Insights: Work in Colossians 1:29

I’m preparing a message from Genesis 2 and 3 for our advent season and the passage begins with Genesis 2:15, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” God put Adam to work in a perfect environment before the Fall. That indicates the biblical importance of work and the blessing that comes through it. God put Adam to work, so Adam would learn to depend on the Lord.

I was thinking of  Colossians 1:29 and how God doesn’t leave man alone in his labors, especially when discipling other people. Paul wrote, “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.”  This is amazing, because it describes two people working- working hard.  Paul described himself as laboring and striving AND he noted that God is working and working mightily!  It reminds me of Galatians 2:20 where Paul said it is “no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” and Philippians 4:13, where Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

In God’s plan, it’s not me who works, but God who works in me.  I am doing work, just not THE work that God is working.  That is, I can’t take credit for the work that is accomplished, because I’m trusting Him by faith. Therefore, the results are His. I don’t need to be concerned about His results, but anticipate miraculous results, because He is working mightily.

It takes all the guilt away when things don’t work out my way.  It takes away the shame when my work is not good enough for others.  It lets me relax, knowing that I am depending on the Lord for all that happens through me.  The key is to remember when discipling men, is that it’s not you doing the work! It’s the Lord if you are discipling by faith.

Therefore, you may get weary in patience, tired in going over similar things or even frustrated at a lack of commitment.  But when you realize it’s about God, not you, you’ll have plenty of strength to press forward!  What a blessing in life!  May He continue to work!

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