Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
It is no accident that the binding of my Bible is broken at this point, with pages threatening to fall out. All 10 verses of this morning’s reading are underlined, and I can quote most of the passage verbatim. It’s no wonder my grandfather wrote his best book on Ephesians! However familiar Scripture might be, we still have to apply it, to live it out, for it to be effective in our lives, and that is what this verse is all about. Many people feel they have no purpose in life, but this verse takes care of that immediately. Many things around us have “off-label” uses, things for which they are effective but which the manufacturer wasn’t thinking of. Medicines are of course famous in that area, with some, like Viagra, becoming famous for something quite unrelated to the blood pressure issues for which they were originally formulated. However, our Manufacturer is omniscient, and He knows every detail of what we will be useful for. We are prone to pursue “off-label” stuff, but it is never fully effective or satisfying. The problem is, we can’t read our labels! The only logical course is to ask our Manufacturer what we are supposed to be doing, and then to follow His directions. Many people live lives of great unhappiness by trying to be something or do something that was not in God’s design for them, and that is tragic. A hammer might desire to be a saw, but attempting to function as one would be amusing at best and disastrous at worst. The thing is, hammers and saws don’t have free will, and we do. If God created us to be a hammer, then our goal should be to be the best hammer around, rather than anything else. I think the “good,” of the “good works” in this verse, applies on every level, morally and experientially and effectively. What God prepares for us to do is good by definition, and it is good for us in doing it, and it produces good results when accomplished. Anyone who is debating their purpose in life needs to turn to their Manufacturer!
Of course this applies to me as well. I have had various ideas as to what I was supposed to do or would like to do, and some of those have been pretty far off the mark. However, God has been gracious and faithful to nudge me and rein me in and push me along, and that has always been the best way for me. As the Westminster Catechism puts it, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” I do enjoy God! I am very aware of the truth in Jesus’s statement that “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) However, I have also experienced the truth in Paul’s statement that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) God has given me many abilities, and sometimes I have been at quite a loss as to what ability to use how and where. Sometimes I’ve listened accurately, and sometimes I’ve failed to listen at all. Accurate listening is always the best course! It is in knowing my God and walking with Him that I will experience all the good things for which I was created, for His glory.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You’ve been doing in the past few days. I feel like the devil is really upset, and he’s mounting quite an attack on Cathy physically. Show us how to submit to You so as to resist him, so that he may indeed flee (James 4:7) and Cathy be set free from pain and disability, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!