Food to Work For
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.” (Jesus, John 4:34)
“I just wasn’t being fed at that church, so I decided to go to another one.”
Have you ever heard someone say this? Maybe… YOU have said it?
I’m a big believer that God calls specific individuals to specific churches. It is in those local churches that we should set down our roots, grow with those fellow believers, and fulfill God’s purpose in that place. Certainly, God can move people to different churches – but I don’t think He does that nearly as much as we see happening today. I’ve known quite a few Christians who bounce around from church to church – looking for that “special” feeling associated with “the church of what’s happening now.”
All this reveals a fundamental flaw in the minds of too many believers today. It is this: “The Church exists to meet my needs, minister to my struggles, help me with my issues, etc.” In short, “I am here to be fed… and if I am not being fed, I will find someplace that will feed me.”
This is going to sound fairly reactionary… but God never designed the Church to be a place where individuals are all important. Certainly, individual believers ARE important – but there is often too much emphasis placed on individuals and their singular needs. Truly, those who spend most of their time focusing on themselves end up demanding to be the focus of attention. Sadly, even believers CAN be self-centered.
In short, God designed the Church to be: 1) God-centered; and 2) others-centered… first and foremost (Mark 12:30-31!). It seems to me that if we will truly concentrate on these two primary things, in the end, every individual will receive their proper care. A church committed to loving God and loving people will see that every need is met.
But there is another issue of concern – and Jesus touches on it. We tend to see “being fed” as when I have our own needs met. But Jesus saw “being fed” as a part of meeting the needs of others. Jesus’ food was “to do the Father’s will – and to finish His work.” The Father’s will, and the Father’s work, were simply to love the person right in front of you… and to go out of your way to meet their needs.
The context of Jesus’ words about “food” is the account of the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus was hungry and tired, but He could not help but interact with the woman He met at that well. She was hurting and broken (and of poor reputation) but Jesus saw someone who needed God to work in her life. She needed what only God could do – and Jesus’ “food” was to be the instrument of God’s working in her life (and, eventually, the lives of everyone in her village).
From this, we learn something amazing about work and working. God’s work actually sustains us. It feeds us – in ways that only God’s work can do. It takes the love we have for God and the love we have for people and puts them both into practice.
It is work that takes a moment of time and extends its effects into all eternity.
Prayer Focus: God, I seek the Heart of Jesus… to be fed by doing Your will and accomplishing Your work in meeting the needs of those all around me.