• Angelene Woodard

Working For God or Working With God?

I beg God to reveal His will for my life.

I ask Him to show me His perfect plan.

I want what He wants.

Hallelujah! Can I get an Amen? He actually answers my prayers.

That’s when things start to go downhill.

You see, I am strong, capable, and responsible. I love the Lord and want His will accomplished in my life.

And that, my friends, is the very reason I try to DO everything.

Let’s say the Lord calls me to, oh, I don’t know, something radical, like homeschool our children.

Now I’m all like, what have I gotten myself into?

Obviously, the only logical thing to do is take matters into my own hands.

I have got to do this thing right. I cannot let the Lord down on this one. I am in waaaay over my head, so I gotta buckle down and focus. Make. It. Happen.

I must pool all my resources, energy, and brain power into being a good homeschool mom. This is my job. This is my calling for cryin’ out loud. It must be taken seriously.

I am all in. I am committed. I don’t want to do this and I’m really thinking it’s not the best of ideas. But, I will follow Jesus to the ends of the world – or to the zoo for a homeschool fieldtrip.

At this point I am working for the Lord. For Him.

You know, like He’s my employer and I’m the employee. He’s the taskmaster and I’m His dutiful flunkey.

He’s eyeing me from the other side of the room, arms crossed up tight, waiting for me to screw this up.

It is my job to prove myself to Him. I am overwhelmingly aware of my shortcomings and limitations. All the more reason to work, work, work. Do, do, do. Perform, perform, perform.

Oswald Chambers sums it up nicely in the classical daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.

“It is much easier to do something than to trust in God; we mistake panic for inspiration. That is why there are so few fellow workers with God and so many workers for Him. We would far rather work for God that believe in Him.”

I have unintentionally hijacked this calling in the name of obedience. In this sick process, I have turned my loving Leader into something ugly. All of a sudden, our relationship has shifted.

In my effort to follow Him, I have misinterpreted His call.

He never told me to work for Him.

However, He did ask me to work with Him.

He’s not standing on the other side of the room with His arms crossed. Nope. He’s right here beside me. Sitting with me as I sit with my children. He can’t wait to share all the tricks of the trade with me.

My heavenly Father is waiting for me to stop working long enough so He can tell me the next step.

Taking matters into my own hands in just plain stupid. It’s the way of the world.

Listening, trusting, and obeying God is most definitely the way to go. That’s when my calling transforms from a circus act to a spiritual act.

More faith. Less hustle.

Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept God's strength.

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