“By what authority are you doing these things?” This was a question posed to Jesus by the chief priests, scribes and elders as he taught and preached in the temple. (Luke 20:1-2)
He refused to answer their question, but it’s obvious to we, who have the advantage of hindsight, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, that He was and is the Son of God—the Messiah, commissioned by God Himself to testify to the truth in a world that had lost sight of it. (John 18:37)
Toiling Of The Anointed One
In Hebrew, the word Messiah means anointed one. God anointed Him to do the mighty works He did on earth—saving the greatest work of all for last.
So, where am I going with this? I’m driving at a challenge for myself and anyone who cares to join. And the challenge is, to operate under the authority and anointing we’ve been given.
There is a lot of talk these days against works. And it’s true that no work of ours contains any salvific merit—most Christians can agree on this. It’s by the work of the cross that we enter into salvation.
Where the divergence comes in is after the point of initial surrender to God through Jesus. Many argue against works even after receiving salvation, as if we do our works to add on to our salvation—the point being that we can’t get any more saved than we already are.
Toiling Because He Toiled
This is true, but we are not supposed to simply loiter at the gate we walked through, or we might be tempted to walk right back out of it. And at some point, we have a positive response to what the Lord has done for us and we have a desire to serve Him in a deeper way.
There seem to be two extremes concerning this. Some want to do things for God right away, without proper authority or anointing. Some want to sit idly and squander the anointing of God, putting a stop to the flow of the Spirit in their lives.
Toiling With His Energy
Colossians 1:28-29 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. – ESV
Paul had a lot of work to do in his life. But he acknowledged that the toiling he did was all drawn from the energy of Christ in him.
What has God given us to do—toiling with all His energy and doing it with all our hearts? It looks different from one life to another. None of us have Paul’s commission. We each have our own unique callings and assignments.
After looking at examples like Jesus and Paul, we might be tempted to think we have nothing to offer. The size of the job is not the point. It is that we have a heart to serve and to not do so carnally, but with the anointing and authority of God on us.
As babes in Christ, we immediately have works of righteousness to offer to God by the power of Jesus transforming our lives. This is toiling but we do it with His energy.
Many of us have jobs. Some are keepers-of-the-home. Toiling in this seems mundane, but according to scripture we can even do this as unto the Lord. I struggle many times with redeeming more mundane aspects of life, but God will even anoint us for that.
In The Family
Are you a Father? God has anointed you and given you authority to lead your family with boldness and love, in the fear of the Lord. To give yourself to your wife as Christ gave Himself to the church, sacrificially.
Are you a Mother? God has anointed you to attend to the nurturing of the children, keeping the home in order and supporting your husband’s vision and calling.
These are the common things that many of us do and take for granted. There are many works we can be toiling in as well that are more blatantly spiritual.
We can pray and intercede as God leads. Exhortation and encouragement are works we can all do. We can post Godly things on social media where junk mostly prevails. We can be generous and merciful. The opportunities are endless, but we are limited to what God is nudging us, authorizing us and anointing us to be toiling in. Let’s be faithful in it. Let’s be bold in it.
Jesus did His work with remarkable boldness and authority, not like the scribes of His day, according to scripture. Let’s emulate Him. He is a fool-proof role-model.