Does God Need Our Help?

Jan Antonsson

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The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

January 20, 2018

Neosho, MO

 “Jesus answered them,“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent”  (John 6:29, RSV).

The question posed by this essay comes up from time to time.  A friend’s email this morning sparked my thoughts:   “I was thinking about this ‘God doing it all’. That’s true but needless to say, God uses us folks, His whole creation in which He dwells, His body, to pray, to minister, some to bring what we might call the negative influence to certain situations.”

Over the years, a good many people have pondered this topic with me, probably because of my belief that all things are actually accomplished by God. His will is absolutely sovereign because He alone knows “the end from the beginning” (See Isaiah 46:10).  We do not have that information available to us, which means that a great deal of our efforts are futile in the extreme, especially when, by them, we hope to influence God’s opinion of us.  Christ Himself is “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6, RSV).

Paul declared, “For in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities: all things were created through him and for him (Colossians 1:16, RSV).  God created the heavens and the earth, and, “chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:4-5, RSV).  Stop and think about these staggering statements for however long it takes for them to sink in, to enlighten your spirit, and energize your walk with God.  It is His will that caused us to be His sons, and it is His will which enables us to live like children of the Most High.

What then is our response to this great love and power which transports us minute by minute from Mount Sinai’s sorrow, sin, and tribulation, unto Mount Zion, where we dwell with Him, walk with Him, and serve at His pleasure.  The prophet Micah said so long ago, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, RSV). How do we achieve this lofty goal, Micah?  Only by grace, my friends, only by His grace.  If we are honest, and all my readers are, we must admit that left to our own thoughts, inclinations, and strengths, we cannot come close to achieving these admonitions.

Yet most of man’s religious organizations are based on man’s ability to do justice (good), love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.  We’re given scriptural and pastoral authority for why we should, but never told HOW we can accomplish it.  The Christians who insist that we are God’s hands and feet and without us, He can do nothing in this world, have overlooked a few salient factors:  God’s will, God’s knowledge of the end from the beginning, and God’s ability to KNOW what needs to be done. This is why the writer of Proverbs said distinctly and authoritatively, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding(Proverbs 3:5, RSV).

Yet, many of us have sat in the judgment seat and advised others how they should behave, what they should do, and when they should do it.  NIKE had a slogan several years ago, one I tell myself frequently when I doubt my own strength to do something, “Just Do It!”  That only works some of the time.  What works all the time, is Paul’s statement, which I and many of my older friends, use daily as our mantra when faced with a daunting physical or emotional challenge:   “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).  If God calls us to do something, He will give us the strength, the finances, the wisdom, and the courage to do it.  If He does not, then we need to move along and let someone do it who has been called of God to do it.

One last thought on this subject, because many churches, especially of the Evangelical persuasion, call us to witness, pass out tracts, preach the gospel in season and out of season whether God has called us to do that or not.  To these well meaning and sincere followers of Christ, I would point out that John’s witness assures us that if we can’t do it, He will!  “Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and tongue and people (Revelation 14:6, RSV).  When the Spirit first shined His light on this magnificent statement, I rejoiced and clung to it like a drowning man clings to a floating board.  God sometimes uses me, for which I rejoice, but when He does not, I don’t despair because He will get it done Himself or through someone more capable than I.

Now as far as taking casseroles to the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry and caring for the widows and orphans (which I now am, by the way), if you feel led to perform those acts of charity and kindness, then do it in the Will and Strength that God gives you.  The recipients of your kindness will be blessed, but if you are doing it to please church leaders or win influence with God Himself, you might as well eat bonbons and read a book or watch TV for all the spiritual good forcing yourself to do these things will do for you.  

When we were being closed down by Father God in our California home, we knew we had to get the weeds down.  We lived on 10 acres out in a canyon where wild grasses grew like weeds, which they were.  Ventura County had decreed that we keep an area 300 feet from the house clear of weeds because of the extreme fire hazard they presented.  We couldn’t afford to hire it done, so we did it our selves  in this way.  I’m a prodigious weed wacker, but so mechanically challenged that I could never change the string or get the device to run if it quit.  We also couldn’t afford to buy new machines, so Lenny spent his time keeping the old ones we had running so I could cut down those pesky weeds.

I remember attacking a steep slope which plunged down from our driveway.  My back was killing me, my strength was ebbing, and I cried, “Angels, won’t you please take over this task?”   Perhaps, they save their strength for “proclaiming the gospel midheaven,” because they declined to help.  So, I asked God to strengthen me to finish the task, and He did.

To me, the issue of our works, weather great and small, is this.  Did God call us to do it or was it something we thought was our duty to do?  Doing your duty even if you resent it may give you blessings from those you help, but it does not impress God who reads your heart and knows whether your motives are pure or manipulative.

Father, You who give life to the dead and call the things that are not as though they were, give us wisdom in our efforts to be like You.  Grant that we may rest in Your works, follow Your leading, and rejoice in Your minute by minute Presence in our lives. When we see You as You are we shall be like You.  Open our eyes to see You Father, and our ears to hear You, and we shall have the peace and joy of living and walking with You in Your kingdom, here and now. “To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.” Amen. Jan Antonsson

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 to the present are on this blog.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

Jantonsson@aol.com

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