picture source: virginiasvoice.
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10
The week before writing this article, I embarked on ministry week, together with 2 friends from the school I attend, which are close to my heart. Of course, feeling called of God to go to that certain place, one arrives being full of expectation, wondering what he will be able to do for God’s kingdom, God’s saints and lost sinners.
I used to suffer from what could be labelled the “Martha-syndrome” (Luke 10:38-42). Regularly occurring symptoms of this mindset are: not being satisfied at the end of the day, feeling that you just could have done more or better, even though you worked the whole day for the kingdom of God. I would like to share what I learned and how this helped me overcome this syndrome.
During the ministry week I was often reminded of 2 Bible texts (Matthew 22:37 and Ephesians 2:10). Linking them together with other Bible passages made me realise how this disease could be overcome by a healthy view of “predestination of good works”. Allow me to explain myself…
The first Bible text, I was often reminded of, was:
"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." - Matthew 22:37
I strongly believe that God is not a tyrant, asking the impossible, and that this “loving God with all your heart,…”-principle actually makes everything so easy, since all complications fall away when we do that prayerfully under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This loving the Lord our God with our complete being, is all that is asked from us, and then – as I told someone in the beginning of the ministry week – we don’t need to do anything else. As Jesus also said:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30
His yoke is not hard. Everything that is asked of us is that we love Him entirely and that we therefore walk in entire obedience (Matthew 5:48, Luke 12:48, John 8:10-11), knowing that we are saved entirely by His grace, through our faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 9:2, Irenaeus, Against Heresies, book IV, 37) and repentance (Acts 3:19). Knowing that we are predestined to be conformed to the Image of the Son of God (Romans 8:29). Knowing that we are prepared in advance for God’s glory (Romans 9:23).
Out of this knowledge and obedient love, we walk into the works which He has prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). No other works are asked of us. We should not always be busy. Our good works can become a distraction against our relationship with Jesus (Luke 10:40), therefore we should often sit at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:39, 42), especially during the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11) which was given to man as a day of rest (Mark 2:27). I believe and have prayerfully experienced that every time when we come to Him before doing what we are asked to do, the Holy Spirit wants to give us a fresh anointing to be useful for ministry. We should wait for His power from on high (Luke 24:49). We should keep on getting our power from the Vine without Whom we can do NOTHING (John 15:5) that is truly of eternal value (John 15:16).
Therefore I would advice every reader to be more in prayer, praying with the mind and also praying in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:15, 18, Jude 1:20), keeping Himself in the love of God (Jude 1:21), waiting on the Lord and His fresh anointings (Isaiah 40:29-31). Let the reader not think of Himself as being able to change the world or doing works of eternal value without a life of prayer through which He stays in relationship with the Vine (John 15:5). Instead He should humbly cry out to God, begging: “I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Psalms 92:10b).
"And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." - Acts 4:31
Read also “Do You worship The Work?”
(by Craig L. Adams).
All Scripture passages taken from the King James Version (KJV). International copyright: public domain. Copyright in the United Kingdom (UK): The British Crown.