Since the beginning of time, God has invited us into important work for His kingdom. We can glimpse this in the very first chapters of the Bible. When God created plants, He could have engineered them to be self-sufficient. He could make them propagate, spread, and flourish independently. Before He spoke plants into the soil, He created light. He separated the waters into a perfect atmospheric system and designated dry land. He set an ideal stage for plant life. But something was missing: human care and cultivation.
In Genesis 2:5-6, we glimpse a fascinating time frame as the land waited to burst forth with life. “When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground….”
The land was ripe with potential and waiting to erupt into vibrant colors, aromas, and flavors. What was missing? “There was no man to work the ground.”
God created Adam and Eve and invited them into this beautiful work of cultivation, making the garden all it could be. Genesis 2:15 says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Since the beginning of time, God has planned for us to participate in His work and bring forth good things.
When God sets an opportunity before us, it’s easy to shrink back in uncertainty and wonder, “Who am I to carry out this work?”
Cannot God do this without us? Of course, He can. But like cultivating the very first garden, God wants our involvement. We experience a closer relationship with Him as we join Him in His work.
It can be difficult to discern God’s will for our lives. What work might He want us to enter into? When an opportunity avails itself, how can we know whether or not to proceed?
Scripture assures us that as we align our thoughts with God’s and root our thoughts in His Word, we will better understand what He desires for our lives. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The word “testing” means to examine and prove. As Scripture shapes our thoughts, we can test every idea and opportunity and view it in light of God’s heart.
Once we test an opportunity with Scripture and prayer, we can confidently enter into what God lays before us. In Proverbs 31, we read of the fictional Proverbs 31 woman, a biblical image of wisdom. Proverbs 31:16 says, “She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”
After carefully considering the opportunity, she got to work turning an empty plot of land into a beautiful vineyard. What barren fields might God have waiting for us to turn into beautiful gardens? What opportunities ripe with potential might there be in our periphery? When God sets an opportunity before us, we can carefully and prayerfully consider the fruit He wants to bring forth, then confidently move forward in His strength. The apostle Paul understood this as he told others about Christ and strengthened the churches. He wrote in Colossians 1:29, “For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me.”
As we follow God’s plans for our work, the temptation can be to perform the work in our own strategies and strength. This quickly exhausts our limited knowledge and resolve. Thankfully, God calls us to work that He then equips us for. Just as the apostle Paul proclaimed in the Scripture above, we toil and struggle — but with all Christ’s energy that He powerfully works within us! Paul also said this in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
Whether you’re working in fields of a career, marriage, parenting, grandparenting, ministry, or any other important work God has called you to, you can rest in His strength. As we faithfully pursue His plans for our work, He’ll produce great things.
I have great plans for you, says the Lord
So be confident in the work I’ve started in you
You can put your trust in the author of your story
Know that I have great things for you
Listen to Plans I Have For You