Work FOR or Work WITH

Psalms 127:1 “(A Song of degrees for Solomon.) Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

I Corinthians 3:6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”

Good Morning. My prayer is that your Lord’s Day is going well. Waking up to His presence, allowing the day to unfold, taking slow, measured steps and feeling and knowing His promise for us brings great peace to my soul.

My journey with the Lord has taken some definitive and defining turns. Some, which was God ordained and others, a result of my own choices. One such day was when I was depressed that my ministry had not grown – at least the attendance did not reflect it.

I labored harder. One or two came but didn’t stay. The thought that drove me was that I was a failure; I didn’t love God enough or that I wasn’t worthy. I must not be right with God. Is there something I was missing? What had kept me from His hand on all that I did for Him?

It wasn’t until I realized just Who it was that brought about growth, I stayed in that horrible place.

The enemy used what seemed like a good thing to cause my heart to sink and draw away from God thinking He was somehow displeased with me. All the preparation. All the work in visiting, caring and comforting. Was it all in vain?

When I truly realized my focus was on the wrong thing, I was set free from the bondage of my own making. You see, I grew up in denominational religion that taught that it was what you did FOR God that merited a place in Heaven – not the free gift given by God through His grace. I am unworthy – it is true. We all are. But, Praise be to God – I am not worthless!

When my focus turned to preparing my heart to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice as He led and guided, I came to know a peace that as long as I did what God desired me to do; go where God designed me to go; to say just what it is that He wanted me to say, my heart would be at peace that I was doing the will of God from my heart.

Ephesians 6:6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

We often forsake the task of finding just what it is that God gifted and gave us talents to do for Him. Not knowing allows our pride to think of doing that which is familiar; that which is obvious. God does not always work that way. Abraham was a loner. Moses an introvert. Gideon was timid. But we read time after time how God came upon these men and used them mightily for His glory.

We might be like a Saul. A zealot for his Jewish religion and heritage. So much so, that he would support a genocide of those who didn’t believe as he did. He was an educated man. A man of great means and influence. But when God came to convict him and subsequently use Him, he changed his name to Paul – meaning ‘small’.

It was through his humble obedience and submission to God’s will for his life that he came to be known as one of the greatest missionaries – even today.

I believe that it was because Saul, then Paul, offered all to God. All of his mind. All of his strength. All he possessed. All of his dreams, aspirations, and future. All of it was laid on the altar for God to take as his sacrifice.

God came to Ananias just after Saul was struck down on the road to Damascus. He told Ananias that he was to seek out Saul of Tarsus. At first, Ananias balked, thinking God had sent him to a martyr’s end. God reassured him:

Acts 9:15-16But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

We later see just how Paul was used.

By the power of the Holy Spirit and by yielding to His supreme guidance and leadership in his life, Paul saw much fruit. He was brought before kings and queens. He spoke to the masses. Hundreds of thousands were won to Christ through the messages he wrote, the gospel preached, the churches started and the legacy left that we see even today.

Take this thought with you today – God is no respecter of persons. He can use you and I just like He used Saul of Tarsus; if He would so choose. We just have to show our willingness and availability.

Ask God just what it is that you were created for and what work He would choose to glorify Himself through you. I believe that that request is one that the God of Heaven would reveal if we truly seek it with our whole heart!

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