Friday, May 15, 2009

Works of our Hands "VS" Works of His

Our society is so work driven and performance oriented that sometimes it is hard for us to live in the rest that God has blessed us with in Christ Jesus. We place so much focus on what WE must do that we forget to focus on what God has already done for us.

For the last few years God has been showing me over and over how little I actually have to do with any of the blessings I have received in my life. He has been showing me that when I enjoy Him, when I bask in His love for me, when I believe Him and trust Him, all the blessings He has for me will just manifest themselves in His perfect timing, in His perfect way. It really has very little to do with me.

Let me give you an illustration. God promised Abraham a son, a son that would be given to him by God--this son was to be a part of the inheritance that Abraham would receive from God. When it did not happen in the time Abraham thought it would, he, by his own effort, by works of the flesh, conceived his first born son Ishmael, with his servant Hagar. However, this was not the son of promise, this was not the son that was to be inherited. Later Abraham had a son by his own wife Sarah, through God's work, through the work of the Spirit Isaac was born. Like Abraham we can live one of two ways, receiving from work in the flesh or receiving from the work of the Spirit.

Now I am not trying to be to graphic here, but I would imagine that when Abraham was "with" Hagar He was trying, rather that simply enjoying. There was a purpose behind his performance and the worry of whether or not that purpose would come to pass had to be weighing on his mind as he put his hand (or other parts LOL) to the task. However, I would also imagine that when Isaac was conceived Abraham was simply loving and enjoying his beautiful wife Sarah. There was no "performance for a purpose" involved, it was pure enjoyment!

We read in Genesis that Abraham asked God to bless both his sons. He wanted a blessing to fall on the life of Ishmael (work of the flesh), as well as Isaac (work of the spirit) and God agreed. However, God told Abraham that Isaac would be the child of promise. So both will receive blessings, but only one will receive the inheritance.

So this brings me back to my point. When we just enjoy God and allow His love, truth and grace to penetrate every part of our being, we begin to believe His promises. As we walk and talk with Him He prepares us and then we receive those promises; not through our own efforts, but by the works of His hand.

Let me just take a moment to clarify, I am in no way implying that we are to be idle or lazy as we wait. If we are truly one with the Lord and being lead by His Spirit, we will be used to bless the lives of others because that is the purpose of the promise in the first place. But, what we do to bless others will flow freely from our lives into theirs. It is an overflow from the work of the Spirit in us.

So my question for you today is do you want God to bless the works of your hand or do you want to inherit the work of His? Now I realize that the inheritance may take longer to manifest itself into our lives (as Isaac took longer than Ishmael) but I believe that the wait is worth it.

Are you with me today? Would you rather stand and wait for the inheritance as you bask in His love and become a blessing to others or would you rather receive the blessing or reward for your own hard work? Ahhhh....Rest is a beautiful concept!


Lets Talk Grace! Does this seem foreign to you? Do you believe that you have to earn or qualify for God's promises through your own behavior or work? If so, then isn't what Jesus did for us all in vain? Please leave a comment for us here at Grace Talk, we would love to talk grace with you!


christy rose said...

I want to inherit the work of His hand, so much so!

and, i want the work of my hands to be empowered from my inheritance of His work so He remains the One who is recognized.

Love ya Daveda

Keep writing, it just keeps getting better and better.


Shanda said...

" you want God to bless the works of your hand or do you want to inherit the work of His?"

Too often I believe most of us are seeking the blessing of our own hands. Waiting is so difficult. We hear that promise of God and desire it. We don't want to "miss it."

I find it interesting that it was Sarah who encouraged Abraham to work out the promise of God rather than wait..."'The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.' Abram agreed to what Sarai said." (Genesis 16:2) We also have to guard against prompting others to "work out the promises of God" rather than encouraging them to wait on the Lord - especially when the entire situation affects us too!

Warren Baldwin said...

Very good post. Yes, Abraham was trying to "help" God fulfill the promise. Hagar-Ishmael was only one attempt. Another was when he asked if he could adopt his servant. God wasn't operating on his timetable, so he offered to hurry it along! Patience, faith, endurance, obedience ... these are tough for type-A achievers and our microwave generation. Good thougths.

You have a good site. If you get a chance, visit Family Fountain. WB

Julie said...

Beautiful post. I loved it. Never really thought about the work for Ishmael vs. the pleasure with Isaac. Great point!

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