Pray, by all means get on your knees and pray. Seek God and His will for your life. We will never achieve anything of meaning in this world without prayer. Now that I’ve said that I’m going to say the part we don’t like to hear: God will give you the grace to do the work but you still must do the work.
I have a tendency to suffer from what is known as “paralysis by analysis.” What that means is I like to study and read and learn about something from every angle before I take action. In my head it may seem noble or wise to learn as much as I can but what often happens is I spend so long planning I wind up doing nothing at all.
When I get an idea to do something I have the usual questions: is this really what God wants; how can I be sure; will He provide finances for it…
These are all good to think about and seek God for an answer but if they prevent you from doing anything, than you really have missed the point. Part of having free will is that we have a responsibility to chose our actions apart from the direct influence of God.
The Psalmist says it beautifully:
The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. (Psalm 115:16)
We Were Created for Good Works
- God cannot do anything through us we are unwilling to participate in. The fact of the matter is that we have been given authority here on the earth, whether we like it or not. What happens here is largely dependent on our good works (or lack thereof). If we truly want to see revival or the restoration of the world we must take responsibility and take action.
- We would often rather do nothing than risk making a mistake. This is where most of us fail. If we are honest with ourselves it is fear that is holding us back. Yes it is true we want to please God and do His will but then we use that as an excuse to do nothing. Has God given us grace and mercy for nothing? Remember too that when the apostles were about to do something they shouldn’t Holy Spirit made it clear to them and sent them to Mesopotamia instead (Acts 16:7-10).
- God waits for us to take ownership and action. You will notice that it wasn’t until they had tried going to a couple of different regions that Holy Spirit finally sent them to Mesopotamia. They knew they were supposed to preach to the Gentiles but did not yet know where or how… they didn’t bother waiting or forming committees and taking surveys… they just went out and did what they had been shown. It was after they had been faithful with the little that they knew that God gave them more.
- God waits because He wants relationship. Ultimately, God doesn’t need us for anything… He chose to give us authority so that we could work in relationship with Him. He gives us our marching orders and expects us to trust and move according to what He has said. He doesn’t give us all the steps because then we would no longer need to listen for His voice.
Finally, It is our good works that God can bless, not our good intentions. We’ve all heard the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and while it may not be completely accurate the sentiment is true: our good intentions are worthless if we never act on them.
Perhaps the words of the Apostle Paul put it best:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Question: What have you been putting off because you have been unsure of how you should go about doing it? What is something you can do right now to put action to your good intentions? You can leave a comment by clicking here.