by Debbie Wilson
Someone posted a meme that said, “Good habits are as easy to make and keep as bad ones.” Wrong! At least not for me. Good habits require effort.
Bad habits slip in without trying. It takes no effort to let getting on email drain the time I set aside for writing or study. I find it all too easy to sacrifice the important for the urgent or choose the temporary over the eternal.
Jesus’ words to His Father on the night of His betrayal challenge me: “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4 NIV).
How could He say this? Think of all the people who had not yet heard His message. What about the sick who hadn’t been healed?
Notice, He did not say all the work was complete. He said He had finished the work His Father had given Him to do. At times Jesus left the crowds that had gathered to hear Him. He skipped lunch to have a conversation with one Samaritan woman. That one woman brought her whole town to Jesus!
How did Jesus know His Father’s will? How did He know when to walk away from an opportunity and when to seize it? He kept His eyes on His Father. He told his disciples, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19 NIV).
“‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work’” (John 4:34 NIV).
What work has God given you?
God has given us different talents and spiritual gifts. He has called some to be intercessors and others to be encouragers. But all believers share a common work—the work of faith.
When some people asked Jesus, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29 NIV).
The work of every believer is to walk by faith—in every area of life, not just in the spiritual arenas. “The righteous will live by faith” (Romans 1:17 NIV). Paul went so far as to say that “everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23 NIV), and the context of this statement was eating.
Our work—and at times I’ve found it to be hard work—is to live by faith. To trust our Good Shepherd to lead us on the right path no matter how dark the valley. Our work is to focus on Him and learn to listen for His voice above the din of a noisy world.
Let me encourage you to put on your calendar regular times to be still before God. Have a Bible study plan. And guard your appointment with the Lord with the same tenacity in which you protect your most valuable treasure.
At the end of my life, I want to be able to echo Jesus’ words and know that I brought glory to my Father by completing the assignments He has given me.
Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me. Psalm 46:10 CEV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Drawing from her walk with Christ, and years as a Christian counselor, coach, and Bible teacher, Debbie W. Wilson helps women give themselves a break so they can enjoy fruitful and grace-filled lives. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. Her latest book, Little Faith, Big God, was released in February 2020.
Debbie and her husband Larry founded and run Lighthouse Ministries, a nonprofit counseling, coaching, and Bible study ministry. She is an AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) certified speaking and writing coach. Debbie enjoys a good mystery, dark chocolate, and the antics of her two standard poodles. Refresh your faith with free resources at debbieWwilson.com.
Join the conversation: What new habits are you working on this year?