Whose Will Be Done?
You may be a great business person. You may win political arguments and help get your side elected to important positions. You may have all the money in the world. You may attend every game for your sports team. You may spend 3 hours watching Hamilton and countless hours on Star Wars, Marvel, and other movie franchises. I have challenging news for you.
None of these matter in the Kingdom of God.
They are not bad or good in themselves. Yet, each diverts your time, effort, and attention away from Jesus’ work. They may be preventing you from doing anything meaningful for Jesus.
Paul calls on you to walk worthy of the Lord and His calling in the Bible.
DL Moody said “Our greatest fear should not be failure, but at succeeding at something that does not matter”.
How are you spending your time? Are you using your life as a disciple of Christ to be great at serving Jesus or awesome at something that does not matter?
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Cor 6
Does your life reflect this?
Only you can honestly answer these questions.
Walk Worthy of Your Calling
God only gives you limited time here on earth. You are only really effective as a disciple of Christ for a short time. Life is a vapor according to the Bible. It is a wisp of smoke on a windy day, there for a moment but quickly blown away. This is your moment to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. The hours available to actively be salt and light will be gone in what seems like a blink of an eye. A decision is made by every follower of Jesus after salvation. It will determine whether you spend your time, talents, and treasures on your Master’s work or your own.
What am I to do with my days?
How am I to spend my emotional energy?
How should I invest my time, treasure, and talents?
Whose will be done?
How you answer these questions will determine your Christian life.
The Bible shows us great examples of people who made their choices. It starts with Jesus and how He spent His very limited time in public ministry.
Follow Jesus, No Turning Back
Jesus loved, healed, and preached. He ate with sinners who were interested in the Gospel. He rescued the sexually immoral and the self-righteous. He ministered all over Israel. He prayed, rested, and taught. Serving His Father came first before anything else. Working for God did not come after all of the other responsibilities were done. His entire life was dedicated to spreading the Gospel and doing His Father’s will. “Not my will but yours” was Jesus’ determined cry when temptation attempted to steer Him away from the Father’s will. Jesus was about the Father’s business no matter how painful.
What did Jesus not do?
Jesus never sought out a successful career. He did not wait until He was financially comfortable or retired to serve. He never fought the human power structure with worldly methods. He did not revolt against Rome. Jesus never sought to depose Pilate or remove the Sanhedrin. He did not rally His supporters to change laws or reform the government. He never picked sides in man-centered disputes.
Jesus did not do the things many Christians are spending all their time on today. It was not His mission or His way. Reforming a broken world only serves to slightly change the details of its destruction. It is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It slightly changes things but the horrible disaster is still coming. Jesus focused on overcoming the world, not fixing the system.
Jesus is given the chance to get into man’s disputes when He is asked about taxation. This was just as much of a hot button issue then as it is now. No one likes paying taxes. Jesus’ enemies wanted Him to pick sides on the issue. They wanted Jesus to choose a political side – for Rome or for Israel. What did Jesus do? He refused to be sucked into the battle. He sidestepped the question and taught about allegiance to Him. Render to God what is God’s is the important message from that passage. What is God’s is you and everything else in this world.
Jesus’ mission on earth was a battle. He came on a mission to dethrone the unjust and the unrighteous. He warred against the powers and principalities and darkness that entraps mankind. He was the ultimate social reformer. He just never chose the ways of men to fight his eternal crusade. They are pointless for His work.
Jesus’ mission was to set you free, eternally, not help set up a more comfortable prison. It was not just for one set of sinners to have more power than another.
Jesus on Trial
This is never clearer than when Jesus was on trial for His life before the Sanhedrin – the 70 most powerful in Israel. He has an attentive audience of the Priests of Israel and the religious elite. You would think this would be the time for Jesus to speak. This is His chance to change the political system for good. He can make a difference.
Yet, Jesus says nothing. He is silent like a sheep before its shearers. He doesn’t seek to change policy or enforce the laws. He chooses not to argue at all.
The trial is just a power game. It is political theater at its worst. The Sanhedrin is there for reasons that have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. They are there to preserve their position, money, and sway over society. They are putting on a show. Jesus words of life, love, and salvation have no place in that atmosphere. He doesn’t waste His time wrestling with corruption.
This does not mean Jesus did not care for them. It does not indicate He did not fight them. His ways of doing so are just dramatically different than the natural man’s ways.
Jesus demonstrated openly who He was for three years prior. He healed thousands. He opened the eyes of the blind and cleansed lepers. He then sent those healed to the religious leaders for inspection. The same priests who have Jesus on trial saw the open eyes of man blind from birth and the unmarred skin of the 10 lepers healed by Jesus. This was how Jesus attacked their stronghold.
Jesus did the Father’s will and let the Father take care of everything else.
Follow Me as I Follow Christ
“This was Jesus”, you might object, “He did not have to work like I do. He is God and I am not. I can never live up to that standard.”
This true to some extent. Yet, the Bible shows us the example of Paul. He gave up his position of great power and prominence in Israel to preach the Gospel. He worked to support himself where it was necessary but refused to allow anything to distract him from his Master’s work:
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:24
Go and Make Disciples – Sermon on the Great Commission
Paul knew Jesus’ mission was too important to let anything get in the way. Peter, James, and John immediately left their livelihood to become fishers of men. Lydia was a rich merchant when she heard the Gospel. She immediately placed her goods at the disposal of God to be used as He willed:
The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Mary of Bethany poured out what was likely her most valuable possession on Jesus when she anointed Him for burial. The great men and women of the Christian faith understand one thing. That their lives don’t belong to them. They were bought with a price. Doing anything other than serving the One who paid for them with His life on the Cross is a terrible waste. Read D.L. Moody’s words again:
“Our greatest fear should not be failure, but at succeeding at something that does not matter”.
Moody knew this more than anyone. He was a successful businessman before becoming a pastor. He made his first fortune doing his own will. He then gave it all away to serve the cause of Christ. He succeeded at the worthless before pursuing the eternally valuable.
What are you excelling at? Where are you succeeding? What are you pursuing?
Is your 401K overflowing but your heart dead?
Is your man cave awesome but your family withering in their faith?
Are your kids A students doing every activity in the world but also falling away from Jesus?
Are you fighting for your political hero on Facebook while your heart is filled with anger?
You have a short time to do God’s will here on earth. You were bought with a price. Use every moment to serve the One who paid for you.