For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. - Ephesians 2:10
Some would say that the highest achievement of man is his ability to view and make sense of the world through poetry - the ability to express complex realities with beautiful phrasing and organization - to rise above the intellectual and communicate directly to the heart - to express a thought that transcends the words and nourishes the soul.
Our verse calls us ‘His workmanship’, but the translation requires us to know more; That we are God’s poem, the pinnacle of God’s creation - creation in His own image with the Spiritual capacity to be in relationship with Him, and yet a humble servant who serves the Creator as well as the created out of love rather than duty. How humbling it is that God has set before us the desires of His heart, and empowers us by His Holy Spirit to discern and accomplish these desires to His own glory.
Do you comprehend that you are in or have been in the days of preparation for a calling that is uniquely yours? Do you view your preparation as God’s work to enable you to be an instrument of His love?
Is the preparation you are receiving so difficult that you have trouble believing that God’s hand is in it at all? Are you suffering? There is a song lyric that says: “When you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart”. Another inspired individual, the Apostle Paul, said “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). As believers, we can love God through the trials and turmoil, knowing that at the end, we will be uniquely qualified to do some good work that needs to be done - perhaps giving Godly counsel to someone experiencing the ravages you yourself just endured and now sorely needs your wisdom and witness.
Good works are in perpetual need which is why our preparation is in perpetual development. Events and conditions may arise that shock and surprise us, but are not a surprise to God - He knew them beforehand. He puts you in a place where your service is critical - where you can pour out your love which is His love, to the desperate, to the unloved and even the unlovable.
When the people of Israel were in a desperate situation, soon to be annihilated by the order of the evil nobleman, Haman, God prepared Esther “for such a time as this”. The Jews to this day celebrate "Purim" to give thanks for the good work that Esther did with King Xerxes. (Esther 2:17; 3:6; 4: 7-8,15-16; 7:3-4; 9:20-22, 28)
We Christians celebrate the fact that the Jews survived to bring forth the Savior who is Christ the Lord. God’s hand was in Esther’s preparation, enabling a result that was far above even the imagination of the unlikely Queen Esther who went before the king without being summoned knowing that her boldness could be fatal. Could your own small, but bold, good work save a person, or an organization, or a country?
Many of us wonder, what is it for which we are being prepared? How do we know?
We are surrounded by the need for “good works”. Where do we begin? How long does one wait? Do we wear our faith on our shirtsleeve, or with a visible symbol of the cross around our necks and take every opportunity for an act of kindness? Why not?
Bartimaeus was blind, but when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he called out to Him and would not be silenced. When Jesus heard, He called Bartimaeus to Him and asked “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabbi. I want to see. “Go”, said Jesus, “your faith has healed you”. Immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10:51-52).
If we are blind to the good works that God has prepared for us beforehand, we can be like Bartimaeus and call out in faith to Jesus that we might see the vision of the desires of God’s heart into which He wills us to pour our own heart.
Pray for the vision to see what God is doing, and join in!
Prayer: Dear God who calls me from above, to act in service out of love, Praise and thanks I give to You, for all I’m called to say and do. Lord by Your Spirit let me know where I should be and act and go. Amen.