After 3 days of playing tag with each other via text messages, we finally found a time to get together. This young man was struggling with an issue in life and was seeking counsel.
We sat on some rocks, side by side, and he shared with me his daily struggle with how everything was going to work out. He worried, “Was the money going to show up in time?” He had some upcoming payments and he couldn’t see how it was going to work out.
What became clear in that conversation, at least to me, was that we have jobs, and God has jobs. We should not do His, and He, in turn, will not do ours.
This can be illustrated in several ways. Consider our gardens. We plant the seed, we water the soil, we tend to the weeds and make sure there is rich soil. Yet we don’t make the plants grow, that’s God’s job.
Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30)
Jesus makes the point that God has a job of making sure you are clothed and asks you not to worry about it. It’s His job. Don’t take on His work.
Another illustration can be seen through the preparation for the resurrection of Lazarus. The book The Desire of Ages paints the picture this way.
“‘Take ye away the stone.’ Christ could have commanded the stone to remove, and it would have obeyed His voice. He could have bidden the angels who were close by His side to do this. At His bidding, invisible hands would have removed the stone. But it was to be taken away by human hands. Thus Christ would show that humanity is to co-operate with divinity. What human power can do divine power is not summoned to do. God does not dispense with man’s aid. He strengthens him, co-operating with him as he uses the powers and capabilities given him.” – (DA 535.3, emphasis added)
I find we too often miss the realization that God is in charge of the result, but we have a work to do. Our work does not, by itself, accomplish the result, but is needed. Our work is necessary, but not sufficient.
The result is worry and fret over things that are not ours to worry about. If you have given your life over to God, then it is His responsibility to take care of the end results. He is in charge. We are to obey His commands, do what He says, and the result is in His hands.
One way in which I have put this into practice is in my morning devotions. Each morning as I get out of bed and seek my quiet place and some time with God, the Bible does not come flying over to me. No angel is sent from heaven to work the supernatural work of putting the Bible in my hands. I can do that. Additionally, I can read. So I’d do.
The supernatural work is for me to gain a spiritual blessing from my reading. That’s God’s job. So I can read, but God must provide the insight.
Ellen White explains the depth of the words of Christ and how to understand them.
“Christ is the truth. His words are truth, and they have a deeper significance than appears on the surface. All sayings of Christ have value beyond their unpretending appearance. Minds that are quickened by the Holy Spirit will discern the value of these sayings.” (COL 110)
The point here is that it’s not my job to worry about attaining a great spiritual blessing from God–that’s His job, the job of the Holy Spirit. It’s my job to set up the conditions for the blessing–I read.
As we concluded the day and I drove him home, we sat in the car reviewing what we talked about. I have my work, God has His. He will be faithful in the results, if I am faithful in doing my part.
I hope it was helpful to him. It was for me.