“WWJD? His Job!
Scripture: Genesis 1:26; 2:8,15-17; 3:1,6; Luke 4:18-19; 9:1-2, 6
When I was a child, we had chores. The main chores were cleaning our rooms and taking turns washing the dishes. It was not uncommon for one of us to try and get someone else to do what we were supposed to be doing and hearing the phrase “It’s not my turn you’re supposed to do it.” As an adult, I have had similar experiences when former co-workers would ask me to do things they were supposed to be doing “in the spirit of teamwork.” At some point in time, each of us must come to the conclusion that if we have been given the responsibility for doing something it is up to us to get it done. And getting it done means doing it right the first time so as not to have to be asked to repeat it. Sometimes when you do something wrong the first time you do not get a second chance so we should be in the habit of doing it right every time. This morning I want to encourage you to understand and accept the fact that the things you are supposed to be doing, god is not going to come down and do it for you. He has said it is our jobs so if we do not do our jobs, then God will not do it for us.
I. In The beginning
I want to walk you through a few verses in Genesis to establish the foundation for what I want to share with you this morning. Please turn to the following verses (your bibles may read a little different from mine depending on your translation.)
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” Gen. 1:26
In this verse we see that after God completed creating, He decided to make man. In man’s creation, he was created in the likeness of the God head. Man was created in God’s image and he had intellect. In this image there was no sin for Adam (and Eve) had a perfect relationship with God. Now jump down to the 2nd chapter.
“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there He put the man He had formed….The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:8, 15-17
After God created Adam, He planted a garden and placed Adam in the garden. Now God had already given Adam the rule over the earth, but the garden was special, it was to be his home. God placed Adam in the garden to work it and “take care” of it. In other words Adam was to “guard” the garden that he was in charge of. The one stipulation that God gave Adam was not to eat of the tree of knowledge or good and evil. He stated that if they did, they would surely die. Move down to chapter three.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the lord god had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’….When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:1, 6)
Adam, and now Eve, is in the Garden of Eden. Remember God had told Adam to work it and to guard it. It was Adam’s job to take care of the garden and not allow anything in it that would harm it or them. When Eve began her conversation with Satan, it is possible that she shared these conversations with Adam. The scripture said he was here with her. Had Eve remembered what God had told them and the authority she had, she would have rebuked the snake immediately and banished it from the garden – she had the authority. When Adam found out that the serpent was trying to talk Eve into doing something that god had commanded them not to do, he should have taken control of the situation and cast the snake out of the garden. He had the authority. This did not happen and the result is that they both ate and sinned against God. God gave them responsibility over the Garden of Eden to take care of it. They had the responsibility and the authority. They could have gotten the snake out long before the temptation got to where it did. They were in a perfect relationship with God and made in His image. They had intellect and they did not need anything more. Yet Satan deceived them into thinking they would be more like God if they ate of the tree. Instead, they became more unlike God because of sin. God did not come down from Eden and stop the snake from tempting them. He did not come down from heaven and cast the snake out Himself because He had given that authority to Adam and Eve.
My point is this, what God had given us authority to do, what He had placed in our control, He is not going to come down and take care of. If it is going to get done, it is going to get done through us. You have authority, rights, power and responsibility. If you are praying and asking God to do something that He has give you responsibility for, you are wasting a prayer. God has empowered you but He will not force you to use what He has placed within you. Turn over to the New Testament.
II. When Jesus Responded
The New Testament has several instances where Jesus stepped up to the plate because He was doing what His father told Him to do. In the book of Luke, chapter four, Jesus returned to Galilee and began His public ministry. He began teaching in the synagogues where many received Him. When He went to His home town of Nazareth, where He had been raised, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him and this is what He read from the book: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19) After Jesus read this, He told the people that this Scripture had been fulfilled that day in their hearing. So what did Jesus do? Jesus went about doing what God had told Him to do. He healed the sick; He set people free from demonic spirits; He raised the dead; He proclaimed the true victory and power of God’s children. In other words, Jesus did those things He was supposed to do because God was not coming down and doing it for Him. He had been given the instruction, it was His responsibility.
When Jesus was in a certain city, a man with leprosy came to him seeking to be healed (Luke 5:12-14). The man asked Jesus to heal him and Jesus did. Jesus did not tell the man to go and pray to God and wait patiently for his healing, Jesus healed the man. Why? Because that is what He was supposed to do, God was not going to come down and do it for Him. In Luke the 9th chapter, Jesus sent His disciples out with the same authority that He walked in. Luke 9:1-2 says “And He called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing.” When He sent His disciples out, Jesus did not follow behind them to do what He told them to do, He gave them the authority and expected them to go out and do just what He had commanded them. And you know what, they did. Verse six of the same chapter says “And departing, they began going about among the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.” They did it because the believed they could because Jesus told them to do it. There are a lot of people walking around with those bracelets with “WWJD” on it. You know what WWJD means? It means “What Would Jesus Do”. Well I can tell you what Jesus would do; He would do what His Father told Him to do, the same things we are supposed to be doing. Why would you wear a bracelet asking what would Jesus do if you have not intentions of doing it? For example, we are filling out our income taxes and we want to put down more deductions than we have; “What would Jesus do?” Jesus would put down only the deductions He has. What do we do? We cover the bracelet so we do not have to think about what Jesus would do. We are getting ready to take a test in school and we have not studied. However, we did write down some notes on our hand and arms “just in case we would need it.” What would Jesus do? He’d take the test and not cheat. What do we do? We think about what Jesus would do and then ask for forgiveness (if we remember to) after we cheat.
Someone comes to us seeking prayer to be healed. “What would Jesus do?” He would pray and heal the person. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, “Jesus was the Son of God, and I am just me.” Well Jesus left us with authority if you believe you have it. If the person who comes to you believes and has enough faith to seek you out, the least you could do is have enough faith to actually believe God for their healing. Again I ask you, why wear the bracelet asking the question what Jesus would do if you have no intentions of doing it?
Romans 8:31-32 says “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He NOT also with Him FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?” God has given us all things that we need in this life; “What would Jesus do? He’d use what God had given Him.
III. Our Job
There are many things that fall within our realm of authority yet we are waiting for God to come in and take care of it. Let me give you one example, healing. At some point in time, all of us have prayed for someone to be healed. We felt good after we prayed, but we also thought that if the person was not healed then it must have been God’s will. I want you to think back on those times when you did that. Did YOU expect God to heal the person based on Your prayer? Did You believe that God would do it because you asked Him? Look at James 5:14-15.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” In these two verses James states clearly that if someone is sick they should call the elders of the Church to come and pray for them. At that time an “Elder” was not limited to just the pastors (ministers) and deacons. It was a leader who walked with God and believed in what His word said. Nowhere in these verses does it say that we should pray and ask Jesus to come down and do it. Likewise it does not say that we should pray for their comfort. It says we should pray for their healing and when we do it believing, it will be done. The latter half of verse sixteen says “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” We know the healing comes from God, but we are the conduit from which the connection is made. God needs us to make the connection from which He can flow.
This is just one example, but this is my point. If you know you have the authority to do something, you have the power; you have the faith, why are you not doing it? Why are we waiting on God to do something that He has placed within our realm of responsibility? The answer is this, we do not fear God. We fear man more than we fear God and therefore we are will to not do what God tells us. Next we will talk about fearing God. What would Jesus do? He would be here next week for what could possibly be the most important message you will hear this year. God bless.