Tuesday, January 22, 2013

And Whatever You Do ...

It's funny how scripture evolves as we experience more of God. It isn't really that scripture evolves as much as it is our growing in the revelation of God's Word. It starts off as baby food to us as we learn to digest it and put it into action. As we go along the Spirit takes us to deeper places as our digestive system matures. At first we take small scripture verses in isolation but as we mature we put those scriptures in the context of the whole Bible. Here's an example:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

I used to think this was telling me that whatever I decide to do I needed to do it in the name of the Lord. It gave me a sense that I get to choose my own course, as long as I ask God's blessing and dedicate it to Jesus. That is what it looked like to me in isolation. However, as I began to put it into context with the rest of the Bible I began to see it differently.

How can we be dead to ourself and still get to choose our own course? How can the Word say that we no longer belong to ourselves because we have been bought at a great price and yet we get to decide our future? How can Jesus say, "Come, follow me" and we get to decide the direction? Jesus hasn't come alive in me, I have been raised to life in him. I am not asking Jesus to come walk with me, I am accepting the invitation to go and walk with him. I am not inviting God into my life, he is inviting me into his.

On the flip side, it is possible to follow Jesus but then profit from it for ourselves. We can take his direction and make it about us instead of about his glory. We can be alive in him and still make it about us. He can give us very precise instructions and we can hi-jack those plans. This is the reason the Spirit prompted Paul to write, whatever you do, do it in the name of Jesus. Whatever you have been called to, do not do it in your strength or authority but in the authority of Jesus.

Listen, you have great ideas and plans and I am sure it will turn out great, but it would be incredible if they are done in the authority of Jesus and not your own. Yes, with a lot of hard work you could feed 5,000 but Jesus did it with a prayer. There is the difference. You can do a lot in your own strength but it can't compare with what you can do in Jesus' strength. You can accomplish a lot in your own ability but it is nothing compared to the glory of doing it in God's infinite ability and authority.

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

So read and understand well the whole counsel of the Word. It is not about us, our ideas, abilities or talents. It is all about Jesus, his power, authority and glory. He calls us and equips us to represent him in this place. Our name goes on nothing. We do not receive the applause. We take credit for none of it because it was Jesus' in the beginning, middle and end. And that is the truth of the matter.

1 comment:

Jonathan Fortin said...

Well, this is something for me to repent of, especially since God's about to majorly help me again with getting through stage...