Doing the Work of God
While normally that phrase would bring positive thoughts and applause, there are times when to do the work of God is downright sinful.
I encountered one of those times today when I found myself doing it. Let me give you an example, suppose we have a great need. It’s a need way beyond our ability to meet. So we pray about it….maybe. But then we go around to every Tom. Dick and Harry and broadcast our need….Perhaps we even coat our blatant cry for help in a prayer request.
“Tom can you please remember this in prayer? We have such an such a need and have no means of meeting it. Can you pray that God will make a way for us?”
And if we are really wallowing in sin, we are completely conscious of what we are doing and are hoping that Tom will feel the prod of “God” to meet my need. When in fact it is my prod and his guilty conscience that is doing the work…God has nothing at all to do with it.
A while ago…My husband and I had a need. It was, for us, a huge need. And no matter how we tried using the common venues such as getting a loan etc…nothing we did was working. Now, at about that time, this whole concept had been put on my heart and I realized with no little guilt that I’d been guilty of this very sin…sometimes unconsciously,…but sometimes I admit, with a secret wish that the person to whom I shared my need would step in and meet it. So this time I decided to do it differently. I didn’t tell anyone…except my father who knew of our situation anyway—and he was unable to meet our need. This I knew to be a fact. So I kept our need quiet. I did ask for prayer for an unspoken request…but beyond that I was quiet. And I dug my hole of faith even deeper by telling my unbelieving husband of what I was doing so that the answer that came would be pure God.
The clock ticked and ticked and it came down to the last possible day when if we didn’t come up with a solution, disaster would strike.
And the answer came. In a glorious, best of all possible ways for us. My husband and I wept in our relief. And another brick was laid in my “Faith Wall”—the monument God is building in my heart to strengthen and grow my faith.
Now, today, I faced a different situation. I don’t want to lay it out here because that would defeat my very purpose. Leave it to say that I trusted God in an act I performed. And then tried to fill that hole in my resources by asking for help from a friend…and really it was for no good reason. Yes, I have a need…but it is a teeny tiny need—one of comfort not of necessity. And the thought came to me, “I shall not offer God a sacrifice that costs me nothing.” If God wants to meet that need, then he will. If he doesn’t then I will praise him for the opportunity to suffer loss for his sake.
So you see, there are many ways in which we can step in and do God’s work for him. On the other hand there are legitimate times when God speaks to us to meet the need of a friend or an organization, when he wants us to be his hands and feet. But we need to pray carefully to discern whether this is OUR work , or God’s we are doing. And if it is God’s it had better be in the correct sense.