The power of God to change the life of men is found in exposing those very same hearts to the love of God in the form of renewed believers. Any heart that encounters service that emerges out of an awakened life, a life that has been touched by the love of God manifested in the body of Christ, doesn’t stand a chance. Over the course of three days, the body of Christ in the form of the Heart of Georgia Emmaus Community served with one purpose in mind – to let Christ shine! This is the only reason that serving God makes sense. The love of God broke through into the hearts of his chosen sons. Sixteen young men encountered God this weekend (July 15-18, 2010). If they failed to see God is was their fault, for He was in our midst.
One of the dangers that comes with retreats like Chrysalis is that we may think that God now desires for us to do good works. God is not interested in our works. They do nothing to make His glory, love and grace known. Look at what Paul says in Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
There are three things Paul reveals in this verse.
- We are God’s workmanship
What we are and what God desires for us to be is not something that we can make happen. We are clay in the hand of the divine Potter. Whatever it is that God would have for us to be is His to determine! The goal of every follower of Jesus is to practice yielded obedience. As the Holy Spirit moves we are moved by His influence. We do not fight; we do not grumble; we do not challenge God’s authority in the matter. We are God’s workmanship and He puts us on display or hides us in the cupboard as He chooses.
- Created in Christ for good works
The ground for any of our “good works” is found in Christ. We are new creatures because of Jesus, and because of this new state of existence we are now put in a position where we can do something that pleases our Father in heaven. If it were not for Jesus whatever we put our hands to would fail and be counted as nothing (Philippians 3:7). Every follower of Jesus must surrender their desires to please God on their own terms, for they are unable to do so apart from the life and righteousness of Jesus.
- The Works are God’s
This is potentially the most liberating truth in the bible. Everything that we do, under the power of the Spirit’s enabling and because of our position in Christ are God’s works and we just get to walk in them (Colossians 1:29). What this means is that God’s work will never fail, as long as we are surrendered to the power of God in our lives. Any deficiency, any failure, any shortfall, any angst reveals the point or points of disconnect that we have with the Father. Success or failure in any task is not measured by results. This is man’s standard. God judges success by the length and breadth and depth of our faithfulness and devotion to Him. So, to the extent that we live in intimate relationship with the Father do we see the fruit of God’s presence.
The unmistakable reality of this weekend is that exposure to God’s love in the form of His redeemed people allows God to do His work.
Thanks be to God who is still at work in our day! He is to be forever praised. Amen.
The work of God is not something that we initiate or even imitate. No, the work of God is God’s work that we get to witness. These feeble hands are not capable for carrying the train of God’s glory, we simple bring other pilgrims to God’s presence and wait for God to do what even we thought would never happen.
There were several of those young men I thought would never get it. But our God is rich in mercy, even breaking the heart of the most obstinate hearts. I told those young men, whether they new it or not, this past weekend was a set-up. God had something to show them and He did.
Oh, God you are more amazing than even the heavens can declare. Amen.