Devotion 62

The Value of Work in our Relationship with God

Many believers are of the opinion that if we do anything, in our relationship with God, but praise and worship Him, we are engaged in legalistic work. This results, they often forcefully claim, in our grace being removed and our salvation revoked. I challenge that notion! My scripturally-based perspective: through our working for Him, we bring the Divine into our presence.

Right from the beginning, we find Yahweh, Almighty God, blessing us with tasks, namely Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth. Genesis 1:26)

In Exodus, particularly from Chapters 36 to 39, we read of Yahweh’s commandments regarding the building of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Could Yahweh have created the Tabernacle without human effort. Of course He could – He created the universe by Himself, didn’t He? So why did He use human effort?

Before addressing this question, let me pose another – to you: if you received everything you wanted, without effort, how much value would you attach to it? Think about that! What might be the implications of receiving what you wanted, just by thinking and/or asking for it. I’m sure you have used words like ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’, ‘demanding’ and you would be correct. We see this in our society at all levels of the economic strata. Now, let’s address the major question of human involvement in working for God.

Yahweh wants what we receive from Him to be of value to us. This wasn’t always the case, as we know from the first Book of Torah. Adom and Chava had a unique relationship with Adonai Elohim. They walked the Garden with Him, they conversed with Him and they received from Him, without asking. That is, until the Fall. After that intrusion of temptation into the divine relationship, we were doomed to work for what we received. Revisiting His words to Adom and Chava and, through them, to us, we read: To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pain in childbirth. You will bring forth children in pain. Your desire will be toward your husband, but he will rule over you.”

 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to what your wife said and ate from the tree about which I gave you the order, ‘You are not to eat from it,’ the ground is cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants.  You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground — for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust.” (Genesis 3:16-19) Does this also apply to us today? For an answer to this question we go to Matthew 28 and reconsider Adonai Yeshua’s Great Commission: Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKadosh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20) This Commission is, in fact, the building of His Kingdom here on earth. Could He have done this Himself? Of course, but what would be the value to us of that? If something is worth having it is worth working for.

CONSIDER: Do you believe working for Him is work-righteousness? Do you currently believe He will give us everything we need, physically and spiritually, without our working for Him? Consider Adonai Yeshua’s Great Commission and decide which side of the fence you are on – God’s or satan’s.

 ACTION: What does Yahweh/God want of you? What does He want you to do for His Kingdom, here on Earth? I suggest you pose this question, in prayer, to the Holy Spirit of the Living God.

 PRAYER: Abba B’Shamayim, our Beloved Abba. Thank you for providing everything we need and often what we want. We know what we receive from you is both from the common (our work) and the divine (Your Love and Grace). Help us in our work for you to strengthen our relationship with You, not through works-righteousness but through obedience and love. In Your Beloved Name we pray.

 May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.