“Probably the hardest thought of all for our natural egotism to entertain is that God does not need our help. We commonly represented Him as a busy, eager, somewhat frustrated Father hurrying about seeking help to carry out His benevolent plan to bring peace and salvation to the world […] Too many missionary appeals are based upon this fancied frustration of Almighty God. An effective speaker can easily excite pity in his hearers, not only for the heathen but for the God who has tried so hard and so long to save them and has failed for want of support. I fear that thousands of young persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today.”[1​]

The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift received through faith (Eph 2:8). Salvation, from beginning to end, only happens because God has given it. It is often forgotten that any good one may do is a gift too. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Good works, from beginning to end, only happen because God prepared them beforehand. Any good that is ever done is only because God sovereignty arranged it.

Special and specific moments of obedience have been orchestrated by Almighty God for you. Any good that you did this week was chosen by God for you. From the right attitude you embraced, the kind note you wrote, and the money you happily gave away; to the vocation in which you serve and to the suffering you endure with patience – each are a gift from God to you. From this perspective, you do nothing. All is of God.

We each are given moments to receive gifts of obedience. We have been created for good works. But we should never trick ourselves into thinking they are because we are good or have come up with them on our own. God has planned it all. He has never needed our help. He simply has allowed our participation.

[1] A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy (San Fransisco: Harper & Row, 1961) 61.

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