“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV
The only work that shall follow us into eternity is the work that is done for the Lord.
The only work that shall follow us into eternity is the work that is done for the Lord. If we are investing our time, gifts, resources, and talents to God, we will reap the reward from God. With all the distractions and temptations that would seek to drift us from doing the work of the Lord, it can be difficult to assess whether we are doing the Lord’s work or our own.
God desires to speak and guide us, so long as we desire to seek and be guided by Him.
God is a gracious God. He desires to reveal what is according to His will. He desires to show us the path that leads to Life. He does not get joy or satisfaction when we stumble and do that which displeases Him. He does not find it entertaining when we are adrift from His original call. He desires to speak and guide us, so long as we desire to seek and be guided by Him.
Good pursuits mean nothing if God does not want us to partake in them. For good things can disrupt us from the best things.
In this life, there are many good pursuits. Some are praised and worthy of acceptance by many. Even in the midst of good, we can drift from the will of God. For good pursuits mean nothing if God does not want us to partake in them. For good things can disrupt us from the best things. It takes discretion and diligence in doing the Lord’s work. How might we maintain and make sure that we are doing that which honors the Father? There are a few things to note.
We cannot know what is the Lord’s work if we are not seeking Him. We must continually strive to put Him first. If we do not, we will slowly slide into spiritual lethargy.
First, we must stay engaged in God's Word. For we cannot know what is the Lord’s work if we are not seeking Him. We must continually strive to put Him first. If we do not, we will slowly slide into spiritual lethargy. We will begin to tell ourselves that what we are doing is fine and good enough, and we will lose that child-like intimacy with our Heavenly Father. Instead of going to Him, we will trust in our own inclinations and be satisfied in what is already going smoothly.
By staying in God’s Word, we will better be able to hear the voice of God. For we cannot hear and take heed to instruction, if we know not the voice of the One Who is speaking. The less time we spend with God, the more prone we will be towards being cautious and complacent. Therefore, we must read God’s Word to learn His voice. Not only this, but we must read in order to understand what it looks like to walk in the way of the Lord. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 ESV).
Walking humbly is a submission of our will, our senses, our perceptions, our desires, and our passions to God. It is a clinging to that which is godly, holy, righteous, and pure. It is a denial of self and an uplifting of God.
Walking humbly is a submission of our will, our senses, our perceptions, our desires, and our passions to God. It is a clinging to that which is godly, holy, righteous, and pure. It is a denial of self and an uplifting of God. As we do this, God is more than willing to answer and guide us in His timing. For God will not descend upon the man who is too proud to hear from Him. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 ESV). If we desire to become an intimate friend to God, we must be willing to walk humbly and set ourselves up as His servants.
When we do not stay in continual prayer with the Lord, we begin to drift from the Lord. Not necessarily from a salvation standpoint, but from an expression of our salvation.
Secondly, we must remain steadfast in prayer. Whenever we drift from prayer, we become less aware. We do not see the darkness that begins to override us. We begin to hesitate going to God. Why? Because our natural disposition is to do things ourselves. We start to become sluggish to God’s call and we become lethargic to wickedness, idleness, and the like. It is from not staying in continual prayer with the Lord that we begin to drift from the Lord. Not necessarily from a salvation standpoint, but from an expression of our salvation.
Our salvation must not only be sealed within us, but it must be seen around us. Without a revealing of us being saved, we are still enslaved to our own dispositions. We naturally will do what is easiest for us and will resist struggle.
For our salvation must not only be sealed within us, but it must be seen around us. Without a revealing of us being saved, we are still enslaved to our own dispositions. We naturally will do what is easiest for us and will resist struggle. Those, however, who remain in prayer are able to easily discern the will and voice of God. For as we stay in prayer, we are less susceptible to falling into sin. The less we sin, the more holy we become in this life. The more holy we are in this life, the more we do what is right. The more we do what is right, the more we live inout God's will in our lives. The spiritual man takes over in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the fleshly man is placed in prison. He cannot get out, so long as we stay in continued fellowship with the Lord. We must “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2 ESV).
As we stay in prayer, we are less susceptible to falling into sin. The less we sin, the more holy we become in this life. The more holy we are in this life, the more we do what is right. The more we do what is right, the more we live out God's will in our lives.
Thirdly, we must continually assess the heart. ““I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds”” (Jeremiah 17:10 ESV). If our heart is not pure, then our work shall burn on that Final Day. If we are not in the will of God, the good that we did in this life will be robbed. This is not meant to scare us, but rather to motivate us. We must assess what our motives are in the heart. We must test ourselves to see if we have been faithful with what God has given.
When we are in God's will, nothing is done in vain. NOTHING!
For it is easy to get caught up in things that are not of God. By continuing to assess the heart, we see ourselves for who we are. We see that we cannot do anything without Christ and the Holy Spirit. We cannot walk into marvelous opportunities without the Heavenly Father setting up the perfect situation. No matter if our actions are big or small. No matter if our work goes unrecognized or is seen by those in this life. No matter if we make a lot of money or just enough to get by. If the Lord has sent us and we have heard His voice clearly directing us towards His work, then we are in His will. If we are in His will, nothing is done in vain. NOTHING!
Therefore we must say to God, “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind” (Psalm 26:2 ESV). For God is the Discerner of men's hearts. He will reveal what is not of Him. If we are willing to humble ourselves and accept His loving chastisement and conviction, He will show us what we are doing that is not according to His will.
Lastly, we must take action. Choosing to take a step is a step of faith in itself. It is a step of obedience. Even if our step may be in the wrong direction, if we dedicate our plans to the Lord, He will direct us. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV). We may think that we are in the Lord’s will, but He will reveal to us whether or not we truly are (based upon what has been mentioned above). We are required not to merely obey, but we are commanded to literally act out our faith by taking a step; trusting that the Lord will direct and guide us.
Through staying in God’s Word, prayer, assessing the heart, and taking action through obedience and faith, God will show us the way of His will.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3 ESV). Let us “work the works of Him Who sent (Christ) while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4 ESV). We must work the work of our Father in Heaven. We must desire His will above ours. In doing so, through staying in God’s Word, prayer, assessing the heart, and taking action through obedience and faith, God will show us the way. He will not let the earnest seeker of Him fall or drift from Him. He will gently and lovingly rebuke and encourage us throughout this life. He will reveal to us whether we are doing His work or ours. He will give us the strength needed to appropriately adjust or continue to press on in the work of His will.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV).
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17 ESV).
Heavenly Father, we praise You and lift Your name up! You are the God of the Heavens. You are the God Who loves us and has a plan. O Lord, direct our steps as we commit our plans to You. Help us not to lean on our own understanding, but to trust, seek, and love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Only by the Spirit may we be led down the path of Your will and complete Your work. If we are in the wrong, Lord, convict us. Give us the strength to turn from the easy path. We desire You and Your will alone. By Your Holy Spirit, O God, guide us towards living a life that will not be lived in vain. May You be glorified as we walk in the way of Your Word. Help us to obey and pray as we put our trust in You alone. May we be productive workers for Thy Kingdom on this earth, while it is still day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.