This lesson was developed from the writings of Madam Jeanne Guyon, Experiencing The Depths of Jesus Christ.
Is the soul active when it lives within the Sabbath-rest of God? Yes! But the activity is so exalted, so natural, so peaceful, and so spontaneous that it will seem to you that your soul is making no effort at all!
When the soul is at rest in God, its activity is instinctively spiritual and very exalted. Nonetheless, the soul is engaging in no effort. Since it no longer needs to work out anything through human effort, it experiences a peace that transcends all understanding. We are not promoting the idea that the soul should be lazy or inactive. We are encouraging the highest activity the soul can engage in: total dependence on the omnipotent Spirit of God. God’s supernatural work cannot truly begin until the disciple has first entered God’s Sabbath-rest and ceased from their own self-directed works. “Wait...until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Acts 24:29) We are so complex; our souls are capable of so much diverse activity. We must leave these self-directed ways so that we will be free---free to enter the simplicity and the unity of God. The Spirit never stops communicating the Lord’s life and His work when we are within the Sabbath-rest of God. We are to live in the life of the One who wants to provide us with His spiritual image!
Your Lord once declared that He alone has life. His eternal life, which must fill our inner being, also carries with it His divine nature. This is the unique life which He desires to give you. He wishes to give you divine life. The only way you can make room for His life, where God is to dwell in you and to live in you, is by losing your old Adam life and denying the activity of the self. But, and I repeat, the only way this becomes a practical experience to you is by dying to yourself and to all your own activity so that the activity of God can be substituted in its place. God cannot manifest His life and His perfect will through anyone who is still living according to their own will.
You will recall that Martha was doing something which was very correct in her service to the Lord, and yet the Lord rebuked her! Why? Because what she was doing, she was doing in her own strength according to her own will. Martha lacked the one thing needful---the life and nature of the Lord. Since Martha was living by human effort, she continued to be “worried and upset about many things.” You must realize, dear reader, that the soul of the carnal man is naturally restless and turbulent. Your willful soul accomplishes nothing of eternal value even though it always appears busy.
If the Spirit is fully able to care for all your needs and do all the work of the Lord, why should you burden yourself with unnecessary cares? Why weary yourself with so much activity, never stopping to enter into the Sabbath-rest of God? The only work that will count in eternity is the work that you permit the Lord to do through you under the control and power of His Spirit.