There is next to nothing in this life that can be accomplished without work. I am trying to lose ten pounds, which requires work. I have to exercise if I want to see results. I have to sweat and strain and push myself, if I have any hope of reaching this goal.
I want to be better about buying and grocery shopping so as not to waste food and money, that also requires work. I have to make a menu, and plan, and then I have to take four children to the grocery store and try not to break the wine bottles and jelly jars as we careen through the aisles.
Just showing up at the Gym does not guarantee results. The treadmill will not do the work for me, and the weights will not lift themselves. I will turn and walk out of there sweat-free and still weighing the same amount no matter how many times I show up, if I am unwilling to make the effort. My cabinets will still hold food that spoils and we will eat out too often, if I do not make the effort to plan and shop and cook.
As I was thinking about all of this the other day, it occurred to me that while so much in life is about what we put in, about the work we can do to achieve and accomplish goals and desires, the same is not entirely so with God.
I am motivated by work. Work makes me feel useful. It warms my little Pharisee heart like nobody’s business to have rules and tasks and boxes to check off. Then I can ridicule myself (and others) for not doing the work when the boxes are left unmarked on the to-do list. The thing is, I am pretty sure, when I am all about the work, God just shakes His head at me. Because this feeling of doing the work, doesn’t end with just exercising and meal planning. Too often applies to my faith as well. I will muscle my way in there and serve in this ministry and I will give to that cause there and I will make sure I am doing this work over here so that my faith will be evident by my works.
What I forget (all of the time!) is that with God, all He wants me to do is show up.
Just answer the call. Just say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (Samuel 3:10)
God wants the full attention of our hearts more than He wants our works, which amount to little more than stinking rags (Isaiah 64:6) He wants us to just come and sit, we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to dress, or come with offerings; we don’t have to have fancy prayers or manicured hands. He just wants us. He wants our hearts, in whatever shape they may be in that moment, He will do the work.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Can I pray for you today? Father God, you are so good and patient when we put you off because we are so busy working “for you”. Please help us to see the places where we are guilty of trying to do the work, and help us to learn to rest at your feet, help us to just show up for you, and let YOU do the work of your will in us. Thank you Father for loving us and for shaping us into the people you planned for us to be. Help us to lay down our efforts and learn to live faithful lives not marked by the work of our hands, but by the mighty and glorious works of Yours. In Chris’s holy and perfect name I pray, Amen.
Kris is just a girl who loves Jesus with her whole heart. She is a stay at home mom, MOPS Coordinator and an Advocate for Compassion International. Kris winds through her days, homeschooling 4 kids, and playing wife to her amazing husband. The floors are covered in crumbs and the washing machine never stops running (never!) but she counts each day as a gift! In her spare time (ha ha ha!) she writes, reads and plays with her camera. You can follow her musings on Faith and Motherhood at Always Alleluia and on Facebook, and twitter. She is also a monthly contributor at Sisters In Bloom .