Stop Trying To Do Things For God
Are you trying hard to work for God? May I suggest you stop? That’s right, stop trying so hard to work for God! Now, I know some of you are ready to tie me to the stake and set me on fire for preaching heresy. But before you do, let me explain.
By now we should know the New Covenant is based on grace, not law. What’s the difference? Being under law means we do something for God. Being under grace means just the opposite–God does something for us. Under law, God requires things from us to please Him. Under grace, God gives us everything we need Himself. Law demands. Grace supplies.
You see, God is not really interested in us doing things “for” him. After all, what is there that we can do for Him that He cannot do for Himself much better? It’s not our works He wants, it’s ourselves.
This is the lesson He taught Martha. Jesus was visiting the home of Martha and Mary, two sisters and dear friends of Jesus. During His visit, Martha busied herself in the kitchen preparing food for her special guest, but Mary sat quietly at Jesus’ feet, conversing with Him. When Martha complained to Jesus about her sister not helping her in the kitchen to prepare His meal, we would have expected Jesus to tell Mary to go and help her sister, but He does just the opposite. Instead, He tells Martha what would really please Him would be for her to leave the chores and come and join Him and Mary in the living room. He appreciated what she was trying to do for Him, but her work for Him had actually become a distraction from Him.
Martha illustrates what it’s like to try to work “for” God. She typifies the person under law, trying to please God and to do her best for God, thinking this is what God expects. She ends up tired. Mary illustrates the person under grace, who has learned to rest in Christ and how to receive from Him. She ends up refreshed.
But what about the work in the kitchen? If Martha joins them in the living room, who will prepare the food and who will clean up afterwards? They will, at the right time, all three of them–Martha, Mary, and Jesus together! And since all three of them would have been well rested and refreshed from their time of relaxation and fellowship in the living room, their work in the kitchen, being a continuation of their fellowship, would be a joy and not a chore!
And this is how God planned it. He does not want us to work “for” Him. That is too hard and beyond our ability. But what He does want is to teach us to rest in Him and then to allow Him to work with us and through us.
Child of God, God has not called you to work for Him in the New Covenant. He’s done something much better. He has called you to live “in Christ” by faith so that He can work for you and through you.