stand.
Through the ups and downs of life, God is still faithful and, no matter what we go through, God is still there cheering us on. He is not condemning us. (Romans 8:1) He loves us, and He is for us, not against us. If we are left with no other thought than God loves us, we have enough grace to carry us through the rest of our days.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9