“Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)
“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Every now and then theological ideas come up which emphasize God’s part in our lives to the exclusion of all else. It sounds spiritual when someone who is complimented on a good work says, “No, it was really God who did it all”. It sounds like a humble way of giving all the glory to God. But this kind of talking is unscriptural, because while God may work through us, He generally requires our active co-operation. The Bible also says, “The preparation of the heart belongs to man” in the book of Proverbs. Unless WE prepare our hearts to seek God, many of the beautiful things the Lord wants to do through our lives will never happen. If God is truly working miracles through someone’s life, it is evident that AT SOME POINT (perhaps not recently) that person prepared their heart and gave attention to Jesus Christ and His Word.
If God does it all, He would never say to His servants, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. If God says to us, “Well done” it is because we have done something. It is true that we could not have done it without Him. For the Bible also says, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
We require God’s presence and enabling to do anything of value. God gives grace, power and enabling for us to fulfil our mission on earth, and to do all the little things that are required along the way. God may even give us a willing heart. But He does not MAKE us do it or FORCE us or DO IT FOR US. There is still something for us to do.
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
God has prepared certain works for us to do, and without Him we cannot do them. The passage does not say that God does them for us. It is possible for us, due to laziness, lack of spiritual preparation of the heart and so on to FAIL to do what God has prepared for us to do. It is true that we NEED GOD to do the right works. However, God is doing His part. The question is: are we doing ours? Are we FAITHFUL to his calling. Do we respond to His calling, and prepare ourselves so that we will be CHOSEN by Him to do the work? And once chosen, are we FAITHFUL to the work God has called us and enabled us to do?
Our judgment and rewards AS CHRISTIANS depend on the answers to these questions. The only way to make your calling and election sure, according to the word of God is to give all diligence to character development and prepare your heart according to God’s Word – with humility and focus on Christ, so that you can remain in Him and be a doer of the Word of God. May God bless you to that end. Amen.