Isaiah 61:8: For I, Jehovah, love judgment, hating plunder in burnt offering. And I will give their work in truth; and I will cut an everlasting covenant for them. (LITV)
In the bible, work is worship because worship is more than the song we sing, it is the life we live. Jesus was the first to say that the time is now that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).
Truth gives power to your worship, and since work is worship, without the true knowledge of God, the work we do is in vain, does not generate a response in God. Jesus said that there are some people who will claim to have worked for him but he will say he does not know them, calling them workers not for him, but workers of iniquity, working out of order with his truth (Matthew 7:22-23).
There are at least three things we need to know to make our work for God really effective: know God, what he wants us to do and the people he wants us to serve.
if you know anyone of the three well, but disregard the remaining two, this will definitely leave us at a disadvantage. Moses knew the work he was supposed to do to deliver his kinsmen the children of Israel from bondage, and he was passionate about it. But he did not know the God who appointed him for that work for him (nor the divine timing and method) nor the people he was meant to deliver. That error of judgement cost him forty years of his life, as he went from being a man in the palace to a man in the wilderness (Exodus 2-3).
Truth about God
Paul said: I know whom I have believed (2Timothy 1:12). And when Moses was ready to do the task of saving Israel he got a revelation of God. This time around when God got his attention in burning bush that was not burning and he asked: who should I say send me?
He knew there was no point going in his own name, his own reputation, being a murderer and all. He needed to go on the ticket of the reputation of God. To show the people and Pharaoh that he knew God, he came to them armed with signs and wonders.
His rod turned into a snake turned back into rod; his hands turned leprous and became normal again. It was divine power in display by a man who was described as being mighty in words and deeds. God told Moses to say to the people: I am that I am sent me.
You cannot serve God more than you know him, it is those who know their God who will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). Jesus told his disciples: what you hear in the secret declare in the rooftops (Matthew 10:27). If you are not hearing anything from God, then you will not be a messenger of God, your work will not be in truth, but will be in futility.
Jesus asked the Pharisees: “the ministry of John, was it from God or from men,” meaning “is it divine arrangement or an expression of human idea (Mark 11:30)?” That question is important. We need to answer it for every work that we want to do for God. The bible said that John was a man sent from God (John 1:6). What about you?
Truth about the work
You also need to have your assignment very clear in your mind. The bible says that if the trumpet does not make a distinct sound, people will not prepare for battle (1Corinthians 14:8). Paul knew he was an apostle of the gentiles (Romans 11:13). He did not run another man’s race. David was told by God not to build a temple for him because he was called to be a warrior (1Chronicles 22:7-8). Paul was restrained by the Holy Spirit from going on ministry mission he thought he should (Acts 16:6-9). It is as important to know what to do as what not to do, to know who you are, as knowing who you are not.
John said to those who asked him who he was, that he was the voice of one crying in the wilderness: make plain the way of the Lord (John 1). His identity was clear in his mind and was able to tell those who questioned him who he was not.
Jesus was clear about who he was saying to his natural parents at the age of twelve: don’t you know that I should go about my heavenly father’s business (Luke 2:49)? And later on in life, he told the disciples that he has come to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He knew he was meant to die on the cross and actively cooperated with the process. We need to know what we are to do because, in our work of service things will not get done by chance, we are going to have to be deliberate about it.
Truth about the people we are sent to
Jesus knew what was in man (John 2:24). Paul said he was committed to not pleasing himself but being all things to all men in order to save some (1Corinthians 9:22). When he was at the Athens and was preaching about Jesus, Paul quoted the literature his audience were conversant with, talked to them about the idols they worship (Acts 17:22-31). He told Titus about the people of Crete he was going to minister to, about certain habits they needed to be helped with.
In his writings, we see Paul addressing specific issues that are affecting the people. Applying the word of God to the situation of the people takes spiritual creativity, an active cooperation with the Holy Spirit who knows the people like no other.
Jesus is the shepherd and spiritual leaders who minister the word of God are under-shepherds. Jesus said: I know my sheep and my sheep know me (John 10).
Jesus knew that the devil was seeking to take Peter out (Luke 22:31-32). And based on that knowledge he prayed for him.
- Filled with the Holy Spirit (pumabydesign001.com)
- In My Name (takeaminute.net)
- “Jesus Rejoiced in the Holy Spirit” (christianity201.wordpress.com)