If God is our creator, then does it not make sense that he would know what is best for us? It is quite logical that after Paul writes about how to “discern what is the will of God,”1 he begins his discussion on the body of Christ and its particular needs, because the will of God has everything to do with our place in that structure. God has given us gifts that are designed to build up the body of Christ. Every one of us has unique functions in that body and Paul clearly says, “let us use them.”2 He mentions a few of the gifts: serving, teaching, exhortation, handling finances, leading, and doing acts of mercy. The list is not exhaustive, but it is quite broad and covers a lot of territory. As a matter of fact, I daresay that most of us can see where we might fit in even with that short list.
Our job, then, in this life, is to find out why God created us because we have work to do! 😀 And here I must pause, for many folks do not like the sound of “work.” 😒 As a matter of fact, many feel like Solomon, who wrote, “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun.”3 Solomon was looking for meaning in his life and turned to work to see if that would be where he could find it. His conclusion? “This also was vanity.”4 The meaning to life will not be found in work, but our work will take on meaning when we discover the specific job we were created to do in Christ Jesus! The truth of the matter is that God created us with something special in mind and has already prepared the work for us. Here is his promise: “And we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”5 God’s work is good—not boring or arduous, but fulfilling and rewarding.
We are God’s creation. We were created in the image of God. Therefore, we are created to create. And that is our “work”—to find that creative thing inside of us, which we all have. Being “creative” is not exclusively the job of an artist or musician or writer. It is also the job of a mechanic and a mathematician and a construction worker. Every job has a creative aspect to it. When we find our creative self, we find that thing which we were born to do. And when we find it, we discover it is a joy to work! 🙂 We actually get “lost” in our work. We lose track of time and forget that we are hungry or need to rest. I personally think that when we “lose ourself” in our work for God we are getting a little glimpse of what Christ meant when he said, “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”6 It is a most amazing thing—to do what God created us to do!
When we find that creative thing that we were born to do, God himself begins to work in us. The result is that we are able to do not only amazing things but purposeful things. “For it is God who works in you, to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”7 The purposefulness of the work is perhaps the most important quality because we live in a flawed world. God’s “good purpose” is something that is often hidden neath various afflictions and we sometimes are perplexed and though Paul was never “driven to despair,”8 we sometimes are. Even so, Paul urges us to be steadfast in our good works: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of our Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”9
Consider this: “We are God’s workmanship”5—his creation, his good work. He created us “to do good works.”5 The work has already been prepared for us. What happens if we do not do the work? Someone else gets to do it! 😧 Remember Esther? When Mordecai told her to go into the king and speak up for the Jews, at first she refused. She had some really good excuses as to why she could not do what Mordecai was requesting of her. Mordecai’s response? “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place.”10 The work God wants to accomplish will be accomplished! God says about his word: “It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”11
The question for us is this: Do we want to accomplish the good works that God has prepared in advance for us? Do we want to be a part of his “good purpose”? God’s will for our lives “is good and acceptable and perfect.”1 But we do not have to accept the task. 😯 It takes submission and sacrifice and testing to discern what God is asking us to do. Many believers, probably most, never make it to this point. Instead, they settle. And I’m sure things work out just fine for them. 😶
Sadly though, they miss out on the “perfect” “good works” they were created to do in this life.
1Romans 12:2 2Romans 12:6 3Ecclesiastes 2:18 4Ecclesiastes 2:19 5Ephesians 2:10 NIV 6Matthew 16:25 7Phillippians 2:13 NIV 82 Corinthians 4:8 91 Corinthians 15:58 10Esther 4:14 11Isaiah 55:11