Whose Work Are We Doing?
“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.” Psalm 127:1
We have been given great gifts and great resources to do the ministry God has called us to. Whether it be our jobs, our families, our friends, our neighbors or strangers, there is an eternal work of life that God has called us to participate in with other people. The life of the believer in Jesus Christ is rich with promise and possibility indeed. If we do our living with our thoughts and hearts centered on Jesus, on His Word and with a sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit we will do well and we will be at peace in the process.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isaiah 26:3
All that we do in word and in deed are to be done in the name of Jesus because our trust, our faith is in Him.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians. 3:17
Now this is not intended to burden us with more rules and regulations, but rather to free us from the bondage of having to take on any task alone, relying solely on our human knowledge and strengths, then demanding of ourselves to measure up to an expectation that “if we don’t do this and do it just right we will fail God or our own “high” standard of perfection.
No. When Jesus gave the “Great Commission” to the disciples and through them to us, He indeed called us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and to make disciples of all. But He didn’t leave it there. He also said, “…and lo, I am with you always, eve to the end of the world.”
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
Doing whatever we do in the name of Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him is to acknowledge and rest on Him to make whatever we do perfected by Him for His purpose. [Psalm 138:8] What we bring to any task of all our good effort with enthusiasm and sincerity of heart is all God asks of us. The principle expressed in 2 Corinthians 9 holds true for all things that we do.
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.” 2 Cor. 9:7-15
We can paraphrase this and say whatever work of ministry we desire to do, whatever “house” we desire to build for the sake of the Gospel, we should do it with joy, according to what we have, according to what God has provided to us, accepting that it is God who is doing the building, we are just His workman doing our part. And the results will be the same. God’s grace will abound toward us, so that we are more than sufficiently equipped for the task and He will reward us to be fully resourced for even more things to come. And we, for our part, will have inspired those benefitting from our work to give thanks to God and to remember us in their prayers.
Now this is also important to know. God never wants us to be overly burdened with the task of building the “house” while others do nothing to help. The issue for us is to be about the business doing what we have purposed in our hearts to do and give no thought to those who don’t.
“Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality…” 2 Corinthians 8:11-14
Each one of us has our gift(s) from God for the good of one another, so that when one is weak another who is strong steps in to help lift the burden. And in time to come, the one who was strong for the weak may then be supplied by the one who was weak, but is now strong in some other gift(s).
This is the beauty of the Lord building the house and our labor is not in vain as we build together with Him.