For the month before my departure I had grown accustomed to goodbyes and see you laters. These goodbyes consisted of teary eyed I love you’s, well wishes, and extended hugs. There were two goodbyes that gave me instructions. One of those came from my lovely grandmother, my MeMe. After several pictures, I love you’s, and hugs she looked at me with the endearment and firmness that can only come from a grandmother and said, “Courtney, go do good work.” I looked at her with assurance and said,”I will MeMe.” Although I was not sure of what I would be doing, for the months before leaving I had been creating a mental list of all the “good works” I would do once I arrived here in Botswana. I was sure I had this good work thing in the bag. God would be pleased.
So, I arrive here in Botswana ready to start checking off that mental list and immediately God began to create blanks by subtracting items from my list. He filled those blanks with His work. Good work. The work that MeMe was speaking of. Everything I was initially determined to do had an appearance of goodness and honoring God, but just because something is good and you believe it will honor God doesn’t mean that it is the work that He wants you to do at that moment or ever.
The story of King David and his desire to build a temple for God to dwell in is a wonderful example of this. King David was so blessed by all that God had done for him that he thought he would honor God by doing what he felt was a good work, building an immaculate temple. God responds to the idea by telling David that He had not asked for a temple but would use one of David’s sons to build the temple. God also responded by making more wonderful promises to David. An interesting part of this story is that Nathan, the prophet, before receiving God’s response told David to go ahead and build the temple because God was with him. Please reference 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 22 for the details of this story.
We often come up with wonderful ideas for work we feel will be pleasing to God. God is so awesome that we don’t have to. He has already planned what good work we should do.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
10] For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
We may even be surrounded by people who will amen these ideas. Nevertheless, It is important to allow God to determine what is not only good but good work for each of us. Be mindful that the work God is actually asking you to do, the work that He finds good, will not always be considered great in your eyes or the eyes of others. But with all things we are to work unto the Lord because He is the one who has our inheritance and it is only unto Him that we should be working.
Colossians 3:23-24 (NLT)
23] Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24] Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
Yield yourself to God and go do His work. Go do good work.