Why God Does Not Need You to Attempt Great Things
Man-centered theology knows the plans it has for you, and those plans are for you to be like gods (Gen 3:5). Man-centered preachers love to thrust their opinions on others and call their followers to work, work, work. Why? Well, the alternative would be the Bible.
The Bible liberates God’s people from bondage to the deviant notion that God needs your help (Ps 57:2; 115:3; 135:6; Is 26:12; Phil 2:13). The slave of Christ is constrained by God’s love to wait on God (2 Cor 5:14; Eph 6:6). This means he waits for God’s direction, temporally. It also means he attends to the task of God’s design for him (Jer 18; Rom 9:19–21). Further, it means he is relying on God’s wisdom and power to do the work entrusted to him (Ps 118:8; Prv 3:5–6; Eph 2:10). Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles because God said He was the apostle to the Gentiles. Paul went to the Gentiles, and preached Christ crucified, because God’s Spirit was directing his steps (Jn 16:13; Rom 8:14; 1 Cor 2:1–4).
Man-centered theology is from the devil (Gen 3:5). It comprises a very high percentage of Christian utterances, today. When Christianity and self-help merge in an unholy union of Christ-spiked philosophy and psychology, the result is a “rah, rah, rah…let’s go get decisions for Christ!” It might not even be so nobly focused. “Rah, rah, rah, let’s kick this mental illness!” may be truer than the old school version that actually included Christ.
This spirit of human potential and leadership development is almost all-pervasive in the American church. Maybe there are 7,000 churches in America who have not bought in to the program, but let’s just say those are a remnant of what is going on in American Christianity.
More than ever, it is imperative that we secure a right understanding of our sovereign God, and His plan to save His people from their sins, in order to establish them in holiness, and secure their eternal inheritance. Jesus said, “It is finished.” What then remains for the redeemed to do?
Good works, done by regenerate believers, are decreed by God. In fact, it was God’s will to bring His elect into existence for this purpose (Eph 2:10). It is our joy that our Father in heaven has given us a labor of love, a labor unto Him (Eccl 9:9; 1 Thess 1:3). Our good works were created for us, and they would be filthy rags were it not for our transfer to the status of “slave of Christ,” in the “kingdom of God’s beloved Son.” We should be warned not to attempt anything of our own initiative. Unless, the Lord wills, we will not go to this city or that one, either (Jas 4:13). Unless the Spirit guides and directs us, we are in disobedience no matter what city we find ourselves in.
Good works evince faith, and faith is a gift of God’s grace (Rom 12:3; Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29; Heb 12:2). Therefore, it is grace that is producing our good works, and grace is God’s work. For this reason, after we have done our duty, we remain unprofitable slaves (Lk 17:10). Or, stated another way, if it is not God in you, willing and working His good pleasure (Phil 2:13), the work is wood, hay, and stubble (1 Cor 3:12). It will be burned, as dross, in judgment.
All things will be revealed by God, and that includes the motive of the heart. If a Christian is motivated by anything other than Christ’s love (ie. ministry ambitions, notoriety, accolades, etc.), then he labors in vain. When one is constrained by the love of Christ, for a good work to be done, he delights in the labor of love. He needs no recognition and finds no need to self-promote himself or his works. He simply labors, and God gives the increase. In this way, God, alone, is glorified.
Christian read your Bible and pray for God’s Spirit to lead you each day in the power of wisdom and grace. Do not lean on your understanding, for God’s ways are higher than our ways, even as His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Today, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness by keeping your eyes on Jesus. He does not need your help in winning the world, or whatever the convoluted scheme is this year. His perfect plan is being worked by Him, perfectly. He may be calling you to let other people know about that fact. That is the reason I write to you, in love, this day, and everyday. Today’s message: If God decrees great things be done, He will do them, just as He always has done them.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 13, 2021