Finishing the Work

There are few things that are less attractive than an unfinished job site. Whether it is construction on a building or the landscaping around it, nothing ruins a scene like torn up ground, loud heavy machinery, and a crew of big sweaty workers standing around watching one guy do all the work. With road work, add to that scene the inconvenience of obstructing the ride to work, as if traffic wasn’t bad enough!

However, the truth is, without construction things never improve. Buildings never get bigger. Roads never get wider. Things never get better unless someone breaks things down in order to rebuild. We know this, but knowing it doesn’t make the job site easier to look at.

There is little difference between this and the Christian life. If we were honest with ourselves would have to recognize that we are nothing more than unfinished job sites. There may not be any heavy machinery, but the scene can be just as ugly.

The work is not done

It can be a discouraging to think about how often we fail at the work that God has given us to do. We compare where we should be with where we are. We think of what we should be doing compared with what is actually being done. We weigh ourselves in the balances, and it seems we find ourselves wanting every time.

We search ourselves to find what prevents us from accomplishing what God intends for us to accomplish. The result is a list of sins and inabilities that is shamefully long. We realize that the work is not being done through us because there is so much work to be done in us.

It is not our job

In Philippians 1:6, it is implied by Paul that any work we are to do for God is begun by God. It is on this fact that he bases his confidence “that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Had it been a work of man, Paul would have had no such confidence simply because nothing we do can guarantee that we will do the same thing tomorrow. Simply put, if it were our responsibility to begin the work, the work would never even begin.

But, we know that the work starts with God. We also know that the work ends with God. Yet, our difficulty arises when we act as though our Father has dropped out somewhere in the middle and it is our job to pick up the slack. That is something we are simply not capable of doing. As Jesus put it, “… without me ye can do nothing.”

Getting out of the way

It is left to us to allow the Lord to do His work in us so that He may do His work through us. When we act as if we have something to contribute, we do nothing but get in His way. Our sentiments must be the same as John the Baptist’s when he gave his resolution: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

God has begun His work in us. We must allow Him to finish that work by allowing Him to change our hearts and making us fit for the tasks He has given us to do.


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