Summary: Last week I talked about the importance of being in the moment. But being in the moment doesn't mean we don't prepare. Being prepared is important; especially when it comes to doing the Lord's work. Let's see what the bible has to say about it.
Last week I talked about the importance of being in the moment. It's important to not dwell on the past or worry about the future but to be here now and enjoy the moment. But being in the moment doesn't mean we don't prepare. Being prepared is important; especially when it comes to doing the Lord's work. Let's see what the bible has to say about being prepared.
1) God has prepared.
In Eph. 2, Paul mentions the fact that we have been saved by grace through faith and this wasn't from ourselves, it's the gift of God. Paul adds that we are not saved by our works. However, in vs. 10 we see that although we aren't saved by our works, we are saved to do good works-works that God has prepared for us.
Eph. 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God has made preparations for us; he has his itinerary laid out for us to follow. And he will show us what he wants us to do.
But we need to be prepared to do what he has prepared for us to do. When we make a commitment to follow Christ we do so with the understanding that we will be expected to do good works. And God wants us to be prepared to receive that work. That's why we need to be prepared to grow in Christ. The more we grow the more he'll show.
But if we don't want to be part of that process or we are dragging our heels he won't reveal; why would he? God has in mind what he wants us to become but that doesn't mean we will go the way he wants us to or develop at the speed he wants us to. He gives us everything we need to advance but we still have to utilize the tools and take advantage of the opportunities to get where we need to be.
It works that way in life. Say you start a new job and you're doing well. Your boss sees potential in you and realizes you could really go places within the company. So, he gives you opportunities to prove yourself. He gives you more important jobs to do and he gives you promotions. But what if somewhere along the way you start slacking off or doing something unethical. Now you won't continue to advance.
You could-you have the potential to and the opportunity to-but you decided to not live up to your potential when you started making compromises. There may be different reasons for that but the point is that we don't always live up to our potential.
It's no different when it comes to our spiritual walk. We have the potential for great things but we're either lazy or inconsistent or we lack confidence; whatever. God wants to help us through all that and enable us to do the work he has prepared for us but we have to be willing participants.
We first have to care to be prepared. Once we care then we can get to work dealing with the things that are causing us to be unprepared.
2) Why aren't we prepared?
We're not growing.
Heb. 5:11-14, " We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
"Ought to be" is a key phrase here because otherwise you could think that they're trying but just maturing at a slower rate. But with the writer saying this it shows that they could be and should be further along but they're not. It's not that the writer is saying they all should be official teachers, but that they should be far enough along to be able to teach others the elementary truths of the faith.
Unfortunately, though, they were still in a position to be learning the elementary truths-not because they were incapable but because they were unwilling. If we don't really try to overcome our character defects and sins and we don't care to grow in the faith and serve the Lord then we will not be prepared for the Lord's work.
God wants us to move along and grow in our understanding of things. 1st Pet. 3:18 says we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Earlier in chapter 2:2 Peter said we need to crave pure spiritual milk so that we would grow up in our salvation. If we don't feed on spiritual things then we won't grow up.