Posted by: Mark | July 2, 2010

God’s work, way and supply

God’s work, done God’s way, will never lack God’s supply
Hudson Taylor

I am sure everyone has heard this quote before or seen it in big letters up on a missionary board. It is something that Christians generally hold pretty tight too. I just wanted to take a quick butchers hook (look) at it and ask two questions – is it biblical and if it is what implications are there in it?

Is it biblical?

There are three parts to the quote – God’s work, God’s way and God’s supply. So we can ask three questions – does God have a work for us to do? Is there a way we should be doing that work? If we follow the first two will God supply what we need to do it?

Does God have a work for us to do?

Yes. Another thing that this is sometimes called is a the will of God. When Jesus was on earth he said that he wasn’t here just to do what He wanted but to do the will of His Father (John 6.38). In Romans 12 we see that we are to submit ourselves and renew our minds for the purpose of discovering God’s perfect and pleasing will. In 1st Peter we read that we as Christians are not to live for our flesh but for the will of God. Some of this will is general for all. We are told to love the orphan and widow in James if we are to practice right religion and John says both in his gospel and his 1st letter that if we love God we do his commands. These things are the part of God’s work that should be common to us all. There is also that part of God’s work that is specific to us. For example Jesus was on earth to die for our sins, Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles, Joseph to be God’s messenger in time of famine, Abraham to start a people, David to lead a nation and the list can go on from scripture. Each person and God appointed organization has a purpose and should have a vision for this purpose from God.

Does God have a way for his work to be done?

Yes. In God’s eyes the ends do not justify the means. The clearest example of this in scripture can be seen when the ark of the covenant was to be brought back to God’s people in God’s city for God’s glory. The king went out and danced in honor to God giving him praise. But the people had placed the ark of the covenant on a bull cart instead of carrying it in God’s appointed way. So when Uzzah put his hand out to steady the ark to stop it from falling God struck him down dead. The right thing was being done but it was being done in the wrong way. We can see this again in Revelation 2 when God is talking to the church at Ephesus. They were doing good things by standing up for sound doctrine and suffering for God’s name. But they didn’t love each other or God the way they should and for that God was going to remove his presence from the church. There actions were good but their method (lack of love) was not good. Again there are general things that should always be present – centrality of glory for God, love for others etc – and there are specific things. For prime examples of specificity look at the battles in the old testament like when Gideon had to trim his army back and defeat the enemy with torches and jars.

If we follow the first two will God supply what we need?

Yes. If an infinite God commands us to do something in a certain way it would be unjust and unGod of Him to not supply what it needed. This is very evident in Philippians 4.19 when Paul tells us that God will supply for all our needs from his glorious riches. The key here is that we will get what we need. If we as Christians should be living in a certain way, doing a certain thing in a God commanded way then what we need is the supply for the task we are doing for God. God will not be any man’s debtor.

I have broken off the next part until tomorrow as this was getting long. Tomorrow I will look at the question – if we lack God’s supply what can we conclude.



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Responses

  1. If we lack God’s supply. . . what about God’s timing?


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