From the Pastor’s heart

Whatsover you do

 Col.3.17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col.3.23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.

Apostle Paul writes to us as believers and as a peculiar people who have The Lord over us. In the parable of the talents, the servants knew their Lord and did well with what He entrusted them with, except for one of them who did not understand what he was entrusted with. He operated out of fear rather than understanding.

The exhortation to us is to understand that we have a Lord over us. So, when we come to doing things or make promises we need to uphold them. Furthermore, we must work toward their fulfilment because we do it for the Lord. In other words, we must have commitment and our commitment must be of the nature of well doing (heartily). When we read what follows verse 17, we find that Apostle Paul actually talks about our interactions involving all levels of people who are very close to us in relationships. Fathers, husbands and wives, children, servants and masters (bosses at work). He wants us to deal with all of our interactions with people not as men pleasers but as doing what we do for people as doing it for the Lord. This could be difficult for us because there may be some that we cannot get along with, or like or have some other issue with. Due diligence in every relationship always produces good fruit. As a result, when this fruit is evidenced, many will come and thank you for your due diligence. Yet, you know you did not do it for them but for the Lord because it pleases the Lord that you are out and about doing things well with a right heart attitude (in the fear of the Lord). I cannot emphasise how important character is in the Christian context. It is of more value than power because character determines true power and not the other way around. How much more then, do we think we should be diligent in our dealings with one another?

I am greatly surprised at the challenges this particular exhortation of the Lord poses for each one of us. I see many (including myself) do things or carry out tasks in a manner that can take us some distance in the task with joy but when problems or attacks of the enemy hit the doing or carrying out of a task, the well doing fades away and we try to botch up the job or end it quickly or just get plain irritated with it and do not want to proceed anymore. On the other hand, I am constrained (restrained) by the Holy Spirit to go the extra mile. This puts immense pressure on my limited capabilities and capacities. I have discovered in this journey of life, that the reason the Holy Spirit challenges me this way is to stretch me and my faith (bring me to my end). That way, I will depend on Him and not myself. As these challenges became more frequent in my life and the drain of relationships took its toll, I realised the true intent of what was going on. God’s aim is always to put new wine in new bottles. This means, old bottles have to break. That translates to a change in attitudes and performance. Furthermore, I realised that because we live in an evil world and the evil one influences people who react in so many different ways that one cannot even plan for some of those eventualities that present themselves. Relationships can be extremely trying yet we are expected to do what we do for each other well. Does someone deserve the well doing? Maybe not, but in attempting to do your best you are covered in the righteousness of Christ and God sees that and receives it as a sweet smelling sacrifice.

Many times people have been challenging to deal with in the Church or in family relationships because no matter what you do for them they do not seem to respond. What does one do in this scenario? One really needs to seek the Holy Spirit for a strategy. That discipline of waiting on God can sometimes take a long time. In the meantime, one is wearing thin with the relationship. The secret is to know in your own heart that you have done well. Then you can:

1.     Eliminate fear and condemnation of not having done your best,

2.     Secondly, it brings you to a place of strength and understanding that you are limited

3.     Thirdly, a sense of abandonment to the Holy Spirit is achieved.

We cannot change everyone or the world by our efforts. It has to be done in a manner that gives the Lord His due place in the scheme of things. Many have tried to fix relationships that are over the top only to be destroyed themselves. The whole idea is to cast your burdens onto the Lord in well doing. Dying to self in the process is the key to resurrection in life and achieving one’s Godly goals.

Many (including myself) have been challenged in this area. I have found it very difficult over the initial years of my faith to hand over matters to God.                  I t was even so subtle in my thinking that when I had thought I had handed it over to God I was actually right in the middle of trying to fix the problem myself. It took a lot to admit that I was not listening to God. I am afraid that some mother’s do have this trait. I say this without condemnation.

I discovered that as my faith grew and my understanding grew, I was in more conflict than when I was of lesser understanding. I pondered on this. I thought one should have lesser conflict and be able to do better when one matured in the faith. It was then that I discovered that maturity had to do with my growing up and not necessarily another’s. The other may remain where they are or even get worse but I through the challenges would get stronger and more mature, if I stood my ground in the faith. Other people were there for my strength and maturity and not their own. It also made me stronger against the wiles of the enemy. Apostle Paul said; ‘after having done all, stand’. This standing is also a form of well doing. When others see you stand in the midst of the trials of your faith, they get encouraged. They begin to ask the right questions of you and your testimonies work like bread and water to a dying soul. Make no mistake, the mature and the immature are challenged to do well.

Do not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. This is an endeavour in patience while doing good in the face of evil. This is the power of God to overcome evil. To do good and do it well. Amazing as it sounds and as simple as it may sound, the complexities of doing always begins with challenging our pride. Once that is out of the way, well doing becomes second nature. We may suffer for it but is a better alternative to doing evil as that is not in the will of God. The suffering that follows well doing is expected but it is the power of God that keeps the soul in tact.

Well doing has to do with spiritual well doing as much as it has to do with natural well doing. Sometimes we confuse the two. Often time we place natural well doing above spiritual well doing only to discover that our soul suffers. Yet, those who seek well doing in the light of what the gospel teaches and preaches, find themselves becoming disciples of Christ who went about doing good according to Acts 10.38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. This doing good comes from the power of God which is the Holy Spirit in us and the word of God in our mouths. Saving souls and healing and delivering people from the power of satan is doing good. In fact, it is the best kind of well doing one can do.

There are several areas of well doing or doing well. They have to do with people always but one most important aspect has to do with the Lord. The question is asked in the Bible; ‘what must one do to please God? Will sacrifices help or some other thing please God and God answers this way: Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

The other areas of well doing have to do with the saints ; Heb 6 10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  

The other area is to do with people in the world. Mat 5.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

All of these areas carry rewards with them. Our encouragement and exhortation is to not be weary in well doing. Let God show us how. Furthermore, as opportunities arise, let us be diligent doers of the word rather than hearers rather than expecting others and God to do good toward us all the time.

 

                                   

Lots of love

Pastor Noble